December 28, 2010
On Dec. 23, Marek Svatos(notes) and Omsk Avangard of the KHL mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the team (Russian note here). Five days later, Svatos is back in the NHL via a 1-year contract with the St. Louis Blues.
Svatos, 28, has made 19 appearances with the Kontinental Hockey League's (KHL) Omsk Avangard this season recording eight points including three goals and five assists.
In 2009-10, the 5'10, 185-pound forward tallied seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 54 regular season games with the Colorado Avalanche as well as a goal and two penalty minutes in three playoff outings. For his career, Svatos has dressed in 316 NHL games, all with Colorado, accumulating 164 points including 96 goals and 68 assists.
Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch reports that it's nearly a done deal:
Svatos will practice with the Blues this morning, but he needs to clear NHL waivers before dressing for a game, so he won't be in the lineup tonight against Chicago. It will be known tomorrow whether or not he cleared waivers, but it is expected that he will since no other team signed the free agent.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN had the details: "One year, two-way deal worth $800,000 in NHL and $105,000 in minors."
The real question: What can he provide this team? Svatos is a one-dimensional offensive player who hauls ass but inexplicably lost his scoring touch in the last two seasons. His lack of size (5-10, 185) has been a concern in the past as well.
Maybe it was injuries, maybe a lack of confidence, maybe a chemistry issue with Colorado Avalanche linemates. Whatever the case, a 26-goal man in 2008 became a 7-goal man in 2010 that no one wanted to touch in free agency.