Oilers Trade Yakupov to Blues

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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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Valeri Nichushkin Reportedly Returns to KHL

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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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NHL Free Agency Day 1 Round-Up

13588706_10101345712308804_475544171_oYesterday’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. Read more…

Alex Radulov Returns to NHL (Again), Signs With Montreal

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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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Panthers Trade Dmitri Kulikov to Sabres

kuliiJust 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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Pavel Datsyuk Officialy Leaves Red Wings, NHL

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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Alex Ovechkin Scores 500th NHL Goal

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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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Montreal Waives Goodbye to Alex Semin

1065236-alexander-semin(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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Alex Ovechkin Becomes Highest Goal Scoring Russian of All-Time

Part-GTY-497926884-1-1-0 (courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

After tying Sergei Fedorov’s record for most goals for a Russian-born NHL player two Saturday’s ago, the stage was set for Alex Ovechkin to break the record in Detroit. With Fedorov in attendance having just been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame it would’ve been fitting for Ovi to break it with his former teammate in attendance.
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Sergei Fedorov HHOF Weekend: FRWG Edition

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The greatest Russian hockey player to play in the NHL was immortalized this past weekend and your favorite Russian hockey blog was on hand to witness it all.
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