The NHL season may be officially underway following Tuesday’s opening pair of contests, but many players are still trying to find homes for the 2021-22 campaign. Follow along as we track these and other notable minor moves across the hockey world:
- Coming off of a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the fifth NHL contract of his career despite having played only 30 NHL games and zero since 2016-17, veteran defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon wasn’t so lucky this time around. The 28-year-old has settled for an AHL pact, signing a one-year deal with the Utica Comets per a team release. Wotherspoon has extensive AHL experience, including several seasons of strong production and history as a locker room leader, making him an attractive get for the Devils new affiliate. Whether he can turn this opportunity into an NHL deal next season though remains to be seen.
- Similarly, defenseman Luke Green has been unable to find a new NHL deal after he was not qualified by the Winnipeg Jets this summer. However, Green could not land an AHL gig either. The 23-year-old has signed with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, per the league’s registry. After two years in the AHL and one season in Finland without any production, Green has to prove that he is more than just his junior numbers in the QMJHL by finding some sustained success in the pros.
- Fredrik Handemark’s stay in Russia has been even shorter than it was in North America. After coming over from Sweden last season and playing in eight games with the San Jose Sharks and another 14 in the AHL, it was somewhat surprising to see Handemark head back to Europe this off-season. However, he was at least heading to one of the best teams outside of the NHL in KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. Yet, just 15 games into his contract with SKA and despite having totaled six points already, Handemark and the club have agreed to a mutual termination of his contract, St. Petersburg announced. Swedish source Expressen reports that Handemark is expected to return to the Malmo Redhawks of the SHL, where he was captain for several years before jumping to San Jose, and is likely to sign a long-term deal. At 28, Handemark’s days in the NHL (and any other league) are likely over if this is the case.