Rybar, 24, primarily spent the 2017-18 season with HK Hradec Kralove in the Czech Extraliga, the top professional league in the Czech Republic. In 36 games with the club, Rybar posted a 23-13 record and led the league in both goals-against average (1.73) and shutouts (7), alongside a 0.932 save percentage. He helped his club reach the semifinals in the Extraliga playoffs, sporting a 2.24 goals-against average and 0.918 save percentage in 12 postseason games. The Skalica, Slovakia, native also represented his country internationally on two occasions this season. He was named to the Slovakian Olympic Team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongchang, South Korea, but did not see game action, and recently competed at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark, appearing in three games with a 1-1 record, 2.49 goals-against average and 0.906 save percentage.
The 6-foot-3, 176-pound goaltender has split his four professional seasons between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, totaling a 47-26 record, 1.93 goals-against average, 0.927 save percentage and nine shutouts in two seasons with HK Hradec Kralove from 2016-18 and posting a 3.07 goals-against average and 0.920 save percentage with SHK 37 Piestany in the Slovakian Extraliga from 2014-16, posting the league’s top save percentage (0.933) in 2015-16. Prior to his professional career, Rybar played for the junior club of HC Slovan Bratislava from 2009-14 and also saw action in 26 games in second-tier Slovakia, while debuting in the top Slovakian league with one game for HC Slovan Bratislava in 2010-11.
Patrik Rybar, Goalie
Born Nov 9 1993 — Skalica, Slovakia
Height 6.03 — Weight 176 — Catches L
As the Wings’ release states, Rybar played for HC Hradek Kralove in the Czech League, posting a 1.73 goals-against average in 36 games played, so that ain’t bad.
My best guess is that the Wings made their World Championship signing for the year hoping that Rybar can help fill the void left by Jared Coreau and Tom McCollum, who are both likely to leave Grand Rapids as unrestricted free agents.
Update: Here’s more from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan…
The Red Wings are expected to sign an NHL veteran this summer in free agency to back up Howard, who was the only goalie signed for next season in the organization.
Rybar is likely to play in Grand Rapids with either Tom McCollum or Jared Coreau, both of whom are unrestricted free agents.
And MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Rybar posted a 23-13 record and led the Czech Extraliga in goals-against average (1.73) and shutouts (7). The team reached the semifinals of the league’s playoffs, in which he posted a 2.24 goals-against average and 0.918 save percentage.
The 6-foot-3, 176-pound Rybar has split his four professional seasons between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where he also posted Slovakian Extraliga’s top save percentage (0.933) during the 2015-16 season.
Rybar represented Slovakia at the Olympics and 2018 World Championship. While he is expected to compete for the backup job, he is likely bound for the team’s American Hockey League affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard is currently the only Detroit goaltender under contract for the 2018-19 season.
NHL teams can begin signing free agents on July 1.
Update #2: Here’s more from Helene St. James:
Patrik Rybar was signed a one-year contract on Monday, worth $925,000 in the NHL and $70,000 in the minors. The 24-year-old spent most of 2017-18 with HK Hradec Kralove in the Czech Extraliga, the top professional league in the Czech Republic. In 36 games, Rybar posted a 23-13 record and led the league in both goals-against average (1.73) and shutouts (seven), to go with a .932 save percentage.
He posted a 2.24 goals-against average and 0.918 save percentage in 12 playoff games. He was part of Slovakia’s team at 2018 Winter Olympics (he did not play in any games) and represented his country again at the 2018 World Championship in Denmark, appearing in three games with a 1-1 record, 2.49 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.
Rybar is expected to play in Grand Rapids. Jared Coreau and Thomas McCollum are both pending unrestricted free agents, and Coreau is likely to explore other options. He does not factor into the Wings’ plans for a second goalie behind Jimmy Howard. The Wings are expected to address that need via free agency, with Carter Hutton as a leading possibility.