Evgeny Artyukhin's agent says client has no hard feelings for the Tampa Bay Lightning after trade
Mark Gandler, agent for Evgeny Artyukhin, who was traded Thursday by the Lightning to the Ducks for Drew Miller and a 2010 third-round pick, said his client understands moving players is part of the business and has no hard feelings toward the organization.
The episode ends a strange and tumultuous relationship between the parties that included Artyukhin playing two years in his native Russia because of a contract dispute while Jay Feaster was the general manager. Artyukhin finally got the contract he wanted when Oren Koules' OK Hockey took over the team.
"Once he signed with Tampa, there were no issues between he and the organization, whatsoever," Gandler said. "It's not a blaming game here. I think it's a situation where things evolve and just worked out better for everyone involved."
It will be interesting to see how Artyukhin does with coach Randy Carlyle, who does not tolerate sloppy work on the ice. And that was the main hit on Artyukhin, other than his $1 million salary. Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet spoke often of Artyukhin's low hockey IQ, and hoped he would work this summer to become smarter in game situations.
And while Miller (6 feet 2, 185 pounds compared to Artyukhin's 6-5, 260) won't provide the crunching body checks we have become used to from Artyukhin, he likely will provide more offense and a more responsible defensive game, all for $475,000 less in salary.
Whatever happens, Gandler said Artyukhin, who is in Moscow, is at peace with the Lightning.
"Zero hard feelings," Gandler said. "There's no one to blame. It's just hockey. You can't say too much about it."