Sunday, June 08, 2008

Radivojevic chooses Russia

Winger Branko Radivojevic, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, has signed a two-year deal to play with Spartak in the Russian Premiere League.
Also following the money was Dmitri Patzold, who played all of 44 minutes in the NHL last season with San Jose and signed with Vityaz Podolsk Chekhov.

Radivojevic isn't a big name, but he did play about 15 minutes a game in 2007-08 as one of the Wild's top checkers. Numbers haven't been made available, but given he was one of the NHL's youngest unrestricted free agents, it stands to reason he took a deal in the new KHL for far more than the $680,000 he made with Minnesota this season.

Patzold, meanwhile, is a 25-year-old career minor-league netminder, so there's not much of a loss there for the Sharks. The AHL will likely be the league that most feels the pinch from Russia's move to buy up more top talent.

Also changing leagues overseas are Esa Pirnes and Kirby Law, who will go from Sweden and Switzerland to Russia, while Ducks prospect Jason King signed in Germany.

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At 2:00 p.m., June 08, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

The knee surgery Branko had severely reduced his market value... he wouldn't be able to play until November or December by the sounds of things. So taking the guaranteed money (well, I guess "guaranteed" when talking with Russian teams is kind of a misnomer) now since they were offering a two year deal. It'd be hard to believe a team would give a 2+ year contract to a guy with a major red flag like that going in.

And you called Jason King a "prospect", which is funny.

At 2:10 p.m., June 08, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I certainly had to think about what to call him...

At 2:30 p.m., June 08, 2008, Blogger Pinder said...

Radivojevic was also a Canucks killer, so good to see him go! :)

At 11:24 a.m., June 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully Branko got his money up front since Russian league teams are well known to send their injured imports back home without pay.

You can always file a lawsuit against the team in question... just kidding.


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