Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel, a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup champions, has signed a two-year contract to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
The 34-year-old Sopel finished last season with the Montreal Canadiens after being traded from the Atlanta Thrashers during the season. The Hawks had dealt Sopel to the Thrashers as part of their salary-cap purge during the summer on '10.
Sopel was an unrestricted free agent and after not being able to land a job in the NHL, has signed with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL. Sopel confirmed the signing via Twitter on Friday, tweeting "Two years in the KHL! So excited for this new opportunity!"
Sopel's wife, Kelly, writes a blog entitled "Life of a Hockey Widow" and in a post Friday said: "It would be crazy to say that this was his first choice. Chicago would have been great, and we assumed it would be a huge paycut, but he just wasn't in their plans."
Sopel and his family maintain a home in the Western Suburbs.
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