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Former Canadiens D Alexander Romanov Being Courted By KHL Club

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Montreal Canadiens

There appears to be interest in bringing former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexander Romanov home, as CSKA, a top KHL club, has provided Romanov with a two-year offer to return to Russia.

Nikita Nadezhin of Sports Express is now reporting that Alexander Romanov has received a two-year, 120 million rubles offer from his former club, CSKA in the KHL. The fact that there is interesting coming out of Russia for Russian-born players is not very noteworthy, except for this summer where instances with Ivan Fedotov and Kirill Kaprizov, Romanov’s former teammate with CSKA, have created worrying situations. Nonetheless, Romanov could also use this outside interest to his advantage in leveraging his next contract with the New York Islanders, as he’s a restricted free agent at this time.

The Montreal Canadiens weren’t thrilled about having to move Alexander Romanov at the 2022 NHL Draft and wanted to keep him. They really liked the youngster’s personality and ability on the ice, and did everything they could to find other ways to trade up in order to get a 1st round pick to barter with Chicago. In the end, general manager Kent Hughes felt like he needed to shore up the depth at the centre position and used an organizational strength on defence to get it done.

The Montreal Canadiens started the process by moving defenceman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to the New York Islanders for their 13th overall pick. The Montreal Canadiens then turned around and flipped the 13th overall pick, along with the 66th overall pick, to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for hulking center Kirby Dach.

With the logjam coming on left-defence over the next couple of years with the likes of Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and more; Alexander Romanov became an expendable asset. Although he was progressing nicely and could likely grow into a bonafide top-4 defenceman, that was very good value for the Canadiens to get on the restricted free agent who is looking for a new long-term deal.

It would be shocking for the young defender to leave the NHL to go back to CSKA at this junction, just as he’s about to receive a substantial raise from his entry-level contract. This seems like more of a pressure tactic akin to what we witnessed last year when Kaprizov was negotiating his contract with the Wild.

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