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Report: KHL star regrets signing with the Penguins

“If I knew that it ended up like that, then I would have signed with someone else.”

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The Pittsburgh Penguins thought they struck gold after wining the sweepstakes to sign KHL star Sergei Plotnikov back in the summer of 2015.

He bought out his contract with his KHL team so that he could sign in the NHL - just about half the league was competing for his services.

Ultimately, things didn't go in his favor, with him regularly sitting as a healthy scratch, and eventually getting traded to the Arizona Coyotes

In an interview with Igor Erenko of Sport-Express (translated into English on The Hockey Writers), Plotnikov reveals the experiences he had in the NHL, and how, if he had a crystal ball, he would've done things a lot differently - starting with signing on a team that wasn't Pittsburgh.

He also explained how when he saw that he had no future with the Penguins, he requested a trade.

"I wasn’t shocked, I asked for a trade and I was waiting for that. If you remember, the Penguins had a hard start of the season and even Sidney Crosby couldn’t score much for the first 20 games. He wouldn’t get out of the rink, but he couldn’t score anyway. And after signing a contract with me, the team traded for Phil Kessel from the Maple Leafs and some of the injured players got back.

"So after this happened it was kind of clear that some of these players would play where I should have played myself. I was just surprised that my trade was so long to do when it could have happened much earlier. It was clear that I wasn’t going to play for Pittsburgh. The head coach told me that I wasn’t going to play. So we agreed (to) a trade, but I have been told that they were sorry, but that they couldn’t trade me. So I needed to sit down for some time, a couple of months."

Despite calling his time in Pittsburgh for what it was - a bad experience, he still had some good things to say.

"Bad experiences are still experience. I have learned many things there. Like better work in the gym. I learned many things from the trainers. In Pittsburgh, they were very good and gave me good advice."

Plotnikov also had some praises for his former captain Sidney Crosby.

"He is a very hard worker. He never relaxes during the practices. He’s always practicing at his maximum and wants other people to do the same. This is definitely a plus, especially when you have many young players around. They try to do what he does, if he goes to the gym, then also the younger players go there."

With the whole Vadim Shipachyov fiasco, there may be a trend towards KHL players staying where they are.