Russian talent buries his career. Where did the Olympic hero Gusev go?
Nikita hasn’t played for almost half a year and doesn’t seem to want to come back.
The NHL regular season starts tomorrow, October 7th. However, some hockey players are still hoping to join completed teams. One of them is Nikita Gusev. The 30-year-old striker is stuck in the unknown – without a valid contract and tangible prospects. “So far, no decisions have been made in the situation with the future club of Nikita Gusev,” the hockey player’s agent Yuri Nikolaev told the “Championship” at the beginning of the week.
Since then, no new introductions have appeared, but it is clear that if Gusev expressed a desire to play in Russia, he could choose from proposals from the richest clubs in the league. Probably, Nikita is still refusing such options and is waiting for interest to arise from across the ocean.
Nikita Gusev in New Jersey Devils uniform
The striker’s patience could be envied, but there are a few buts. Gusev played his last official match almost six months ago – in mid-April. In 16 playoff games, he, playing for SKA, scored 16 (7 + 9) points. At the same time, the player no longer looked dominant against the background of partners and rivals, and the first half of the season became one of the most difficult segments in his career. Gusev experienced obvious problems with his physical form: first of all, he lost even more in speed – a component that largely prevented him from gaining a foothold in the NHL.
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A year ago, Gusev also fought to the last for his chance in the NHL – but he fought, and not just waited for the weather by the sea. In the fall, the striker took part in the Toronto preseason camp. Almost immediately after Nikita was denied a full-fledged contract, he joined SKA.
Now there are even fewer job opportunities for Gusev in North America. Not the best reputation is playing against him: the Russian failed deafeningly in his second season in the league and was put up for a waiver draft during the regular season, and then could not make himself known in Florida, where creative forwards are quite loyal. Gusev is just that, and trying him outside the top 6 is completely pointless.
It is noteworthy that almost all Russian players who were in plus or minus similar circumstances decided on a new job before the start of exhibition matches. Evgeny Svechnikov was trusted in San Jose, Artyom Anisimov was given a chance to try himself in Philadelphia, and Nikita Soshnikov entered into a unilateral agreement with the Islanders. There is also an example that is opposite in geography: the day before, Sergei Shumakov, who also could not decide on anything for a long time, signed with the Chelyabinsk Tractor.
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In mid-August, Gusev very clearly outlined the timing of his waiting. “The agent communicates with teams in America,” Gusev said. — I don’t know how the market works there. Therefore, I calmly train, work on myself and wait. I roughly understand that the latest is mid-September. Otherwise, I won’t have time to get a work visa to fly there to the training camp.” Since then, Gusev himself no longer got in touch with society …