Babaev, who also represents Hawks Russian forward prospect Max Shalunov, cites the lack of opportunity the 23-year-old netminder has within the organization as one reason for the trade.
“They really like him, but they don’t have space,” Babaev said. “They have five other goalies.”
The five goalies include Corey Crawford, Anton Forsberg, J-F Berube, Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen. There have also been reports of the Hawks wanting to reacquire Scott Darling from the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hawks have retained Nalimov’s rights passed the two-year window established by the 2013 player transfer agreement because the KHL didn’t agree to it. The agreement extends to nearly every prominent hockey federation in Europe for how the league handles draft rights. The KHL and NHL agreed to a different one that allows Russians playing in the KHL to continue playing there without their draft rights elapsing.
Nalimov and the KHL‘s Ufa Salavat Yulaev mutually terminated the final year of his contract Wednesday, according to Powers.
The 6-foot-4, 209-pound goalie posted a .938 save percentage in 23 games last season with Ufa Salavat Yulaev and Vladivostok Admiral.
Chicago drafted Nalimov in the sixth round in 2014.