NHL notes: Huet wants NHL return
|France's goalie Cristobal Huet fails to save a puck during their 2012 IIHF men's ice hockey World Championship game against Slovakia in Helsinki on May 15, 2012. (REUTERS)
Cristobal Huet figures his European vacation has gone on long enough.
Huet, who's been playing for Fribourg-Gotteron of the top Swiss league the last two seasons, wants to return to the NHL for 2012-13. He went to Europe to give the Chicago Blackhawks, who had signed him to a four-year, $22.4 million contract, some cap relief but now he wants back in.
"I still belong, I'm better than some other guys, and I'd like another shot," Huet said on NHL.com. "I'd love to come back, but I know once you are out of the league a little bit, guys tend to forget about you and that's the nature of the beast. But I still think I have something to show in the NHL, and to prove I still belong there. For me, it would be a great second chance to come back and play in the best league."
Huet said his agent has talked to "a few" NHL teams even though the market for veteran backup goalies is a little thin. In 272 NHL games, Huet is 129-90-11-21 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
NAIL RUSSIAN BACK
Nail Yakupov, the top pick in this year's NHL draft, will play for his country during the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge later this summer.
Yakupov, who was taken by the Edmonton Oilers, joins fellow Russian first-round draft picks Mikhail Grigorenko (Buffal Sabres) and goalie Andrei Vasilevski (Tampa Bay Lightning) on the 29-man roster. Twenty players on the Russian team are eligible for the 2013 NHL draft.
Meanwhile, the Canadian team announced Tuesday that its players will gather in Toronto Aug. 2-3 before heading to Yaroslavl, Russia, for the first two games of the event Aug. 9 and 10.
Games 3 and 4 of the four-game series will be played Aug. 13 and 14 in Halifax.
Hockey Canada is using the event as the first stage in evaluating players for the national junior team that will play in the 2013 world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.
The Detroit Red Wings have signed Halifax Moosehead forward Martin Frk to a three-year entry-level contract, the team announced Tuesday on its website. The 19-year-old is expected to return to junior next season ... New Jersey Devils prospect Jon Merrill will return to the University of Michigan for his junior season, according to Wolverines coach Red Berenson. Merrill, a defenceman, was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Devils ... Super-pest Patrick Kaleta signed a three-year, $3.8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Kaleta, who led the Sabres in hits and penalty minutes last season, had five goals and five assists in 63 games ... The Washington Capitals assigned 2012 first-round pick Filip Forsberg to Leksands of the Swedish second division for the 2012-13 season. Forsberg, 17, has already signed with the Caps, who think he needs at least one more season at home before making the jump to the NHL.