A year ago, I featured defenseman Mark Cundari, thinking he had a chance to enter the San Jose Sharks line-up; instead, not only did they send him to their AHL affiliate San Jose Barracuda, but they even went so far as to loan him to the Lake Erie Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets' farm club, on March 7th, near season's end, where he had 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists) in 7 games.
That wasn't enough for another crack at an NHL line-up this year, not even when Monsters head coach Jared Bednar was hired in the same capacity by the Colorado Avalanche, who had a glaring hole on D that remained gaping all year, to the extent where the Avs are dead-last in league standings, with a record far worse than laughingstock franchises Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes.
Thus, he signed on with the German team Augsburg Panthers last summer and has 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points in 48 games in the DEL, who were happy to count a two-time Memorial Cup (2009 and 2010 with the Windsor Spitfires) and 2015 Spengler Cup (Team Canada) winner to provide their group with some leadership.
At 26 years old, it's not too late for Cundari to earn a permanent roster spot, be it in the NHL or abroad; heck, if Bednar can convince the Avs to give him another year, maybe he'll ask for Cundari to bolster up their defense on the cheap. He certainly cannot be much worse than the likes of Patrick Wiercioch, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Goloubef and Éric Gélinas...
Here's Cundari from his days with the Calgary Flames, on the signed insert version of card #728 from Panini's 2013-14 Score set and Hot Rookies and Dual Rookie Class sub-sets: