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Member of the Chicago Blackhawks leaves the organization for the KHL


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Ryan Hall
May 21, 2024  (1:01)
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Former Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zaitsev
Photo credit: Daily Faceoff

News broke today that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zaitsev will be leaving the organization and heading to the KHL to sign a new contract.

Zaitsev has been with the Blackhawks organization for the past two seasons after spending time with the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. With his entry into the NHL in 2016, the Maple Leafs felt that he was a significant piece for their defence core as then general manager Lou Lamoriello decided to lock him up to a long-term deal worth 32 million dollars over 7 years.
Once that contract was signed, his play declined dramatically, and he fell out of favour who then was moved to the Senators and then to the Blackhawks.
Sports express Arthur Khayrullin states that Zaitsev will be singing a multi year deal with SKA St Petersburg with a minimum term of three years.
With Zaitsev's cap hit a $4.5 million now off the books, this will give general manager Kyle Davidson more leverage to seek out a far better choice at defense which the Blackhawks lack in depth as they only have four players signed including Kevin Kochinski who is still on an entry level contract.
Numerous players are going to be on the market for defense and it's quite likely that Davidson will be active in trying to land one or two while continuing to draft cornerstones for their defence.
Having only played 38 games last year and scoring two goals with five assists for seven points and was a - 5, Davidson will certainly have an improvement with his $4.5 million addition.
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21 MAI   |   339 ANSWERS
Member of the Chicago Blackhawks leaves the organization for the KHL

Will Nikita Zaitsev go down as one of the worst defensemen in Blackhawks history?

Yes19958.7 %
No14041.3 %
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