The period from Friday to Monday was a very lively one on the KHL transfer market, and the Togliatti and Kunlun HR departments were particularly busy.
Former Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jiri Novotny has moved to Lada. The 33-year-old Czech Republic international has played the past eight seasons in the KHL, and spent the 2016-17 campaign at Traktor Chelyabinsk.
He is joined in Togliatti by 31-year-old goalie Alexander Lazushin, who has played in every KHL season – five of them with Dynamo Moscow – and by former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton, who arrives after two seasons with Torpedo. The Nizhny Novgorod club has accepted financial compensation for the 26-year-old Canadian. Also Lada-bound is SKA goaltender Evgeny Ivannikov, who returns to Togliatti after a two-year absence.
Mike Keenan’s team-building at Kunlun Red Star continues unabated. Heading for China are 32-year-old Canadian forward Brandon Yip, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, and last season, Dusseldorf in the German league, and 28-year-old American forward Greg Squires, who spent the last two years at Orebro HK in the Swedish Hockey League. Both players have some Chinese ancestry, and could therefore be eligible to play for the People’s Republic in the 2022 Olympics.
The pair are joined by Canadian forward Kyle Chipchura, who last season plied his trade in the KHL at Slovan Bratislava (59 games, 13 goals, 16 assists) after spending nine seasons in the NHL with the Canadiens, Ducks and Coyotes (totals: 481 games, 31 goals, 73 assists).
Avangard has strengthened its offense with the addition of Swedish forward Johan Sundstrom. The 24-year-old center has spent most of his career at Frolunda HC, but back in the 2013-14 season he managed 11 NHL appearances for the New York Islanders (recording one assist) before dropping to the AHL and then returning home.
Avtomobilist has agreed a two-year deal with defenseman Kirill Lyamin, who has amassed more than 500 appearances over nine seasons in the KHL. The 31-year-old has been a free agent since the expiry of his contract with Neftekhimik in February.
HC Sochi has agreed tryout contracts with two defensemen. In comes Artyom Maltsev, a 19-year-old from Saint Petersburg, who is returning to Russia having spent the past two years across the ocean in the QMJHL, with Chicoutimi Saguenéens and Rimouski Océanic. He is joined by 35-year-old Andrei Shefer, lately of Severstal, who has played in every KHL season and even had a stint in the QMJHL back at the turn of the millennium with the Halifax Mooseheads.
Ak Bars has paid financial compensation to Metallurg Novokuznetsk in exchange for seven young players: 20-year-old goaltender Vladislav Podyapolsky, a trio of defensemen: Nikita Lyamkin, 21, Timur Fatkullin and Eduard Mikhailov, both aged 20, plus three forwards: Ivan Yemets, 19, Andrei Karavayev, 20, and Nikita Yazkov, 21.
One man who might soon feature in the transfer news is former Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Ellison. He is currently out of contract after three seasons with Dinamo Minsk.