It took just 35 seconds into the Capitals game vs the Penguins for Alex Ovechkin to become just the 4th Russian-born player to score 1,000 points in an NHL career. Ovi joins the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny, and Alexei Kovalev along with 80 other legendary players to reach the plateau. The 31-year-old also becomes just the 37th player to score all 1,000 points with one franchise as well as the 24th fasted to reach it in games played with 880.
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Any possibility of Artemi Panarin leaving Chicago this off-season was snuffed out last night with the Blackhawks announcing the reigning Calder Trophy winner has signed a two-year extension. The “breadman” certainly got quite the bridge deal which will earn him $12 million the next two seasons which is a bump up from his current $835,000 salary.
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After years of rumors and speculation, Nail Yakupov’s career with the Oilers is over. Earlier tonight, the 23-year-old Nizhnekamsk native was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for a 2017 conditional third round pick. Just the third Russian in NHL history to be taken first overall, Yakupov’s time in Edmonton was rocky at best as he never quite lived up to the expectations of both fans and media.
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(photo courtesy Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sport)
According to Russian media, Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin is set to sign a two-year deal with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow. The 21-year-old is said to be unhappy with the direction of Dallas under head coach Lindsay Ruff. In 166 NHL games, the 10th overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft scored 23 goals and 41 assists. Following a promising rookie season in which he scored 34 points in 79 games, injury saw his sophomore follow-up wash away and his junior year while positive never saw him stick on any one line.
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Yesterday’s free agent frenzy saw a few Russians take their talents to new places, or be rewarded by their current teams with contract extensions. Let’s take a quick glance around the league. Continue reading “NHL Free Agency Day 1 Round-Up”
One-time Nashville Predator and one of the best players in the KHL is returning to the NHL after a four-year absence. Alexander Radulov has agreed to a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens for $5.75 million. The 29-year-old winger has spent the last four seasons with CSKA Moscow where he has scored 78 goals along with 238 points in 131 games. Prior to going back home, Radulov played in 154 gameswith the Preds scoring 102 points. This marks his third return to the NHL, having dishonored his contract to play in Russia, returning to Nashville for 9 games and a short playoff run, before signing with CSKA.
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Just as the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft was getting underway, the hosts team made a bit of a splash. Buffalo announced they had dealt Mark Psysk along with their 38th and 89th picks for defensemen Dmitri Kulikov and Florida’s 33rd pick. Kulikov balances out the Sabres blue-line with his left-handed shot and has one year on his contract which will earn him $4.3 million. The 25-year-old already has 460 games under his belt along with 28 goals and 138 points.
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On Saturday afternoon, the second worst-kept secret in hockey was finally official. Pavel Datsyuk announced to a small contingent of media, that he would forgo the final year of his 3-year $22.5 million deal and return to Russia to finish out his hockey career. Sighting family reasons, the “magic man” leaves the Red Wings in a bit of a jam. His $7.5 million cap hit will count against the only team he’s ever known and it’s unlikely they would find a team to eat it for them without giving up a aspiring prospect. If Detroit attempts to terminate the contract, the situation remains unchanged.
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On Sunday night, Alex Ovechkin became the 43rd player in NHL history to score 500 career goals. It took Ovechkin 801 games to reach the milestone making him the fifth fastest player to do so. Those who did faster are Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (575), Mario Lemieux (605), Mike Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693). He becomes (obviously) the first Russian to score 500 goals and could very well be the only one to reach the plateau.
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(photo courtesy of Bernard Brault/ La Presse)
It appears the Alex Semin Montreal experiment has run it’s course not even half way through his one-year deal. The Canadiens are expected to waive the 31-year old winger who featured in 15 of Montreal’s 28 games. Having last played on November 25, Semin was only able to notch one goal and three helpers with his limited ice time and his placement on waivers doesn’t come as a total surprise. It will be interesting to see whether he reports to the AHL or is scooped up by another team who can’t pass on the opportunity of a 500 career point scorer for the remainder of the season.
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