The contract of defenseman Alex Lintuniemi with JYP in Finland has been mutually terminated, making the 25-year-old a free agent once again. The deal was supposed to keep him with the club through the 2021-22 season, meaning this could be because Lintuniemi has interest elsewhere.
Terminating a contract isn’t a new thing for the young defenseman, as he went through a similar process last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. After playing just four games with the Charlotte Checkers to begin the 2019-20 season, he was placed on unconditional waivers and terminated his one-year, two-way deal with the Hurricanes. That move was followed by a return to Finland where he played for Lahti and JYP, scoring 6 points in 33 games.
Originally a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, Lintuniemi never did make an appearance at the NHL level. Instead, he played several seasons in the minor leagues, mostly with the Ontario Reign of the AHL, before failing to receive a qualifying offer from the organization in 2019.
It’s hard to know what the future holds for Lintuniemi, but his name is still one to watch for North American organizations looking for depth on the blue line. Though he likely won’t ever make an impact at the NHL level, he did have some success for Ontario, recording 49 points in 131 games across the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. A return to the AHL could potentially be in order, should he decide to return to this side of the world.