Jonathan Cheechoo’s time bouncing around the AHL is done. He has signed with Croatian KHL club Medvescak Zagreb.
During the 2005–06 season, Cheechoo offensive statistics took off, netting a franchise record 56 goals and 93 points. Much of Cheechoo’s success was augmented by the Sharks acquisition of superstar Joe Thornton in late November. Before the trade, Cheechoo had 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 24 games. In the 57 games after the trade, Cheechoo had 78 points (49 goals, 29 assists). Thornton knew how to get the puck to Cheechoo – who had the skill to score the goals.
Cheechoo was never able to reach the same offensive output as he did in 2005-2006, and on September 12, 2009, he was traded by the Sharks, along with Milan Michalek and a second round pick, to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dany Heatley and a fifth round pick. On February 12, 2010, Cheechoo was placed on waivers by the Senators after they acquired Matt Cullen from the Carolina Hurricanes. On February 13, 2010, he cleared waivers and was re-assigned to the Binghamton Senators, Ottawa’s AHL affiliate. He was recalled in the post season and he played one game against the Penguins. On June 28, 2010, he was again placed on waivers by the Senators. Cheechoo, who was heading into the final year of a five-year contract signed with San Jose in 2006, was reportedly owed $3.5 million for the 2010–11 NHL season. On June 29, 2010 the Senators bought out the final year of his contract making him a free agent.
Cheechoo would go on to short stints with the Worcester Sharks, Dallas Stars and Peoria Rivermen. Two seasons ago with Peoria, Cheechoo recorded 56 points in 70 games, his best professional total since 2006-2007. Last season, during a short stint with the OKC Barons, Cheechoo put up good numbers, recording 32 points in 35 games.
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