Defenseman Simon Despres was selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The organization hoped he could become a top-tier blueliner, but he never played up to the expectations: he ended up playing only 85 games in three seasons, between 2011 and 2014.
He was then traded to the Anaheim Ducks on March 2, 2015, who ultimately bought the remainder of his $18.5 million contract, last month. Despres suffered a few serious concussions, which prompted his release.
Now according to French Canadian sports network TVA Sports, Despres is considering signing in the KHL next season, namely because he could participate in the Olympic Games:
"It feels like this is going to be the best option for me next season. Still, I am taking this one day at the time," he said. The 26-year-old changed his eating habits, stopped using his cellphone and started practicing yoga to help cope with his mental health problem. He hopes it will have an impact on his game.
He played 193 NHL games with both the Penguins and the Ducks, in which he recorded six goals and 37 assists for 43 points. He added seven points in 29 playoff games.