Former National Hockey League forward Markus Granlund may be done in the NHL, or at the very least is done in the NHL for the immediate future, given that he has now reportedly signed a new one year contract.
According to a report from Ilta Sanomat out of Finland, the 27 year old Finnish forward has reportedly signed the deal with Kontinental Hockey League team Salavat Yulayev Ufa, based out of Ufa, Russia. The former Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers center was playing for the Edmonton Oilers this season but had been demoted to the American Hockey League and had also played 20 games with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers AHL affiliate team.
It may be that Grandlund was unhappy with his role in the Oilers organization, although that is purely speculation on my part, and additionally given that the National Hockey League and American Hockey League seasons have come to a grinding halt Granlund may simply be looking for some financial security while also being able to play closer to home come next season.
I will say this is an extremely interesting move and it marks the first of its kind, an NHL player under contract signing with a KHL team in what is still the middle of the season at this point. Although I think it is safe to say that the writing was on the wall for Granlund as far as the Oilers were concerned, he was still under contract for $1.3 million for this season and could potentially have latched on to another team come the 2020 - 2021 NHL season, whenever that may be.
To be clear here Granlund is expected to sign on with Salavat Yulayev Ufa when his NHL contract expires, although what that means right now is unclear given our rather unique situation. Traditionally Granlund would have become a unrestricted free agent this summer but with the season on hiatus there has been no clear indication from the league itself or from the National Hockey League's Players Association how those contracts will be handle in this currently unprecedented climate. In spite of this Granlund seems confident that he will be ready to suit up for Salavat Yulayev Ufa when the KHL season begins.