Friday, July 29, 2005

Volchenkov to stay in Russia?

A story that may become quite significant to the Ottawa Senators broke late last night. 23-year-old bruising defencemen Anton Volchenkov has signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal Kazan of the Russian Super League, and could very well not suit up with the Sens this coming season.

According to a story in today's Ottawa Sun, it's not known whether Volchenkov, a restricted free agent, will actually fulfill the deal, but the fact he's even taking such measures is not a good sign. Under the terms of the NHL's new agreement with the IIHF, he has until August 15th to walk away from the contract. His salary during the previous NHL season was a little more than $1 million, and the Sens will need to issue a qualifying offer of at least $798,000 to retain his rights. He might be going this route to put pressure on the team to offer him a better contract, however stories of European players chosing to stay in their native countries instead of coming back to this new NHL have been prevelant since the CBA was signed last week.

The two-year veteran has emerged as a major piece of the team's puzzle. His physical play has earned him the nickname the "A-Train", and this past year, playing for the Sens' AHL affiliate in Binghampton, put up offensive numbers (45 points in 69 games) that show the potential for the same at the NHL level. Though the Senators are considered to be quite deep at defence, losing Volchenkov would be a major blow.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

The two-year veteran has emerged as a major piece of the team's puzzle.

Just being nit-picky..... you're no where near a veteran after a mere two years. ;)

At 4:20 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Haha. Two-year NHLer? Three-year pro?

Two-year veteran sounded right at the time. It was 6:30 in the morning though, so my brain wasn't functioning 100% yet.


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