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Purcell heads to Russia and KHL's Omsk

Teddy Purcell of St. John's had a tryout with the Boston Bruins last month, but the NHL opted not to sign the veteran NHL free agent to a contract. Purcell, 32, is now heading overseas, to the KHL's Avangard Omsk.
Teddy Purcell of St. John's had a tryout with the Boston Bruins last month, but the NHL opted not to sign the veteran NHL free agent to a contract. Purcell, 32, is now heading overseas, to the KHL's Avangard Omsk.

Teddy Purcell of St. John’s was on his way to Russia Tuesday, where he’s set to join Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Purcell, a veteran of 599 career NHL games with four different clubs, is said to have signed a one-year contract with Omsk for $1.2 million US.

Omsk is the same team for which Jaromir Jagr skated. Purcell reached out to Jagr — the two were teammates on the 2015-16 Florida Panthers — and the Czech star gave the city and organization a good review.

Purcell, 32, attended the Boston Bruins’ training camp on a professional tryout last month, but the organization decided against offering the veteran an NHL contract, opting instead to go with younger players.

Purcell turned pro in 2007-08, winning AHL rookie of the year honours (another Newfoundlander, by the way, would win the same award three years later when Luke Adam of St. John’s, now playing in Germany, won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award).

Purcell got his first taste of action that 2007-08 season with the Los Angeles Kings, the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent after one year at the University of Maine.

Purcell split the 2008-09 season between L.A. and the AHL, becoming a full-time NHLer in 2009-10. He blossomed following a trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring a season-high 24 goals and 65 points in 2011-12.

He would also play with the Edmonton Oilers and Panthers before closing out his NHL career last season with the Kings, appearing in 12 games before spending most of the year with the AHL’s Ontario reign.

Purcell’s NHL numbers read 110 career goals (regular season and playoffs) and 327 points. That’s fourth all-time amongst Newfoundlanders who have played in the NHL, behind Bonavista’s Michael Ryder (529), Daniel Cleary of Harbour Grace (439) and Ryane Clowe of Fermeuse (355).

Omsk is already 25 games into the 2017-18 KHL season, and leads its division. Three players on the squad — Evgeny Medvedev and Swede Erik Gustafsson (both with the Philadelphia Flyers) and Swede Dennis Everberg (Colorado Avalanche) — have NHL experience. Alexander Perezhogin of Avangard is a former first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens.

There are no Canadians on the Omsk roster.

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

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