Edinburgh Capitals have signed vastly experienced Russian forward Pavel Vorobyov on a one-year deal.
The 34-year old centre, who has played 57 games in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks as well as over 200 games in the Continental Hockey League, is a major coup for the Murrayfield side and becomes the first Russian player to ice for the club.
Caps’ player-coach Michal Dobron said of the three-times capped Russian: “It’s great to have Pavel as part of my team. He has experience playing in the NHL where he did well with Chicago. He has also played in other major leagues, so he has the talent to play at any level. His point totals are great everywhere he has been at and he also has international experience for Russia. He is a very talented player.”
Vorobyov played in North America for three years between 2003 and 2006, before returning to Russia, where barring a short spell in Kazakhstan, he has spent the rest of his career. He said: “I wanted to experience life in western Europe and heard great things about Scotland and Edinburgh in particular. I learned to speak English fluently, so I know I will enjoy life in Scotland as communication will not be an issue. I’m really looking forward to meeting the Capitals fans and my team mates.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh have parted company with forward Paul Zanette. The Italian international, currently fighting a suspension for testing positive for a banned amphetamine-based substance whilst playing on-loan in Italy last season, had been signed to a two year deal. However, the legal process regarding his appeal will not be completed until September at the earliest.
Capitals co-owner Scott Neil said: “I really feel sorry for Paul. If you know the man and the player, you know he has made an innocent mistake. His circumstances are a lesson to all players that they have to be very careful to adhere to doping control procedures and rules. He will be missed at the club this coming season, and we wish him well.”
Zanette, who was club captain at Murrayfield before being allowed to move out on loan, said: “In light of the timing and uncertainty of the appeal it was only fair that the club move forward with their recruitment plans without me. I want to thank the Edinburgh Capitals management, players, supporters club and the rest of the loyal fans for all the support over the past year. I’m truly sorry things have unfolded this way.”