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Stars aren’t concerned about ‘Russian factor’ with first-rounder

Jul 1, 2013, 6:28 PM EDT

Nichushkingetty Getty Images

Some believed that the Dallas Stars managed a serious steal by drafting Valeri Nichushkin 10th overall on Sunday, but as with many Russian players, the threat of the KHL made others wonder if it was actually too big of a risk.

Stars GM Jim Nill told the Dallas Morning News that Nichushkin is free from his overseas deal and that they should be able to overcome “The Russian Factor.”

“We plan on signing him as soon as possible,” Nill said. “He’s free. His contract is free from Russia. We have notice from the NHL, from the KHL. So there was no problem that way for us. That’s not a concern.”

Nichuskin told R-Sport (translation via the Tampa Tribune) that he intends to jump to the NHL, although there’s a caveat at the end that might remind some of Nikita Filatov’s situation with Columbus years ago.

“I’ve already made up my mind that I’m leaving,” Nichushkin said. “At Dynamo they’ve been pretty calm about it. I was told that I can leave if I want. There are no legal problems with that at all. My contract with Dynamo has been terminated, and I’m leaving as a free agent. I’m lucky that the club has met me halfway on this. We’ve agreed that they’ll release me, but if something goes wrong across the ocean, I’ll come straight back.”

Nill believes that Sergei Gonchar could help Nichushkin, much like he did with Evgeni Malkin during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think Sergei Gonchar’s going to be a big, big part of Valeri Nichushkin’s development,” Nill said. “Sergei Gonchar’s a high-end character guy. He’s the guy that gets a lot of credit for improving Malkin in Pittsburgh. The timing’s worked out perfect. He’s a great ambassador of the game and character guy. Now we have a young guy coming in that can learn from him, that’s really a bonus for us.”

Overall, it seems like the Stars think that the 18-year-old prospect is worth the risk, even if they’re seemingly downplaying the dangers.

  1. 950003cups - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    He’ll stay if he can get traded. Otherwise, he’s GONE-SKI

    • einjzmolf - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Appears you’ve _really_ done your homework on this! what makes you say that? Frustration thoughts that you gave up 9th for a backup rather than one of the best players in the draft?

      • devilsarethebest - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        You mean for a goalie that has never had a save % lower than .927? And I think we was quite good this year too with a 17-9-4 record. I’m pretty sure you’re talking about that guy.

  2. 950003cups - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Dallas hasn’t shown anyone (fans and players alike) that they’re serious about putting a contending team on the ice. They stink and are getting worse.

    • devilsarethebest - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      What do you mean?!?!! They gave a 39 year old defenseman a 5 million dollar contract?!?!!

    • bettwoman - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Jim nill. Ruff. Lites…..modano. All added to stars personnel.

  3. einjzmolf - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    They had a lower draft pick than the devils did this year, so you must be saying that the devils REALLY suck.

    • devilsarethebest - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Read the whole comment idiot. The Devs clearly showed they are serious about contending when they traded for Schneider. Meanwhile in Dallas, Gonchar has a lot of new money for his retirement home in Florida.

      • bettwoman - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        Gonchar is only becoming more and more valuable for the stars. Agreed he may be overpaid. But look at the defensive options i free agency……slim Pickens. For one thing the stars plenty of cap space and still will most like look to add a center and winger for the upcoming season. People asked why did they pay jagr so much! Oh wait the guy who led the team in points? Oh yeah that’s why. Why’d they sign ray whitney he’s old! Oh wait the guy who ever one is overjoyed about the fact we have him for another year and had instant chemistry with the upcoming Alex chaison? So yes he’s old so are other players. He also had as many points as Alex goligoski with less games played last season. Yes I realize goli never took off like they hoped he would when they traded Neal. But he did play with gonchar, Dallas has problems with defenseman help on the scoreboard. No one meshed well with goli. Robidas and Dillion have turned into a shutdown line. I know I know there are “better” shutdown pairs but just saying they are defensively able to get the job done. Goli and gonchar(who he has already played with in Pittsburgh) could be a nice second pairing. This leaves all the tons of upcoming defenseman that Dallas has for its third pair. Most likely being rhome and A young kid. This leaves room to trade Trevor Daley. Dallas also lost a captain and last year Steve ott. They need that all around captain type guy. Robidas has been big for Dallas since that but having gonchar helps. And now as this article states, he’s going to help this new draft pick. So what maybe you think he is more worth 3 million instead of 5? Yeah possibly. But if this kid and/or goli break out because of his teachings then yeah totally worth the extra 2 mil considering dallas has 3 more years of goli. And if not. Why does it matter? What other d man would you suggest? Instead of just complaining about an organization I don’t see you coming up with any bright ideas. Dallas has an owner who really does care about his team and the process of making the club a winning team. I don’t tnk he had any bit of a problem signing gonchar.

      • einjzmolf - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Sorry, i’m not an idiot juat because i angered you. It doesn’t work that way as much as you’d like to think it would. Face the facts, the devils, just like the stars, weren’t very good last year. Things are going to change in the future for both franchises, so stop being butthurt in the present and be positive about the future. The stars are getting better, and honestly they’re probably going to do so faster than the devils. Sorry, sucks to suck. I’d know, i’m a stars fan. Tgimgs will get bettee though, and as much as you’d like to think the gonchar contract stinks, i don’t see you laughing about Anton ‘unnecessary penalty at key time’ Volchenkov’s contract.

      • devilsarethebest - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        If you want to prove that you’re not an idiot, you can start by composing a legible comment.

      • einjzmolf - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        I’m typing from a smart phone, shoot me. I’m still speaking less garbage than you so my point has still been made. It was plenty legible. Glad i’m making you so angry with facts though, atleast you can’t come back with anything worth stating haha

      • bettwoman - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Don’t worry he’s upset because he has no actual rebuttal and just trolls.

  4. packerswin96 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I absolutely believe that this is the guy that the Habs tried to move into the top 10 for, NHL ready, will definitely help Dallas if/when he signs.

    • 19to77 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Oh, definitely. Big, fast, skilled power forward? Exactly what the Habs would have wanted. He’ll be great with Eriksson and Benn.

      • bettwoman - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        Lol the Habs just want big players.

  5. mattmc20 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    As a Red Wing fan, I would put FULL faith in Nill! In fact the Wings were EXTREMELY high on him so I’m not surprised Nill snuck in and took him. Nill was a huge part of the Wings success, give him time.

  6. blomfeld - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:15 PM


    yeah sure, whatever man ! :)

  7. frankiesweep - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    They don’t really want to fly around Russia in the KHL on those old rickety planes…. Let’s keep it real.

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