Koshechkin Granted Free Agency, Signs With Magnitogorsk

Vasily Koshechkin has been granted a release from his contract with Lada Togliatti and has signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, according to sports-planet.ru and Togliatti's website. The Lada franchise, which has been cash strapped for the past three plus seasons, failed to make payroll for over two months, allowing several players to petition the league for free agency due to breach of contract. Koshechkin was granted his release and will now play for Magnitogorsk, which currently sits in second in the Eastern Conference and has the third best record in the KHL.

The 26 year old netminder was taken by the Lightning in the 8th round, 233rd overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Despite several overtures from the Lightning during Jay Feaster's time as GM, Koshechkin has remained in Russia for the duration of his career to this point, playing primarily with Togliatti with a short stint with Kazan. Standing at 6'6" tall, the mammoth netminder is recognized as one of Russia's finest goaltenders, having appeared in several Euro Tour events and the World Championships for his homeland. Koshechkin is also one of six netminders being considered for Russia's 2010 Olympic team.