Former Atlanta Thrasher Slava Kozlov is off to Russia to play pro hockey. According to website Russian Hockey Fans, the former Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings is headed to the KHL to play with CSKA Moscow. RHF has a quote from Kozlov on signing with the Red Army team.
“I’m glad to be back in the team which is almost my home club, and it’s the greatest team in Russia. I’ll do all I can to help the team fighting for the Gagarin Cup. I think I am in good shape and I’ll be able to help my team mates very soon. Recently I underwent the physical examinations and the doctors were satisfied about my shape. I hope I’ll be able to play my first game with my new team on Friday against Yugra.”
Kozlov seemed to find himself on the outside looking in last year in Atlanta, often ending up as a healthy scratch when dealing with then head coach John Anderson’s system. Kozlov is certainly a more than capable player and could find a home in the NHL, but after disappearing to the press box more often than not last season, it’s tough to remind other GMs that you’ve still got it if you’re not out on the ice.
Kozlov’s NHL legacy is an odd one. While most remember him as being one of many Russians for the Red Wings of the mid-90s, there’s a highlight reel featuring Kozlov taking hits from Scott Stevens in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals. Kozlov was also the featured player that Detroit sent to the Buffalo Sabres to acquire Dominik Hasek. Kozlov’s Sabres tenure lasted all of 38 games in an injury-plagued year before moving on to the Atlanta Thrashers via trade.