As the start of the NHL season draws closer, players at every level around the globe continue to make decisions on their hockey futures. Keep track of today’s signings here:
- Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Roman Lyubimov allegedly left the NHL last summer because he wanted a chance to play for his native Russia at the Olympics this past winter. However, he was not selected to the Olympic squad after all. It turns out that it might not have been his only motivation for jumping to the KHL anyway. Lyubimov, a free agent this off-season, has decided to stay at home in Russia, with Metallurg Magnitogorsk announcing a contract with the 26-year-old forward. It seems a combination of both wanting to play in the KHL and a lack of production in his one NHL season – six points in 47 games – was likely the cause of his jump overseas last year.
- Avery Peterson, one of the more well-known college free agents to hit the UFA market last week, has settled for an ECHL contract. The Idaho Steelheads have signed the former University of Minnesota-Duluth forward to a one-year deal, the team announced. The big two-way center played a key role in the Bulldogs’ run to the NCAA Championship this past season, but with limited offensive upside, Peterson will have to prove that he can make a difference at the pro level.
- It’s been a while since Matthew Finn has been considered a budding NHL prospect and even longer since he was drafted in the second round of the NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012. Yet, the smart, capable defenseman continues to make a living in the minors. Finn has signed an ECHL deal with the Florida Everblades after spending part of last season with the team while on a contract with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. While Finn has logged plenty of time at the “AA” level, this is his first ECHL contract. The former Guelph Storm captain will bring leadership and experience to the Estero-based squad and if he is able to replicate his production from his last healthy season spent in the ECHL, should be back in contention for an AHL deal next summer. At this point though, it seems unlikely that we will ever see Finn at the NHL level despite his initial promise when drafted.