It’s potentially the final stand tonight for three NHL teams, with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Tampa Bay Lightning each fighting to extend their season one more game. The postseason is also fully underway in several other North American leagues, with several AHL playoff battles already fought earlier today. As these major games get completed, teams in Europe and minor leagues are making roster moves. We’ll keep track of those transactions here.
- 204-game NHL veteran Brian Gibbons was among the players announced today to be departing the DEL’s ERC Ingolstadt. While Ingolstadt themselves had a memorable campaign (they fell in the finals to Red Bull Munich) Gibbons himself last played in October. He scored a total of four points in just 11 games for Ingolstadt this season, and as a 35-year-old free agent his playing future seems cloudy. Also among those released by Ingolstadt is Tye McGinn, the brother of NHLers Jamie McGinn and Brock McGinn.
- Former Dallas Stars forward Remi Elie signed a two-year contract with the SHL’s Linkoping HC. The 28-year-old 2013 second-round pick finished his first season across the Atlantic this year, notching 18 points in 32 games for rival SHL side Farjestad BK. Elie is an experienced veteran who flashed some goal-scoring tough with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL in 2021-22, potting 17 goals in 48 games. Linkoping will hope that version of Elie can appear next season to help them rise from the basement of the SHL standings, where they finished this past year.
- Liiga’s Tappara Tampere have gotten to work locking up key members of their second-straight championship team, inking starting netminder Christian Heljango to a contract extension. While Heljango’s regular-season save percentage dropped from a .920 last year to a .891 this season, his brilliance in the team’s title run likely erased any worry about a decline. The 26-year-old posted a 12-2 record in the postseason with a .935 save percentage. Now, he’s set to return to Tampere to try to run it back next season.
- Two former Montreal Canadiens prospects, Martin Reway and Hayden Verbeek, are among the players announced today to not be returning to HK Spisska Nova Ves of the Czech Extraliga. Reway, 28, was a 2013 fourth-round pick who joined the team later in the season, and scored 13 points in 13 regular-season games and 12 points in 13 playoff contests. Verbeek, 25, is an undrafted player who was part of the Canadiens’ 2021 trade for defenseman Jon Merrill and notched 33 points in 44 games in his European professional debut season.
- Fresh off of a solid performance in his return to European professional hockey, former Boston Bruins prospect Victor Berglund signed a two-year deal with Karpat in Liiga. The 23-year-old 2017 second-rounder earned an entry-level contract (something that is not a given for late-round picks) but couldn’t quite catch on in the AHL. He returned to Europe to play for HIFK Helsinki in the Finnish capital, and scored 20 points in 29 regular-season games.
- Taylor Leier, a former Philadelphia Flyer, will not return to the DEL’s Straubing Tigers for next season, according to a team announcement. The former WHL champion and AHL All-Star had a strong two-season run with the Tigers, totaling 39 goals and 101 points in 109 games there. At 29 years old, Leier has a lot of his career ahead of him and will now look for a new opportunity in Germany or even in other leagues.