Nikolai Antropov, a veteran of nearly 800 NHL contests that last played for Winnipeg in ’13, could be eyeing a North American return.
Per Russian outlet Sport Express, Antropov’s agent, Shumi Babaev, said his client is mulling a NHL comeback rather than re-sign with KHL club Barys Astana.
The 35-year-old scored 21 points in 39 games last year for Barys, his second season with the team.
It remains to be seen how serious this “comeback” is. Antropov would be intriguing on a couple of fronts: One, he’s still 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds. Two, his last year with the Jets was pretty decent — 15 goals and 35 points in 69 games.
He also has a son, Daniel, that’s currently playing high-level minor hockey in Toronto for the Don Mills Flyers program, so it’s not that hard to fathom him wanting to return.
All that said, it’s tough to see any team making a huge play for Antropov, who turns 36 in February and was never considered the fastest skater. That said, another veteran European — Ruslan Fedotenko — returned from a one-year stint in the KHL last season, and caught on with Minnesota’s AHL affiliate last season.