Long-time Capitals prospect Stanislav Galiev, now an unrestricted free agent, has announced that he intends to return to Russia for the coming season. Galiev cited his frustration with limited NHL-level playing time, as well as his desire to play in the Olympics, as reasons for the move.
Galiev, who was born in Moscow and grew up playing in the Moscow Dynamo system before moving to the USHL and the QMJHL in 2008, told Championat.Ru’s Dmitry Erykalov that he is unsure where exactly he’ll land in the KHL.
“It’s difficult to say right now which team I’ll continue my career with,” Galiev said. “There are some interesting options. Of course it’s important that the club [I end up signing with] be a contender for the Gagarin Cup, but more than anything, the club should be interested in me.
“More than anything, I decided to return to Russia because I want to make it onto the National Team and play in the Olympics,” Galiev continued. “Aside from that, I understood that after five years in Washington’s system, it was time for a change. It’s tough to develop playing on the fourth line and in the AHL.’
Galiev had been pondering a change in scenery since at least the end of the 2016-17 AHL season, as reported by Chocolate Hockey’s Kyle Mace:
Stan Galiev, who's a UFA, essentially stated he will be moving on from the Caps organization. "It's going to be something different for me."
— Kyle Mace (@kyle_mace) May 19, 2017
Galiev scored 21 goals and 19 assists with the Hershey Bears this season, but had a difficult time breaking through the Caps forward depth to consistently play at the NHL level. Though Galiev made the NHL roster out of training camp in the 2015-16 season, he spent most nights in the press box, scoring just three assists in 24 games.
Caps head coach Barry Trotz, though praising Galiev as “exceptional”, cited that lack of impact and a need for consistent playing time as the reasons to move the forward to Hershey on a full-time basis for the 2016-17 season.
Galiev’s new agent, Shumi Babaev, was more blunt when speaking to reporters today about his client’s inability to make the lineup in the NHL, stating that the Capitals “didn’t let [Galiev] develop. He’s a first- or second-line player, but he only got that role in the AHL.”
Said Babaev, “I am sure that [Galiev] has not yet realized his potential. He has a couple of offers from the NHL, but our priority is to return to Russia.”
We wish Galiev the best.
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