Artyukhin proposes two-year deal
Mark Gandler, the agent for Russian power forward Evgeny Artyukhin, said Friday he has sent the Lightning a proposal for a two-year deal to prove to the Lightning his client is committed to the team. If you remember the past two years of contract squabbles that led Artyukhin, drafted 94th overall in 2001, to play the past two seasons in Russia and last year demand a trade, Tampa Bay was critical of Artyukhin's commitment.
But as Gandler said, "Arty is committed to the team. We made a proposal, and it's for two years, because we don't want to be judged as he's a transient player. We want some permanency there."
Gandler would not go into specifics about the terms of the deal, but considering he and the 6-foot-4, 254-pound Artyukhin asked for $1-million previously, it seems a good bet they are asking for the same amount in each of the two seasons. Asked if the two sides could overcome the acrimony of the past two seasons, Gandler said, "I hope we would be past that."
Gandler said the Lightning made the first move by contacting him. Now he is waiting to hear back from Lightning GM Jay Feaster. Tampa Bay has declined to comment.
"For me, I believe in the right circumstance, his future, his talent, is best served in the National Hockey League," Gandler said. "His size and skating ability make him a package that is best served by him playing in the National Hockey League. It's going to be a package they are very happy with."
Gandler said Artyukhin, who is playing for the Russian national team, would not be affected by the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL and Russia because his contract in Russia has played out.