Despite Russian Report, Potential Koshechkin Contract Remains “Out of Lightning’s Hands”

While Sport-Express in Russia is reporting Lightning goaltending prospect Vasily Koshechkin plans to continue his career next year in the NHL and is "close" to signing a contract with Tampa Bay, the Lightning is saying not so fast.

Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster confirmed to Bolt Prospects (BP) the club’s strong interest to sign Koshechkin, but referred to the two sides even being in negotiations as “a bit of a stretch.”

Last week, Feaster told BP the club had learned from Koshechkin’s agent the goaltender is believed to be under contract in the RSL through the 2007-2008 season.

Assuming this is true, Feaster says the only ways an agreement can be reached between Tampa Bay and Koshechkin are if Russia signs the IIHF-NHL agreement (which will not happen), or if Koshechkin uses legal tactics similar to what Evgeni Malkin did last summer to end up signing with the Penguins.

Feaster said the club has “no idea” whether Koshechkin intends to take the latter route to an NHL contract.

Therefore, the club will continue expressing their interest in the goaltender and “talking” with Koshechkin’s U.S. agent.

“The ball is out of our hands,” Feaster said.

“So we wait… and wait… and wait.”

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Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

There have been other rumors that Togliatti can't afford to keep Koshechkin because of budget problems and may give their blessing to Vasily leaving.

I think the chances of Vasily coming over are better than 50/50 and I have thought that since Goertzen put him in the top-10 in THN's Future Watch. You don't give a guy that much gloss if you're not thinking about signing him.

A Koshechkin/Boutin tandem in Norfolk would potentially be very nice, although you can never tell what a European will do once they come over.

Then Helenius comes over a year later? That's a lot of good young goaltending prospects. Cripes, there are a handful of organizations where I really believe Boutin would be their best goaltending prospect and he's only the 4th best in this one. Jeff Reese BETTER be able to make NHLers out of a couple of these young men.

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