Former Capitals forward Michael Latta is no longer an AHL player. Instead he’s headed to China after signing a one-year contract on Wednesday with the KHL’s latest addition, the Kunlun Red Star.
After Red Star publicly announced the newest addition, Latta shared the news on twitter, saying he was excited about the new adventure and thanking Kunlun for the opportunity.
Excited to start a new adventure in the KHL. Thanks to the Kunlun Red stars for giving me the opportunity. #summersover
— Michael Latta (@Latta17) July 18, 2018
According to the Kitchener Post, Latta doesn’t expect to return to the NHL. There also seems to be no love lost for his years spent in the AHL.
“I’m not going to miss the AHL at all. I was kind of bored by the end of it, playing three years in Washington and with being sent down, I didn’t get a chance to get back to the NHL,” said Latta. “Going overseas was always the plan, so this kind of opportunity came up, in the second-best league in the world, and I thought it was a no-brainer for me.”
Latta joined the Red Star for a two-day preseason camp in Riga, Latvia. The team is currently holding a training camp in Liberec, Czech Republic, including an upcoming exhibition game against HC Pirati Chomutov on July 26.
Latta, 27, was drafted 72nd overall in 2009 by Nashville Predators. Latts was eventually traded to Washington as part of the Filip Forsberg deal in 2013.
Latta went on to play 113 games with the Caps, during which he recorded 4 goals and 13 assists. After the Capitals decided not to renew Latta’s contract following the 2015-16 season, he signed a deal with the Los Angeles Kings, only to bounce between AHL teams in a series of trades that took him from the Ontario Reign, to the Rockford IceHogs, to the Tucson Roadrunners, and most recently the Binghamton Devils.
Kunlun Red Star is a Bejing-based team created in 2016 and currently the only Chinese team in the Kontinental League. The 2018-19 season will mark its third in the KHL. Red Star debuted in the league with a win against Amur Khabarovsk and managed to reach the 2017 playoffs before losing in the first round to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. The team didn’t earn a playoff spot in 2017-18 after posting a 19-29-8 record in the regular season.
Latta’s contract is one among several one-year additions to the team this postseason, joining (among others) fellow Canadians Alexandre Picard and Blake Parlett.
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