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Report: Olver, Nilsson sign with KHL clubs

May 27, 2014, 9:52 AM EST

Anders Nilsson Getty Images

The New York Islanders think they finally have a strong starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak. They still need a backup though and it looks like Anders Nilsson won’t be an option.

Nilsson, 24, has reportedly agreed to terms with Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League, per Sports.ru’s Igor Eronko.

If that’s true, it would mesh with earlier reports that Nilsson was planning to head to Europe after the Islanders balked at his request for a one-way contract. He would have been a restricted free agent this summer after posting a 3.11 GAA and .896 save percentage in 19 games with New York.

Colorado Avalanche forward Mark Olver will also play in the KHL in 2014-15 after signing with Sochi, according to player agent Darryl Wolski.

Like Nilsson, Olver was scheduled to become a restricted free agent. He spent the 2013-14 campaign in the minors, but the 26-year-old had 10 goals and 22 points in 74 career contests with the Avalanche.

  1. bcisleman - May 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Nilsson wasn’t going to be backup anyway. He would have started the season in Bridgeport (AHL). That’s why he jumped. Isles may bring back Nabby due to his presence in the room but I really hope they trade for Reimer.

    • channelguy - May 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Bring in Reimer as a backup, especially for a bad team and you are just asking for trouble. He wants to start. Even after the KHL is finished overpaying for fringe players and career minor leaguers, there will be veteran backups available.

    • islesjb - May 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      I have a feeling they wouldn’t bring in a guy who would directly challenge Halak as the #1. I think one of the main things that sold him on LI was that he would be the 1G. I’ll be happy with Nabby as a backup

  2. canucks30 - May 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Sounds like it’s Bryzgalov time for the Islanders.

  3. isphet71 - May 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    I’m still a little irked at the Islanders for how they handled Nabokov’s return to the league. It’s really been something how they continue to be so bad for so long. They are basically the Cubs of the NHL. They defy all odds of probability.

    • islesjb - May 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      So your first sentence is completely unrelated to the rest of your statement…. unless you blame how they handled Nabokov as the reason they’ve been bad for so long.

      How they “handled Nabokov” was picking up a player on waivers within the rules of the NHL. This ended up being one of the main factors that got them into the playoffs last year when Nabby helped carried the team into the post season. Sorry if that irks you.

      And yes, they have been bad for a long time and I too would prefer it if they were better.

    • hosewater2 - May 27, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      It’s different than the Cubs. People still love the Cubs even when they lose.

  4. lbeezyse - May 27, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Backstrom would be a great back up. Sell him for a bag of pucks Fletch.

  5. djshnooks - May 27, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    These guys need to be banned from the NHL and AHL for life once they leave.

    Plain and simple. You don’t wanna play here, you never will play here again.

    I truthfully wish the NHL was Canadian and American hockey players. We wouldn’t have this Russian cry-baby garbage.

    • 19to77 - May 27, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      So, basically, you’re a racist asshole. Got it. The best goalie in the League is Swedish, the top goal-scorer is Russian and you’re a terrible human being. Get bent.

      • r8rbhawk - May 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        I’m pretty sure dj just pulled that from a Don Cherry Coach’s Corner segment.

      • 19to77 - May 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Man, even Don isn’t a full-on Western supremacist like that. That’s a special level of douchebaggery right there.

  6. peter845 - May 27, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring Budaj as a backup. Montreal, or Price, is afraid, that another Slovakian would steal his “glory” in the play offs. I think, those two would fit perfectly! Friends, no pressure, good, if not great goalies…

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