Lokomotiv parts with Evgeni Artyukhin
Evgeni Artyukhin fending off Maxim Sushinsky
Since I know there are a few Tampa Bay Lightning fans who're always looking for news on Evgeni Artyukhin-- there is now one less obstacle in the way of his return to the Lightning.
An article that ran earlier today in Sport Express is announcing that Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has decided not to renew the contracts of a number of players, including that of Artyukhin.
The article gives no explanation for the move, quoting as its source Lokomotiv head coach Paul Gardner.
Artyukhin, a skilled 6'-5", 258-lb. forward who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning in '05-'06, was also trimmed this week from the roster of the Russian National Team that is preparing for the IIHF World Championships, to be played in Moscow starting in a few days.
From an old Fran Sypek article that ran in the Springfield Republican a couple of years ago, when Artyukhin was playing for the Springfield Falcons (link from russianprospects.com):
Artukhin played a major role in the Falcons' 4-3 win over Providence back on Oct. 15. He knocked out Providence co-captain Brent Thompson during a fight, prompting the former Falcon defenseman to say: "That's one powerful man."
Perhaps the P-Bruins were in awe of Artukhin's strength that night. Later in the game, he raced nearly the length of the ice untouched and scored a goal.
Artukhin's size, sheer speed and power make him an intriguing prospect, and are a big factor in making the team's forecheck work. At 6-foot-5, 258 pounds, Artukhin is the type of player who creates space for his teammates.
That's why he is affectionately called "the Russian tank" by his teammates.
Speaking of Artyukhin and end-to-end rushes, there's a video of him scoring just like that in Russia this past season on my YouTube account.