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Sergei Gonchar nearing KHL deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk

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Ottawa Senators free agent defenseman Sergei Gonchar has spoken about a desire to play two more seasons in the NHL, preferably with the Ottawa Senators.

But he may be nearing an agreement to play in the KHL next season instead.

Gonchar is close to going to Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL; and, according to what I was told, even has a preliminary agreement with the team in place.

According to SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov, Metallurg President Gennady Velichkin said he didn’t have any statements for the media at this time, but didn’t deny the report and said more information will be presented Monday or Tuesday.

Gonchar told Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “he has had offers from KHL teams but has signed nothing yet.”

He will become an unrestricted free agent in the NHL on July 5, and turned 39 in April.

Keep in mind that Gonchar has a long relationship with Metallurg, having played there during the 2004-05 lockout and again during this season’s lockout. Gonchar was playing there when he questioned whether NHL players would stay in the KHL after the lockout ended.

It's also the place where former NHL coach Mike Keenan will scare players next season as head coach.

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