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Sports Leafs’ Nikita Soshnikov has option to return to KHL if he’s not in the NHL next week

08:40  09 november  2017
08:40  09 november  2017 Source:   thestar.com

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The Maple Leafs have a bit of a ticking time bomb with Nikita Soshnikov ’ s contract. If the 24-year-old Russian forward, currently with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League , is not in the NHL by Tuesday, he has the right to return to the KHL .

All the latest updates and discussion on the NHL ' s most famous franchise: The Toronto Maple Leafs . Keep up do date on all Leafs news.

Nikita Soshnikov has been stuck in the AHL since the start of the season, but he has an out in his contract.© John E. Sokolowski Nikita Soshnikov has been stuck in the AHL since the start of the season, but he has an out in his contract.

The Maple Leafs have a bit of a ticking time bomb with Nikita Soshnikov’s contract. If the 24-year-old Russian forward, currently with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, is not in the NHL by Tuesday, he has the right to return to the KHL.

“At that time if he is not called up to the NHL he has the option to go to Russia,” Dan Milstein, Soshnikov’s agent, told the Star. “It will be up to the general manager and the coaching staff to make a decision.

“In my opinion, Nikita Soshnikov is an NHL player.”

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If Nikita Soshnikov isn't called up to the NHL by next week , he has the option to return to the KHL . This got the boys talking about if the Toronto Maple

Nikita Soshnikov . Born: October 14, 1993. Birthplace: Nizhny Tagil, RUS. 29, 2016 and scored his first NHL goal in the next game, a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on March 2. Soshnikov the deadline to call him up before a clause in his contract would kick in allowing him to return to the KHL .

Milstein confirmed the clause to the Star after TSN’s Pierre LeBrun first reported it.

Soshnikov failed to make the Leafs out of training camp and was sent to the minors in part because of a numbers game. He did not require waivers to be sent to the Marlies, but he will once he plays three more NHL games.

It is possible the Leafs could convince Soshnikov to remain in the AHL, but it would require further negotiation with Milstein. Soshnikov is a restricted free agent July 1.

If he remains in the minors as of Tuesday, Soshnikov does not have to exercise his option to move back to Russia right away. He can choose to go later.

Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello did not offer a comment. But if in anjury or a trade does not materialize, Lamoriello’s hand may be forced while other teams peruse the Leafs roster to see how this may fall in their favour.

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Nikita Dmitriyevich Soshnikov (Russian: Никита Дмитриевич Сошников; born 14 October 1993) is a Russian professional ice hockey forward for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League ( NHL ) .

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the teams announced Thursday. Soshnikov has failed to register a point in the three games he has played with the Maple Leafs this season.

To call up Soshnikov, the Leafs would have to create a roster spot. The only player the Leafs can send to the Marlies who doesn’t require waivers is Frederik Gauthier, who was just recalled as a depth centre with Auston Matthews missing Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury.

The Leafs, who have just loaned Eric Fehr to the AHL San Diego Gulls, are loathe to lose a player for nothing. Under Lamoriello, they have found imaginative ways to hold on to players, including a liberal use of provisions for injured reserve and conditioning stints within the collective bargaining agreement.

The Leafs signed Soshnikov as a free agent in 2014, when he was one of the promising youngsters coming out of the KHL. He spent most of last season on the NHL roster, but suffered a series of injuries.

He has seven goals and seven assists in 67 career NHL games, and three goals and six assists in 11 games with the Marlies this season.

“Nikita Soshnikov had an accomplished KHL career before coming to the NHL,” Milstein said. He came here because he wants to play in the NHL. We’re patiently waiting until Nov. 14.

“I don’t want to speculate. I have a great relationship with Lou. Nikita is having a great season in the AHL. Of course he wants to be in the NHL. We’ll let the system work itself out.”

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