Last month, it was reported that former NHL defenseman Nikita Nesterov is apparently coming back to North America after a three year stint in the KHL. The blue liner was linked to the Los Angeles Kings, reportedly had a deal in place with the club to sign a two-year contract with LA, however, it sounds like everything is now falling apart.
According to hockey reporter Andrew Zadarnowski, Championat has revealed that the Kings pulled their contract offer to Nestorov, he who had a handshake agreement for a five-year extension with CSKA, but backed out when the offer to return to the NHL came in.
We have no clue if that means that the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had reportedly kicked the tires on Nesterov, will go back and put in another offer to land the defenseman.
For what it’s worth, the 27 year old blue liner has had three impressive campaigns in the KHL, putting up 14 goals and 80 points. He previously played with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens putting up nine goals and 33 points in 132 career NHL games.
We also wonder if the fact that the NHL cap space will remain the same for the upcoming seasons had an impact on the deal supposedly in place with Nesterov. Teams will have to make important changes and sacrifices to respect the flattened cap space and the Kings might have look to alter the deal, which didn’t please Nesterov.
We don’t know but it could have played a major role in the situation, unless it is something more controversial at the centre of all this.
We could get to know more about the situation in the coming days…