Engelland, an unrestricted free agent, is coming off a three-year, $8.75 million deal with a $2.92M average annual cap hit. The 35-year-old enjoyed a career year in Calgary last season, posting career-highs in games played (81), TOI (18:20) while finishing with 16 points, one off his personal best.
Vegas opted to select Engelland ahead of some more intriguing Calgary skaters. The club could’ve had three-time 20-goal scorer Troy Brouwer, who was left unprotected, or young d-man Brett Kulak, who appeared in 21 games last season.
As mentioned in the headline, Engelland does have ties to Sin City. He began his career there 14 years ago — plying his trade for the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers — and, per the Toronto Star, has made it his home for the last 13 years.
“It’s a small town in a big-city type of thing,” said Engelland, who grew up in Chetwynd, B.C., which has a population of about 3,000.
Equally attractive were the sunny, dry climate, outdoor lifestyle and proximity to the West Coast. Housing is also affordable in a market that was hit hard by the recession.
The whole package was reason enough for the Engellands to put down roots.
“I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” said Engelland.
The family just built a new house.
Of course, this story might not have the perfect ending. It’s possible Vegas could pass on signing Engelland, in which case he’d go to market on July 1.
The Golden Knights could also flip him.