Jhonas Enroth To Dinamo Minsk Almost Happened
When it came time to make a decision, it was pursuit of his childhood dreams that kept Jhonas Enroth playing for the Buffalo Sabres instead of taking the big payday from the KHL.
About a week and a half ago, Hockey Pravda ran the story “Голкипер “Баффало” подпишет контракт с одним из кхловских клубов” (Translation: “Goalkeeper “Buffalo” sign a contract with one of the clubs khlovskih”) that broke a rumor involving Jhonas Enroth possibly signing in the KHL. Sabres fans dismissed the rumor, which wasn’t discovered on these shores until a few days ago, after GM Darcy Regier said negotiations were almost complete with the young Swede.
However, in a new interview with Hockey Sverige titled “Det var riktigt nära med KHL” (Translation: “It was really close with KHL”), Enroth revealed that the rumored KHL deal almost happened with Belorussian club HC Dinamo Minsk. What kept him in North America? Putting his childhood dreams of NHL success at a higher priority than a larger paycheck. “It was a really good deal. I would have earned more in one season than in two years with Buffalo. So in the end it was about choosing between childhood dream or money. But I think this is the best way to go for now. I do not want to take a chance and miss out on the NHL a chance now that I have one foot inside the NHL.”
In the end, Enroth said, the threat of a deal in the KHL is what forced the Sabres’ hand into giving him a one-way deal. They wanted to give me a two-way contract in the beginning, the first month that we negotiated. Then when KHL came into play they went with a envägskontrakt,” Enroth told Hockey Sverige.
It’s interesting to hear Enroth’s side of the story in such a candid manner, especially with how secretive the offices at the foot of Washington St. keep things. With his new deal, it’s safe to say the goaltender won’t be eyeing the KHL after it expires in 2013 – by then, he’ll presumably have at least a modicum of success and an established reputation as a reliable goaltender in the NHL.
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