Jonathan Quick, Evgeny Malkin and Jimmy Howard all decided to go back to their powerful teams to put a slight damper on the free agent frenzy period in the EURO League.
Still, teams like St. Petersburg, Bern, Munich and others made headlines and created excitement in their cities.
For the first time since they played together in the NHL with Vancouver, identical twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin have been reunited by Munich General Manager Mike Felter. If they play together on the Dire Wolf’s second line, it will most likely be with either Tomas Fleichmann or Teddy Purcell ( also a free agent signee).
St. Petersburg GM Ben Stuller admitted he might have overdone it by making the Krasnyye Zvezdy popular with the free agent crop. Seven players were added this morning, including Brent Seabrook, Joe Thornton, Patric Hornqvist and Tyler Bozak. The star power will put fans in the seats and should translate into wins, but the Red Stars will have to part with other players who were starters in Season 6. Brent Burns, for example, is already rumored to be on his way out in a trade.
Bern added four players, most noticeably Josef Vasicek, who easily leads all forwards in EURO history with the 185 plus-minus rating he compiled during his 5-year stay in Paris.
Dustin Byfuglien, one of the league’s marquee defensemen, left Lisbon as a free agent and signed a one-year deal with Geneva where he leads a veteran defense that includes his former teammate in Milan, Jason Garrison.
Copenhagen picked up veterans Alex Steen and defenseman Ian White. Early indications are Steen will play the left wing on the second line with Stephen Weiss and Marko Dano, while White could team up with Ilya Nikulin on the second pairing.
Zurich GM Dennis Sullo went to work during free agency and … boom .. Zurich has three strong forward lines like it has for most of its EURO League history. Either Brad Richards or Ryan Strome will center the second line that looks like it will have T.J. Oshie and Derick Brassard on the wings. Oshie spent his entire career in Athens, while Brassard played all but one season in Stockholm.