While introducing new signings Evgeni Nabokov and Denis Grebeshkov, KHL and SKA St.Petersburg president Alexander Medvedev announced that long-time NHL winger Maxim Afinogenov planned to join his club for the upcoming season. Afinogenov agreed to join the club for the next five years after the Atlanta Thrashers wouldn’t meet his demands.
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For the second time in a decade Denis Grebeshkov has left the NHL for the motherland signing a two-year contract with the KHL’s SKA St.Petersburg. While the terms have not been released, it appears it is more than $3.15 million he made last year with the Nashville Predators. You may recall Grebeshkov first left the NHL and the New York Islanders in 2006-2007 opting to play for his hometown Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the now defunct Russian Super League.
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On Tuesday, Russia defeated lowly Kazakstan with an impressive 4-1 victory. Goals from Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya
Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, and Denis Grebeshkov meant all the scoring was done by the NHLers for the first time in the tournament. Ovechkin opened the scoring mid-way through the first period with a wrist shot which beat Kazah goalie Vitali Yeremeyev. Captain Ilya Kovalcuk doubled the lead for his first goal of the tournament just 42 seconds into the second period on a breakaway.
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Denis Grebeshkov left for the Olympics a member of the Edmonton Oilers only to return to find out he has been dealt to the Nashville Predators for a second round draft pick in the 2010 draft. The 26-year-old defenseman, who represented Team Russia, has only notched 19 points in 47 games for the Oilers and a single point in the four games in the Olympics.
The Yaroslav native is now headed for his fourth NHL team having suited up for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders and the aforementioned Oilers. This move is a clear sign that the Oilers are starting their rebuilding process a bit a head of schedule owning the leagues worst record through the Olympic break.
For Gerbeskov, who is earning $3.15 million this season and is due to become a unrestricted free agent in the summer, he now joins a team that currently sits 7th in the west and could use him to bolster their blue line.