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|24 августа 2005
Morozov's career with the Penguins appears to be over - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
He might play another season in Russia if he's not traded
By Dave Molinari.
Right winger Aleksey Morozov's career with the Penguins appears to be over.
Whether he has a future elsewhere in the NHL remains to be seen.
Morozov's agent, Jay Grossman, said yesterday that he expects the Penguins to try to trade his client, who is a restricted free agent and has a contract in place to work in the Russian Super League.
"Right now, it does not look like we will sign in [Pittsburgh]," Grossman said. "Looks like they will try to move him."
It is not clear how much of a market there will be for Morozov, who was bumped down the Penguins' depth chart by the arrival of right wingers Zigmund Palffy and Mark Recchi. Nonetheless, Morozov hopes to find a place in North America this winter.
"He wants to play in the NHL this year," Grossman said. "And we are hopeful something can be done to satisfy the club and [Morozov]."
Penguins general manager Craig Patrick could not be reached for comment.
Grossman noted that Morozov, 28, will be an unrestricted free agent in the NHL after the 2005-06 season. There almost certainly will be teams interested in him then, especially if he can match his performance with Ak Bars Kazan last season: Morozov put up 20 goals and 27 assists in 58 games, making him the leading scorer among locked-out NHL players in the Super League. That production guaranteed him another contract in Russia, even though Morozov has made it clear his preference is to be in the NHL.
"He has a very lucrative deal to play in Russia, given his play there, and will stay for the year if there isn't a trade," Grossman said. He added that "there is no negativity with the Penguins," even though they are prepared to cut their ties to Morozov.
While Morozov's tenure here looks to be over, it seems unlikely Evgeni Malkin's will begin anytime soon.
"It doesn't look good at all," said Pat Brisson, one of his agents.
That's because Russian officials continue to refuse to sign off on the transfer agreement negotiated by the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation. That deal spells out the payments NHL teams must make to secure the rights of European prospects they've drafted, and Russian players will remain in limbo until their country's federation agrees to be covered by the agreement.
Russian clubs would prefer to negotiate players' releases on a case-by-case basis, believing that approach will translate into higher fees. Because maintaining a unified front is critical in such matters, the NHL would not react well to a team acting unilaterally to bring a prospect to North America.
Although it has been clear for some time that the Penguins desperately want to get Malkin to North America, precedent suggests they aren't likely to stray from the rules of engagement laid down by the league. Even Brisson acknowledged that, "I think Pittsburgh would like to go the normal route."
Malkin, the Penguins' first-round draft choice in 2004, has a multiyear contract with Magnitogorsk, his hometown team in the Super League. Brisson said it does not include an escape clause that could be invoked to get him here "in the near future."
Once Malkin is free of his ties to Magnitogorsk, the Penguins will have to negotiate a contract with him. For that matter, they have to work out a deal with Sidney Crosby, their No. 1 choice this year.
There does not appear to be an urgency on either side, however, to open those negotiations. Brisson, who also represents Crosby, said he "talked to Craig a couple of weeks ago," and that "we'll get into [negotiations] in the next few weeks."
Provisions in the new collective bargaining agreement figure to simplify the negotiations -- there is an $850,000 cap on Crosby's salary and limits on his bonuses.
"We're not anticipating any major hurdles," Brisson said.
16 ноября. Morozov not regretting his decision
26 января. Morozov: 30 games, 0 goals, much angst
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
16 ноября. Morozov not regretting his decision // post-gazette.com
26 января. Morozov: 30 games, 0 goals, much angst - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette