Former Saint John Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev finds himself in a strange situation.
Galiev announced a few days ago that he planned on returning to Russia to play the 2017-18 season in the KHL, citing the challenges of finding ice time in the Washington system and his desire to play in the Olympics as reasons why.
Unfortunatly for Galiev, returning to Russia won't be that simple.
According to reports, Galiev's KHL rights are owned by the troubled Dynamo Moscow franchise. As you may have heard, the KHL and Russian Hockey Federation ruled on July 4 that 42 players who were under contract with the Dynamo are now unrestricted free agents.
But there are a handful of players in unique situations. From Russian Machine Never Breaks:
Then there’s Galiev. According to Shevchenko, Galiev’s KHL rights still belong to the old Dynamo. It appears Galiev was a part of Dynamo Moscow’s organization as a youth player. Galiev’s status was not reviewed by the KHL Disciplinary Committee either. As a result, Galiev and the other two players may neither practice with the new Dynamo Moscow, nor move on to another team.
Check out RMNB and Nova Caps Fans for more on this strange story.
It's not the first time the Dynamo contract has been an issue for Galiev. In 2009, the Dynamo challenged whether or not the Russian forward could join the Sea Dogs. The IIHF ultimately allowed Galiev to transfer to the CHL.
“We’re very pleased that the IIHF has made this decision and we’re excited to be able to officially add Stanislav to our roster,” said Sea Dogs director of hockey operations Mike Kelly back in 2009.
The moral of this story: kids, stay away from signing with Russian hockey teams when you are a youth. It really complicates things!
Galiev has been playing in North America since the 2008-09 season when he joined the United States Hockey League's Indiana Ice. He then spent three years with the Sea Dogs before turning pro.
The 25-year-old bounced between the AHL's Hershey Bears and the ECHL's Reading Royals in his first few seasons as a pro. He has spent most of the past three seasons with the Bears.
Galiev has appeared in 26 NHL games with the Capitals - the team that drafted him in the third-round in 2010 - where he recorded a goal and three assists.