From SKA to Dynamo Moscow
About one year ago, Dmitry Kagarlitsky moved from Dynamo Moscow to SKA St. Petersburg, signing a three-year deal with the Armymen. The move didn’t quite pan out for the winger, whose season pretty much finished in January as he failed to make the SKA’s lineup deeper in the season, after a disappointing total of four goals in 36 games. Kagarlitsky now needs to forget about this chapter as soon as possible in his career and join his friend Vadim Shipachyov on Dynamo’s first line. In the 2018-2019 season, the two were the best one-two punch in the league, and it looks like they can be it again once hockey resumes in September. Moreover, they will likely be complemented by Dmitrij Jaskin to form a deadly top unit for the Muscovites. At this point, the Blue-and-Whites look like the team to beat for the 2020-2021 campaign. Still, they had to sacrifice three young players (Pavel Mintyukov, Daniil Lazutin, and Nikita Chibrikov) that may further strengthen the already stacked SKA’s prospects pool.
From ZSC to Barys
Here, the talk is about a return. Joni Ortio already competed in the KHL, stopping pucks for Vityaz in the 2018-2019 season and posting strong stats as the Moscow Region franchise reached the postseason for the second time in its history. Barys hopes that the Finn netminder will add stability to its goaltending in tandem with Henrik Karlsson and that their postseason will last longer than Vityaz’s short appearance against SKA St. Petersburg. Most recently, Joni Ortio played in Switzerland for ZSC Zurich, where he played side-to-side with other former KHL players like Fredrik Pettersson and Topi Jaakola.
In the salary-cap era, some hard decisions need to be taken. SKA had to unload a few players, like Nail Yakupov, for example. However, sometimes a more forceful approach is necessary, and this is what happened last week. SKA firstly moved Sergey Plotnikov to Amur, and then the power forward joined Metallurg Magnitogorsk. The veteran forward was very vocal about his will to play for a contending team, and he should have a good chance on the Southern Urals. Metallurg had to pay for Plotnikov, sending Vladimir Butuzov and Savely Olshansky to the Far East. Two players who may find themselves at home with Amur and progress further on their careers. Magnitogorsk also had to send to St. Petersburg the rights on Yegor Zamula and the young forward Yegor Spiridonov. On paper, Amur also received Ilya Kablukov and Maxim Karpov, but they have already dissolved their contracts with Khabarovsk. Will they join Plotnikov and Metallurg in the end?
New contract with Ak Bars
Last year, Albert Yarullin emerged as one of the best players wearing the Green for Kazan, scoring 31 (4+27) players and patrolling the blue line at a very high level. The D-man, a hometown hero for Ak Bars, wanted to stay, and Kazan surely wanted to retain one of its leading players. The negotiations’ result saw Yarullin staying in Kazan for a further year as he will be a UFA next April. The defenseman, who turned 27 less than a month ago, will play leading minutes for Kazan next year.
New contract with CSKA
Another defenseman — albeit with a different style — who had a steady 2019-2020 campaign is Klas Dahlback. The Swedish-born D-man saw his contract running out on Apr. 30, and after a month, CSKA finally announced having inked the defensive-minded blueliner to a new, two-year deal. The upcoming campaign will be the third season for Dahlback with the Red Army. The last time, he scored a mere 7 (1+6) points in the regular season but was among the best in the team with a +22 rating. The defenseman, who spent six seasons in North America before signing with CSKA, logged almost 16 minutes a night in a stacked Red Army lineup and will probably see his time on ice increase next year with the departure of players like Alexei Marchenko and, maybe, Nikita Nesterov, who is still without a contract for the upcoming season.
New contract with Metallurg
Rumors were running wild in early May when the KHL legend Sergei Mozyakin was still without a contract for the 2020-2021 season. In the end, the most logical approach was the winning one, and Mozyakin signed a one-year deal with the Southern Urals franchise. The 39-years-old veteran, the all-time league’s top scorer, had a relatively disappointing season in 2019-2020, scoring a career-low of 41 (15+26) points, but the whole team had a bad year. Next time around, Metallurg is expected to rebound back, and so is Mozyakin, who will try to reach even higher reaches and his third Gagarin Cup triumph.