Koshechkin will play for CSKA if he doesn't sign with Tampa

UPDATE: (May 30) In the Russian newspaper, "Soviet Sport," another version of why Koshechkin's contract with the Lightning is unsigned was published.

It is rumored that Koshechkin wants to test himself at the training camp and sign the contract only after the camp if he will see by the results of the camp "enough possibilities for the career growth." As it was reported he wants to go to the camp without a contract with any team and after the camp he plans to sign a contract with Tampa or CSKA.

Anyway, those reports, no matter what is the truth if there is a truth in both newspaper notes, say that Koshechkin plans to try himself at least at the Lightning camp.

It was reported by Sport-Express May 29 that Vasily Koshechkin has reached an agreement with CSKA Moscow of the RSL. Vyacheslav Bykov, the head coach of the CSKA, announced that the club has reached an argeement with Koshechkin for the "rights of the signing."

As it was reported, Koshechkin is willing to go to North America to try himself at Tampa Bay's camp. It was said that he wants to add a term to his contract with Lightning that says he would have the right to return to Russia in case of the situation when he will not have ice-time either in Tampa or in Norfolk. Right now, Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster is not going to add this kind of term to the contract. Thats why the contract is still not signed.

The agreement with the CSKA means that Koshechkin will sign with Bykov's team if he does not sign a contract with Tampa this summer or he will leave North America by the terms he requests.

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Would Be A Crying Shame

I can certainly understand Feaster's concern about setting a precedent about prospects dictating terms of where/how much they play, but...

My God, it would be a crying shame if the only reason VK didn't come to NA is because Tampa wouldn't guarantee that they wouldn't assign him to the ECHL -- which given his skill level isn't going to happen anyway...

Although, I guess VK is concerned that Feaster won't be able to rid himself of the Denis Predicament and that he'd have to compete with both Ramo and Boutin for AHL time. In that respect, he probably has a good point and if I were him I wouldn't come to NA to play in the ECHL. Not at his level.

On a positive note, if this is the only caveat keeping the contract from getting signed, then the two sides are very close and I am encouraged that Norfolk might be starting a potential juggernaut tandem of Koschechkin and Boutin.

While the Denis Predicament is a bit frustrating, I'm sure 29 other NHL teams would like to have the *problems* Feaster has with regards to GT prospects.

100% Agree

I would be very disappointed if he didn't come over because he couldn't be guaranteed AHL time. The kid (IMO) would skyrocket to the top of the goaltenders list we have playing in the A/E, and would be the best option.

I understand the issue with still having Denis, but Denis is NOT in the future plans of Tampa, and this kid damn well better be.

Well, this seems to confirm

Well, this seems to confirm he's gotten out of his deal with Lada which would pave the way for him to come to NA legally.

It's really odd how the story in the Russian papers is dramatically different from what we're being told by the Lightning.


The Lightning have been sure to use "allegedly" and "it is believed" and whatnot when discussing VK's contract status. They're getting their info from Grossman, who I understand to be VK's USA-based agent. I wonder if Grossman even knows. The contracts in the RSL are sketchy at best at times.

I think these newspaper reports are true, and I think Feaster's comments are also true. I think it's a case of two sides acting independently to reach the same goal and it's likely getting to the point right now where true negotiations can begin.

The problem of choice for Koshechkin

You know, I can understand Koshechkin concerns. He just made a name for himself in Russia. He just played for the national team. And he risks to be forgotten here in Russia if something will go wrong in NA.

On the other hand, if he will not go to NA this season, it could be that he will not go there at all and say goodbye to the dream of playing in the NHL.

At the examples:
Few years ago Vitaly Eremeev, who left Dinamo Moscow as the best goalie of RSL plaed a pair of games with Rangers and finished the season in the ECHL. He returned to Russia next season but he played like he lost his game. In all the seasons that passed after his return he was number one goalie for his team just half a season. Almost the same happened with Vadim Tarasov who tried himself with the Canadiens organization. Before his move to the NA he played for the national team, and was undoubtable number one goalie for his team. After his return he didn't reached this level.

But at the same time as I understand Koshechkin wants to try himself in NA. And let's see. Russia is not a part of the NHL-IIHF agreement. It is doubted that any team here will sign a player for one year contract, so at least two or three years he will be contracted for example with CSKA (if he choose to sign with CSKA). Will Feaster offer him a contract in 2010? I bet he will not. So if Koshechkin will not sign it this summer he will play in Russia his entire career. That's not so bad, but if you had a dream of playing one day in th? NHL...

It's getting crowded

VK poses some dilemmas to the Tampa management. Right now we have Ramo, Denis, Holmqvist and Boutin. You have two goalie slots open in Tampa and two in Norfolk. To add VK to the mix now means someone already here will have to go out of the organization or down to whoever we are with in the ECHL. And you have Helenius in the wings.

Simple logic would dictate that if VK gets signed, Boutin would be the odd man out. But IMO, simple logic doesn't apply. Because the media and fans want to see Denis gone. But his poor play and hefty contract make that extremely difficult. I know Feaster has been quoted saying that Holmqvist and Denis will be the tandem in Tampa. But if Feaster is trying to swing a trade, what is he supposed to say? There has to be some attempt to maintain a bargaining position for a trade.

Draft day is coming up and hopefully a trade for Denis could be in the offing. And I hope this is the strategy of the Bolts to make such a trade. Question comes, with the draft some three odd weeks away, can VK wait until that time to see if the space, cap and otherwise, could be created for him to come here? If signed, hopefully VK could be one of the lucky 26 or so to make it to the Bolts training camp. Unless he really outplays Ramo, VK should wind up in Norfolk, which according to published reports would not be unacceptable to VK.

More questions than answers, but VK seems to be too good of a talent to let slip by.

chelya's update...

chelya's most recent update reports that another Russian newspaper is saying that VK wants to wait until after Lightning camp before he decides to sign with either Tampa or CSKA, depending on how what he feels he stacks up.

At this point, it doesn't sound like VK will make a contract decision until after camp, and the Denis Predicament should be sorted out by then.

Problem is that if he signs with CSKA, it will be a multi-year deal. If that happens, it might be a few years before he'd be eligible to return to NA -- and by then Helenius will be in the mix too.

After Lightning camp? Of

After Lightning camp? Of our 26 guys in camp, we're gonna have 10 goalies haha

I know they wont and almost feel bad for Boutin as he is likely a guy that wont get a chance to be in camp

Koshechkin Signing...

6/18: Hockey.ru and Ak-Bars.ru are reporting that through mutual agreement between Tol'yattinskim and Kazan, Koshechkin has signed on with the Ak Panthers.

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