TSN is reporting that Phoenix Coyotes forward Niko Kapanen is leaving the National Hockey League in favor of AK Bars Kazan of the Russian League.
Last season, Kapanen played 79 games with the Phoenix Coyotes, scoring 10 goals and adding 18 assists for 28 points.
Last month, he helped Finland win a bronze medal at the World Hockey Championship.
Over his seven-year NHL career, Kapanen scored 36 goals and 90 assists for 126 points in 397 games with Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix.I believe NHL players still require 400 games played to qualify for a pension, so the timing is a little curious. Then again, with a salary of $800,000 and $900,000 in the last two years, respectively, and likely a tax free salary over $1 million in Russia, even marginal NHL talent should not need a pension any longer.