SKA St.Petersburg Poach another, nab Grebeshkov

(Courtesy of John Russell/Getty Image)

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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Where will Kovy Land? The FRWG Edition

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As we slowly approach week two of Kovy watch 2010 the most sought after free agent of this summer not named Lebron James has yet to pick a team. As much as VERSUS or the NHL network would probably love to air his decision live, I can’t see that happening. It would mean hockey being recognized as a legit sport in this country by those who can only pay attention once a week to their beloved team but I digress.
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Evgeni Nabokov says Da to SKA

nabby33(Courtesy of The Hockey News)

On Wednesday, former San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov signed a deal with the Kontinental Hockey League’s SKA St.Petersburg for a reported $24 million contract for the next four years. With the hockey world waiting and watching as the Ilya Kovalchuk saga continued to unfold, the league quietly lost one of it’s elite net-minders who opted to go to a team that would meet his demands financially even if it meant playing in the old country.
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NHL Set to Return to Russian Soil

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It has been 20 years since the NHL ventured to Mother Russia when the Minnesota North Stars and Montreal Canadiens took on the likes of the Soviet National team. Now prior to the official start of the 2010-2011 NHL season the league has arranged for both the Phoenix Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes to take on KHL clubs in Moscow and Riga, Latvia before the season kicks off in Finland and the Czech Republic.
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Slava Fetisov to play with CSKA Moscow at 51

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On Thursday it was announced that former Soviet Union and NHL great Slava Fetisov would come out of retirement and suit up for CSKA Moscow of the KHL at the age of 51. Fetisov last played in a competitive match in 1998 when he was 40.

Fetisov, who serves as a lawmaker for the Federation Council of Russia as well as president of CSKA will feature in the team’s line-up on Friday against SKA St.Petersburg. According to head coach and also former NHL player Sergei Nemchinov, Fetisov will be filling in for a defenseman who is already injured.

Referred to as the Russian Bobby Orr, Fetisov captured two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and one as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils where he would also play prior to joining the Wings in 1995.

It is unclear whether he will play for the rest of the season but it is certainly exciting to see one of hockey’s most decorated and respected players lace up his skates once again.

Sergei Zubov signs with SKA St. Petersburg

article_27238_2(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.