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TIKHONOV RETURNS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Forward Viktor Tikhonov rejoined the Coyotes today after playing most of this season in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia.


Viktor Tikhonov
Tikhonov arrived in Raleigh from Moscow late Friday. Members of the Coyotes medical staff gave him a physical examination this morning, which he passed, and he then skated with teammates at the morning skate. He did not play vs. Carolina on Saturday night.

"I'm super excited to be back," Tikhonov said after the morning skate. "This is what I've been working for this whole year is to somehow prove myself and get a chance to get back in the lineup. The KHL is a pretty good league. There are a lot of skilled players over there. It wasn't that hard to make the transition to play over there because I played there before I got drafted. I actually went back to the same team I played with before, so that made it a little easier. Overall, I had a good year."

Tikhonov was playing for a team based in Cherepovets, a city located between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

“Viktor’s season ended last week and we had the right to recall him and we did,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. ”So, we’re looking forward to getting Viktor back on the ice with us. We have a few extra forwards and as we’ve seen competition brings out the best in people… It (the KHL) is a good league, it’s a mature league (and) Viktor scored goals there and was an important part. He almost single-handedly brought his team back from the very bottom into the playoffs. So, we’re thrilled to get him back here.”

Tikhonov, 21, played 61 games for the Coyotes in 2008-09. He notched eight goals and eight assists.

Tikhonov did not make the roster during this year's training camp and was assigned to the team's top affiliate in the American Hockey League. He played 20 games there before making the move to Russia. Once in Russia, Tikhonov scored14 goals in 25 games for Cherepovets.

"I've been working on my skating," Tikhonov said. "...I've definitely put a lot of work into it."
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