It’s been a long, slow grind since the craziness of free agency opening on July 13, with a good number of high-end free agents remaining unsigned. With many other leagues than just the NHL looking to get their rosters set for next season, though, that hasn’t been the case everywhere. Minor-league teams and overseas leagues are making moves and transactions to their squads every day, giving hockey fans something else to look at. We’ll keep track of today’s transactions right here.
- The most productive offensive defenseman in the KHL is changing leagues. Kolner Haie, a club in the German top league, the DEL, have signed defenseman Nick Bailen to a one-year contract. Bailen has spent the past five seasons playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. In his entire KHL career, Bailen has 233 points in 367 games over the course of eight seasons. Bailen’s run in Chelyabinsk was particularly successful these past two seasons, as he’s posted 77 points in 100 games. The five-foot-eight defender left North America after a nine-game run with the AHL Rochester Americans in 2012-13 to pursue opportunities in Europe, where he found immediate success in the Finnish Liiga with Tappara Tampere. This signing is a major win for Haie, as they are signing a proven, productive offensive defenseman from one of the best leagues outside of the NHL.
- Bryce Gervais, an AHL-er for the Iowa Wild last season, is headed overseas. The Stavanger Oilers, a club in Norway’s top men’s league, have announced their signing of Gervais to a contract for next season. The former Chicago Wolves regular returned to North America after a successful two-year run with the Heilbronn Falcons of the DEL-2, Germany’s second-tier league. Gervais struggled to make his mark in the AHL, scoring just nine points in 43 games on very little ice time per night. Gervais was one of Wild head coach Tim Army’s least-used forwards, and despite his increased role late in the season, his underwhelming play secured his exit from the Wild. Gervais will head to a league with lower competition in Norway and join an Oilers squad that were champions of the Fjordkraft-ligaen in 2021-22.
- Former KHL-er Nikolai Skladnichenko will be heading down a level of hockey for 2022-23. The Russian forward spent 2021-22 with Kristianstads IK of HockeyAllsvenskan in the second tier of Swedish hockey and has now signed a contract with the Nybro Vikings of HockeyEttan, Sweden’s third tier. Skladnichenko wasn’t bad for Kristianstads, scoring 14 goals and 26 points in 47 games, but the team has chosen to go in a different direction for next season, prompting this change. Skladnichenko should get an increased role at Nybro and will hope to help them achieve promotion to the Allsvenskan.
This page will be updated throughout the day.