It’s another busy day across the hockey world as we reach an important stretch of the NHL season with several teams in the thick of tight playoff races, especially in the Western Conference. The New York Islanders take on the Carolina Hurricanes in what could be a first-round playoff preview, while the Los Angeles Kings take on the Vancouver Canucks in a game that could push L.A. ahead of the Edmonton Oilers in the race for the Pacific Division’s second seed.
In Europe, multiple playoff semifinals are underway, and today Frolunda HC captured a crucial victory against Vaxjo in Sweden, tying the SHL’s semifinals at one game apiece. In Germany, Grizzlys Wolfsburg tied their DEL semifinal against EHC Red Bull Munchen 1-1, while an important third-period tie-breaking goal by former New York Rangers prospect Ty Ronning helped ERC Ingolstadt win 6-3 over Adler Mannheim and tie their side of the DEL semifinals. As fans take in all of the hockey on offer today, teams around the world are making tweaks to their roster or preparing for next season. We’ll keep track of those moves here.
- Stanley Cup champion and former NHL top prospect Brett Connolly is among the players leaving Swiss club HC Lugano, according to a team announcement. Connolly signed in Switzerland over the summer after spending most of last season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. The Canadian forward, who is still just 30 years old and was a decent NHL goal-scorer as recently as 2019-20, did well in his first year overseas, scoring 12 goals and 38 points in 45 games. He was sandwiched between two other former NHLers, Markus Granlund and Mirco Mueller, in Lugano’s scoring rankings, and he helped his side reach the Swiss playoffs.
- Former Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Philip Samuelsson, the son of two-time Stanley Cup champion Ulf Samuelsson, is among the players announced not to be returning to the DEL’s Fischtown Pinguins. Samuelsson, 31, has 13 NHL games on his resume, the last few coming in 2015-16 with the Arizona Coyotes. Samuelsson played three straight seasons exclusively as an AHLer before heading overseas in 2019-20 to play most of the year in his native Sweden. He split the last three seasons between Leksands IF and IK Oskarshamn in the SHL before signing last summer in the DEL. He scored 31 points in 47 games for Fischtown, helping lead them to a playoff series win over the Nurnburg Ice Tigers.
- 2008 Minnesota Wild first-round pick Tyler Cuma has signed a two-year contract with Austria’s EK Zell am See, a club in the AlpsHL, a league with many second-tier Austrian clubs as well as teams in Italy and Slovenia. The 33-year-old blueliner has played in one career NHL game, which took place in 2011-12 with the Wild. Since then, he spent two more seasons in the AHL before deciding to head to Austria, and has now played nearly 300 games at the highest level of Austrian pro hockey. He’ll be moving down a level with this move after a season spent with Innsbruck HC, where he scored nine points in 43 games.
- Former New York Rangers prospect Andrew Yogan will not continue his career with the IceHL’s Graz99ers, per a team announcement. The 31-year-old has been a star in the ICEHL since leaving North America, with 247 points in 236 career games. Yogan made the choice to leave Austria in 2021 to play with HC Slovan Bratislava in the Slovak league, and the 52 points in 48 games he scored propelled the team to a Slovak Extraliga championship. Yogan split 2022-23 between Slovakia and Austria, scoring 15 points in 16 games for Poprad before transferring and scoring 13 goals and 20 points for Graz.
- Dylan St. Cyr’s tryout with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins is over, per the team. The 23-year-old former Michigan State Spartan appeared in one game with the Griffins, saving seven shots in relief of Jon Lethemon during a March 31st loss to the Milwaukee Admirals. The son of famous women’s hockey goaltender Manon Rheaume, St. Cyr will now look for his next chance in professional hockey with some valuable first experience under his belt.
- 2013 San Jose Sharks fourth-round pick Fredrik Bergvik will not be returning to HockeyAllsvenskan’s Sodertalje SK for next season. The 28-year-old has been a tandem netminder for the second-tier Swedish side for the past four seasons, spending the last two as the backup for Nikita Tolopilo, who signed with the Canucks on Friday. Bergvik posted 2 shutouts and a 5-2 record in 10 total games played, with a .902 save percentage, and will now hit the open market for the first time in several years.
- Michal Jordan is leaving the Lakers. The former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman is among the players not returning to Switzerland’s SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, per a team announcement. The 32-year-old spent 19 games in Switzerland after transferring there in December. Before that point, he had captained the KHL’s Amur Khabarovsk, playing over 250 games there. Jordan last appeared in the NHL in 2015-16 and will now look elsewhere to continue his pro career.
This page will be updated throughout the day.