A short and tumultuous tenure with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk came to end on Thursday for Nikita Scherbak. The former top prospect of the Montreal Canadiens made his return to Russia this off-season, but his KHL debut was met with criticism and he managed to record just six points in his first 16 games with Avangard, not including some healthy scratches. The two sides agreed that a termination of the contract and a fresh start was the best course of action. Less than a week later, Scherbak has found a new home in the KHL. Traktor Chelyabinsk has announced the signing of Scherbak to a contract for the remainder of the season. Given Scherbak’s struggles to begin the season, as well as with the Los Angeles Kings last year, it seems his name value continues to be enough to find employment. The 2014 first-round pick was once a scoring dynamo in the WHL and showed glimpses of that ability in the minors, but was unable to put it all together in the NHL or with Avangard. Perhaps things will go differently with Traktor, where Scherbak may very well be the best player on the roster.
- While Scherbak found a new job, the story out of the KHL today has been former NHLers losing their jobs. The league announced today that Dinamo Minsk has parted ways with Drew Shore and are preparing to do the same with Shane Prince, who has been placed on waivers. Sadly for the Belarus-based club, the moves are likely financially-driven. Shore was the team’s scoring leader with 17 points in 24 games, while Prince was third with 13 points in 17 games. The two were fixtures on the scoreboard, but unfortunately didn’t do enough to make an impact in the standings. Minsk has the second-worst record in the KHL, which likely prompted the team’s recent addition of Ryan Spooner. However, the team likely has to shed salary as a result, and Shore and Prince are both established import players. Neither will have any trouble finding another job soon.
- Severstal Cherepovets is another team cutting ties with a former NHLer, as they have terminated the contract of defenseman Libor Sulak. Sulak, who played in the Detroit Red Wings organization last year, returned to Europe this summer, but has struggled greatly. He has just two points and a -10 rating in 19 games and his release is far more warranted on a performance basis than his counterparts in Minsk. The future is unclear for Sulak, who may have trouble finding another job in the KHL and has likely lost his opportunity to play in North America.