The Russian winger may need a new contract with the Canucks — and the team has to want him back — but apparently reports of him jumping to the KHL are prematureNikolay Goldobin said three weeks ago he wants to come back to Vancouver for the 2019-20 season.And despite speculation in the Russian hockey media that he might be set to join CSKA Moscow of the KHL, it seems that’s still his goal.According to Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal, Goldobin’s new agent Sergey Isakov said the Russian winger has no plans other than to return to the Canucks next season.Nikolay Goldobin’s agent Sergei Isakov says he did not sign in Russia and is going back to the #Canucks.— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) April 29, 2019Of course, to return to Vancouver next fall Goldobin will need a new contract; his entry-level deal expired this spring and the Canucks can make him a restricted free agent simply by making him a qualifying offer.Jim Benning told Postmedia on Monday that the Canucks were still to decide on their plans for Goldobin, who scored seven goals and added 20 assists in 63 games this season.“We’re having hockey ops meetings this week and will have a better idea on Goldy at the end of the week,” he said in a text message.Goldobin will also need the support of head coach Travis Green, who spoke frankly and repeatedly over the second half of the season about what he wanted to see: A faster player, one who does more than just make sharp decisions with the puck in the offensive zone.
Canucks winger Nikolay Goldobin deals blackjack at the club’s annual fundraiser, the Dice & Ice Gala, in February. Will the enigmatic Russian stay in Vancouver next season?
Gerry Kahrmann /
He wanted to see a player he had full faith in playing on a scoring line, one who does a solid job away from the puck and in puck battles, on top of the obvious offensive talents.Goldobin said on April 9 he understood very well what his coach wanted from him, how he wanted him to appear coming into training camp in September.A faster player. A quicker player. A fitter player.“Hopefully I’ll get another chance to play here,” he said.Speculation ramped up over Goldobin’s future over the weekend, as well-regarded Russian hockey reporter Igor Eronko reported Friday that Goldobin could end up in the famed red and blue of CSKA, known historically in English as Central Red Army.In his tweet in Russian, Eronko added “apparently” alongside his report of Goldobin ditching the NHL, putting some doubt forward about what his sources were telling him.Про Ожиганова и его грядущее возвращение в КХЛ мы много раз говорили в наших лайвах, только он в ЦСКА не хочет и не будет там. Голдобин, видимо, будет, и еще какой-то интересный лег в атаку. Возможно, Андригетто, хотя он под Москву собирался— Игорь Еронко (@IgorEronkoRus) April 25, 2019It doesn’t seem his source was Goldobin’s new agent, who works for Newport Sports Management, the powerhouse hockey agency headed by super-agent Don Meehan.Until we learned Monday morning that Goldobin had a new agent, he had been with Igor Larionov, the former Soviet, Canucks and Red Wings star who is also in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Nikolay Goldobin struggled at times for the Canucks this season, and was even left out of the lineup on occasion.
Jim McIsaac /
Getty Images files
Former Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman, now in the same capacity with the Leafs, once called Meehan and Newport Sports “deal-makers.”“When push comes to shove, they’re trying to get a deal done,” he told TSN 1040 in 2017, in discussing why Bo Horvat might have picked Newport as his representation going into contract extension talks with the Canucks.“They understand the value of their clients and where the market is,” he added.So did Goldobin think of this when switching agents? It’s not like Larionov and his Will Sports Group don’t have a nice stable of clients (including Canuck Josh Leivo).
Still, Newport has a history of delivering solid deals for their clients, Horvat among them. And, not so long ago, for Chris Tanev.Tanev had been with Vancouver-based agent Ross Gurney for a year when he jumped aboard Meehan’s super-ship. He picked up a very nice raise in the summer of 2015.Goldobin, perhaps, also looked at the contract blueliner Erik Gudbranson landed a year ago, a three-year deal that surprised some given the struggles Gudbranson had faced in his first two seasons in Vancouver.Whatever the motivations, his intent apparently remains firstname.lastname@example.org/risingaction CLICK HERE to report a typo. Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email email@example.com.