It’s a relatively slow day on the NHL calendar, at least compared to yesterday, with just five games on the schedule. But in leagues across the hockey world, teams are gearing up for the playoffs, such as in Europe where the ICEHL and DEL both are set to begin their playoffs this week. As teams in foreign leagues or minor leagues either get set to begin their playoffs or secure their spot in them, they’re also making tweaks to their rosters and other forms of transactions. We’ll keep track of those moves here.
- Former Ottawa Senator and three-time Spengler Cup champion Chris DiDomenico is returning to Fribourg. Swiss club HC Fribourg-Gotteron has announced that the 34-year-old forward has signed a two-year deal set to begin next season. After a 2017-18 season that saw DiDomenico play 24 NHL games and score 18 points in just 13 AHL playoff games, he made the choice to cross the Atlantic and return to Switzerland, where he was before making it to the NHL. DiDomenico has been a star there, scoring a total of 314 points in 328 total games, and has scored 23 goals and 53 points in 46 games this season.
- 2016 Carolina Hurricanes third-round pick Jack LaFontaine, 25, has been reassigned to the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, according to a team announcement. LaFontaine returned in time to play in the Solar Bears’ game against the South Carolina Stingrays today, where he stopped 32 of 34 shots en route to a 7-2 victory. LaFontaine has spent most of this season in the ECHL, and he has a .905 save percentage in 22 games in Orlando this season.
- Morten Poulsen, who represented Denmark at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and is a star in Denmark’s top professional league, has signed a two-year extension with his current club, Herning Blue Fox. The 34-year-old is Herning’s captain and has scored 290 points in 394 career games at Denmark’s highest level. He’s a three-time Danish champion and has experience playing in Austria, in the Finnish Liiga, and in Sweden.
- A longtime veteran of the second and third divisions of German hockey won’t be hanging up his skates anytime soon. 41-year-old blueliner Lukas Slavetinsky, who has nearly 1,300 games of experience at four levels of German hockey has signed a one-year extension with his current team, EV Fussen, who play in the third tier of German hockey. He’s still quite productive, having scored 39 points in 39 games this season, and got into eleven games of action this year in second-tier DEL2. He last saw the ice in the DEL, the highest level of German pro hockey, in 2006-07 with ERC Ingolstadt.
- Michel Ackers, a 31-year-old defenseman who has served as captain of Herner EV 2007, a club in Germany’s third division, has signed a two-year extension to remain with the team. Ackers is one of the club’s most committed players, having skated in over 300 games for them and scored around a point-per-game rate multiple times. He’ll remain with the team for the next two years with the hope of finally leading them to promotion to the DEL2.