June 1st: The contract is now official, as CSKA announced the signing this afternoon. It is a one-year deal for Dahlbeck, opening the door to an NHL return in the near future if his season goes well in Moscow. For their part, CSKA seems excited for the potential that the veteran defender brings in their efforts to strengthen the blue line next year.
May 22nd: According to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, Carolina GM Don Waddell has confirmed Dahlbeck’s departure to the KHL.
April 27th: It was a forgettable 2017-18 season for Klas Dahlbeck. The 26-year-old defenseman re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes expecting an expanded role, only to lose his job to rookie Haydn Fleury. Dahlbeck proceeded to suit up for just 33 games, spending much of his time watching from the press box. In what little action he saw, Dahlbeck recorded just five points and had the worst possession numbers of any Hurricanes defenseman. It was a disappointing campaign for the 2011 third-round pick and former AHL standout who at one time carried much promise.
Now it seems Dahlbeck is looking to move on the next stage of his hockey career. According to the Sports Business Gazette out of Russia, Dahlbeck is preparing to sign in the KHL this season (link in Russian). Dahlbeck won’t be joining just any team, but one of the league’s most elite organizations, CSKA Moscow. CSKA is fresh off the second-best regular season record in the KHL and an appearance in the Gagarin Cup final. They’ve been collecting displaced NHLers in recent years, including the likes of Valeri Nichushkin, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Nesterov, and Alexey Marchenko, and the Swedish-born blue liner Dahlbeck appears to be next in line.
While the contract has yet to be signed and neither CSKA nor Carolina have confirmed the move, this is a deal that seems logical and likely to happen. Dahlbeck has shown capable two-way play in the past and will likely step in and be a solid presence on the CSKA back end. Meanwhile, it’s no loss for the Hurricanes, who have one of the most talented young defensive corps in the league, with six bona fide starters under 27, and could still add to that group with top prospect Jake Bean next season.