In most cases, hockey fans imagine NHL players going overseas to light up scoreboards against inferior competition.* Frans Nielsen is more likely to neutralize and frustrate the opposition, instead.
The defensively adept New York Islanders forward will ply his trade with Rauma Lukko in Finland’s SM-liiga, Katie Strang reports.
The Islanders signed Nielsen to what could be a bargain four-year, $11 million extension in February.
One silver lining for Nielsen’s currently-in-limbo deal is that the 2012-13 season would pay him the least of any year. He’s slated to make $2 million next season, with a $500K raise in each successive campaign.
It doesn’t look like there was a specific factor that attracted him to SM-liiga. He’s the first Danish citizen to make it to the NHL level, but he cut his teeth in Sweden’s Elite League, not Finland.
* Anze Kopitar is playing in Sweden’s second-tier league … that’s almost cruel.