Gaiduchenko, 21, spent the last year with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, playing 20 regular season games as back up of Georgi Gelashvili. His contract run out on Aprl 30st and wasn't renewed by Lokomotiv, thus making him a RFA. As he's going to join CSKA, most likely he won't transfer to the Panthers this summer.
Sergei Gaiduchenko News and Interviews
Young goalie Sergei Gaiduchenko, who was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, had a rocky season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He gave an interview to Russian sport site Yarosport.ru in which he tried to analyze the situation. Let's remember that his contract with Lokomotiv ran out on April 30th and he's still yet to sign.
Sergei, do you have an explanation regarding your benching at the end of the season?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "Honestly speaking, no. After the end of the regular season the coaches told me to get ready to play for the second team (Loko in the MHL). No one told me explanations or complains about my game."
Did you try talking about your fate with the team with the staff boards?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "I wouldn't have been against such a discussion, but I had to focus on the playoffs, and then this argument lost sense."
How the move to MHL can affect your career?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "From one hand I practiced with the goalie coach that followed me a lot, Sergei Kotov. But on the other hand I lacked game practice against men and interaction with experienced defensemen. I wasn't prepared to play with 91 or 92 born players."
Didn't the release of goalie coach Ilari Näckel decrease your level of play? There were rumors that no one cared about you and you had to work by youself.
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "Anyway, if this had an impact, it wasn't on me only. And about working by myself, these weren't my words."
It's understable that you played less than starting goalkeeper Georgi Gelashvili. Almost in all teams there is a starting goalie and a reserve. How did you deal with this during the practices and after the demotion to MHL?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "I work hard in the practices. And in the games in which I played I played practically at the same level as Georgi [Gelashvili]. If you want the proof, just look at the stats."
But then how to explain the four goals you allowed in your very first KHL game?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "Well, then how to explain the five goals allowed in two periods by [Spartak's goalie Dmitri] Kochnev in the first game of the playoff series against them? (Note, Kochnev recently signed with Lokomotiv) Of course, a goalie has to save everything. But you can't judge by one game only."
Your contract is now over. Did you change your plans according to the latest events?
Sergei Gaiduchenko: "Generally speaking I wouldn't want to burn the bridges with the team. But I also don't like to live in such state of uncertainity."
20 years old Sergei Gaiduchenko, in a translated interview published on Russianprospects.com, said that he would like to move to another team as he doesn't get much playing time.
In some teams goalies play one game each, in some others a goalie plays six games and the second two. [Lokomotiv's head coach] Kari Heikkila uses a system in which the first goalie of the team plays 85-90% of the games.
Asked about the future:
I would like to move and I got a chance, as Florida drafted me. But first I want to stay in Russia to consolidate, play one or, better, two seasons playing a bigger quantity of games and then go there, just the same way as Semen Varlamov did.
The goalie, who is nicknamed Godzilla by his team mates because of his big size, said that he's happy about life in Yaroslavl and that he enjoys the city with his girlfriend.
During my free time from hockey often with my team mates we go to the country, eat meat, or go to the restaurants or bowling. Sportsmen don't like to stay at home! I like active life: play tennis or ride the bicycle. I also like going to the movies, it relaxes me. I adore Sylvester Stallone, especially as “Rocky”. Another thing I like to do is reading books – Paulo Coelho and Dan Brown. I like when in books there are philosophical matters.
Sergei Gaiduchenko played 12 games so far in this season, with 6 wins and 6 defeats, posting a GAA of 2.63 with a svs pct of .920.