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KHL nabs another Russian NHL player as Denis Grebeskhov signs with SKA


In a move that raised some eyebrows this morning, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that former Nashville Predators (and Edmonton Oilers) defenseman Denis Grebeshkov signed a two-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

While the 26-year-old blueliner’s 21 points in 09-10 might not “wow” people, he’s a very effective player when he’s healthy (he only played in 51 games as a member of the Predators and Oilers last season). He put up a career-high 39 points in 08-09 and has a solid reputation as a player who “plays bigger” than his average frame would suggest.

As a former first round pick (drafted No. 18 in 2002 by the LA Kings), it’s a bit surprising that the Russian defenseman couldn’t find work in the NHL. I can’t see why a team like the Dallas Stars (or even the one he skated with briefly in Nashville) wouldn’t want to take a shot at him.

Of course, I guess there’s always the possibility that Grebeshkov simply wanted to play closer to home in the KHL.