Canucks ‘disappointed’ by Nikita Tryamkin’s decision to return to KHL

Nikita Tryamkin bolts Canucks for KHL

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks say they are disappointed by defenceman Nikita Tryamkin’s decision to bolt the club and return to the Kontinental Hockey League.

The hulking 22-year-old Russian had two goals and seven assists to go along with 64 penalty minutes in 66 games for the Canucks in 2016-17, but will play in his home country next season after 13 months in North America.

Tryamkin told reporters through a translator last week after Vancouver limped to a 29th-place finish that he was interested in returning to the Canucks in the fall.

“We are disappointed Nikita chose to sign in the KHL, but also recognize from what he told us in our exit meetings that this was a family decision first,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement Thursday. “He has a chance to be an impact player in the NHL and we offered him a two-year (contract) extension. But for now he is home and we will move ahead with building this team with other young players.”

The six-foot-seven, 265-pound Tryamkin was drafted by Vancouver in the third round, 66th overall, in 2014 and signed in March 2016 after Yekaterinburg Automobilis was eliminated from the KHL playoffs. Tryamkin played four seasons with Automobilis and will rejoin to the club for the 2017-18 campaign.

Tryamkin’s return to the KHL was announced on the team’s website and then posted on the league’s official Twitter feed. The Canucks will maintain Tryamkin’s NHL rights should he decide to return to North America.

He played 13 games with Vancouver after signing last season, registering two points (one goal, one assist) and 10 penalty minutes, but was used sparingly early this fall after the Canucks felt he showed up at training camp out of shape.

Vancouver wanted to send Tryamkin to the American Hockey League for more seasoning, but he blocked the move thanks to a clause in his contract, and eventually got into the lineup after a series of injuries, averaging 16:44 of ice time per game.

Tryamkin was referenced by Benning and president of hockey operations Trevor Linden as one of the youngsters in a core group the team was looking to build around at their media debrief following a disappointing 2016-17 campaign.

But the Canucks, who could also lose a defenceman to the Vegas Golden Knights in the upcoming expansion draft, will now have to look elsewhere to fill a big hole — both literally and figuratively — on their blue line.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

North Okanagan indigenous student award winners

Scholarship program rewards 457 students across province

Local donations lift college trades facility

George Galbraith and Kal Tire each donate $250,000 to new Okanagan College trades training centre

RCMP seek missing man

Blake Doyle was last seen Dec. 2

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

SilverStar shines

Vernon’s mountain resort lights up for Christmas

Fans litter ice with teddy bears for charity

Annul Vernon Vipers Teddy Bear Toss B.C. Hockey League game

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Writing her way to recovery

Shuswap author finds healing and well-being by writing

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

North Westside director travels

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has agreed to Wayne Carson attending conferences

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Most Read