The following post has been republished to correct the inaccuracy of an earlier report.
Contrary to an international report on Thursday morning from the website Sport-42.ru, Capitals forward Ryan Stoa has not signed a contract to play overseas in the KHL, according to his agent Neil Sheehy.
“He’s not signed,” Sheehy said via telephone, shortly after tweeting that the information was false. “There’s nothing to it.”
Stoa is an unrestricted free agent within the Capitals organization and was previously on a one-year standard deal, his third consecutive one-year contract. According to Sheehy, Stoa has informed the Capitals that he would like to re-sign, though negotiations are currently on hold while the NHL draft takes place this weekend in Philadelphia and league-wide free agency kicks off shortly thereafter.
“His first choice would be to sign with the Caps and/or Hershey,” Sheehy said, though non-roster players in Stoa’s position typically don’t sign until after NHL free agency tapers off.
Stoa spent most of the 2013-14 season in Hershey, where he appeared in 67 games and scored 40 points, which tied a career-high in the AHL. He was called up to the Capitals for three games, attempting three shots on goal in limited ice time, his first NHL appearance since playing for Colorado in 2010-11.
Stoa is one of 10 unrestricted free agents signed to Capitals contracts, according to CapGeek.com. The big fish remains Mikhail Grabovski, whose agent Gary Greenstin said in a brief telephone interview Tuesday that he expected several other NHL teams to come calling for the center once the free agency interview period opened this week, though discussions with Washington general manager Brian MacLellan for a new contract were also ongoing. The other nine UFAs — Chad Genoway, Brandon Segal, Julien Brouilette, Tyson Strachan, Joel Rechlicz, Matt Watkins, David Kolomatis, David Leggio and Stoa — are all non-roster players.
In other Hershey-related news, the Bears hope to decide on a new coach by this weekend, according to a report from Hershey beat writer Tim Leone of PennLive. The hiring process to replace Mike Haviland has been relatively quiet, at least publicly, but team president/general manager Doug Yingst told Leone that this weekend’s NHL draft in Philadelphia will provide ample opportunity to finish interviewing candidates and extend an offer.
“We will finalize all our interview processes this week,” Yingst said. “And, hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, we’ll arrive at a decision by Saturday.”