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KHL LEGEND TAKES TREMENDOUS PAY CUT FOR NEW CONTRACT

The greatest KHL player who has never played in the NHL, has signed a one-year deal to remain with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the team for which he's played since 2011. In the process, he took a ridiculous pay cut. From a yearly salary of 180 million rubles (roughly 2.5 million USD) he will earn just 50 million rubles on the new contract.

The 39-year-old Sergei Mozyakin, drafted in the 9th round in 2002 by CBJ, never followed through on a possible NHL career. While playing in the old Russian Supreme League (RSL), he beat out Evgeni Malkin for a scoring title in 2005-06 with 51 points in 51 games.

A prolific scorer with CSKA Moscow and Khimik Mytishchi, he smoothly transitioned in the KHL when the league was formed in 2008. Transitioning from Atlant Mytishchi to Metallurg in 2011, Mozyakin continued to put up eye-popping numbers, scoring 35 goals and adding 41 assists in just 48 games in 2012-13. He won two Gagarin Cups with Metallurg in 2014 and 2016, four Golden Stick Awards (MVP) and has been named to 13 consecutive All-Star teams dating back to 2009. He's won six medals at the World Championships with Russia (2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) as well as an Olympic gold in 2018. He's led the KHL in scoring six times, as well as holding two RSL scoring titles. In his 647 game KHL career he has 341 goals and 390 assists, for a point-per-game average of 1.14. Together with 269 points from the RSL days, Mozyakin has over 1000 points in top-level European competition.

The pay cut was less likely to be influenced by his somewhat sagging numbers from last season (41 points in 56 games) and more due to the hard salary cap the KHL will be enforcing in the upcoming season. There are also bonuses believed to be involved which will not influence the cap hit.

Speaking with Yelena Kuznetsova from Championat.com, club director Sergei Laskov was glad to have Mozyakin back in the fold and explained why the negotiations took so long (Free agency began on May 1st). "We came to an agreement, taking into account the wishes of both sides," he said. "Considering the salary cap situation, we paid great attention to detail in the contract. He's not a kid, so he is very meticulous when it comes to contract details."



Laskov called Mozyakin a "legend" and said that he inspires and mentors younger players.

Sources: Championat
MIKE OLIVSON
MAY 26, 2020  (22H25)
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