Ian Kennedy of The Hockey News is reporting that decorated netminder Noora Räty is set to sign with the Metropolitan Riveters of the Premier Hockey Federation. The 33-year-old has backstopped Finland to two bronze medals at the Winter Olympics and was named Best Goaltender at the World Championships a whopping five times while leading her country to four bronze medals.
Just this past October, Räty had announced that she was retiring from Finland’s national team, but she left the door open to continuing her hockey career. Now she will do so in America, which must be a big moment for her given that she has advocated for a long time for a professional league in North America that could push women’s hockey forward. Räty put up sparking numbers one again this past season as she posted a .943 save percentage in nine starts for HPK of Naisten Liiga to go along with a 1.56 goals against average.
In other evening notes:
- The Rockford Ice Hogs announced today that they’ve signed center Ryan Gagnier to a one-year AHL contract. The 20-year-old Gagnier spent the last three seasons with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals and was the team’s leading scorer this past season putting up 31 goals and 38 assists in 66 games. The 6-foot, 186-pound Tecumseh native improved dramatically over the course of his junior career and finished with 113 points (53G, 60A) in 189 OHL games. Gagnier was never drafted to the NHL and was somewhat of a late bloomer, he was an excellent penalty killer this past year and finished second in voting for the OHL Eastern Conference’s best penalty killer.
- Team USA has added Ottawa Senators forward Patrick Brown to their 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship roster. This will be Brown’s first appearance ever at an IIHF world championship as the 30-year-old has never represented the U.S. at any level in these tournaments. Brown was dealt mid-season by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Ottawa Senators and finished the year with four goals and eight assists in 61 NHL games split between the two clubs. The Americans have won their first three games of the tournament and will face Austria on Wednesday in their fourth of seven preliminary round games.