Igor Ozhiganov is on the move back to the KHL, it appears. Russian sources had early said he wanted to go back, after only a partly successful NHL season that saw him drop off the Leafs roster when the playoffs rolled around. He just didn’t want to return to his old team CSKA.
Today, with KHL contracts having expired last night, CSKA has traded his rights to Ak Bars Kazan for former NHL forward Jiri Sekac.
Ak Bars loaded up this season for what proved to be a playoff run that fell short. They are now in the process of unloading a lot of their top talent, and will have a new and different look this season. This bodes well for Ak Bars forward and Maple Leafs prospect Vladislav Kara, who might just play full time in the KHL this season.
May Day is a day of chaos for Russian contracts and signings, and rumours abound. One very interesting pair of stories is this:
Nikita Soshnikov is working out with Marlies to prep for Worlds (He ain’t playing for Marlies ... Just training)— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) April 30, 2019
#KHL Trade Rumour@championat: Igor Ozhiganov, Yegor Yakovlev & Nikita Soshnikov coming back to #KHL. They played #NHL in 2018-2019.— vorky (@vorkywh24) May 1, 2019
Soshnikov is under contract to the St. Louis Blues, a team still playing in the NHL. If he’s in Toronto, that definitely signals that relationship is at an end. But his chances of making the Russian National Team for the World Championships seem very, very slim. This is the second summer he’s been rumoured to be returning to the KHL, and perhaps he will be this time.
When more Russian rumours become news, we’ll let you know.