Last off-season the Carolina Hurricanes brought in some depth players like Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, and Ondrej Kase to help fill out the bottom lines for depth.
The latter was more encouraging than the first two in the potential for contribution in the season but 11 minutes and 2 seconds later, Kase’s career in Carolina is now over.
The season before, Kase had a solid season with the Toronto Maple Leafs registering 14 goals and 13 assists. Playing in 50 games, the former Anaheim draft choice is always a risk for injury. 66 games is the career high in games played for a season.
At just 27 years old, the forward is heading to Czechia on a one-year contract with Extraliga club HC Litvinov. It is a homecoming for Kase as he will be joining his brother David.
In the first game of the season, the Boston Bruins forward suffered a concussion that continued to bother him throughout the season. It was not until January that he was placed on long-term injury reserve.
Having played in 258 NHL games, the Czech forward played 7 seasons but will be back to pro hockey in his home country for the first time since 2014.
With the emergence of young forwards like Jack Drury and the addition of depth forward Brendan Lemieux this month, the writing was on the wall for Kase.
Don Waddell needed to adjust the type of players in his depth, including some toughness and consistency.
Not many players from last year’s roster have left Carolina but with so many additions, subtractions will have to come. I would expect another depth-forward signing or two before training camp.