Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Westgarth

Ivanans signs with Calgary Flames

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31-year-old Latvian enforcer Raitis Ivanans has signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames, during the first day of free agent frenzy last night. Ivanans will earn 0.6 million USD each of the upcoming two seasons.

Ivanans made his NHL debut in 2005-06, when he was called up from the farm club of the Montreal Canadiens. Already in his first game in the league he got into a brawl against Slovakian giant Zdeno Chara, during which he broke his orbital bone. When he finally healed the injury, Ivanans had just another three appearances with les Habitants.

In 2006-07 Raitis was already in Los Angeles, where he played until the end of the previous season. However, once the season was about to end, Kings board made Ivanans to realize that starting from next season his role will be filled by Kevin Westgarth, who, being almost the same weight and height, produced a lot more points and was also five years younger.

There was a reason for the Kings to be dissatisfied with the play of Ivanans – after 2008-09 club suggested Raitis to lose some weight, so that he would become more agile on the ice. However, although Ivanans lost 20 pounds during the off-season, the previous season was the first one, which Raitis finished without scoring a single point.