Koshechkin Was Almost No.8

Erik Erlendsson of the [i]Tampa Tribune[/i] reports the Lightning nearly signed Russian goaltender Vasily Koshechkin recently. The 6-6 behemoth spent the 2005-2006 season at the top of the goaltending leaders board in Russia for GAA, save percentage, and shutouts. Instead of signing with the Lightning this summer, the 23 year-old signed with Khimik. Had he signed, Koshechkin would have been the eighth goaltender under contract for Tampa, joining Sean Burke, Johan Holmqvist, Fredrik Norrena, Karri Ramo, Gerald Coleman, Jonathan Boutin, and Morgan Cey. Erlendsson also speculates that either Coleman or Boutin could be part of a trade package for either an established NHL No.1 goaltender or a defenseman. Also, he reports the recently signed Holmqvist, who signed a one year deal at $600k last week, was offered a two year deal by the Lightning. Confident in his abilities to adapt to the new NHL, Holmqvist chose the one year deal in order to possibly earn a larger paycheck for 2007-2008.

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Any word as to why he chose

Any word as to why he chose to stay in Russia? The guy is good, that's for sure, and I'm sure the Lightning would have loved to get him over to NA for '06-'07 .. did something happen?

Well if Chad is right about

Well if Chad is right about his old coach, it could work out for the better, you never know. Though I would feel more comfortable with him playing in the states, and Reese getting his hands on the guy. Maybe another year will do him good, especially with how crowded it is right now.

I Suspect He Wants to Be a Starter

After working so hard for the past 4 years to become a starter in the Superleague I'll bet he wasn't exactly doing backflips about potentially landing in the minors here and having to split time with other young netminders. Right or wrong, I just think he didn't want to go back to the bottom of the totem pole. No inside info, just a guess of what he might be thinking if I were in his shoes.

Didn't the lack of a

Didn't the lack of a transfer agreement between Russia and the NHL really control Koshechkin's fate?

Contract status

I do believe there's a rule where if the prospect is NOT under contract with a Russian club, he can be signed and brought over. If they ARE under contract, you can "negotiate" with the Russian club for the prospect. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) You can ask Pittsburgh about that with Malkin. Therefore, because he was not under contract (something that was not clearly known until the Khimik signing), he apparently could have left. As to why he stayed... Russianprospects.com said that a lot of Lada's players that were jettisoned off the team last year are now in Khimik, as is one of Koshechkin's longtime coaches. It could be that situation, or the muddy picture in Tampa (although he signed in mid-May), or he likes the fact he's a young star now in Russia.

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