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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Rumour: Nikolay Goldobin heading to the KHL

The rumours of players heading to Europe for next season are starting to come out, an interesting name from the Canucks appeared

It’s important to remember that at this point, it’s all rumours and no confirmation but according to reports in Russia, Nikolay Goldobin could be heading to the KHL to sign with CSKA. Ironically, earlier this weekend Jannik Hansen retired from professional hockey with his last season playing for CSKA, and the Canucks had acquired Goldobin from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Hansen.

Although at this moment, it’s just a rumour, Goldobin looking to find an opportunity somewhere else shouldn’t come as a shock. Goldobin started the season hot for the Canucks but fell out of the Canucks coaching staff good books due to lack of execution in the defensive zone. It led to quite a few healthy scratches throughout the season with Goldobin appearing to make strides defensively but then was being criticized for lack of production.

The Russian winger said all the right things at the season-ending press conference. Talking about how he had to come back next season and improve on all facets of his game and then work on getting a full-time role with the Canucks. But ultimately, he may decide that he has a better chance to be successful in the KHL.

If Goldobin does in fact head to the KHL and the Canucks qualify him, they will own his NHL rights until June 30, 2023, as he will be 27 at that time. He would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, 2023 if he hadn’t signed a contract with the Canucks.

  • Hanson was on the downside of his career when they traded him for Goldobin so at least we got a bit out of Goldy more than what Hanson would have been able to add. Hope if Goldy does go that he picks up his game as Green had coached him to do so he can be a star in KHL rather than just another player.

  • I hope this is just another bs rumour. Personally, I think the team is still weak enough to give him another shot, and at least make the call to trade him. If he follows Tryamkin to the KHL, it’s going to add to the league-wide reluctance to draft Russians. That nation contributed so much to the game’s development, it pains me to see them not putting premiere players into this league every year. Mercurial seems to be the most flattering adjective we can attach to them as a group now, and that’s a damn shame.

    • Most players will want to look after themselves and their families and will sign for the best contract before the KHL the NHL had the market cornered on players who had talent to get the best deal. Now the KHL is bidding against these same players and some Russians are choosing to play at home rather than travel to North America. Tax systems are different which favours the KHL. This has given Russian players and others another way to have leverage in bargaining. But so far KHL is just getting players who can’t make an NHL lineup if the lifestyle was the same as North America more players would jump.

    • I don’t think Goldobin leaving for the KHL would have the same impact as, let’s say, Shipachyov, Nichushkin, or Kolvachuk. Goldobin would be just another failed prospect whereas the other three were entitled – it was red carpet treatment or I go home.

  • Indeed this may be more erroneous chatter but despite some of Goldy’s shortcomings he is still too young and too talented to give up on just yet. The KHL seems more like a hockey graveyard than a hockey league and if the kid is as serious about an NHL career as he says he is he won’t want to be Tryamkin II.

  • It’s disappointing that neither Goldobin nor Dahlen ever took the next step. It seemed a good bet that at least one of them would have a decent NHL career. This also really highlights the Canucks need for scoring. There is a big drop-off in offensive talent after Bock, Bo, and Elias.

    • We tend to get overexcited about a prospects potential and where they’ll fit in. We tend to undervalue the maturing and development process that makes prospects a success. I once heard someone say one-third of top end prospects actually make it. Frankly, outside of Juolevi, Woo and Madden, it’s hard to other prospects likely to make the team in the next two years (Macewen is too raw). We’ve still got a ways to go.

  • Entitled is the word I would apply to Russian players. They think that just because they have skill (and some are exceptional), that automatically means they should get top dollar and best ice-time. They don’t want to do the hard work unless it’s for themselves. And all they think of is offense. For example, name a 200 foot, two way Russian? The only one I can think of is Datsyuk and he’s effectively retired. I think I can count the number of Russians in the Top 100 for PK TOI with one hand.

    • They definitely have that reputation, and I think there’s some truth to it. There’s no reason, though, to assume that it applies to every Russian. Assess each player as an individual.

      • My assessment of Goldobin is “lazy” and “ignorant”. To backcheck as hard as you attack is not a skill, it’s work ethic and he still doesn’t do it. What really irked me was when he said he never killed penalties until last year. He never had the drive to learn how to play defense. Real students of any sport would be asking for the difficult assignments to learn how those mechanics and strategies work and studying the heck out of every aspect of the game. He should be watching Pettersson, who is so underrated in his backcheck and defensive awareness. I would not be surprised in Pettersson is a Selke nominee in a few years, Goldobin should be tripling his efforts to catch up.

  • If they qualify him and he goes back ,works hard, learns the game the canucks can bring him back .That would be up to improvement in his overall game.He would be like one of the 50 but not included in the 50.If the canucks sent him down they may lose him.He would be playing pro, getting the ice to improve his game. Tryamkin did work hard so he may not be “Tramkin 2” . Time will tell.

  • He’s also an RFA and needs a new contract. Letting it be known that he’s talked to a KHL team can only improve his bargaining position. His agent is Igor Larionov is it not?

  • Benning bust. woulda preferred keeping Honey Badger and moving him into a coaching role to mentor the core kids. Goldy is another Tryamkin. Good riddance.

  • This could be the best thing for the Canucks. If he goes to the KHL and tears it up, as long as they qualify him they can trade him on. Can’t imagine they get much even if he scores loads, but it’s better than FA, which is what they get right now