One of the upsides for Sochi getting the Olympic Games was what it would do for them after the events are over. One thing that’s seemingly going to happen is they’ll be getting a KHL expansion team and they may have a superstar to run it.
According to agent Darryl Wolski, Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure is considering being the man to run the new franchise. The new team would begin play in 2014-2015.
Bure has been the face of the potential Sochi franchise since it was announced they would be getting a team. A story from Ria Novosti in September got his thoughts on being an executive of the franchise.
“I have experience and understanding of what needs to be done,” said Bure. “I saw what was done in Los Angeles, California, where it was hard to make the Kings popular, because they had Lakers [NBA team] that were winning everything. But look at them now: the team already took the Stanley Cup and their arena is always full.”
Being a former superstar player has helped out others in landing jobs in the KHL. Sergei Fedorov is the GM of CSKA and Alexander Mogilny is the GM of the team in Vladivostok. Seeing Bure land in Sochi would give that team an immediate boost of credibility.
Alexander Radulov’s next landing spot has been up for debate since the Predators were ousted from the playoffs. Preds GM David Poile says he’s not coming back to Nashville, the Rangers reportedly have interest in him and the KHL is eager to bring him back to Russia. According to one Russian publication, that’s just what will happen.
Izvestia.ru has a report from Radulov’s Russian agent, Yuri Nikolayev, says his client will return to the KHL and play for CSKA Moscow. Yahoo! Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov translated the Izvestia report and what Nikolayev has to say about what’s next for Radulov.
“Alexander no longer has thoughts, watching the sea, whether he should go to the NHL or play in the KHL,” Nikolaev told Izvestiya.
“We are negotiating with CSKA about a personal contract. However we are not in CSKA yet; there are matters we have to discuss with the club’s general managers.”
What’s making Radulov want to work things out with CSKA, according to his agent, is the threat of a lockout in the NHL this upcoming season. Oh, right. That whole thing.
As Chesnokov reports, Radulov still has a year left on his KHL deal but CSKA would likely demand a longer commitment than just the one season if/when he comes back to Russia.
A typical NHL team could do worse than to have a one-two scoring punch of Alexander Radulov and Alexander Semin. Yet David Staples passes along “Russian reports” that imply CSKA – the “filthy rich” team that sports Sergei Fedorov as its general manager – might just go after both.
Now that Rosneft, one of Russia’s oil giants, has taken over full sponsorship of CSKA Moscow, it gave general manager Sergei Fedorov carte blanche to go after the best talent available.
According to Russian sources, Fedorov has expressed serious interest in the services of Alexander Radulov and Alexander Semin.
It’s one thing to imagine the two brilliant-yet-heavily-criticized forwards ending up in the KHL, but on the same team? I’m not certain that it would jive well with the “one returning NHL player” salary exemption noted earlier, but there’s probably a way around that too.
Naturally, CSKA still must compete with interest from the NHL and other KHL teams, yet one might argue they have as good a chance to land one or both of those players as any team in the world.
Nikita Filatov is officially set to play in Russia.
Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov tweets that Filatov has come to a contract agreement with CSKA of the KHL and will be in the lineup with the team on Thursday. Filatov is signed through the end of this season and is still property of the Ottawa Senators.
It was just yesterday when Filatov’s agent said that contract negotiations going poorly could’ve meant his client came back to North America to play for the Sens, but today’s change in plans fixes things right up. Whether or not we’ll see Filatov return next season is another thing entirely. Filatov’s contract with Ottawa runs out at the end of the year and he’ll become a restricted free agent.
Maybe Filatov will want to seek out Alexander Radulov in Russia and form a dynamic duo of frustrating talent spurning the NHL for home.
Filly might not want to do the AHL, but he might not have another choice.
Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Nikita Filatov could be on his way back to North America if his situation in the KHL isn’t figured out. Chesnokov says that Filatov’s Russian agent wants his client traded from CSKA in the KHL if they’re unable to get a contract worked out.
Should that not happen, Filatov’s agent says his client would be on his way back to Ottawa with an eventual destination in Binghamton yet again. This is a lot of drama for a player that hasn’t met his potential anywhere he’s played be it in North America or Russia. While Filatov is a very talented player, he hasn’t put it together at all with either Columbus or with Ottawa.
This season could be Filatov’s last chance to prove himself for the NHL as he’s due to be a restricted free agent after this season. With his ups and downs this year, Ottawa re-signing him would seem unlikely if he can’t show them he can play. If he stays on in the KHL this season, we might not see him back in the NHL or AHL for a while.