One of the best stories in hockey last year was Chris Lee, the 37-year old defenseman who turned an invite to the World Championships and a freak injury to Tyson Barrie into a showcase for his talent. Lee had never played a game in the NHL, but suddenly was thrust into a key role on Team Canada after Barrie was injured while wrestling in his hotel room. He found immediate success as a puck-moving piece for the Canadians, logging two assists in seven games.
Lee tried to spin his silver medal performance into an NHL contract, but after attending training camp with the Kings on a professional tryout, has now signed a one-year deal to return to the KHL according to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express. Lee will suit up for his old team in Magnitogorsk, where he registered 65 points last season.
The intriguing part will be whether Lee suits up for Team Canada once again in Pyeongchang at the 2018 Winter Olympics, now that he won’t be tied to an NHL team. The veteran defenseman, who logged four successful years in the AHL before heading overseas, would likely be one of Canada’s best options. His experience in the KHL may prove even more important than his skill, as the Russian Olympic team will be made up almost exclusively of KHL talent.