TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that former Merrimack forward Stephane Da Costa fully intends on playing in the NHL next season after spending the last three seasons in the KHL.
Multiple teams have called on Stephane Da Costa. He 100% intends on playing in the NHL next season. Was in KHL last 3 years.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2017
The Ottawa Senators own Da Costa’s NHL rights until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, and Da Costa will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The 27-year-old has been more than a point-per-game player with CSKA Moscow the last three seasons, totaling 96 points in 94 games. This past spring for France at the IIHF World Championships, Da Costa scored 10 points in just six games, finishing as one of the tournament’s scoring leaders.
Last summer, Da Costa’s linemate with Moscow, Alexander Radulov, signed with the Montreal Canadiens.
Da Costa chose the KHL over the Senators three years ago, after the Senators refused to budge in negotiations and were offering a two-way contract, which would have given Da Costa a fraction of his NHL salary if he was assigned to the AHL. One team reportedly showing heavy interest in Da Costa is the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.