Buffalo Sabres Rumor: Andrey Makarov to KHL


Rumor has it: Makarov to KHL?

A recent Russian interview with Buffalo Sabres goaltending prospect Andrey Makarov appeared to indicate that he was unhappy with his current status; could the young Buffalo Sabres prospect be headed back to his native country as early as next season?

It all began just over a week ago, when Sports.Ru published an article (in Russian) indicating that the Buffalo Sabres prospect may return to Russia at the end of the 2015-16 season.

The folks over at The Hockey Writers translated the interview (with translations done by Alessandro Seren Rosso), and pieces of it clearly indicated that Makarov wasn’t happy.

In the interview, Makarov reportedly said that he’d asked for a trade. He also said he didn’t know why he wasn’t playing a lot in Rochester, but added that he would respect his North American contract until it runs out.

In fact, when asked about his contract running out, Makarov reportedly said something akin to “Let it run out… I can’t wait for it to happen!”

If this is all true, it’s clear that Makarov isn’t happy, and if that’s the case… let him go.

His KHL rights currently belong to Spartak Moskva, and according to a rumor posted Friday morning by EliteProspects, Makarov could be heading there sooner rather than later.

There’s something to be said for this rumor, which initially stems from is the Russian interview itself, wherein Makarov said that he’s probably ready to get back to the KHL next season.

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(It’s easy to see this Tweet and assume it’s a move that’s happening right now, but alas, there has been no proof to indicate such a thing. Also, with Makarov saying in his interview that he’d respect his contract until it runs out, it seems unlikely that he’d say that and then turn back on it the next.)

Per another sports.ru piece with Spartak’s GM, Makarov has already begun negotiating with the team:

“Yes, I talked to his agent. He has a desire to come back, but so far it is only in words. How to return to Russia, we’ll talk. But the fact that we have already negotiated, I confirm.”

So, could Makarov be heading back to Russia soon, if not now, then when this season is over?

It likely wouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

Makarov has appeared in 16 games this season with an overall record of 6-7-2.

Nathan Lieuwen has taken the reigns of the Amerks with Linus Ullmark at his side, and Makarov hasn’t played in a month and a half.

His last game was January 3, a loss to the Providence Bruins where he had 34 saves on 39 shots faced.

With all things considered, it seems likely that Makarov will return to Russia and likely end up playing for Spartak Moskva next season.

Next: Five Buffalo Sabres Who Could Be On Trade Block

I can’t see the Buffalo Sabres trying to re-sign a player who’s so clearly and obviously unhappy, and it’ll be difficult to trade a player who’s made it publicly known that he’s thinking of returning to Russia, especially one with his contract up soon.