(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
The 25-year-old Russian forward has been a healthy scratch in 19 consecutive games. He has two assists in 32 games with Pittsburgh this season.
Sergei Plotnikov’s days with the Pittsburgh Penguins could be numbered.
According to Mike Liut, the agent for the forward, Pittsburgh is looking to trade the 25-year-old ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Plotnikov has been a healthy scratch in 19 consecutive games entering Saturday’s action.
“Sergei wants to play in the NHL as evidenced by the amount of money he paid to be excused from the last year of his KHL contact,” Liut told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He understands that this will not happen in Pittsburgh and the Penguins have been attempting to trade Sergei, albeit, a difficult task when a player is a healthy scratch for two months. If a trade is not available, he will have no choice but to return to Russia.”
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Russian has two assists in 32 games this season while averaging under 10 minutes a night in ice time.
Penguins’ general manager Jim Rutherford has had issues with Plotnikov’s commitment to the organization.
“In Plotnikov’s case, he started off a little bit feeling his way and then I thought he had a pretty good run for about five weeks,” Rutherford told 93.7 The Fan per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But there came a point in time where he suggested he wanted to go back to Russia. That didn’t go over too well with the coach because he wants people here that are all in, they want to be here at all costs. That hurt him a little bit with the coach.”
Plotnikov scored 15 goals and 21 assists in 56 games last season with Lokomotiv in the KHL prior to signing a one-year, $925,000 deal with the Penguins last summer.
“To be clear, there is no animosity with Pittsburgh, it was a risk that Sergei [and the Penguins] took, it just didn’t work in Pittsburgh,” Liut said. “Hopefully he gets another chance with another organization.”