According to the Swiss League hockey magazine Slapshot, defensive center and former Blue Jacket Jiri Novotny, is waiting on a contract offer by the Flyers before making the decision to depart for the KHL.
Per rough google translation …
“The defensive center Jiri Novotny (26) will wait until Monday to receive an offer from Philadelphia. If he gets no NHL contract,after seven years in North America, he will leave and return to Europe. He has offers from Servette (Swiss league) and from Russia.”
Novotny, a former first rounder pick in 2001 by Buffalo, has played NHL games with the Sabres, Washington and Columbus. Not a premier point producer, the Czech throws his 6’4 frame around and is decent on face offs and two-way play. In 42 games last season with the Blue Jackets, Novotny had 72 hits in just 42 games. Trending a full season, he would rank in the top six on the Flyers in that statistic. Along with his attractive physical game, Jiri averaged a 52% win percentage on face offs, a number which would have topped the Flyers’ regulars in 2008-09.
Despite scoring just seven points in 42 games with the Blue Jackets, he tallied a +4.
Novotny was a selection of the Don Luce administration in Buffalo. Luce, formerly the Director of Player Development in Buffalo, works under the same title in Philadelphia.
Novotny earned a cap hit of $750,000 last season.
UPDATE: Novotny told a Czech website, ” The Flyers are in the game, but my overseas agent Rich Winter, is negotiating with other clubs. I believe that could be decided soon. I’d like to make sure sure the end of the month.”
Jiri made it clear he wants to stay in the NHL, but with time running out before training camp, he is weighing other options.