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Russian Agent Threatening Nikita Gusev’s Return To KHL

According to Yuriy Nikolayev, the agent that represents Nikita Gusev in Russia, a deadline has been set. If the Golden Knights do not sign or trade Gusev by this date, the Russian forward will return to the KHL.

Vegas hasn’t traded forward Nikita Gusev to another club yet, although I know there have been offers. I am constantly in touch with a company representing Nikita’s interests in North America. Vegas knows Nikita’s preferences and wishes. Now the ball is on their side. The rights to Gusev in the KHL belong to SKA St. Petersburg. There is a certain deadline, after which I will be forced to go to specific negotiations with the “army” club (SKA St. Petersburg). –Yuriy Nikolayev to

Gusev’s North American agent is J.P. Barry of CAA. It is common for Russian players to have different agents for each league. One to represent them in the NHL and another to represent them in the KHL.

Whenever news comes out of agents it is important to consider motive. First and foremost, the agents are looking out for the best interest of their client. Gusev clearly wants to play in the NHL and it appears both Nikolayev and Barry are trying to make that a reality.

However, there’s always a purpose behind a threat. Nikolayev mentioned a specific date (would be nice if we knew that date) at which he will be “forced” to start negotiating with SKA St. Petersburg. Whether that date is something set by the KHL or if it’s been arbitrarily set by Gusev’s camp it certainly feels like another negotiation ploy to put even more pressure on the Golden Knights.

Then there’s money. If Gusev signs in the NHL, does Nikolayev get any compensation? Does he benefit more financially if Gusev signs again in the KHL?  These are questions I do not currently have answers to but certainly could impact the decision for Nikolayev to put out this threat.

Yet again, the Nikita Gusev saga continues to get more and more complicated and there seems to be no end in sight.

Well, other than this deadline.


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  1. dman

    Gusev has all the leverage, because he can go back to the KHL.

    Playing the waiting game won’t work in this RFA case for McPhee.

    also, the KHL season begans on Sept 1, with some preseason games in August, I believe, more than a month before the NHL season, so a decision must be made very soon .

    It looks like Gusev will NOT be skating for the Knights this season unless a very unlikely trade is made clearing cap space this week.

    and trading his rights for a 2nd round pick is a total failure by McPhee

    • John

      how does Gusev have any leverage?

      you think he WANTS to go back to Russia? No. He doesnt. He wants to be in America, playing in the best league in the world. Guaranteed. He would go back to russia if all else fails, but the Knights absolutely hold the cards here.

      This is just a simple negotiating trick that you see from all high profile contract disputes. Gusev will sign with the knights for 2 year/3.2m AAV .

  2. Hates dumb fans

    With what money? The team has no cap space. The team has no leverage if they can’t pay him as of today.

    • Lilia Sahanova

      Ugh..”With what money” question.
      Is this your first time watching NHL trade deals??

      With the money, they will make trading someone else to clear cap space.
      God damnt..And you nick is “Hates dumb fans”. The irony is strong

      • Tommy Scott

        Please don’t blaspheme God’s name. He is the one who created you and gave you life. Show some respect.

      • Goose is good as gone

        I’m from Jersey and have followed the Devils since the ’80s. I’ve been a hockey fan for longer than you have. Someone high up in the team obviously likes Reaves too much and won’t trade him. Holden doesn’t look to be traded because the team is either too scared of playing one more rookie or refuses to send a too high draft pick as a sweetener. If the team really wanted to trade someone to clear enough space for Gusev, they would have already done it. The org doesn’t trust Glass to make the roster and is keeping Eakin because they rather go with what they know.

      • I told you so

        LOL I called it. McPhee is done as far as making a big move in the off-season. He’s good at drafting, but is still god awful at making trades. What a terrible return for a player that has a high ceiling.

  3. Patrick

    If the knights mess this up which looks promising I would gear what it will do to our chances of signing Russian players especially after the shipyachov saga.

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