Valeri Nichushkin signs 2-year deal in KHL with CSKA Moscow

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Valeri Nichushkin won’t be playing for the Dallas Stars in the NHL this season or next. Instead, the 21-year-old RFA has opted to sign a two-year deal to head home and join CSKA Moscow of the KHL.

Negotiations with the Stars dragged on throughout the summer, with the team wanting the forward to take a one-year deal with an eye toward a larger contract if he produced. Nichushkin didn’t agree with what GM Jim Nill was offering, and coupled with a reported dislike for head coach Lindy Ruff he’s now off to Russia.

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After battling a hip injury in 2014-15, Nichushkin returned to the ice last season and scored nine times while recording 29 points in 79 games. The Stars will hold on to his rights for the next six years, per Nill.

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Dynamo had held Nichushkin’s KHL rights until Monday when they were acquired by CSKA. Despite the failure to get a contract done and the fact that he’ll now be gone for likely the next two seasons, Nill is not at all concerned with the loss. In fact, this may benefit the Stars in the end.

“The good news is he’s 21 years of age, he’s going to play over there and keep developing,” Nill told Sean Shapiro of Wrong Side of the Redline before the CSKA deal was official. “I just hope we get a more mature player when he decides to come back over. It’s not the end of the world.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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