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FORMER NHL FIRST-ROUND PICK RETIRES, TEAM SAYS HE'S EXPECTED TO FULFIL HIS CONTRACT

JUL 4, 2022  (14H19)      TIM TUCKER
A weird situation is developing with a former first-round pick in the NHL draft. Viktor Tikhonov, taken 28th overall by the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2008, took to his wife's Instagram Monday to announce he's retiring after 17 years of playing hockey at a high level. Tikhonov said his body is telling him it's time to hang up the skates.

"My body can no longer handle the stress and strain that professional sports require. There comes a point in every athlete's life when you have to make the difficult decision to end your career. And that moment has come for me as well, the moment to hang up my skates," said Tikhonov.

However, the KHL's Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the team Tikhonov signed a two-year contract with in 2021, said it was surprised by his decision and expects him to fulfil the final year of his deal.

"This news came as a complete surprise to us," said a spokesperson for Salavat Yulaev. "We have a training camp scheduled to start on July 12, and we hope and believe that Viktor will fulfill his contractual obligations. We are waiting for him at the team, and then we will act in accordance with KHL regulations."

Tikhonov started playing in the NHL the year he was drafted, suiting up for 61 games with the Coyotes and recording 8 goals and 8 assists 2008. However, he would end up spending a lot of time in the AHL and eventually returned home to play. As a free agent, he signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. After 11 games and no points, he was placed on waivers, and picked up once again by the Coyotes. He finished out the season with Arizona, but then went back to Russia to play and has been there ever since. Tikhonov is the grandson of (and named after) famed Russian player and coach Viktor Tikhonov. His grandfather is in the IIHF Hall of Fame. The younger Tikhonov has won two Gagarin Cups and has been named a KHL All-Star.


Source: Sport24.ru
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