Valeri Nichushkin is on his way back to Russia.
CSKA announced news of the contract on Tuesday. Per our hasty Google translation, it has to be pointed out that CSKA said the deal had only been “agreed” upon, and will be signed “in the near future.”
What this means for Dallas remains to be seen.
It could provide the club one final chance of reaching a new deal with the still-unsigned RFA, and perhaps try and smooth out the rocky relationship between Nichushkin and head coach Lindy Ruff.
As pointed out by Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko yesterday, Nichushkin doesn’t want to play for Ruff but does want to return to the Stars someday. That could be why his deal with CSKA is for two years — the same amount of term left on Ruff’s deal in Dallas.
The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichuskin looked like a budding star following a 14-goal, 34-point rookie campaign. But a major hip injury and surgery sidelined him for almost all of his sophomore campaign, which set things up for an acrimonious third year.
Ruff sent a message right at the start of the season, making Nichushkin a healthy scratch while adding the 21-year-old needed to “get his head in the right place.”
In late March, an interview with with Russian news outlet Sport-Express made waves, as Nichuskin said he didn’t feel Ruff trusted him, or played him enough.
Not long after, Nichuskin’s agent tried to clear the air.
“Val loves it in Dallas,” Mark Gandler told the Morning News. “He’s very happy there.”