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Former Knights on the Move

July 4, 2012

July 1st was not only Canada Day, it was the first day of NHL free agency – a day when those eligible players are wooed by the various teams.  In this technological age of instant news via social media (read: Twitter) – fans furiously refresh their feeds to find out the latest transactions and the media have their feeds on stand-by, ready to tweet just about any rumour that might make their ears twitch.  Sadly, there are also fake ‘insider’ accounts that feed trolls and create twitter wars about the inane rumours they set off.  What is a loyal fan to do?

Fear not, noble London Knights fans!  I may be a tad late (I do have a day job and a real life), but I do try to cobble together all the bits and pieces regarding current and former Knights’ movements and post them here when I can. I cannot profess to have the latest breaking news (again, because I’m generally at work and not ‘in the know’), but I try to keep you reasonably up to date. On to the moves!

While the biggest former Knight has yet to be traded from his current unhappy home (that would be Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets, if you didn’t already know), several others have found new homes over the off-season.

  • Rob Schremp, member of the 2005 Memorial Cup team and former first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, has signed a two-year contract with the Russian team, Dynamo Riga of the KHL. Last seen in the NHL playing for the Atlanta Thrashers organization in their last season of operation (2010-2011), Schremp played for MoDo of the Swedish Elite League for the 2011-12 season.
  • Brandon Prust, also a member of the 2005 Memorial Cup team, said goodbye to the New York Rangers and signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Montreal Canadiens for 4 years.  Earlier, Prust tweeted “I wish management wanted me back as much as the fans.” You’ll just have to win over a new set of fans, Prusty!
  • Danny Syvret, captain of the 2005 Memorial Cup team, has signed a 2-yr contract back in Philadelphia – the organization with whom he has the most experience, after spending a season with Anaheim and another with the St. Louis Blues.  He’s a depth signing for the Flyers, who are trying to shore up their defence after most likely losing Chris Pronger to early retirement due to concussion and Matt Carle to free agency.
  • Chris Kelly (’97-’01) re-signed (twice, actually – the signing announced earlier in June was negated by the NHL’s head office) with the Boston Bruins on a 4-yr contract.  Kelly has shown that he is reliable, hits and can provide secondary scoring (20 goals in 2012).
  • Dennis Wideman (’00-’04), was traded from the Washington Capitals to the Calgary Flames, who promptly signed him to a huge 5-yr contract.  He’ll be expected to continue to put up points for a blue line that has been weak in that department for the past few years. It has been widely (no pun intended) speculated that this is the end for Jay Bouwmeester in a Flames uniform.
  • Akim Aliu, only had a short stint in a Knights jersey, has signed a 1-yr/two-way contract to stay with the Calgary Flames.  Another chance to stick in the show. Aliu has talent, but needs to show commitment and consistency.

Regarding current Knights, here’s a piece from the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect camp by Clayton Hansler, on two of my favourites – the Rupert twins!

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