It was announced today that the Calgary Flames have signed the Heat’s leading scorer Krys Kolanos to a two-year, two-way contract worth $525,000 per year.
It’s been a bizarre journey back to the big leagues for the Calgary native. Picked 19th overall by Phoenix back in 2000, Kolanos scored 11 goals and 22 points in his rookie season in the NHL. That would be his high water mark in the big league, however, with Kolanos bouncing around the AHL and other European pro leagues including the Finnish Elite League and and Swiss-A over the next decade or so. He also managed a few cameo appearances with The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild, often as an injury replacement type player.
Kolanos re-appeared in North America for good in 2007-08 with the Quad City Flames, Calgary’s then AHL affiliate. He scored 30 goals and 66 points in 65 games, good for second on the team. Upon his return this year, Kolanos has been by far the best forward on the club, recording 18 goals and 40 points in just 34 games. Jon Rheault is second on the team with 30 points despite playing two more games.
It’s unclear what role Kolanos will play on the parent club. Most AHL scoring leaders over the age of 30 tend to be minor leaguers for life, so there’s a good chance Kolanos is mostly a depth/leadership signing for the organization. Even then, it’s a big day for a guy who has battled injuries including recent hip surgery and has suffered the life of a wandering nomad amongst the various hockey leagues for a long time.