Former Caps forward Galiev signs with Ak Bars in KHL

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After five years in the Washington Capitals organization, forward Stanislav Galiev officially returned to Russia this week by signing a two-year contract with Ak Bars of the KHL.

It ends what was a complicated contract situation for the 25-year-old forward.

A restricted free agent that always seemed to be in limbo in the Capitals organization, he made the decision to return to Russia this summer but was initially unable to sign with a new team because his KHL rights were still owned by Dynamo Moscow, a team that was struggling financially and was unable to pay its players.

Eventually, all of them were declared unrestricted free agents.

On Friday the KHL announced that Galiev has signed a two-year contract with Ak Bars.

A third-round pick by the Capitals in 2010, Galiev’s career in North America was never able to take off with the Capitals.

Since officially joining the organization in 2012-13 he played in just 26 games at the NHL level, scoring one goal to go with five assists. He spent the bulk of his time playing in the AHL where he always had a decent amount of success, scoring 25 goals in only 67 games during the 2014-15 season. He spent this past season in Hershey, appearing in 56 games and scoring 21 goals to go with 19 assists. Even though he was stuck in the American Hockey League all season it was still a better situation for him than the previous year (at least as it relates to playing time) when he was stuck in the NHL because he was not waiver exempt, spending most of the season as a healthy scratch.