Just one day after his KHL contract was terminated, former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin has quickly found a new team. KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg has announced that they have signed Antipin to a two-year contract. The 27-year-old is joining just his second KHL club and third pro club ever, as Antipin grew up in the development system of Metallurg Magnitogorsk and played for their KHL team on either side of his 2017-18 season with the Sabres. Antipin heads to SKA with 144 points in 381 career KHL games, not to mention ten points in 47 NHL games. The puck-moving defenseman will still be on the right side of 30 when his new contract expires, so a return to North America in the future cannot be ruled out.
- Two other notable names are expected be on the move in Europe. Johan Svensson of the Kvalls Posten reports that Swedish winger Pontus Aberg is headed back overseas for the first time since 2013-14. The 26-year-old forward spent this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, his fifth NHL franchise in six years, but played in only five games at the top level. Aberg has had a difficult time carving out a full-time role in any of his NHL stops, so he is expected to move on. Svensson reports that Aberg is currently negotiating with the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk and is likely to end up in the KHL one way or another. Meanwhile, fellow Swede Oscar Lindberg is nearing an agreement with the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow, reports Russian source Championat. Lindberg surprisingly was unable to find an NHL home this past off-season and signed with EV Zug of the Swiss NLA. The 28-year-old had a strong season is Switzerland and is now upgrading to Europe’s top league. Lindberg, who has five full NHL seasons to his credit, has been a useful player throughout his pro career and it is no wonder that he is in demand for one of the KHL’s top teams.
- The AHL’s Bakersfield Condors have made an intriguing signing, adding collegiate defenseman Yanni Kaldis on a two-year deal. Kaldis, 24, was the captain of the Cornell Big Red this season, one of the top teams in the NCAA. A productive two-way defenseman in college, Kaldis has proven that he has pro chops and could play a major role for the Condors. Bakersfield also extended forward Jakob Stukel, a former Vancouver Canucks prospect who suited up for 36 games with the team this season.
- Matt Tugnutt, son of former NHL goaltender Ron Tugnutt, is transferring schools. The talented forward may not be going far geographically, but he is making a major move in terms of competition level and ability to compete for a national title. Tugnutt, 23, will play his senior season at Providence College after spending his first three years at Sacred Heart, he announced on his personal Twitter. A near point-per-game player and a +21 for a very good Sacred Heart team this year, Tugnutt is a big addition for the Friars. However, he will have to adjust quickly to the difference between Atlantic and Hockey East competition if he hopes to make a similar impact.