The number of Detroit Red Wings/Grand Rapids Griffins leaving for the KHL continues to climb, as defenseman Libor Sulak is the latest to take his talents to the international league.
Libor Sulak exits the Red Wings' system to play in Russia, where Jake Chelios and Harri Sateri are also playing this upcoming season. https://t.co/8ljYADtLOz
— George Malik (@georgemalik) June 4, 2019
Sulak, 25, signed a one-year deal with Severstal Cherepovets on Tuesday.
He started the 2018-19 season with the Red Wings when injuries to a number of defensemen forced the front office’s hand. He played in six games, registering no points. He spent the rest of the season with the Griffins, playing in 61 games (five goals, nine assists) and adding two assists in four playoff games.
Sulak dazzled with his speed and willingness to create offense from the back end, but ultimately, he couldn’t regain a spot full time with the Red Wings.
From Sulak’s perspective, he probably thinks he doesn’t have a shot at making the NHL team next season, so rather than spend another season in Grand Rapids, he’ll play in the KHL and maximize his value. He was a restricted free agent with the Red Wings.
The Red Wings recently signed Finnish free agent Oliwer Kaski, and with a glut of veterans still on the Red Wings roster, Sulak would have had to have an unbelievable training camp to bypass Dennis Cholowski and Filip Hronek on the depth chart.