As the Detroit Red Wings look ahead to next season, there are a handful of free agents that still need new contracts. Other players have likely played their last game while wearing the winged wheel. One player who won’t be back in Detroit for the 2013-14 season is speedy winger Jan Mursak, who has signed to play in the KHL. Despite knowing his time in the Red Wings organization was nearing an end when he was waived in February, Mursak turned in some of the best hockey of his career for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL the rest of the season and was a key part of helping the team win its first-ever Calder Cup championship.
Mursak scored 11 goals and had 17 points in 23 playoff games, after chipping in four goals and 16 points during the regular season. His time with the Red Wings has seen him show flashes of brilliance, but two major injuries limited his ice time to just 46 games over a three-year span.
The move to the KHL is one that should showcase Mursak’s speed and talent, and during the lockout he showed that the larger ice surface works for him. Mursak had 19 goals and 48 points in 30 games for Ljubljana Olimpija (Austria) during the work stoppage, and will now take his talents to Amur Khabarovsk. The contract he signed there is for one year with a player option for a second year, and after his AHL playoff performance he may very well find himself back on the radar of some NHL teams.
A sixth round pick in 2006, Mursak had been in the Detroit organization for six seasons. While his departure leaves many wondering what could have been had he been able to stay healthy for a full season, it was at least nice to see him leave on a positive note as a Calder Cup champion.