Photo: Andreas Hillergren
According to a report by Per Bergsten of the Linkoping-based newspaper Corren, Daniel Rahimi, a 27-year-old defenseman for the Linkoping hockey club, has generated interest in the NHL. The newspaper names only one NHL club looking to sign Rahimi: the Washington Capitals.
As per a translation by Lovisa Munter and according to Linkoping’s general manager, Mike Helber, Daniel has been contacted by NHL and KHL clubs. Rahimi’s agent, Pontus Noren, said they have a real offer on the table and not just vague interest.
“There is no doubt that Daniel is in a very good position,” said Helber. “Of course we want him here in Linkoping, but you can’t push a player to stay if he wants to be somewhere else. We will just wait and see. This is the way it is for all clubs with coveted players this time of year.”
Bergsten cites a report by the Swedish newspaper Expressen, according to which Sibir Novosibirsk is the KHL club interested in Rahimi’s services.
Rahimi is a hulking six-foot-three, 216-pound defenseman noted for his reliable defensive skill and dominant physical presence. He can skate fairly well but is basically invisible in the offensive end.
Despite his offensive struggles (just 30 points in 256 career games in the Elitserien/SHL), Rahimi has been known to make some fine plays with the puck:
Here’s his lone goal of the season, scored the way stay-at-home defensemen are supposed to score:
This year, Rahimi, a Swedish national of Iranian descent, debuted for the national team in the World Championships after multiple appearances for Tre Kronor at EuroHockeyTour competitions. His debut on the big stage was spoiled by a kidney injury suffered in his second game of the tournament.
This is not Rahimi’s first attempt to make a move across the ocean. As Vancouver’s third-round draft choice in 2006, Rahimi joined the Canucks’ then-AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, late in the 2006-07 season. He spent two years between the Moose and ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings. In 2009, he returned to Sweden and got traded from the Canucks to the Sharks in a trade that sent Christian Ehrhoff to Vancouver. A year later, once Rahimi’s entry-level contract expired, the Sharks elected not to extend a qualifying offer to Rahimi, making him an unrestricted free agent.
According to Bergsten’s report, another Linkoping player who could sign in North America is former Capitals prospect Mattias Sjogren, who, just like Rahimi, is now an unrestricted free agent in the NHL after not getting a qualifying offer from his former club.
Rahimi has one more year left on his deal with Linkoping. NHL clubs have until June 15th to sign players currently under contract with the SHL, so we’ll know very soon if the Caps will get Rahimi on board.
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