Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More European Signings

The word on the wire is that Brian Pothier has signed a 1-year deal in Switzerland, but according to most postings, he does have an out-clause to sign with an NHL team up until August 15th. The unrestricted free agent defenseman played 61 games between Washington and Carolina in 2010, scoring 5 goals and adding 10 assists. He ranked 118th among defensemen, which could have been good enough to be picked in some deep drafts, but it's probably ill-advised now.

Another defenseman on the way out is Denis Grebeshkov, who has signed a 2-year deal in the KHL. Grebeshkov, an unrestricted free agent defenseman, likely has priced himself out of the tight market there is for defensemen, even quality puck-moving defensemen such as himself.  Grebeshkov played games in both Edmonton and Nashville in 2010, picking up 21 points in 51 games between the two teams, ranking 80th among defenders.  He'll likely be missed in most pools, as he is good for points when he is healthy.

Finally, Viktor Tikhonov was likely going to be without guarantees of regular playing time with the Coyotes, so he will be using the final year of his entry-level deal in the KHL, where he should be getting some regular time with Cherepovets Severstal.  Tikhonov is a 2008 1st round pick of the Coyotes, but with some changes in coaching and philosophies, he hasn't been able to break through in Phoenix, which has to be somewhat frustrating.  He'll likely have a good year in Russia, coming back to compete for a job in 2012.

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