It is a homecoming of sorts for veteran defenseman Andrej Meszaros. The 35-year-old has signed a one-year deal with HK Dukla Trencin of the Slovakian Extraliga, returning to the same club that he left when he departed for the NHL 17 years ago. Meszaros developed in the Trencin system and received his first pro experience with the club before being drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2004 NHL draft and making the jump to North America to join the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. He now returns after ten years in the NHL and another six in the KHL and Extraliga, the past five as the captain of Slovakian powerhouse HC Slovan Bratislava. The move back to Trencin could be a sentimental one for Meszaros, who will hit 1,000 career pro games if he suits up for 60 this season, which could mark the end of a long, successful career.
- When Ty Rattie left the NHL following the 2018-19 season despite setting career highs in games played and points, it came as somewhat of a surprise. Rattie had established himself as a capable depth forward and seemed to be on his way up after that final season with the Edmonton Oilers. Yet, Rattie made the jump to Europe and it seems to be working out. After a strong first season overseas in the KHL, Rattie joined the Liiga’s Assat this past year. While his production wasn’t spectacular, it was enough to draw the attention of other European clubs. According to Swedish source Aftonbladet, the SHL’s Timra IK have come to terms with Rattie on a one-year contract. He becomes the crown jewel of an expansive free agent haul for Timra, who are returning to the SHL after earning promotion out of the second tier Allsvenskan. Rattie will join a roster that also includes fellow former NHLer Tim Erixon as well as a number of former NHL prospects, as he looks to make up for the loss of departed Allsvenskan MVP Jonathan Dahlen.
- Another former NHLer sticking in Europe is veteran defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. The veteran defenseman has played in Europe for seven of the past eight seasons, with a stop with the New Jersey Devils mixed in, but at 34 still has gas left in the tank. It helps that he didn’t put much wear on the tires this year, playing in just five games with the SHL’s Djurgardens IF after a late-season arrival. However, his point-per-game production in that small sample size appears to have been enough. Swedish source Expressen reports that Djurgardens is in a “far-reaching negotiation” with Gragnani, stating that both sides were happy with the match and are interested in an extension.