Capitals free agent forward Wojtek Wolski has signed a contract with Kontinental Hockey League club Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, the team announced on Monday.
Wolski, 27, was not expected back in Washington, which took a flyer on the former first-round draft pick last summer for $600,000. But it became clear quickly that Wolski wasn’t in the Caps’ long-term plans. He appeared in just 27 of 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2013 season and did not dress at all during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A Poland native who grew up in suburban Toronto, Wolski played in Poland during the lockout for KH Sanok. He registered four goals and five assists for Washington, but didn’t play in 21 of the final 29 regular-season contests.
One of the Caps’ four pending unrestricted free agents, Wolski and defenseman Tom Poti will definitely not return. The other two are center Mike Ribeiro and winger Matt Hendricks. Defenseman Karl Alzner and forward Marcus Johansson are restricted free agents.
As for Wolski, what he called a “crossroads” year for himself turned sour beginning with the lockout. He has played for five different NHL teams (Colorado, Phoenix, New York Rangers, Florida, Washington) since the start of the 2009-10 season and the options in North America were dwindling. Torpedo placed 11th out of 14 teams in the KHL’s West Division last season.
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