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NHL free agency 2013: Alexander Burmistrov leaves for KHL, per report

Restricted free agent Alexander Burmistrov has left the NHL for Ak Bars Kazan.

Marianne Helm

Alexander Burmistrov is heading to the KHL for two years, according to Igor Eronko. The 21-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan after three years with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets.

Burmistrov struggled last season, totaling just 10 points in 44 games. Along with his unimpressive play, he also clashed with head coach Claude Noel, a combination that earned him four healthy scratches and led to his name becoming a constant in trade rumors.

As a restricted free agent, Burmistrov could have signed an offer sheet with another NHL team, but that would risk the Jets matching it and retaining his rights. Instead, he is returning to his hometown of Kazan.

The Thrashers picked Burmistrov with the eighth pick of the 2010 NHL Draft and he had a solid rookie season, scoring six goals and adding 14 assists. He was even better in his second season when the team moved to Winnipeg, scoring 13 goals with 15 assists, but it all came apart in 2013.

Burmistrov was repeatedly linked to a KHL move, but his agent denied them time and time again. In the end, the KHL return and a return to Bars Kazan was in the cards.

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