Former Penguins defenseman Simon Despres signs with Nottingham in United Kingdom

Former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres has signed with the Nottingham Panthers of the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).

That team announced the transaction via a release on Monday.

A first-round pick (No. 30 overall) in 2009, Despres spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins in the 2010s, appearing in 144 games for the club and scoring 33 points (five goals, 28 assists).

The left-handed Despres also spent parts of three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks before chronic concussion woes brought his time in the NHL to an end in 2016.

Since then, Despres has largely played in Europe including stops in Slovakia, Germany, Sweden and Austria.

Despres, 32, spent last season with Villacher SV, an Austrian team in the International Center European Hockey League (ICEHL). In 43 games, Despres had 15 points (three goals, 12 assists).

This transaction comes a little more than three weeks after former Penguins forward Adam Johnson died while playing for Nottingham.

On Oct. 28, Johnson suffered a fatal injury during a game when an opponent’s skate struck him in the neck, cutting him in a catastrophic fashion.

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Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at or via Twitter .

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