Oleg Saprykin close to signing with Salavat Yulayev
Having rejected the Ottawa Senators' $1.064 million qualifying offer, Oleg Saprykin is close to signing with Salavat Yulayev of the Russian Super League, according to a quote from Saprykin's father that was posted by Soviet Sport earlier today.
Said father Dimitri, "My son has received a number of offers, from Florida and other NHL teams, but he has not signed a contract with any of them, and it is most likely that he will continue his career in Russia. We'll have a clearer picture by Friday, I think. Oleg is now training in Moscow. I will catch up with him by the end of the week, and possibly by then we will know what his new team will be."
According to the Soviet Sport article, Salavat confirmed that they are interested in Saprykin, but also said that an official announcement wouldn't come before Friday.
Saprykin, who tallied a career-high 15 goals last season, joined the Senators after a late-season trade with Phoenix. Saprykin scored the game-winning goal for Ottawa in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals against Buffalo.
UPDATE 7/25/07 - A report from Sport Express today says that Saprykin received interest from Dynamo and Salavat Yulayev, but he is going to sign with CSKA-Moscow, whom he played for during the '04-'05 lockout season.
UPDATE 7/26/07 - AllHockey.ru, referencing Sports Daily as a source, says that Salavat Yuleyev's offer to Saprykin is $1.3 million, while CSKA Moscow's offer is $1 million. However, Saprykin has already been skating informally with CSKA, and will probably sign with the team today after he meets with CSKA head coach Vyacheslav Bykov.
The report also says that Saprykin plans to only play in Russia for one season, and then return to the NHL.
UPDATE 7/30/07 - Saprykin signs with CSKA-- a three-year deal, surprisingly enough. In an interview with Soviet Sport, Saprykin claims he had contact with four NHL clubs, including Florida and the Rangers, but said in the end he was tired of the income tax structure and his decreased playing time ("9-10 minutes per game") in the NHL.