Re-Tweeted by the Connecticut Whale's official Twitter earlier today was a story from Boston.com that had an interesting blurb in it. Apparently, former Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette had an offer to play for the Lokomotiv this season, but turned them down because he only wanted to continue playing in the KHL if he was going to be guaranteed regular playing time.
Local agent Kent Hughes noted yesterday that one of his clients, ex-Rangers backup goalie Steve Valiquette, just recently turned down a contract offer to play for Yaroslavl this season. According to Hughes, Valiquette, a Canadian who now lives in Connecticut, was bought out over the summer after playing one season for CSKA (Red Army) and wasn’t eager to resume playing in the KHL without an assurance that he would be given regular playing time.
Valiquette, of course, was Henrik Lundqvist's last "regular" backup before the team signed Marty Biron last offseason. It certainly turned out to be a blessing in disguise that Valley turned down a deal with Yaroslavl.
I highly recommend reading the entire article, as it's really a great piece worth checking out. There's a story in the article that during the lockout when a bunch of NHL players were playing in Russia, a plane that was carrying Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Darius Kasparaitis, and Alexei Kovalev was supposed to originally be delayed for 2 to 3 hours and wound up being proclaimed ready for takeoff after only a 20 minute delay. Kasparaitis was skeptical and the players on-board demanded that Alex Kovalev fly in the cockpit since he has a pilot's license.
The more stories you hear about tragedies occurring in Russia with KHL teams, the more it makes me question why any athlete would want to play there.