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Players Head To Europe; Miller Nominated
By Michael Walters
With the Anaheim Ducks officially done for the 2019-20 season, several players have decided to play across the pond in Europe.
Chris Wideman and Justin Kloos have decided to play for the Torpedo team in the Kontinental Hockey League(KHL). Joel Persson is heading to Sweden to play for the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League(SHL).
Wideman and Kloos are both unrestricted free agents for next season. Wideman played in 53 games with the San Diego Gulls last season. He had 31 total points(9 goals + 22 assists) and was a +1. He also had 73 penalty penalties. Kloos also played in 53 games with the Gulls. He had 30 total points(11 goals + 19 assists) and was a +10. He had 34 penalty minutes.
Persson is a restricted free agent(RFA) for next season. He started the 2019-20 season with the Edmonton Oilers playing in 13 games and registering two assists. He also played 27 games in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors registering 16 total points(3 goals + 13 assists).
At the trade deadline, he was sent to Anaheim in exchange for goalie Angus Redmond and a conditional seventh-round 2022 draft pick. The pick is conditional on Persson playing at least 25 games in the NHL next season.
After the trade Persson played in seven games with the Gulls and recorded no points. He then decided to go play in Europe. In the NHL, an RFA may leave his team and go and play in another league (not another NHL team).
There are several ways how this could turn out for Persson. Anaheim would have to decide whether to make a qualifying offer or not. If a qualifying offer is not made, then he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can stay in Europe.
If a qualifying offer is made, then Persson has three choices; accept the offer, file for arbitration, or reject the offer.
If Persson accepts the offer, then he would return and play for Anaheim next season.
If he rolls the dice and files for arbitration, then his decision to play in another league rests in the hands of the Ducks. If the Anaheim accepts the contract awarded at arbitration, then Persson would have to return. If Anaheim doesn’t accept the contract awarded, then Persson would become an unrestricted free agent.
Finally, if Persson rejects the qualifying offer, then he remains a restricted free agent. He could stay in the SHL or return to Anaheim, but if he does not sign with Anaheim before December 1, 2020, then he is ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season. Anaheim would still own his rights in the NHL until the end of next season.
If Persson doesn’t return to Anaheim and/or doesn’t play 25 games in the NHL during the 2020-21 season, then Anaheim will keep their 2022 seventh-round pick.
Players around the NHL have been leaving to play in other leagues for several reasons. Some players are looking to play in Europe because they got word that they wouldn’t be re-signed by their NHL organization. There is also uncertainty when minor hockey leagues will resume so players may want to play in other leagues knowing they will get paid. Also, some NHL teams might be looking to keep their team under the 50-player limit to give them flexibility in the offseason.
Ryan Miller Nominated
The Professional Hockey Writers Association announced the nominees from each NHL team for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
Ryan Miller was the nominee from the Anaheim Ducks. He played in 29 games for Anaheim last season posting a 9-6-4 record. His SV% was .907 and his GAA was 3.10. He has always been a class act and answered the bell when called upon.
If Miller does retire, then this past year will have been his 17th season in the NHL. He is the all-time win leader among American-born NHL goalies with 387 wins. Miller is second in NHL history in terms of shootout wins with 59. Henrik Lundqvist holds the records with 61 wins.
Miller’s final stats would include a 387-281-86 record, a 2.61 GAA, and .915 SV%. He also has 44 shutouts.
On our recent hockey podcast, we discussed how Miller’s retiring could impact the Ducks he decides to hang them up after this season. Click below to listen or visit us at Podomatic, Spreaker, or YouTube.
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June 9th, 2020