Update: Valentenko bolts Bulldogs, signs for three years with Moscow Dynamo

The Moscow Dynamo website is report this morning (translation from Russian to entertaining English is here) that Canadiens defence prospect Pavel Valentenko has signed a three-year deal with that Russian club.

As of mid-afternoon, the Canadiens said they had no confirmation of the reported signing, but said they knew the player was in Russia attending to family matters.

Montreal’s American Hockey League farm club, the Hamilton Bulldogs, had this week given the highly-touted 21-year-old an indefinite leave for this reason.

Here’s audio of an interview with Valentenko after the third day of the Canadiens’ rookie camp last month.


  1. Shiloh says:

    Not true. He got points when Koivu fed him.

  2. Neil says:

    Ya but they had better odds. There was like 20 of them.

  3. twocents says:

    Jim M,
    Some reality(and sarcasm) had to be injected into this discussion and since you were a little slow on the draw, I stepped into into the breach. 😉

  4. RetroMikey says:

    Gotta love the Cyrillic language which I must say I am proud to learn how to read and write it as well!
    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  5. HabsColor says:

    Looking it reversely, how many retired Jerseys for former NHL non-american no-canadian players??? few, very few.

    correct me if I am wrong.

  6. Jim M says:


    Thank you for putting this story in its proper place. I couldn’t care less if Valentenko wants to go home for more money from the KHL that is bleeding money right now.

  7. HABZ24 says:

    its not easy being patient waiting to make the nhl i guess, take the money and run home.hope he’s black balled if he ever tries to return.

  8. Bugs says:

    Just read the Russian article.
    The only good part was finding out how ya spell Andrei Markov in Russkva.
    Андрея Маркова
    Peace Out.
    Lord Bugs Potter, esq. Earl of Fluppitburg, Baron of Flopshlupshire and Knight of the Flannel Republic.

  9. Le.Bon.Serge. says:

    Well if they want to leave, just do so! It sucks for the organization, but we already see a reduction of europeans players getting drafted.

    I like Russians, believe me. My favorite player is Sergei K. and I like a lot of european players too….But a lot of them, when theyre not happy, they cry or go home. It happens very often. Look at Samsonov, Grabovski, even Kovalev 2 years ago.

    We dont need that over here, in the best hockey league in the world. Sure the KHL will get good players, but dont be afraid! It will never be bigger or better than the NHL. Money cant by everything. The best players will always want to play in the best league. Only cry babies, super ego and chokers will say:Well, if you dont make me play more, Im going home!

    Well go my friend! Thats the same thing than a great player playing for a loosing team all his carrer. Thats okay, you are faithful, but what about playing under pressure? What about trying to carry a team until the end?

    Thats when we see winners. Same thing with those Europeans that leave the America.
    “No way! Thats unbelievable! Thats the save of the year and its not even the year yet!”
    (on Carey Price stick save against Detroit)

  10. RS says:

    If it’s true: too bad to lose a decent prospect, but probably a pretty good choice from his perspective. He had a shot, but not an immediate shot by any means, with the Habs. No sure thing at all. Lots of bus rides in his future with Hamilton.

    If I had my choice of working in my country (or at least within my language)close to friends and family while getting paid more, I would probably give up on working in a foreign country for less pay. Nice experience for a while, but a person has to make tough choices for their long term happiness.

    In terms of hockey, he might very well dream of Olympic gold more than he dreams of the Stanley Cup.

  11. Shoowtime says:

    Ohh well what you wanna do.
    Can u Blame him for bolting ?
    The grass is probably greener on that side of the fence.
    But he will half to live with himself knowing that he could never be in the best league in the world NHL.

  12. georgesd says:

    You may be right but I was under the impression he had a one-way contract.

    Please clarify, Regards, Georges D

  13. HabsColor says:

    1. The salary: more than triple, for sure, like former Alex Perezhogin.

    2. As a not-famous AHL player, he needs at least three years to fight for a decent salary, like Komi. If he can get the salary right now, why refuse?

    3. We should get used to it as more and more NHL/AHL players going to Russia.

  14. Chorske says:

    Only in Montreal would the loss of a farm team kid who had several opportunities to crack the big team cause such widespread anxiety. I can only assume it’s because this doesn’t bode well for our ability to finally sign Yemelin? We have enough Russians playing key roles on the team who can speak to Yemelin and mentor him through the transition from KHL to NHL. I’m pissed off at Valentenko for not honoring a contract, and for lying about his reasons for heading home, but I don’t fear for the Habs.

  15. nightmare_49 says:

    The NHL Morning Papers (Thursday Edition) : McCabe, Gaustad set to Return, Alfie Set to Sign and Hamrlik set to Play .. by Richard Pollock ….. http://www.illegalcurve.com/2008/10/30/nhl-morning-papers-thursday-editi ……………………………. Empty Netters : Koivu Matchup, Tanguay’s Start, Andrew Brunette’s Iron Man Status and is Andy MacDonald the NHL Best Bargain .. by Seth Rorabaugh ….. http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/emptynetters/archive/2008/10/30/about-the-jets-10-30-08.aspx

  16. nightmare_49 says:

    Wild PreView : Saku .. by Micheal Russo ….. http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/33548934.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUo8c… ………. Jacques Lemaire Wary of Wild’s PK Streak .. by John Shipley ….. http://www.twincities.com/wild/ci_10840854 ……………………. Captain Saku and Soon Captain Mikko Story .. by John Shipley ….. http://www.twincities.com/wild/ci_10850707

  17. Exit716 says:

    Yes and they have the absolutely best medical care too, just ask Cherapanov’s family.

  18. Bugs says:

    Pavel, you turncoat! Oh, Pavel, how could you???
    Don’t give me this “thriving sports nation program” business. I’m sure China has a “thriving sports nation program” too, that doesn’t mean he should sign with THEIR hockey league either.
    If they prefer to play at home, why come here in the first place? Because the NHL is where it’s at, that’s why. And when they can’t cut it early, they bolt back home. End of story.
    Question is: Are we EVER going to draft Ivans again? If we do, they have to be TOP picks that are GUARANTEED to make the league within a year and a half.
    This is ridiculous. How many years has Pavel put in with us? Three?
    Shame on you, Pavel!
    Waitaminnit…do you think management KNEW beforehand? Was there a deal, maybe? Will Moskva Protoplast (or whatever) COMPENSATE us?
    No, huh? Aaah fooey!
    Peace Out.
    Lord Bugs Potter, esq. Earl of Fluppitburg, Baron of Flopshlupshire and Knight of the Flannel Republic.

  19. twocents says:

    I don’t know MikeL, I am pretty sure this is a sign that the sky is definitely falling. Without Valentenko available I can’t see how we can possibly win the Cup. Maybe we should offer the Dynamo Tanguay and Koivu to trade Valentenko back to us. Gainey has to do something! I hope he cancels all the 100th anniversary celebrations so he can give this dossier the full attention it deserves.

  20. JIMVINNY says:

    Actually, that’s incorrect. He has a two-way contract with the habs. As such, he should still required to abide by the agreement between the two leagues.

  21. MikeL says:

    I don’t really see this as a big issue. We will sign Komi and already have Markov, Hammer and Gorges under contract for the coming years. McDonaugh will likely turn pro next year, and Matt Carle and Yannik Webber have already passed Valentenko on the depth chart. He has a grinding 5th or 6th d-man, at best, anyways.

  22. HabsInBlood says:

    “tarrana marble loafs” … LOL. That’s a new one and I like it.

  23. Ton says:

    Agreed. They have problems on defense. No doubt. This is our weakness this year. We dodged a bullet with Souray leaving because we had Strect. If your going to make mistakes we may as well make then with young players. Were missing offensive talent in our youth back there. I don’t think we could win the cup with this defensive makeup.

  24. twocents says:

    Attaboy, when faced with the actions of a 21 year old the whole organization should alter it’s approach to prospects. Panic and quick reversal of strategies are the type of behavior that build great institutions…. like the tarrana marble loafs.

  25. RetroMikey says:

    According th the Hamilton Spectator several days ago, he went home for personal reasons.
    It is starting to be more of a trend that we have to get used to.
    While the US economy is crumbling and Canada is being buried with them, Russia is quietly turning into a thriving nation, and their sports programs are a sucess as well.
    We can’t forget that they do have lots of money!

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  26. steadyjake says:

    yes, russia has money now. wake up.
    gainey has to start getting ahl talent into the lineup NOW. habs will continue to lose bulldogs if they dont get playing time. valentenko was ready to get a look in montreal.
    so is pacioretty, chipchura, stewart, maxwell, and PLEASE, lets get weber into the lineup before he goes somewhere.
    i hear a lot of whining about disappointing obyrne and a lousy powerplay. call up weber.
    inject more youth into this team and sit brisebois.

  27. Corio says:

    Wow is that announcer for the Bulldogs annoying! Scooooooooooooooooooooooooooooresssssssssssssssss!

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  28. Exit716 says:

    I would suspect that now Emelin’s deal currently signed is now worthless. I hope they go to Russia and convince him to sign right away.

  29. Naila Jinnah says:

    NO WAY!

    That sucks. Pavel was awesome and didn’t strike me as the kind of player who would do that – although I’m not sure how official this is, until we get a local confirmation from a team source.


  30. Corio says:

    No that won’t happen because of the salary cap. You still have to build your team under the cap and just because a player is Russian you can’t give him more money based only on that, that will hurt your organization. I think it will just hurt the Russian players that want to play in the NHL, organizations will be less likely to risk signing them if this keeps happening.

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  31. georgesd says:

    Valentenko signed an agreement with the Bulldogs of the AHL–and NOT w the Habs–and as such could sign with the KHL. This doesn’t surprise me since the KHL is becoming extremely successful as an option for Russian, European and North American players. Read my previous post.

    The way Valentenko was playing it seemed to me to be more and more apparent that he wasn’t going to break into the Habs line-up in the next couple of years. Other prospects were ahead of him at this point in time: Weber, Henry and maybe Carle. Also, next year I expect PK and McDonaugh to compete for a spot as they progress into the 2009-2010 season.

    Until a bona-fide agreement between the NHL and the KHL is signed, don’t be surprised as more and more European players go back to play in Europe. This may be the beginning of something I’ve been hoping for in the past few years: a reduction of the number of teams in the NHL (to a level of about 24 teams max, 2 Conferences of 12 and 2 divisions of 6), the folding of many of the weaker NHL franchises (Atlanta, Florida, Phoenix, Nashville, Columbus and possibly Carolina), a return to Canada (don’t ask me to demonstrate the math here–it’s beyond my capacity) with Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City back into the fold.

    Whether we like it or not much in the hockey world will change in the next 3-4 years at most. We will get used to it nonetheless. With the emergence of MLS soccer and their intent to become more popular and successful than NHL hockey in the USA, it is time we get used to le “changement”.

    I’m all for it. Read the NY Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sports/playmagazine/112Russia.html?ref….. It gives TRUE perspective not the “head in the sand” attitude the NHL, N. A. media (i.e. à la TSN & the like) that if we just close our eyes, THIS will all go away like waking up from a dream/nightmare…


    Georges D

  32. moesolderbrother says:

    So guys are “defecting” back to Russia now?

  33. Gormdog says:

    Why do I get the feeling more occurances like this will result in higher Russian NHLers salaries, instead of the opposite since they are a flight risks…

  34. Corio says:

    It’s all about money, that’s what hockey has become unfortunately.

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  35. Drive_For_25 says:

    Check out the highlights from the Dogs game last night. http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/# Stewart one punches some guy and lots of scoring.

  36. db says:

    The Sutters are the only brother combo to play as captains against each other… at least that’s what the TEAM990 said yesterday.

  37. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m ok with that. He just needs some time and patience. People the guy scored 16 goals 2 years in a row with limited ice time on a non-scoring line!


    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!


  38. Corio says:

    One thing is for sure Latendresse doesn’t belong with the Koivu line, Higgy should be there. Put Latendresse on the Lang line.

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  39. Shiloh says:

    Patience? He only has one life. I don’t blame him a bit – and I would bet the farm that if AK46 had the big-money Russian League option while he was in Hamilton he might have bolted too. Remember, AK46 spent over a year in Hamilton – and many games in the press box in Montreal – while LaSlowesse was riding shotgun on the first line.

    Russian guys? Do your time in the minors taking the ass-end of a 2-way contract. Latendresse? Not so much. And really, is there a single one of you out there who would choose LaSlowesse over AK46?

    I didn’t think so.

  40. Habsrule1 says:

    Get off Latendresse. I’m glad there are enough posters on here that see his potential. I’m also glad Carbo & Gainey do too.


    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!


  41. JIMVINNY says:

    All I know is that he signed a three year entry level contract the summer of ’07, and that a two-way deal is pretty standard in entry level contracts.

  42. Bugs says:

    Never looked at it that way before.
    Figured who WOULDN’T want to play for the most glorious team in the history of the world? Figured ANYONE should count themselves BLESSED to even have a chance to BREATHE our air, let alone PLAY for us.
    That they might put their interest ahead of ours is… alien.
    Does not compute.
    So ta hell wit’im, I say. He turned his back on us.
    Gotta be frank: I LOVED Perezhogin. Thought he was ALL THAT. He turned his back on us. So ta hell wit’im.
    ANYONE who turns their back at us, Sammy Sergeinov, Perimeter Brière.
    Ta hell wit’em.
    Peace Out.
    Lord Bugs Potter, esq. Earl of Fluppitburg, Baron of Flopshlupshire and Knight of the Flannel Republic.

  43. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I foresee a lot of forced retirements in order that the N.H.L. DON’T LOSE ANY MORE PROSPECTS to New Leagues in Europe.

  44. Bugs says:

    Aw, nuts.
    That means that either my copy/paste button is broken or the Russian who wrote it doesn’t know how to spell.
    Peace Out
    Lord Bugs Potter, esq. Earl of Fluppitburg, Baron of Flopshlupshire and Knight of the Flannel Republic.

  45. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Here’s my question for all of you.I’ve been around a long time now and I’m wondering in such a fast paced world ,is it possible that the patience of a young up and comer ain’t what it used to be???Especially with the new Pro Russian Europe league and all those big contracts?I see it in the workforce in all most every instance, where a new guy want’s to be the boss even though he can barely tie his shoelaces,lol

  46. twocents says:

    And your point is…

    Since Europeans have only really played here in significant numbers since the eighties, and the fact it takes a while to put a notable career together and to then wait for recognition, I would say that the five out of the last 30 players inducted into the hall of fame is pretty impressive. Expect that percentage to rise greatly over the next few years as the players who began in the nineties start to be honoured.

    Jersey retirements take longer but I am sure those will start appearing more frequently too. As it stands Steen, Kurri and Salming have received the honour and you have to know that if the Nordiques still existed P. Stasny would be honoured too.

  47. Mike says:

    THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!! He was a great prospect and he was the only I was truly happy about.

  48. NoTinFoilCups says:

    What you say is true. You just have to put yourself in these guys skates to see where they are coming from.

  49. Neil says:

    Off topic. Does anyone know if 2 brothers have ever faced off against each other while they were both captains of their teams?

  50. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Well actually in his name has you “read” it, the last letter in both his given name and surname are added/changed to indicate the genitive case.

    The correct spelling in the nominative case would substitute the “backwards” R for the Russian letter for “i” and drop the “a” at the end of his surname.

    Sorry to be a tad didactic.

    On the topic, Valentenko doesn’t appear to be a great loss, considering the other defense prospects that we have, but you have to wonder how long before others bolt, as well.

    The Times writer pointed out that the league was not really a business proposition at all. The oil oligarchs are just throwing money at these teams at Putin’s behest. How then can they expect to expand beyond Russia’s borders?

  51. CHsam says:

    Yeah it must be a tough pill to swallow when you see guys like Tender playing on first line. Man…

  52. showey47 says:

    are you not also the same guy who said we should of kept huet and re-signed him long term? Your posts on gui has less mileage then rite mcneils treadmill

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