In an interview with Sport Express, newly signed SKA St. Petersburg defenseman Sergei Zubov revealed that the New York Rangers were one of six teams that had expressed interest in the two-time Stanley Cup champion before he chose to return to Russia. “There were indeed quite a lot of options,” Zubov shared. “The Rangers, Tampa, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Columbus were seriously interested in me. At one point, I heard that Dallas, where I’d spent my last years, wanted to offer me a new contract.”
But the 16-year NHL veteran opted to return to his homeland. “I myself made the choice in favor of SKA,” Zubov explained, citing a sense of duty to Russian fans and a desire to play the shorter KHL schedule following back-to-back injury-plagued seasons among the reasons for his decision.
The former Ranger also considered hanging up his skates. “I’ll answer this way,” the 39-year old replied when asked if retirement was a consideration. “The nail for my skates was already prepared. Any hockey player at my age, especially when injuries start to trouble him, starts to think about what to do next.”
Those thoughts were magnified during the rehibilitaion periods that followed the series of surgeries the blueliner endured over his final few seasons in Dallas. “But nevertheless I hoped that I could continue to play,” Zubov confided. “I succeeded, as you can see, to show the will power necessary to return to playing shape. Now, fortunately, all the injuries are already behind me.”
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