It’s been a busy day of signings and re-signings across the league, but not everyone has been so lucky has to find NHL employment. Many free agents are still holding out for the right deal, but others have begun to move on and accept alternative offers:
- Harry Zolnierczyk is one such player. The veteran forward has bounced between the NHL and AHL for years, but had been able to land a one-year, two-way contract in each of his seven pro seasons. That streak is now over, as the market apparently did not develop for Zolnierczyk despite a strong season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals in 2017-18. Instead, Zolnierczyk has opted to remain in North America with a minor league contract. The Springfield Thunderbirds announced that they have signed the capable winger to a one-way AHL deal for the coming season.
- Dennis Robertson is in a similar situation, albeit making an easier transition. The 27-year-old defenseman is entering his fifth pro season and has yet to make an NHL appearance, but has played on a two-way contract throughout. Other than a brief stint with the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Robertson has been a member of the Carolina Hurricanes for his entire career but has exclusively played with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Robertson has now made that placement permanent, at least through next season, as the Checkers have announced a one-year AHL contract for the blue line mainstay.
- One player moving on from the AHL is Christian Thomas. The former top prospect was unable to find a two-way contract last summer, following five pro seasons and 27 NHL games, and signed an AHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He was seemingly unwilling to take another minor league deal this off-season, opting instead to move overseas. Swedish club Rogle BK confirmed that they have signed Thomas to a one-year deal. Thomas impressed Rogle management with his efforts for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics and will now get to further show off his skills on the international stage. A high-scoring season in the SHL could afford the 26-year-old winger another shot at the NHL next summer.