The New Jersey Devils have extended PTO agreements to veteran goaltender Anders Linback – per Henrik Sjoberg of Sport Expressen (link in Swedish) – and speedy forward Brian Gibbons – via tweet from the Devils PR department. The two will attend camp with the Devils in search of an NHL job.
Lindback has led a nomadic NHL career to date. He has already suited up for five different franchises in his six-year career, including four in the last three seasons. He was originally a seventh-round draft choice of Nashville, with whom he spent the first two years of his NHL career. In an ultimately one-sided move, Lindback was acquired from Nashville by Tampa Bay in a deal that saw the Lightning give up three draft choices – two seconds and a third.
After two mostly lackluster seasons with the Lightning, Lindback has served as a backup with Dallas, Buffalo and Arizona. Last season with the Coyotes, Lindback appeared in 19 games, starting 13, and posted a GAA of 3.11 and a Save % of 89.4%. Lindback will likely be given a chance to compete with Keith Kinkaid for the #2 job behind Cory Schneider. Kinkaid would seem to have the upper-hand at the outset given his superior career numbers but Lindback could also provide experienced support in the minor leagues.
Gibbons is a diminutive yet quick forward who has so far been unable to earn a regular role in the NHL. Last season was spent in the Rangers organization where he contributed 23 points in 63 games. He’s appeared in a total of 66 NHL contests with Pittsburgh and Columbus where he has combined to score five goals and 22 points while averaging 12:39 of ice time per game. As with Lindback, Gibbons will likely see little NHL action but should serve as a quality organizational depth piece.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
- Earlier today, PHR provided an update on the status of Vladimir Sobotka, who has been actively seeking to terminate the final season of his KHL deal in order to return to the St. Louis Blues. In a piece appearing on Yahoo Sports, Stephen Whyno has added that Sobotka is no longer confident a resolution will be reached despite talks continuing between the two sides. ”It’s been going on for five months, so I’ve had enough of it. I’m not thinking about it. It’s just getting ready for workouts. I don’t want to think about it anymore.” Player transfers between the KHL and NHL have often been acrimonious and the guess is Sobotka’s current employer, Avangard Omsk, is seeking some sort of compensation for releasing the player. The Blues have been expecting Sobotka’s return and after losing both David Backes and Troy Brouwer as free agents, they could use the veteran Czech. Still, St. Louis has guarded themselves somewhat by inviting four free agent forwards to camp on a tryout basis. That may well have been done in case there was an issue with Sobotka’s return.