Contract talks between the Montreal Canadiens and pending restricted free agent Alex Galchenyuk are currently on hold while the forward looks for a new agent.
Galchenyuk recently fired Igor Larionov who is an agent with The Will Sports Group.
“Ian (Pulver) and I were trying to help him to become a good hockey player but, more importantly, to be a good human being,” Larionov told The Montreal Gazette. “I would speak to him every day; I think I spent more time talking to him than talking to my wife.”
The 21-year-old set career highs with 20 goals and 46 points in 80 games during the 2014-15 season. However, he struggled in the playoffs scoring just once in 12 games.
“I tried to make him understand that he has to be patient,” Larionov. “I had to wait when I was a young player; every great player has a time when he’s going to be on the bench, but you have to learn that’s part of the game.”
Galchenyuk’s three-year, $9.7 million entry-level contract is set to expire next month.
We’re focused on hockey here, but the Winter Olympics have more than just that going on for it. With the number of other big sports and events, sometimes we get a little caught up in our own thing, but Hockey Hall of Famer and Russian legend Igor Larionov says it begins and ends with hockey in Sochi.
In an interview with SophieCo in Russia, Larionov says the rest of the events in the Olympics can’t hold a candle to ice hockey.
“I mean, the hockey is the main event – I don’t care what anybody says about figure skating and all in that respect, and other sports, but hockey – because you got so many superstars coming to play and they play against each other, so it’s not every time you can see top teams from around the world playing. It’s like a World Cup of soccer. But this is NHL players coming and playing especially at Olympics, and for the players to come and play and to be proud for their country, so I think it’s kind of historic event for the players because of that.”
The Olympics always create stars in other sports. Such is the case in figure skating, bobsled, and skiing, but the superstars come into hockey prepackaged.
Fans of other sports might call Larionov biased since he comes from, and is a player agent in, hockey but it’s not unlike NBA talent in basketball in the Summer Olympics.
That said, having NHL players in Olympic hockey in Russia turns the players into rock stars of sorts given how hockey-mad the country is. That kind of status causes those involved in some of those other sports, as Puck Daddy shares, to sound off in a fit of jealousy.
One of the down sides to a possible lockout is that we’ll be denied seeing some of the great young talent drafted this summer. In Nail Yakupov’s case, the Edmonton Oilers’ loss would seem to be the Sarnia Sting’s (his junior team) gain.
Not so fast.
IIHF Communications Director Szymon Szemberg reports Yakupov’s agent, Igor Larionov, says his client will take his talents to Russia and the KHL for the year if the NHL lockout ends up cutting into the regular season. Rather than suit up for the Sting, Yakupov will play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
Provided this is true, it won’t do much to calm the nerves of people worried Yakupov would jump ship full-time to play back home in Russia, but he’s made it known from the outset that playing in the NHL is what he wants to do. If there’s no games being played in the NHL, you have to play somewhere and doing it at home makes for a comforting option.
Sergei Samsonov didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he may be getting a shot to come back.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports according to his agent Igor Larionov, Samsonov will get a tryout with the San Jose Sharks, but there’s a catch.
For him to get a chance to show what he’s got left there needs to be a training camp to try out in. If the NHL locks out the players, the chances we’ll see training camp decrease each day it goes on. As it is, the CBA expires on September 15 which is right about when camp would begin in the first place.
Samsonov last played in the NHL in the 2010-11 season with the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers scoring 13 goals and adding 27 assists. The Sharks may be hoping Samsonov can find old chemistry with fellow former Bruin Joe Thornton and give them a needed, and inexpensive, offensive lift.
UPDATE (4:09 p.m. ET): According to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty, Samsonov’s actual agent Neil Abbot says there is no training camp deal with the Sharks as of yet and that his client is speaking with many teams.
Read more at CSNBayArea.com
The Red Wings of the mid-to-late 90s were always known for their array of Russian superstar players. If you don’t recall the “Russian Five” of Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and Vladimir Konstantinov you missed out some of the most skillful hockey the NHL saw at the time.
The good news for you is that you’ll get to see them one more time. Four out of those five will be participating in the 2013 Winter Classic alumni game on December 31. The lone member of the Russian quintet not yet appearing is Kozlov who is still playing professionally in the KHL after leaving the NHL after the 2009-10 season.
Konstantinov, who was paralyzed in a car accident following the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup championship, is expected to be an ambassador for the game and won’t be playing. As for Fedorov, Larionov, and Fetisov — expect to see them suiting up against the Maple Leafs alumni.
With Scotty Bowman set to coach the Red Wings alumni, maybe we’ll get to relive the old days and see Bowman have Fedorov play defense as well as forward all over again.
If you didn’t get to experience what the “Russian Five” was like during their time in Motor City, the Red Wings put this video together to remind everyone how great they were.