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[Signing] Reid Boucher signs with Avangard Omsk (KHL)


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He's gonna be tricky to replace in Utica, gonna be interesting. Short of a one way deal with term it was unlikely he'd be in Utica for an extended period though, careers only last so long and guys gotta earn while they can. Particularly outside the NHL where the earnings aren't as high for most guys. 

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58 minutes ago, Drakrami said:

Hard to believe he cudnt find a job in North America. Never got a sliver of chance the last 2 years with the Canucks even though hes done so well in the AHL. So all the best to him. Hope he makes it back to the NHL within a year.  

Probably more a money thing.  

700k in Russia tax-free would be if he got like a 1.25+ million contract in North America, which is unlikely.

 

In any case, congrats to Reid Boucher.  Hopefully he can light it up in the KHL. 

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Hope the Comets find another scoring vet to replace him and to help the kids develop down there.

That being said, I wonder if selling low on Sven to get him back to the NHL could yield a similar-caliber vet?  Might as well target a similar mentoring guy all the while shedding cap (e.g. trade him to Ottawa for one of their tweeners or a Colin White-type project).

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Makes sense. He's been one of the best offensive players in the AHL for the last few years. Loss to Utica but win for Boucher.

 

He is an RFA still and I wonder if the Canucks qualify him? If he has a good run in Russia, he could return or -- more likely -- trade his rights for a pick or something.... but that sounds like asset management which this management group doesn't quite "buy into" LOL.

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Keep in mind that the KHL season is due to end in late February plus playoffs.

 

The NHL is probably going to start in January.

 

He can get almost two entire seasons and get an NHL deal this coming year if he plays well there.  Kind of an no brainer on his part.

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Canucks prospects in Utica probably won't be as sheltered next season with Boucher gone and if the Canucks deal Baertschi (I can't see him agreeing to play another year in the AHL).  It will be interesting to see since MacEwen seems like he will get a shot full-time with the Canucks next year which leaves Lind, Gadjovich, Michaelis, Jasek, Lockwood and Hoglander as the main guys under contract right now.  I could see the Canucks bringing back Bailey, Perron and/or Graovac (though Graovac is a UFA), but it looks like next year could be a year that prospects will be expected to step into larger roles.  Since Michaelis, Lockwood and Hoglander will all be rookies, I assume they will try to shelter them a bit, so it will really be up to Lind, Gadjovich, and Jasek to step up big.

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Boucher departs Comets after signing with KHL team

Reid Boucher is getting a new experience in his hockey career.

 

It won’t be as a member of the Utica Comets for a fourth American Hockey League season.

 

Instead, the veteran sniper who has turned in his share of memorable moments and records with the Comets is heading to Russia and the Kontinental Hockey League.

 

On Tuesday, Avangard Omsk announced the team had signed a one-year deal with Boucher following his impressive season that culminated with the team’s two Most Valuable Player honors for a record third time. The move comes after one of Boucher’s agents confirmed to the Observer-Dispatch late last week there was interest in the dynamic wing.

 

The 26-year-old Boucher said Tuesday during a phone interview with the Observer-Dispatch he “had no plans to go over to Europe” prior to the recent offer.

 

“It wasn’t really expected,” Boucher said. “When the offer came, it was interesting and it was something that my family and I didn’t take lightly. We talked about it for a long time. Finally, we thought it would be not only best for our family, but best for my career. We thought we’d take a chance and go over there.”

 

Boucher and his wife, Alexandria, have a 2-year-old son and a daughter, who was born about two months ago. They’ll join him after he’s settled in Russia, he said.

 

The contract is reportedly worth about $700,000 in base salary. Boucher was on an expiring one-year deal with the parent Vancouver Canucks that paid him $450,000 in the AHL. The Canucks have numerous free agents to re-sign and limited salary cap space and it is unclear where Boucher would have fit.

 

“He’s been an exceptional player, person and leader in so many ways,” Comets General Manager Ryan Johnson said Tuesday. “He’s earned the opportunity to cash in on his success. So, in light of the unknown situation of what the hockey landscape looks like over the next year ... we just felt it was fair to him.”

 

Boucher has arguably been one of the Comets’ best players in the team’s seven seasons, becoming a fan favorite. His time with the Comets includes setting career and single-season team marks with 34 goals and 67 points in 58 games during the shortened 2019-20 AHL campaign. His points ranked second in the AHL.

 

“It was a special three years of my career,” Boucher said. “Obviously, it is the best three years of hockey I’ve played. All the records and stuff are nice, but the fan base and the way you get treated around the city it is just an awesome experience.”

 

Boucher, a three-time All-Star Classic selection, moved into a tie for the Comets’ all-time points record, matching Alex Grenier with 175 points before the season was shortened.

 

He’s played 154 of his 323 career AHL regular-season games with Utica. He also spent parts of five seasons with Albany and had a short stint with Milwaukee. He’s played 133 NHL games.

 

“I have absolutely zero bad things to say about the city of Utica, the people there and the fans and all my teammates throughout the years,” he said. “It was an A-plus experience for me. It was definitely one of the best American League spots I’ve been for sure, if not the best.”

Boucher became a go-to player for the Comets this season, appearing in all situations. Comets coach Trent Cull and other players praised Boucher’s play. Cull said Boucher “drives the bus” while Carter Camper said he felt Boucher was the league MVP this season.

 

“I have so much respect for Reid as a player, as a person. I’m a huge fan of his in many ways,” said Johnson, who noted Boucher’s efforts in the 2018 playoffs following a return from a broken hand. “I still believe at the end of the day that Reid can find a home in the NHL.”

Boucher’s departure has a similar feel to when then-captain and offensive leader Cal O’Reilly signed with Buffalo following Utica’s impressive 2014-15 campaign.

 

Boucher becomes the most recent Comets player to sign in Russia after his linemate Nikolay Goldobin recently signed with CSKA Moscow. Utica’s roster could have other change for next season.

 

“I already sent Goldy a text and said he’s going to have to show me around Moscow when I get there,” said Boucher, who noted he’s never been to Russia. “I’ve already started looking up translation apps and have a couple Rosetta Stone books to try to learn the basics.”

Comets set to join the Canucks

 

The parent Canucks are set to add forwards Sven Baertschi, Tyler Graovac and Justin Bailey, defenseman Brogan Rafferty, Ashton Sautner, Guillaume Brisebois, Olli Juolevi and Jalen Chatfield as well as rookie goaltender Mike DiPietro to the roster for training camp, which is set to start July 10.

 

The selections aren’t a surprise, given many of the players had standout seasons with the Comets.

 

Once postseason starts, NHL teams will be allowed 28 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies, according to Vancouver-based The Province reporter Ben Kuzma.

 

https://www.uticaod.com/sports/20200623/boucher-departs-comets-after-signing-with-khl-team

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congrats

he was a good soldier for this franchise

did not complain

strapped on his skates and did his best

was a very good ahl player

had a few tastes of the nhl while with this franchise

but was not able to take that next step

hope khl somehow gets him more reward for his effort and skill

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