Maine Hockey Journal

Kondratiev heading back to Mother Russia

Just sitting at the CCCC prior to the Pirates taking on the P-Bruins listening to the Sens vs. Habs game (What a game too!! Montreal would hold a 1-0 lead to midway into the third when Sens scored three unanswered goals).

It’s happen to Portland more than any other team, but it appears that another player has opted to not report to the minors.

On Thursday, Maxim Kondratiev was placed on waivers by the Ducks and what was even more of a surprise was the fact he went unclaimed. With Edmonton, Vancouver, and Pittsburgh all looking for a puck moving defenseman, it was certainly a shock to see him not be claimed.

He only played four games with the Ducks and was scoreless over that span, but he did play well for the Ducks in the absence of Mathieu Schneider.

His primary issue was not getting enough ice time with Anaheim. They’re carrying eight defensemen and with the prospect of Scott Niedermayer coming back, it was going to be increasingly tough for him to get on the ice.

So in effort to get him the much needed ice time, the Ducks assigned him to Portland, but he’s refused – for the time being – and will sign with SKA St. Petersburg in the Russian Super League.

After he signed a one-year deal with Anaheim over the summer, this was going his chance to prove himself in the NHL, however with the Ducks being so deep on the blueline, getting ice time was going to be almost impossible.

Despite being assigned to Portland, he still had a chance to prove himself, but because he opted to go back to Russia, it very well could be the end of his time in the NHL.

Had he stayed with Anaheim and played for the Pirates, he would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season because he played less than 36 NHL games. However, by going back to Russia, the Ducks will suspend him to remove his salary off the cap and in doing so, they will maintain his NHL rights for the foreseeable future.

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