Sometimes playing hockey in the National Hockey League just doesn’t work out and they end up playing overseas. From the 2012 WCF roster, 10 went overseas.
Bold are starters. Italics are Aces, suspensions, or injuries.
Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Alexandre Bolduc is currently playing in the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) in Germany for Kölner Haie. After his run with the Coyotes ended in 2015, he went over to the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) in Russia with Traktor Chelyabinsk and then with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia). He played with Zagreb for the 2016-17 season before moving to the DEL league, playing for Kölner Haie. He is signed to play with them again this season.
Erste Bank Eishockey Liga
Mark Visentin is going to be playing his first season in the EBEL (Erste Bank Eishockey Liga). He missed the entire season of 2014-15 due to surgery then signed in Rockford with the IceHogs before signing with the Milwaukee Admirals and Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL last season. Hopefully, this young goaltender can find his game again over in Europe.
Kontinental Hockey League
Kyle Chipchura is going to be playing in his second season with the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) with Kunlun Red Star (China). After his final season with the Coyotes in 2015-16, Chipchura went and played for HC Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) in the KHL. You can listen to Chipchura talk about playing for Bratislava and KHL here on the PuckDrop Europe Podcast by Patrik Bexell.
David Rundblad is playing for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL this season. After being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014, he stayed with the team until they ‘loaned’ him to ZSC Lions of the NLA (National League A, Swiss League), where he came back to Chicago for the playoffs in 2015. He signed with the Lions again for one year before going to St. Petersburg for this upcoming season.
Gilbert Brulé plays for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL. He retired from the NHL in 2013 when the Coyotes and Brulé mutually agreed to end his contract. That next year, 2014-15, he signed with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the KHL. He then played in Medvescak Zagreb for a season and a half before going to Nizhnekamsk. His retirement from hockey didn’t last long, and he seems to have found his stride in the KHL.
Ethan Werek is also playing for Kunlun Red Star (China) in the KHL this coming season. After parting ways with the Coyotes and Pirates in 2014, he played in the AHL for Providence Bruins, Charlotte Checkers, and Texas Stars until this past season. He is looking to forward his career in the KHL with a team that is in an exciting city.
Maxim Goncharov is going into his second full season playing for Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL. After 2012-13 he played for CSKA Moskva (Moscow) and Avangard Omsk. He played in Omsk until he was moved to Salavat Yulaev Ufa. It looks like an NHL career never was in the cards, but he is a defensive right-handed defenseman doing well in Russia.
Justin Pogge played his first season in the KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia). He has bounced around the most since being on the Coyotes AHL team. In 2012-13 he played in Italy with Ritten/Renon. In 2013-14 he played in the Allsvenskan (second tier of the SHL) for BIK Karlskoga. He played for two seasons in the SHL with Färjestad BK. He hasn’t signed on with Bratislava as of yet, so we could see Pogge on the move again. Want to hear an interview with him when he was with Bratislava? Listen here, another interview from PuckDrop Europe by Patrik Bexell.
National League A (Formerly Swiss A League)
Marc-Antoine Pouliot is playing his 6th season in the NLA (National League A, Swiss League) and his third with EHC Biel-Bienne. After the 2011-12 season, Pouliot played for Biel-Bienne during the lockout and never looked back. In 2013-14 he played for HC Fribourg-Gottéron before going back to Biel-Bienne last season.
Swedish Hockey League
Andy Miele is going to be playing his first season in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) with the Malmö Redhawks. After Miele parted ways with the Coyotes in 2014, he signed with the Red Wings organization and played two years with the Grand Rapids Griffins. In 2016-17, he played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and wore an A for the team. Miele is a smaller center, whom I enjoyed watching in the NHL. Hopefully, he can find his way in the SHL or in another league overseas.
Which of these players do you miss seeing on North American ice? If you’re close to any of these locations, will you be going to see any of them play?
Tomorrow, we take a look at players who are still in the NHL who have been traded out or signed with other teams since the 2012 run. We’ll also take a look at Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the only one left from the starting roster.