Friday: Mamin has been officially loaned to CSKA Moscow.
Monday: Though their news release earlier today stated that Maxim Mamin was on his way to the Sprinfield Thunderbirds, Darren Dreger of TSN reports the Florida Panthers are doing something different with their young forward. Mamin will instead be loaned back to the KHL and join CSKA Moscow for the remainder of the season. Mamin’s NHL contract includes a European Assignment Clause, meaning he could force a move like this if the Panthers tried to send him to the minor leagues.
Mamin, 23, came over to North America last season and split the year between the Thunderbirds and Panthers, showing off his high-end playmaking skills at the minor league level especially. The sixth-round pick from 2016 had already found success in the KHL, but couldn’t replicate it during his short NHL experience. This year he was still without a point through seven games, and had been a healthy scratch more times than not. The fact that he was in the NHL for as long as he was may have been because the Panthers knew they would lose him if they tried to send him down, but they eventually needed to make a decision given their place in the standings.
Florida is now tied for last in the entire Eastern Conference and have just seven wins on the season, in a year which they were expected to challenge for a playoff position in the Atlantic Division. The team has oodles of young talent in the way of Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad, Mike Matheson and more, but haven’t been able to put things together this year. Mamin was assigned to the minor leagues earlier today alongside Denis Malgin in order to get Micheal Haley back into the lineup, to hopefully provide some physicality and spark to a listless group.
The question for the Panthers now is whether they’ll be able to convince Mamin to come back next season. Though he’ll remain under contract with the Panthers for the rest of this season, the young forward is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in the summer and could very well choose to re-sign and stay with CSKA. His entry-level contract is set to expire, and he is not eligible for salary arbitration. The Panthers will retain his rights by issuing him a qualifying offer, but given the fact that there is no deadline for a deal to be signed the lure of the KHL will be tough to compete with.