Sabres GM can ‘start thinking more about’ Zadorov situation now

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Now that the decision on Sam Reinhart has been made, Sabres GM Tim Murray can start figuring out what to do with young defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

We wrote about this a couple of weeks ago.

Zadorov, 19, has appeared in just one game for the Sabres. He’s probably not ready for the NHL. The issues is, it’s not clear what would happen if Buffalo were to send him back to his junior team, the OHL’s London Knights.

From the Buffalo News:

Zadorov’s agent, Rolland Hedges, would like his client to play at home in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, where St. Petersburg possesses his rights. The NHL, however, says Zadorov can play only for the Sabres or in the Canadian Hockey League. The defenseman and his KHL team may not sign off on a transfer to juniors.

“Is that part of the reason he’s here? Yes,” Murray said on his radio show on WGR-AM 550. “The only option if we don’t want him here is to send him to London. If we do that, does it become a long, drawn-out affair or is it a cut-and-dry thing? We’re not sure about that.

“If he decides not to go or the transfer agreement is not signed by the KHL team and him, I’m sure that the CHL will say, ‘He’s our property,’ and then there’s going to have to be some type of agreement come to between the KHL and the CHL. I’m sure that the CHL will involve the” International Ice Hockey Federation “in that.

So, what’s Murray going to do?

“I just haven’t come to that decision yet,” he said today. “That could be tomorrow. That could be in three weeks. I guess I’ll start thinking more about that now.”

A frustrated Murray added: “He stays here for us, or we assign him to London. And after that, we won’t be involved. We can��t be involved. We’ve tried every avenue, and we’ve been shut down at every avenue. We can’t send him to the [AHL].

“As per the CBA and the agreement with junior hockey and things that they do…I mean, we’re talking verbal agreements here and stuff that’s way out of our hands.”