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Tim Stapleton leaves Jets for KHL

Jul 10, 2012, 8:30 PM EDT

Sabres Jets Hockey AP

For the most part, Russian-born (and other European) stars tend to bolt for more lucrative contracts with the KHL. (Alex Radulov is the most convenient example.) Yet there is a smaller trend forming in the background: depth players – some even from North America – are beginning to view the KHL as viable option as well.

Ken Wiebe reports that (former) Winnipeg Jet Tim Stapleton has agreed in principle to a deal with the KHL’s Dinamo-Minsk. Stapleton had easily the best season of his young career in 2011-12, setting career-highs for goals (11), assists (16), points (27) and games played (63).

As mentioned earlier this off-season, Stapleton joins a lower-level exodus that also includes Mats Zuccarello, Erik Christensen, Sami Lepisto and Curtis Sanford. Even former Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice decided to give the upstart professional league a shot.

It’s not exactly the sort of raid that will leave NHL teams trembling, but it’s interesting to see marginal players get more bargaining power than they’ve likely ever enjoyed.

Since he’s on his way out of the league for at least a little while, I thought I’d leave you with this random AP photo where it looks like Jeff Skinner is giving him a “DDT.”

source: AP

  1. hanza26 - Jul 11, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    who gives a f*ck

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 11, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      As a Jets fan, I know I don’t have any f***s to give.

  2. purpleguy - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Seems a bit ironic that a player from a team called the Jets is going to a league known as much for its dangerous modes of team transportation as the quality of its hockey.

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