| Another hole to plug
Korolyuk opts to stay in Russia
- by Mike Lee
The Sharks have one more hole to fill before
of the regular season, after forward Alexander Korolyuk decided to remain
his native Russia rather than return to San Jose after posting career
in 2003-04. Korolyuk's agent and former Shark Brian Lawton informed the
of the winger's decision. Korolyuk is the only player the Shaks offered
arbitration to this season, which was slated have his arbitration hearing
That arbitration hearing will still take place, and the Sharks will retain
Korolyuk's rights at the financial term deemed appropriate by the
Should Korolyuk return to the NHL, he would still remain the property of
Jose and will not be able to qualify for age based unrestricted
The move was not unexpected by the Sharks, who had forecasted that Korolyuk
would stay in Russia where he'll probably command similar money to what he
would have earned in North America. The big difference is he's now a
fish in a little pond, and will have an easier time putting up numbers now
the world's elite players are all returning to the NHL.
''I'd like to thank Alex and (agent) Brian Lawton for notifying us of Alex's
decision prior to the arbitration hearing tomorrow in Toronto,'' said
General Manager Doug Wilson. ''This was not unexpected and I respect Alex
making this family decision. This creates the opportunity for additional
time for players like Marco Sturm, Niko Dimitrakos and Milan Michalek. If
when Alex decides to return to the National Hockey League, we look forward
him playing for the San Jose Sharks.''
Wilson intentionally used arbitration as the only card that would allow San
Jose to retain Korolyuk's rights.
The 29 year-old forward had career highs in goals (19) and points (37) last
season with San Jose. That coming after a return to North America in 2003.
Korolyuk fell out of favor with then Sharks head coach Darryl Sutter, and
up leaving San Jose after the 2001-02 season to play a year for Kazan
of the Russian Elite League.
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