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Dallas Stars

Valeri Nichushkin Heading To The KHL?

That’s not a headline just a question. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the Stars. Injuries to multiple players now in the ongoing World Cup of Hockey, a looming pre-season, questions regarding whether we are really going into the regular season with the same goaltending duo that got blown out of game seven against St. Louis. The Dallas Stars already have a lot going on, and now have another issue on that plate regarding young RFA forward Valeri Nichushkin.

Valeri Nichushkin is currently a Restricted Free Agent, and from what we understand is in negotiations with the Stars. As holdouts, and long negotiations are normal when dealing with RFAs for a general manager, the case with Valeri Nichushkin is not so normal.

When Nichushkin was drafted 10th overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft he was drafted out of Russia having a professional contract with Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. So what makes his situation unique is many have feared that there is a possibility of Nichushkin returning to the KHL like so many other Russian natives (Datsyuk, Radulov, Kovalchuk etc.) With training camp so close and Nichushkin still not signed to a deal, this is not helping ease the fears of many. When there is more news regarding his KHL contract instead of his NHL negotiations many it’s usually not a good sign.

So over the Summer we have heard that Nichushkin’s KHL rights had been traded (I.E. Datsyuk to Arizona) so if Nichushkin were ever to return to the KHL he would currently have to negotiate with CSKA who own his rights.

So that brings us to this current day, September 19th, rumors have been circulating that Valeri Nichushkin has agreed to a two year contract with CSKA of the KHL. Main point circling around the fact that Valeri Nichushkin does not want to play for Lindy Ruff.


Per source Nichushkindoesn’t want to play for Lindy Ruff. Although he wants to return to #Stars someday.Ruff’s contract is for 2 more years

— Igor Eronko(@IgorEronko) September 19, 2016



According to @galkevich32 Valeri Nichushkin is set to sign 2-year deal with #CSKA of the #KHL. CSKA has just acquired rights for him #Stars

— Igor Eronko(@IgorEronko) September 19, 2016


Now, Nichushkin is only 21 years of age, and if he were to leave and return in said amount of years, the Stars would still have his negotiating rights for an NHL contract. Which might not all be bad. Nichushkin had a solid rookie season in 2013-2014 in which he scored 14 goals along with 20 assists all while learning to live in a new country and learning to play North American hockey. His sophomore season was injury plagued and he spent the majority of this season trying to bounce back while continuing to learn from missing a whole year of development. This might help him in his development in learning to use his size to create space and offensive opportunities.

There is also another chapter in this and it might just be a negotiating tactic by Nichushkin’s representation. So we really won’t know until the season starts and whether Nichushkin is suiting up for the Stars or not.

Photo: Amanda Spielberger/Shattered Lens Photography

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