NHL free agency kicked off this week and it means a new start for many different hockey players. One of those players is former NMU star Justin Florek and “Flo” will stay on the east coast but will be representing a different team.

Florek has signed a one–year deal with the New York Islanders after spending last year with the Boston Bruins. The 25–year–old played in 73 games last year for the AHL’s Providence Bruins, scoring 11 goals and adding 24 assists. The Marquette–native did not get a chance to play for Boston this past season but hopes to see the ice for the Islanders this upcoming season.

A former Michigan Tech Husky was involved in a major trade acquisition, as former MTU goalie Phoenix Copley was traded by the Washington Capitals, along with winger Troy Brouwer and a 2016 third round pick, to the St. Louis Blues for T.J. Oshie. Copley had a great rookie year for the AHL affiliate Hershey Bears and was expected to be the top goalie for them, but that plan was nixed.

He finished last year with a 17–4–3 record with a 2.17 goals against average.

Also, Kingsford native and former Marquette Electricians defenseman Kevin Gravel has signed a two–year deal with the Los Angeles Kings.

In his first professional season, Gravel played 58 games for the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL and also played in all 19 playoff games for the Calder Cup champions, notching five assists and a plus–2 rating.