Early November is not exactly a prime time for transactions – trades, signings, and loans alike – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any at all. In fact, a few notable players are on the move, all from different levels and for different reasons.
- Cody Goloubef and the Ottawa Senators can’t seem to stay away from one another. The veteran defenseman, an Ontario native, was first acquired by the Senators in a trade with the Boston Bruins in 2018-19. He re-signed with the club for the the 2019-20 season, though he was dealt away to Detroit late in the year. Goloubef then turned around and signed another one-year deal with Ottawa and served as a veteran leader for AHL Belleville last season. After 29 NHL games and 61 AHL games with the organization over the past three years, Goloubef did not re-sign with the team this summer and seemed that he could either be heading elsewhere or perhaps retiring. As it turns out, the answer was neither. Goloubef has signed a PTO with Belleville, the club announced, and that may just be the beginning. Given the ongoing depth issues that the Senators entire system is facing on the blue line, Goloubef could just be getting his legs under him in the AHL before signing with Ottawa. Either way, this tryout seems to be a precursor to yet another contract with the Senators. Goloubef, 31, has a decade of pro experience, including 160 NHL games, not to mention Olympic experience, so the club could do far worse with an in-season signing.
- By all accounts, Daniel D’Amato is not officially a Vegas Golden Knights prospect, but the team is treating him like one. D’Amato was a training camp standout for the Knights this fall, but left both Vegas and Henderson camps without a contract, returning to the OHL’s Erie Otters. Yet, after a strong start to his junior season with seven points in 11 games, D’Amato was suddenly making his pro debut last knight for the AHL’s Silver Knights. With some reports calling this a call-up but no record of a contract, it remains unclear under what conditions D’Amato has joined the Knights organization. What is certain is that the club likes the two-way winger and he could be in play for an entry-level contract before too long.
- Nico Gross was once considered an up-and-coming NHL prospect. The Swiss defenseman was a standout on the international stage and impressed by making the jump from the Swiss juniors to the OHL and producing right away. The New York Rangers used a fourth-round pick on the talented blue liner in 2018 and at the time it was regarded as a high-ceiling selection. However, by 2020 Gross had flatlined in his development and the Rangers opted not to extend him an entry-level contract. Despite some speculation that perhaps another team might sign him, Gross returned to Switzerland and signed a two-year deal with powerhouse NLA club EV Zug in 2020. This was considered a safe play with the 2020-21 AHL season in doubt and Gross needing consistent ice time at 21. Again though, the young defenseman has failed to improve. Rather than using two years in Europe to prepare for another run at the NHL, Gross has done little through 64 games and was even demoted for nine games last season. The team clearly still believes in his potential, as Gross has signed a two-year extension, the team announced. What the move really says though is that Gross does not believe he can land a deal in North America and it’s starting to seem like maybe he never will.