Coyotes want Tikhonov back from the KHL
Friday January 15th 2010, 7:55 am


The Phoenix Coyotes have apparently reconsidered their decision to loan 2008 first round draft pick Victor Tikhonov to the KHL.

In a report in Sovietsky Sport (translated below) both the 21-year old forward and his father, former San Jose Sharks assistant coach Vasily Tikhonov, are quoted as saying the NHL club wants the younger Tikhonov to return North America as soon as possible.

Tikhonov, grandson of the legendary Soviet coach with whom he shares a name,  played 61 games with the Coyotes in 2008-2009, but was assigned to their American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, at the start of the current season.  He left San Antonio — with the Coyotes’ blessing — at the end of November and returned to his former club, Severstal Cherepovets.  In 14 games with the Russian club, Tikhonov has scored eight goals and two assists, leading the team into playoff contention.

Severstal, as you might expect, is in no mood to surrender a player who has given their playoff aspirations such a significant boost.

Vasily Tikhonov, who also serves as his son’s agent, is en route to North America to “negotiate” with Coyotes management.  It’s fair to assume he’ll be looking for assurances that his son would be returning to the desert rather than San Antonio should he agree to leave Russia.  Whether the Coyotes will be willing to make such promises remains to be seen.  If they do, and the young forward returns to North America, expect Severstal and the KHL to be vocal in their displeasure.

It has become known to Sovietsky Sports that forward Victor Tikhonov could leave Cherepovets before the end of the season.  Phoenix is planning to once again send for the player who they let go to Russia at the beginning of December.

On Wednesday Vasily Tikhonov, Victor’s father and agent, left for overseas to negotiate with the management of the Coyotes.

- “Phoenix wants my son to return in the near future” Vasily Tikhonov told Sovietsky Sport correspondent Vladislav Domrachev before he left for overseas.  “As you know he was released to the KHL as if he was being leased to Cherepovets.”

You’ll recall that Tikhonov’s KHL debut turned out to be bright and memorable. On December 4th at Balashikha, Severstal beat one of the leaders of the Western Conference, HK MVD, 5-3, and Victor scored a pair of goals.  In all Tikhonov has played 14 games for Cherepovets, in which he’s scored 10 points (8 goals, 2 assists) and has a plus-minus rating of plus-8.  He’s become a wild card for the team and has helped it to get closer to the playoffs.

- “They want to see me in Pheonix as soon as possible,” Victor Tikhonov informed Sovietsky Sports yesterday.  “You see, it appears the Coyotes will make it through to the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

- And where do you wish to finish the season — in the KHL or NHL?

- Everything suits me in Cherepovets.  It all depends on the position of Severstal’s management.

However, Cherepovets is not planning to part with its leading forward.

- “Tikhonov’s contract with Severstal comes to an end on April 30th,” club director Anatoly Tenitsky announced to Sovietsky Sport yesterday.  “After that we are going to make him a qualifying offer to extend the contract.  However, Victor could leave for overseas, as he did two years ago.”

- Is there an option of his returning to the NHL before the end of the KHL season?

- It’s not possible!  He has a contract with Severstal.  All the more so because our team is now fighting for a place in the playoffs.

- And if Severstal doesn’t get into the playoffs?

- Let’s not think about that!

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Filed under: KHL

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