(courtesy of The Hockey News)
On Thursday, Sergei Alexandrovich Zubov opted not to sign with a NHL club but rather in his homeland inking a contract with SKA St. Petersburg. Considered by many one of the greatest offensive defensemen in the history of the NHL, Zubov leaves the league with 771 points in 1068 games. He is the NHL’s all-time leading scorer among Russian-born defensemen and 7th overall.
Zubov started his NHL career with the New York Rangers where he was the first ever defenseman to lead a team in scoring and one of the first Russian’s to lift the Stanley Cup in 1994 . After spending a season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Zubov was traded to the Dallas Stars where he would spend the next decade manning the blue line. He would capture his second cup in 1999 and pick up his first Norris Trophy nomination in 2006. He would also become the team’s all-time leading scorer for defensemen.
Zubov suffered a sports hernia injury early last season and only featured in 10 games. Rumors linked him to various clubs around the NHL but the KHL must have offered more to the recently turned 39-year-old.
He becomes the latest Russian NHL player to return home following Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov, and Dmitri Kalinin. He will join former NHL players such as Robers Esche, Sergei Brylin, and Darius Kasparaitis.