Anton Rodin signed with the Anaheim Ducks this summer hoping to get a second chance at the NHL. Rodin had previously played for the Vancouver Canucks, without much luck. Rodin played in three NHL games and three AHL games in 2016-17 but was otherwise shut down for the year with injury. Then, upon failing to crack the Canucks’ roster last season, the two sides came to a mutual agreement on the termination of Rodin’s contract and he played out the remainder of the year back in Europe, again limited by injury. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in training camp this year, as Rodin was unable to land a spot with the Ducks. He requested a termination of his contract and cleared unconditional waivers last week. Now, Rodin seems to have already found a new home, returning to the Swiss club he played for last year, HC Davos. Swiss new source “Hockey News” reports that a deal is in place to bring Rodin back to Davos, where he will join fellow former NHLers Shane Prince and Anders Lindback. The former Swedish Hockey League MVP reportedly had interest from clubs throughout Europe, including the KHL and other NLA teams, but opted for familiarity, returning to Davos. While his experiments with the NHL are likely over, hopefully the talented winger cans stay healthy and return to his status as one of the top players in Europe.
- By all accounts, Henrik Haapala is still technically under contract with the Florida Panthers. However, the former Liiga scoring leader has signed with HC Lugano of the NLA for this upcoming season, the team announced. The Finnish forward signed a two-year entry-level contract with Florida last summer and even played in five games with the Panthers. After 20 games with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, Haapala was loaned back to his Liiga club, Tappara, for the remainder of the season. However, he still had a year remaining on his contract and no deal in place with Tappara and was expected to return to Florida this season. Instead, Haapala didn’t even participate in training camp and now appears slated to spend 2018-19 with Lugano. There is no word on what this means for his contract status with the Panthers, but Lugano is happy to have him. The small, speedy winger has excellent play-making ability and has the potential to be a major contributor in the NLA.
- Former Florida Panther Colby Robak is also on his way to Europe, leaving North America for the first time in his career. Robak has signed with Vassan Sport of the Liiga in Finland, the team announced. Robak, a second-round pick in 2008, has not played in an NHL game since 2014-15, in which he split the yeat between Florida and the Anaheim Ducks, but has made a living as a veteran leader in the AHL. Apparently, his time in that role ran out, as Robak was unable to find another AHL contract this summer and has made the jump overseas. Sport finished dead last in the Liiga last year and get a major boost from Robak’s arrival, as the experienced defender should easily become a leader for the team in their efforts to improve this season.