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Tag: Andrei Kuzmenko

VGK Misses Out On Inexpensive Top-Six Option

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The first article of business was taken care of last week when the Golden Knights announced Bruce Cassidy as their next coach. Next on the list, improve the roster.

Earlier in the offseason, the Golden Knights were tied to KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old totaled 53 points in 49 games with SKA St. Petersburg this season and would have fit well with VGK’s shrinking cap room. Unfortunately, Vancouver was able to offer Kuzmenko more than just money.

That’s a big win for the Canucks. I really thought the two favorites were Vancouver and Edmonton. These were two GMs who had been after Kuzmenko for some time. There were a few teams, even some of the other ones in it who thought it would be Vancouver or Edmonton.-Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Not only did the Golden Knights miss out on what would have been the perfect offseason risk, but they also lost Kuzmenko to a maturing team in their own division. The Canucks added another offensive weapon in his mid-twenties to an already bright roster.

On top of upside, Kuzmenko was brought in on an entry-level NHL contract. Not only will he be eager to play in a new league, the former KHL’er will be motivated to produce so he can strut into free agency. Sure, Vegas can take a run at Kuzmenko next summer but the value won’t be there.

Kuzmenko could only sign a one-year deal. So he needs a new contract for the next year. He knows he had to be in a good situation to set up that next contract. The one thing he had to be convinced of was he would be put in a situation where he would have a good run at another contract. At the very least Vancouver has to convince him of that. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

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Golden Knights Linked To KHL Free Agent Andrei Kuzmenko

(Photo Credit: @hcSKA_News on Twitter)

The Golden Knights’ record with Russian players isn’t exactly sterling. However, it has been improving over the past few seasons. After drama-filled experiences with Vadim Shipachyov, Nikita Gusev, and Valentin Zykov, the Golden Knights have started to see some success stories. Daniil Miromanov made an impact at the NHL level, 2018 2nd round pick Ivan Morozov made the leap following the KHL season and quickly stepped in with the Silver Knights, and he played with teammates Pavel Dorofeyev and Maxim Marushev who were both stalwarts for Henderson.

Now, the Golden Knights have their eyes on another standout from the KHL and one who could instantly help the NHL team if things work out.

There’s still some time here, probably about a month before KHL free agent Andrei Kuzmenko makes his decision on where he’s going next year. There’s been a lot of interest, among the teams Vancouver and Edmonton on the Canadian side of the border, Vegas, Carolina, and Nashville in the US. –Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet

Kuzmenko is a 26-year-old right-handed winger who has spent the last eight seasons playing in the KHL. Last year, playing for SKA St. Petersburg his 53 points in 43 games ranked 2nd in the entire KHL.

Dan Milstein, Kuzmenko’s agent, described him as a top-six type forward in the NHL who will have a strong impact on the power play. He’s also familiar with the aforementioned Morozov, having played together with SKA, but Milstein doesn’t expect that to play much of a role in Kuzmenko’s decision on where to play.

The hockey business is fairly small, so everybody has played with everybody or against each other. So when you look at coming to North America you don’t select a team because they have somebody you used to play with. –Dan Milstein, Kuzmenko’s agent to Canucks Conversation podcast

Nonetheless, Kuzmenko represents an opportunity for the Golden Knights. A creative scorer who is great on the power play and shouldn’t come with a gigantic price tag is exactly what Vegas is looking for this offseason.

This offseason is going to include more subtractions than additions as the Golden Knights work their way back under the salary cap. Adding Kuzmenko would go a long way in balancing the scales in regards to skill added vs. lost.

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