With the New York Rangers in rebuilding mode and the expected full-time roles that are likely to be given to top prospects Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil, the writing looked to be on the wall for veteran center David Desharnais. Now, European insider Igor Eronko reports that the 31-year-old Desharnais intends to continue his career overseas with the KHL.
Desharnais was unlikely to return to New York as he will be an unrestricted free agent in July. He signed a one-year, $1MM contract last summer to help offset the Rangers’ losses of Derek Stepan, who the team traded to Arizona, and Oscar Lindberg, who the team lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. The team had hopes that Andersson might make the team out of training camp, but also wanted insurance in case the 18-year-old didn’t. Desharnais provided that depth after Andersson was returned to Sweden, and played 71 games, but tallied just six goals and 28 points this season.
While there is no word on whether he has a deal in place, Desharnais has spent most of his career in North America, having only played 16 games during the 2012-13 strike in Switzerland. Desharnais played most of his career for the Montreal Canadiens and had several good seasons, including 60-point, 52-point and 48-point seasons between 2011 to 2015 seasons. However injuries have derailed his career and the veteran has struggled to hold onto his roster spot as the Canadiens traded him to the Edmonton Oilers last season for their playoff run, while the Oilers opted not to re-sign him last offseason.