IceCaps lose another defenceman to Europe
Another defenceman who was a veteran mainstay of the St. John's IceCaps defensive corps last season has signed with a European hockey team.
Brett Festerling has agreed to a contract to play with the Nurnburg Ice Tigers of the German Elite League (DEL).
Festerling, 26, had been a restricted free agent and had been given a qualifying offer by the Winnipeg Jets, the IceCaps' parent team. However, his decision to sign with a German team cannot be considered surprising. His twin brother Garrett has played in Germany the last five years, the past two with the Hanover Scorpions of the DEL as a dual Canadian-German citizen. The Festerlings' paternal grandfather is a native of Germany.
Festerling had three goals, 15 assists and a plus-eight rating in 52 games with St. John's last season. He also appeared in five games with the Jets, bringing his total of NHL games to 88. His other 83 came with the Anaheim Ducks.
Earlier this month, defenceman Arturs Kulda, who led St. John's with a plus-18 rating in 2011-12, signed with Sibir Novosibirisk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. Like Festerling, Kulda (who turns 24 Wednesday) was a restricted free agent in possession of a qualifying offer from the Jets.
In addition, Mark Flood, who played 11 games for the IceCaps last fall before being promoted to Winnipeg for the rest of the season, has signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. Flood, 27, had been an unrestricted free agent.