Justin Pogge is hoping to return to North America for the 2015-16 season.
The 29-year-old spent this season with Farjestads in the Swedish Hockey League posting a 13-13-0 record to go a long with a 2.01 G.A.A. and a .926 save percentage.
“I would love a deal that would give me the best chance at getting back into the NHL,” Pogge told PHT. “A one-way deal would ideal.”
Pogge has one year remaining on his deal in the SHL, but the contract carries an NHL-out clause meaning he can sign in North America prior to June 15.
Originally a third-round selection (90th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004, Pogge last played in North America with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League during the 2011-12 season.
Pogge made seven appearances with the Leafs during the 2008-09 season posting a 1-4-1 record.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Is Connor McDavid the second coming of Wayne Gretzky? The Great One chuckles at the notion, but agrees McDavid is going to be a game changer. “He’s as good as I’ve seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years, the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby,” said Gretzky. “He can definitely change a franchise’s fortunes.” (The Edmonton Journal)
Former Toronto Maple Leafs teammates Mikael Tellqvist and Justin Pogge are currently in a head-to-head battle for the Swedish Hockey League’s save of the year. (SHL)
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Some of the sights and sounds from the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Winnipeg since 1996:
Current Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had a huge impact on the Detroit Red Wings leading the franchise to three Stanley Cups. He’s also part of the reason why Pavel Datsyuk is still a member of the Wings. In 2007 Yzerman went to Ken Holland and told the GM to “Absolutely, get it done” with regards to contract negotiations with Datsyuk. Datsyuk eventually signed a seven-year contract worth $6.7 million per season. (Tampa Bay Times)
Todd McLellan, who “mutually agreed” to part ways with the San Jose Sharks on Monday, will have no shortage of offers for his next coaching gig. According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, McLellan’s coaching style would be a perfect fit with the Edmonton Oilers. (Sportsnet)
Sidney Crosby was locked out of the Pens’ room ahead of Game 3 on Monday night:
Investigative reporter Rick Westhead has further information on Jarret Stoll’s arrest last week in Las Vegas including the police report. (TSN)
With Ilya Bryzgalov out of the fold, Mike Smith in place as the starter and Jason LaBarbera signed as the backup, the Phoenix Coyotes’ short-term goaltending future is clear. What’s not so clear is how effective that duo will be.
While this signing won’t ease those concerns, the Coyotes added a little depth to their netminding ranks by signing Justin Pogge to a one-year, two-way deal. The team didn’t disclose how much the deal is worth, but Cap Geek’s numbers indicate that it might be worth about $575K if he plays at the NHL level and $80K if he remains in his most likely place in the AHL.
Pogge earned seven games of NHL experience with the Toronto Maple Leafs (going 1-4-1 with an awful .844 save percentage and 4.35 GAA in 2008-09), but it’s likely that he’s pretty low on the Coyotes totem pole. Curtis McElhinney is almost certainly higher on the depth chart and Mark Visentin could be their goalie of the future. Pogge probably just wants to find a stable hockey home after being traded in August 2009 by the Maple Leafs and March 2010 by the Anaheim Ducks. He spent last season playing for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers (the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate).
In five AHL seasons with the Checkers, Toronto Marlies, San Antonio Rampage and Albany River Rats, the 25-year-old native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, played in 217 games, posting a 106-81-20 record with eight shutouts, a 2.69 GAA and a .909 SV%.