It took a while but Aaron Dell has been signed by another NHL team.

The 34-year-old from Airdrie has been signed by the Los Angeles Kings to a one-year, two-way contract with an average annual value of $775,000 USD.

Then, in the confusing world of pro hockey, Dell was placed on waivers by the Kings for the purpose of assignment to the Kings American Hockey League affiliate the Ontario Reign, the team Dell signed with on January 6th and has already played six games for this season.  Los Angeles signed the veteran goaltender to provide them with depth in net.  

Dell is no stranger to either the NHL or AHL.  During the course of his career, the six-foot, 213-pound netminder has appeared in 130 NHL games over parts of eight seasons, including 111 with San Jose, where he made his NHL debut in October of 2016.  He spent time with the New Jersey Devils where he played seven games, and with the Buffalo Sabres where he made it into 12 games.  His NHL stats include a 2.92 goals-against-average, a .905 save-percentage, five shutouts and a record of 50-50-13

Dell has also played in 138 AHL games during his career, spending parts of seven seasons with the Abbotsford Heat, Worcester Sharks, San Jose Barracuda, Binghamton Devils, Rochester Americans, and now the Ontario Reign.  His AHL record is  62-53-16. 

After playing four games during the 2022-2023 season with the NHLs San Jose Sharks and 38 with their AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracudas, Dell wasn't offered a contract at the end of the year. He signed professional try-out contracts with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes but was later released from both without seeing any game action.  Prior to signing with the Reign he played for Canada at the 2023 Spengler Cup in December.

It took some time for him to get into a groove with the California club, dropping the first three games he played.   Since then, Dell has turned things around and has won three straight to even his record at 3 - 3.  He also picked up his first shutout of the season, blocking 24 shots as the Reign downed the San Diego Gulls 3 - 0.   

His first win of the year came in a 2 - 1 overtime decision against the Coachella Valley Firebirds who hold down first place in the Pacific Division.  Dell was outstanding in the game, blocking 33 of the 34 shots Coachella Valley took, many of them quality chances.  In each of those victories, he was chosen the first star of the game.

His latest victory came Wednesday, March 6th when he backstopped Ontario to a 6 - 3 decision over the Abbotsford Canucks.  The win was the fifth in a row for the Reign after dropping 10 of their previous 12.   

The four goals he's allowed in those three victories have lowered his goals-against-average to 2.69 and raised his save percentage to .902

Ontario is in a four-way tie for fourth in the Pacific Division of the AHL along with the Calgary Wranglers, Abbotsford Canucks and Bakersfield Condors.  The Reign are in Calgary for two games against the Wranglers.  The puck drops tonight at the Saddledome at 6:00 pm and again tomorrow night at 7:00 pm.  

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