Sergei Gonchar might be headed to the KHL. A report surfaced this morning linking Gonchar to Metallurg Magnitogorsk, signaling that the defenseman's days in the NHL might be over. However, Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Gonchar has received offers from several KHL clubs, but he hasn't signed one yet.
Does Metallurg Magnitogorsk sound familiar? It should. You might recall back in May when we discussed the team as they brought in Mike Keenan as their head coach. While Gonchar hasn't committed to a team yet, it's worth noting that the KHL has plenty of interest in the 39-year-old defenseman.
Gonchar just completed the final year of a three-year, $16.5 million contract he received from the Ottawa Senators prior to the 2010-11 season. Upon receiving this contract, Gonchar's career slipped and it appeared to be a giant misstep by the Senators. Gonchar followed up a disappointing 2010-11 (27 points in 67 games) with a strong 2011-12 (34 points in 74 games) and an even better 2013 (27 points in 45 games). He has proven that even at age 39 he still has plenty to offer.
Will Gonchar make the jump to the KHL? It wouldn't be surprising. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout he skated with Metallurg Magnitogorsk and appeared to enjoy playing in his home country. The veteran may decide to close out his career skating in the KHL while he's still able to perform at a high level.