After returning to the Florida Panthers this season, Maxim Mamin appeared to have re-established himself as a legitimate NHL option. The Russian forward is a pending unrestricted free agent and could have been an interesting pickup for teams looking to add a bit of scoring punch on an inexpensive contract. That might not be happening, at least for anyone in North America, as Russian news agency TASS is reporting that Mamin has signed a new three-year contract with CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
Originally selected by the Panthers in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, there always was worry about whether Mamin would ever come to North America. He was a born-and-bred CSKA player, a top program in the KHL, but Florida managed to convince him in 2017, adding him to the NHL roster. That stint lasted just 33 games though, as he returned to Russia partway through the 2018-19 season after failing to get regular ice time.
Three years later and he was back, though it still wouldn’t be exactly what he envisioned. Not only would he start the year in the minor leagues but Mamin would find himself on the taxi squad again partway through the year, and deal with an injury that cost him nearly a month. That led to just 40 NHL appearances, scoring seven goals and 14 points. He did also get into four postseason matches but was held scoreless.
With the Panthers facing more important free agent negotiations, it seemed likely that Mamin would end up on the open market either way. Now, if the report from TASS proves true and he’s heading home, it could essentially end his time in the NHL. In 73 career games, he scored ten goals and 18 points.