Former Canuck Nikolay Goldobin eyeing return to NHL after turning down KHL contract: report
Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
20 days ago
It’s been five years in the making. Phase one of the #FreeGoldy movement is ready to commence. We kid, we kid.
But in all seriousness, former Vancouver Canuck Nikolay Goldobin is eyeing a return to North America, according to a report from Sport-Express’ Mikhail Zislis.
It’s not likely the Canucks will be among the teams interested in Goldobin, although it would certainly be a treat to hear the phone call between Rick Tocchet and his good friend Travis Green when Tocchet calls to ask about Goldobin, who Green coached for multiple seasons in Vancouver.
Goldobin came to the Canucks as part of the club’s deadline dealing of Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks at the 2017 trade deadline and played 12 games with the Canucks to close out that year, scoring three goals in the process. The Russian winger then split time the following season between the big club and the Utica Comets, the Canucks’ AHL affiliate at the time.
In 2018-19, Goldobin spent the bulk of his season in Vancouver, and showed some chemistry with then-rookie Elias Pettersson. Some defenders and advocates of the #FreeGoldy movement will even tell you that Goldobin was one of the best wingers Pettersson has ever played with (that man’s name is Chris Faber).
Goldobin tallied seven goals and 20 assists that season, appearing in 63 games all at the NHL level.
The following season, he played just one game at the NHL level while registering 50 points in 51 AHL games with the Comets. Goldobin returned home to Russia to play in the KHL the following season, and hasn’t been back since. Goldobin has scored 41 goals and added 53 assists through 141 KHL games over the past three seasons.
Still just 27 years old, Goldobin appears ready to return to North America, and hopefully for him, the NHL as well.
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