The Roman Cervenka era in Calgary is over.
The 27-year-old Czech centreman will be returning back to the Kontinental Hockey League next season after signing a three-year contract with SKA Saint Petersburg, the Russian team announced Wednesday.
Cervenka scored nine goals and eight assists in 39 games played for the Calgary Flames this season, his first in the NHL after playing professionally in the KHL and Czech Extraliga. Twice he was named to the KHL’s all-star team.
SKA acquired the forward’s KHL rights by trading a pair of players to HC Lev, and then inked him to a new deal.
A minus-13 with the Flames in 2012-13, Cervenka’s inconsistent play led to him being a healthy scratch on several occasions.
Set to become an NHL free agent on July 5, Cervenka’s $3.775-million cap hit will come off the Calgary books.
“Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top-six forward group and play in the NHL as a top-two-line centre,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said at the time of Cervenka’s signing last May. “We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed.”