Avangard Omsk: now with more Finns
Wednesday June 24th 2009, 8:27 am

Avangard Omsk have added a second Finn to their roster.  Fresh on the heals of news they had poached 23-year old goaltender Karri Ramo from the Tampa Bay Lightning, the club announced Wednesday that they’ve signed former Philadelphia Flyer and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Lasse Kukkonen to a two year deal.  Kukkonen played parts of three seasons with the Flyers after being acquired from the Blackhawks for Kyle Calder in February 2007, but fell out of favor last year, finishing the campaign with the Philadelphia Phantoms in the AHL.  In 159 NHL games Kukkonen scored six goals and 16 assists and added 90 penalty minutes.  The 27-year old blueliner was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

The signing leaves Omsk with just two positions to fill for the upcoming season: a defenseman and a first line center to play with Jaromir Jagr.  Club “advisor” Anatoli Bardin has gone on record in the past saying he’d like NHLers Frantisek Kaberle and Michael Nylander to fill those gaps, though in an interview published by Soviet Sport on Wednesday, Bardin mentioned only Kaberle, noting he would negotiate with the Czech defenseman’s agent once the NHL free agency market opens on July 1st.

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Filed under: Avangard Omsk, KHL

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