The Calgary Flames have already seen one of their players leave and head across the Pacific to join a KHL club. Roman Cervenka made his intentions pretty clear after the season was over that he’d be heading back to Russia after a disappointing first, and only, season with the Flames.
Joining him over in the KHL will be defenseman Anton Babchuk. Much like the Cervenka move, this is one that won’t affect the Flames too much in the long run. Babchuk was unable to make much of an impact for the Flames, but unlike Cervenka, it was mostly due to injury.
Babchuk is a former first overall pick, with the Flames serving as his third different organization. His tenure in Calgary was one that was pretty similar to that of his 2013 season. He never played in more than the 65 games in which he played in his first season with the club, back in 2010-11. He actually played in all 82 games that season between two different teams.
Last season, he only played in 32 games for the Flames before being limited to only seven during the shortened 2013 season. A shoulder injury cost him most of the year. In those seven games he had just one point, an assist, to go along with a plus/minus rating of minus-1.
Babchuk was set to become an unrestricted free agent for the Flames this summer, and given his current $2.5 million cap hit, it’s pretty much a guarantee that he wasn’t going to be back anyway. He’ll be dressing for Salavat Yulaev Ufa next season.