The Russian striker was waiting for the KHL champion, but he chose a dream. Guryanov’s last chance in the NHL
Pavel Panyshev July 12, 2023, 15:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
In CSKA, with the current composition of the army, Denis has nothing to do.
The NHL club “Nashville Predators” officially announced the signing of a contract with Denis Guryanov. The agreement is for one year and $850,000. Recall that the 26-year-old forward was selected in the 2015 draft in the first round under number 12 overall by the Dallas Stars. He spent seven years with the Stars and also played for the Texas Stars farm club. In 2023, Guryanov ended up in Montreal. Last season, Guryanov played 66 games in which he scored 17 (7 + 10) points.
In early 2017, he became a World Youth Championship bronze medalist as part of the Russian national team, scoring the game-winning goal after extra time in the match for third place. Guryanov spent two seasons in the KHL for Lada. In 55 games, Denis has scored four goals and provided two assists.
Not the most honorable list:
Two Russians on the list of the best remaining free agents in the NHL according to the Daily Faceoff
Alas, but recently Denis’s performance in North America leaves much to be desired, so the hockey player definitely should not have counted on a lot of money. Guryanov’s story is somewhat similar to the situation of Mikhail Maltsev, who went to Los Angeles for the minimum wage. For both players, this is the last chance to try to gain a foothold in the NHL.
In the KHL, the rights to the striker belong to CSKA – the army club acquired them from Lada. The president of the Muscovites, Igor Esmantovich, did not hide a year ago that the team showed interest in Guryanov and studied possible options for the striker’s return to Russia. But then it didn’t work out – the Russian striker signed a new one-year contract with the Stars. By the way, the player’s salary was $ 2.9 million. Over the year, the striker has decently dropped in price.
Guryanov’s story of last year:
CSKA couldn’t steal America’s Russian talent. Have the KHL champions already found a replacement for Guryanov?
Denis did not finish the season in Texas; as mentioned above, a trade to Montreal occurred. The Canadian club also did not offer Guryanov a new contract, so the chances of a return to the KHL increased. However, in the agency environment, there were active talks that the athlete himself was not eager to sign a deal at home, but he was ready to play for much more modest money abroad. And so it happened.
Nashville general manager Barry Trotz, the man who won the Stanley Cup as head coach with Washington and Ovechkin, believed in Denis. Trotz treats Russian hockey players remarkably, so his decision to give Guryanov a chance came as no surprise. The main thing is that the player himself took advantage of this opportunity.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo/TASS
As for CSKA, objectively speaking, there is simply no point in going to Russia for Guryanov with the current composition and ambitions of the capital club. Muscovites demand the most from their hockey players, the competition in the champion team is huge, and among the extreme forwards Sergei Fedorov has a great option. Here you have Okulov and the universal Grigorenko. There is Plotnikov, Abramov, Mamin, Slepyshev, the young and headstrong Poltapov. It will be almost impossible for Denis to break into the top 6, but in Nashville in his current form it’s quite a lot.
In any case, Guryanov will still have time to play in the Continental League if he wants to. By the way, it would be interesting to see him again in his native Togliatti, but it is unlikely that the army team and car factories will decide to invest the rights to the hockey player in the next few years. Although, of course, it is not worth guessing.