Ex Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Nick Ritchie and Finnish Club Part Ways

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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According to Jatkoaika a Finnish hockey website, former Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Ritchie and his Finland team in Kärpät are parting ways.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Ritchie in the summer of 2021 to a two-year deal worth $2.5 Million deal, however, as the term goes "fail fast" and GM Kyle Dubas traded the former first round pick after just 33 games.

In less than half a season, Ritchie scored just two goals and collected nine points before being moved to the Arizona Coyotes along with a conditional pick for Ilya Lyubushkin.

Since being moved to the Coyotes, he made a pitstop in Calgary last year with the Flames when he was traded for his brother finishing the season with four goals in 16 games. This past off-season, he could find a home in the NHL and headed to Finland to continue his professional career.

Recently, Ritchie's name came back into the media, but for a negative on ice incident where he was suspended for eight games. In a game at the end of December, Ritchie went into the corner with Markus Nurmi in a mild board battle where he lost control of his temper. Ritchie violently and repeatedly punched Nurmi while he lay on the ice without any retaliation.

In a press release given by the team, the club's sports director Mikko Myllykoski stated that Ritchie has not met the team's expectations. Myllykoski further stated that Ritchie was a high risk / high reward type player and the club felt he could not rise to the role they needed from him; and as such were moving on.

In ten games with Karpat, Ritchie collected just one goal while racking up a whopping 70 penalty minutes.

The Orangeville, Ontario native was previously the tenth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks after collecting 39 goals and 74 points with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.

Ritchie got extra attention after he was drafted when Don Cherry criticized the Toronto Maple Leafs for selecting William Nylander over the 6'3", 236 lbs power forward in Ritchie.

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Any team will now be able to sign Ritchie, who just turned 28-years old last month and has nearly 500 NHL games to his credit, including scoring 15, 12 and 13 goals in his previous three seasons. The question will be whether a team will give him an opportunity heading into the stretch drive.