Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 05/25/11 at 07:17 PM ET
Last week, rumors circulated that 23-year old Oskar Osala of the Hurricanes had signed a deal to play with HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk “Petrochemists” of the KHL. He vehemently denied the rumors, saying that he had gotten some calls but hadn’t signed anywhere. He gave all sorts of indications that he wanted to come back to play for the Checkers next season, but I saw some red flags. He tweeted about wanting to get rid of a lot of “extra” clothes, and that seemed to me like the actions of a person who’s about to leave the country.
Today, the announcement came that he had, in fact, signed with the Petrochemists. The rumors were true.
The native of Vassa, Finland was one of the most promising players in the Hurricanes system. He had just five (3/2) points in the playoffs, but 42 (13/29) points in 59 regular season AHL games. He played in one NHL game for the Canes in 2009-10, with no scoring points.
Osala tweeted today “I’m excited to move on, but hope to be back one day”. I think Jim Rutherford learned a lesson (although it took getting burned twice to learn the lesson) from the Anton Babchuk situation. Obviously, the Babchuk situation was different because he bailed for the KHL while still under contract, but it’s still walking away.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.