From Detroit Red Wings to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

Belarusian national hockey team defenseman Ruslan Salei to play next season in Continental Hockey League

Russian club Lokomotiv, from Yaroslavl, has confirmed its one-year contract with the Belarusian player. Ruslan Salei, 36, spent last year with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, on a $1.1m contract for one year, starting in summer 2010. He earned ten points across 75 matches in the regular 2010/11 championship, plus scored one goal across 11 matches in the play-off stage. Salei has previously played with Anaheim, Florida and Colorado — 917 NHL matches, scoring 204 points.

Currently, Ruslan leads among Belarusians for playing the largest number of matches in the NHL (the world’s strongest hockey league). He is also a record-setter among his countrymen for the number of Stanley Cup matches. Salei has participated in three Olympics and six world championships, playing for the Belarusian national squad (elite division). In 2003 and 2004, he was named best Belarusian ice hockey player.

At the end of this season, it was informed that Salei was leaving Detroit, as the heads of the club expressed no plans for any extension of his contract. According to the media, Salei wanted to stay in the NHL with a club located not far from California, to stay close to his family. Anaheim was considered a favourite but, in the end, Lokomotiv ‘won’ the new-comer.

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