Roman Lyubimov rejects Flyers' qualifying offer, returning to KHL

Roman Lyubimov, we hardly knew ye.

After just one season with the Flyers, Lyubimov is heading back to Russia to play in the KHL. The 25-year-old signed a three-year deal with CSKA Moscow early Monday morning.

A restricted free agent, Lyubimov was extended a qualifying offer by GM Ron Hextall and the Flyers this offseason, but decided to return to his native country instead.

The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though, as Lyubimov found himself as the odd man out in Dave Hakstol’s lineup as the season wore on. The Russian winger was a healthy scratch in 20 of the Flyers’ final 22 games. 

According to Lyubimov's agent, Dan Milstein, Lyubimov opted to return to Russia for a chance to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The NHL announced in April that there will be no break in the league schedule to accommodate players participating in the Olympics.

In total, Lyubimov appeared in 47 games in his first NHL season, scoring four goals and six points, while averaging fourth-line minutes. 

Before signing a one-year, $925,000 deal with the Flyers in 2016, Lyubimov had spent the previous six seasons with CSKA. 

Five Flyers’ RFAs remain unsigned: Scott Laughton — who Hextall is very high on — Anthony Stolarz, Alex Lyon, Cole Bardreau and Taylor Leier.

The Flyers agreed to a two-year deal with RFA Mike Vecchione Saturday (see story).