Homegrown defenceman Derek Meech won't return to the Winnipeg Jets organization next season, instead signing on to play in the top Russian league.
On Sunday, Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League announced it had signed the 29-year-old Meech, who was an unrestricted free agent. The Winnipegger joined the Jets in their inaugural 2011-12 season, but was sidelined most of that year by injury. He returned in time to help boost the Jets affiliate St. John's IceCaps in their AHL playoff run.
Last season, Meech -- who played three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings before signing with the Jets -- started on the Rock, and earned AHL all-star honours while racking up 23 points in 46 games with the IceCaps. He squeezed in 16 games with the big club during the lockout-shortened season.
In joining Dinamo Minsk, Meech follows another former Jet, forward Tim Stapleton, who joined the KHL club. Jets winger Evander Kane also did a stint with Minsk during the NHL lockout last season.