Dallas Stars restricted free-agent Valeri Nichushkin has negotiated with his former KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, about potentially signing a contract with the team. Traktor, however, do not hold KHL rights on the Chelyabinsk-native forward, as they were bought by Dynamo Moscow right before the forward moved to North America.
During an interview with rsport.ru, Traktor’s director Ivan Senichev talked about Nichushkin’s potential return.
Yes, now it can be said: we negotiated with Dynamo Moscow to buy out rights on Nichushkin, but for obvious reasons we could not finish the deal. Our team had several meetings in Moscow to discuss the matter. We were ready to do whatever it takes to return to Traktor the rights on Nichushkin. Unfortunately, Dynamo set a very steep price tag, and we also cannot afford his contract. I am not going to disclose any concrete sum, but the talks were about more than a hundred million rubles a year [Note: more than $1.5 million USD]. It’s a lot of money for us and we’re not ready to spend such a sum for one player only.
During the interview, Senichev mentioned that Nichushkin’s rights were transferred to Dynamo “almost for free.” It was heavily rumored that the Moscow-based franchise spent about $10 million in order to conclude the deal.
During the 2015-16 campaign with the Stars, Nichushkin scored nine goals and 29 points in 79 regular season games, adding one helper during the playoffs. In June, the Stars offered Nichushkin a qualifying offer, but now the forward is a restricted free agent.