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.”