After spending a significant amount of time with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL this past season, many people in Edmonton knew that Markus Granlund’s time with the team was short. Now a Russian website, al.hockey.ru reports (translation required) that Granlund has reached an agreement to head overseas and sign with Ufa Salavat Yuleaev of the KHL. No terms have been reported.
Granlund signed a one-year deal on July 1 last season for $1.3MM. The Oilers, desperately in need of inexpensive depth due to their salary cap, signed a number of NHL veteran forwards to low-cost deals, including Josh Archibald, Riley Sheahan, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard, Tomas Jurco and Granlund. While some of those players were successes last season, Granlund was not. Archibald, Sheahan and Nygard won permanent jobs, while Granlund was eventually sent to Bakersfield, the first time he’s played in the AHL since the 2015-16 season.
The 27-year-old appeared in just 34 games for the Oilers, posting three goals and four points while averaging a career-low 10:50 of ATOI. He rarely played on the penalty kill and was eventually made expendable. He played 20 games for the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL, scoring six goals and 15 points in that time.
Granlund will likely will take a much bigger role on his KHL team and might be able to take his game to a new level there and earn a chance to return to an NHL team. He has appeared in 335 NHL games with the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and the Oilers.