Former Ducks, Penguins defenseman Simon Despres heads to KHL

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Multiple outlets, including Sports-Express’ Igor Eronko, report that former Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres signed a one-year contract with Slovan of the KHL.

The 26-year-old showed glimpses of the potential that made him the 30th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft in recent seasons, which might prompt some confusion regarding a lack of interest in the free agent.

Of course, it’s easier to understand that limited market when you recall his serious issues with concussions.

Such issues – and perhaps other factors? – likely played a role in the somewhat strange “conceptual agreement” that opened the door for the Ducks to buy out Despres. It was noted that Anaheim activated Despres from LTIR during the postseason, even though he didn’t play.

Either way, the agreement certainly helped the Ducks out:

This may all seem like a rough break for Despres, although the bright side is that he could get a chance to prove that he’s healthy by enjoying a successful season in the KHL. For all we know, Despres may just draw solid interest to return to the NHL in 2017-18.