The KHL has contracted by two teams again for the 2018-19 season, with Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk and Lada Togliatti both exiting the league. Those two combined for just 33 wins this season, bringing up the bottom of the Kharlamov Division.
That’s the second straight season the KHL has contracted, after previous expansion. The league has dealt with financial disparity since its inception, but will open the doors on September 1st and start their 11th season with 25 teams.
- After initially proposing the idea that John Tavares could be a sign-and-trade candidate for the New York Islanders, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) has expanded that notion to John Carlson of the Washington Capitals. Carlson is in line for a huge payday this summer as the best defenseman on the market, but will be a tough contract to fit into the Washington salary structure. The only real benefit a sign-and-trade has in the NHL is the ability to get an eighth year under contract, which makes it a tough thing to sell to a player before he’s able to talk to all the team that may be interested in his services. LeBrun examines exactly what would have to happen in Carlson’s case.
- Mark Divver of the Providence Journal is extremely plugged into the college hockey circles in the northeast, and he reports that Erik Foley is expected to sign with the St. Louis Blues after his junior season. The Providence College forward led his team in scoring with 35 points this year, and could make an impact quickly in the NHL. Foley was a third-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets, but was included as part of the deal for Paul Stastny last month.