Usually, when a pending free agent moves at the trade deadline, it’s away from a struggling team to chase the Stanley Cup with a contender. In Alexander Barabanov’s case, it was the exact opposite, going from the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs to the sub-.500 San Jose Sharks. That move has proven to be a great one for the 26-year-old forward though as he is finally getting a chance in the NHL and has two points in two games to show for it.
When Barabanov’s entry-level deal expires at the end of this season he will be an unrestricted free agent, but perhaps he has found his next home already. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic examined Barabanov’s start with the Sharks and spoke to his agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey, who explained that “if there was a decent offer for one year, big-boy contract [from the Sharks], I would be for it.”
- Jaromir Jagr has helped Kladno climb back to the top tier in the Czech Republic again after being relegated for last season. The ageless wonder is not only the majority owner of the team but also played for them again this season, scoring nine points in 15 playoff games. Jagr, 49, was helped by some NHL friends including Tomas Plekanec, who led the postseason in scoring and is expected to return for Kladno next year. Even Jagr hinted that his playing career isn’t done just yet.
- Riley Nash was spotted by reporters including Mark Masters of TSN today, skating for the first time since being acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the deadline. The checking center could potentially return from his knee sprain in time for the playoffs, which Toronto clinched last night with a win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nash is currently on long-term injured reserve but with no salary cap issues in the postseason, could be inserted into the playoff lineup whenever healthy.