The 32-year-old Fasth played 26 games for the Oilers last season, posting a record of 6-15-3 with a .888 all situation save percentage, the worst save percentage of his three-year NHL career. That equalled an even strength save percentage of .896, which was the second worst mark among NHL goaltenders who played at least 13 games last season.
With a poor performance last season and a crowded net in Edmonton, it was always unlikely that there would be a spot in Edmonton for Fasth next season. The team traded to acquire Cam Talbot, still has Ben Scrivens on contract, and made a trade this week to acquire Anders Nilsson from the Chicago Blackhawks (who was playing in the KHL last year).
When entering the NHL in the 2012-13 season, Fasth was older than most goaltenders who are just making it to the league. But the undrafted goaltender had lit up the international stage over the last two seasons, being named MVP of the 2011 World Championships for the silver medal Swedish team and being named the SHL’s best goaltender (the Honken Trophy) of the 2011-12 season.
Fasth is one of a number of players flipping back and forth between the KHL and NHL. Russian players Sergei Plotnikov, Artemy Panarin, Viktor Tikhonov, Sergey Kalinin, Kirill Petrov and Evgeni Medvedev are all making the leap to the NHL, as is American skater Steve Moses, who played in the KHL last year. In addition, Sergei Kostitsyn is looking for a NHL club to sign with and Alexander Radulov has said he’d like to play in the NHL after he becomes a free agent next summer.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.