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Rumor: At least one NHL GM has called Vegas about Nikita Gusev.

Russian star attracting NHL attention.

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A breakout star in Russia is now attracting plenty of interest in North America.

The situation between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Russian forward Nikita Gusev appears to have become untenable, with multiple reports suggesting that the two sides are more than $2 million apart on a new contract. To be clear that is $2 million in average annual value, not in terms of the total of the contract itself, and for a the cap strapped Golden Knights that means very big trouble indeed. 

As a result there has been plenty of speculation around the National Hockey League about where it is that the Russian star will actually play, with the belief being that the Golden Knights will have to trade his rights to a rival team prior to the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season. Although there are no doubt a large number of teams that have reached out to the Golden Knights in this regard there has been no indication of where it is Gusev could actually end up. However one journalist has recently linked Gusev to an NHL organization that, unlike the Golden Knights, has plenty of space under the salary cap.

From Chris Ryan:

The Devils already added Simmonds to their forward group, but getting a player like Gusev would be another sizable addition. Shero is likely one of the many GMs that have talked to Vegas about a possible trade, so there’s going to be a lot of competition for his services.

Ryan is correct that there will be a ton of competition for Gusev if he is indeed traded, and for good reason. The former 7th round pick (202nd overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has blossomed into a dynamic player in the Kontinental Hockey League. In his most recent season he recorded 17 goals and 65 assists for a total of 82 points in just 62 games played, obviously extremely impressive numbers. Keeping that in mind it is not at all difficult to imagine why a number of NHL general managers would be very interested in his services, but at the moment the Golden Knights hold all the cards.