Pavelski, Wingels taking break from Europe


Pavelski, Wingels taking break from Europe

The Sharks’ exodus from Europe continues.

Forwards Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels will return to North America in time for the Christmas holiday and will “re-evaluate from there,” the agent for both players told on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Pavelski, who joined the KHL’s Dinamo Minsk in early October, has four goals and six assists for 10 points in 15 games in what is generally considered the top league in Europe.

Wingels, playing for KooKoo of the second-tier Mestis league in Finland, has 22 points (8g, 14a) and 33 penalty minutes in 18 games. The 24-year-old recently suffered a minor leg injury that caused him to miss one game, and has been suspended twice, including a three-game ban in late October for a check to the head.

Jason Demers (Finland), Thomas Greiss (Germany), Michal Handzus (Slovakia) and Joe Thornton (Switzerland) are the only Sharks that remain with their clubs abroad. Other Sharks that played overseas but have since returned to North America include Logan Couture (Switzerland), Douglas Murray (Sweden), Antti Niemi (Finland), Justin Braun (Finland) and TJ Galiardi (Germany).

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It’s highly likely that the players who have returned or are on their way back will wait and see what transpires with the NHL before they make their next move. Although negotiations are at a virtual standstill, the drop-dead date for a shortened season is expect to be around the middle of January. That gives the NHL and NHLPA approximately two-to-three weeks to come to an agreement.

In 1994-95, a 48-game NHL season began on Jan. 20.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic


Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.