Wednesday: The club has officially announced the deal.
Tuesday: Free agent center Nick Spaling is on the verge of signing a contract with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss NLA according to a report from NZZ News in Zurich (link in German). The report also notes that Spaling is currently in Geneva and the signing is just a formality at this point.
Spaling started last season with Toronto after being acquired from Pittsburgh as part of the Phil Kessel trade. The Leafs were hoping that he would be able to anchor their third line but he struggled in his new home, picking up just a goal and six assists in 35 games despite averaging more than 15 minutes of ice time per game.
Just before the deadline, Spaling was dealt to the Sharks (along with Roman Polak who has since rejoined the Maple Leafs). He was a bit better with his new squad, collecting six points in 23 games though his average ice time dipped to just 12:47 per night. He also suited up in all 24 postseason contests in San Jose in their run to the Stanley Cup Final, picking up a single assist while logging 12:44 per game.
Spaling has suited up for four NHL teams in his career, the majority of which were with Nashville who drafted him in the second round (58th overall) in 2008 before moving him to Pittsburgh. Overall, he has played in 437 regular season games, recording 52 goals and 72 assists while adding 12 points in 57 postseason contests.
Spaling earned $2.2MM last year and given the season he had and the quality of players that remain unsigned, he likely would have had to take a significant pay cut or even a training camp tryout if he wanted to stay in the NHL. Instead, he’ll try to boost his value in the Swiss League and at just 27 years of age (he turns 28 next month), a strong season overseas could get him back on the NHL radar in a hurry.