SUN Hockey Pool

From Sea of Red to Red Square?

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Reports Calgary Flames forward Marcus Nilson has signed to play with CSKA Moscow are "not correct," according to his agent.

However, J.P. Barry said he and the two clubs are trying to work out a way for Nilson to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

"We're exploring the possibility of him playing there," Barry said yesterday. "We were hoping to do it quietly."

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported the 30-year-old forward had signed with the club in Moscow.

Earlier this week, there were reports he was being pursued by both Djurgardens and Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League.

Flames staff wouldn't comment on the reports.

Nilson, acquired for a second-round draft choice in the spring of 2004, collected three goals and two assists in 47 games last season.

He was a healthy scratch in 24 regular-season contests and played only two of the team's seven playoff games.

In the summer, Nilson was placed on waivers along with defencemen Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson, but wasn't claimed.

The Flames could have bought Nilson out of the final year of his two-year, US$2-million contract, but decided not to exercise that option. GM Darryl Sutter said the veterans would have to earn roster spots this season.

Still, it appears Nilson isn't in the team's plans, which is why Barry and the Flames are negotiating.

"It was a difficult year for Marcus and what we're doing now is try to make sure he doesn't go through another like that," Barry said. "The Flames are being very good about all this. They want what's best for Marcus, too."

There has been a precedent for players still under NHL contracts to play in Europe with the permission of their old employers.


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