Panthers’ Kopecky signs in Slovak Extraliga

Tomas Kopecky is going home.

That’s the word out of Slovakia on Monday as HK Dukla Trencin announced it had signed the two-time Stanley Cup winner to a lockout deal.

Kopecky played his youth hockey with Trencin and represented the club at the senior level before joining WHL Lethbridge in 1999.

Kopecky, 30, spent last year with the Florida Panthers after inking a four-year, $12 million deal in July 2011. In October, he was named one of the clubs’ four alternate captains responded with a solid campaign — 10G-22A-32PTS in 80 games — but disappeared in the playoffs, recording just one point in an opening-round loss to the New Jersey Devils.

After Florida’s playoff run, Kopecky joined Team Slovakia at the 2012 World Hockey Championships and turned things around. He led the team with five goals in 10 games and was a catalyst for Slovakia’s surprising silver medal finish.

According to Matias Strozyk of EliteProspects, Kopecky is set to debut for Trencin on Friday.

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