The Dallas Stars had trouble re-signing forward and former first round pick Valeri Nichushkin this offseason.
He ultimately chose to depart for the KHL, at least for this year. There was talk that he had done so do a desire not to play in the minors with the AHL’s Texas Stars, which would have potentially paid him far less and given him less exposure at the NHL level.
Now, though, his experiment back in Russia seems to be going poorly, as well.
It was reported on Tuesday afternoon, via Aivis Kalnins on Twitter, that the KHL’s CSKA Moscow has been unhappy with Nichushkin’s performance thus far. He’s put up two goals and five points in nine regular season games for the European club so far, but there is talk that the team is ‘considering releasing him from his contract’.
That may or may not be true – but at least for now, he’s being given the conditioning stint he adversely avoided by heading overseas.
Kalnins reported that Nichushkin has been relegated to the VHL by CSKA Moscow, where he will play for Zvezda Chekov in the Russian version of the minors.
It’s possible that the rumors of dissent between Nichushkin and his current club are either overblown or fabricated altogether; he could be playing in the VHL with no negative feelings towards the reassignment at all.
With questions surrounding whether or not the KHL stint will eventually translate back into an NHL career, though, this doesn’t look good for the young prospect.