Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: oskar osala
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.
Today, a guy named Dmitry Chesnokov, who is a contributor to the Puck Daddy blog, tweeted that Hurricanes prospect Oskar Osala has signed with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk “Petrochemists” of the KHL. He went on to say that the official announcement will be made once the Calder Cup playoffs are over (although he wrote “AHL season”). He was, evidently, getting his information from a Finnish rumor site.
We were surprised to see this, then relieved when Oskar himself contradicted the tweet. The flat denial could be a deflection so the Checkers can concentrate on their task at hand. They’re down 2 games to none in a best-of-seven series with the Binghamton Sentators. After losing games one and two at home, they have the task of having to win at least two of the three straight road games.
It might be an effort at diplomacy, but I believe Oskar when he says (tweets):
Once again: I haven’t signed with anyone for next season. I’ve been getting a lot of calls from around Europe lately but haven’t made any decision about next season yet. For the record this is the third team I’m rumored to go to this spring!
When the day started, Carolina was nine points out of eighth place, desperately clinging onto the hope of making a run to the playoffs. They were about to finish a three game road trip through the Southeast division and they seriously needed a win against the best team in the league. They ended up with a 4-3 overtime loss, which would be a good outcome most nights, but when every game is a “must win”, it’s a little heartbreaking.
I know, as I knew in November, that this team isn’t going to make the playoffs. However, they’ve played very well since the new year and actually made the impossible seem possible.
They also learned early in the morning that Erik Cole was suffering from flu-like symptoms and would be unavailable tonight. In other seasons, that would be devastating news, but to be brutally honest, I’ve actually forgotten that he’s even on the team this season.