MOSCOW, August 26 (R-Sport) – CSKA Moscow general manager Sergei Fedorov said Monday that the appointment of veteran Russian forward Alexei Morozov as team captain was the “logical move” as last year’s captain, Alexander Radulov, had undisclosed problems with discipline.
Morozov, 36, signed with CSKA in May after nine seasons with Ak Bars Kazan, four in the defunct Russian Superleague and five in the KHL.
“Morozov’s a man with great experience,” Fedorov said at a Moscow press conference. “I think this is a logical move. He’s the most successful, most respected player on our team.”
Morozov was Ak Bars’ captain from 2007 to 2012 and wore the “C” for the Russian national team at the world championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and the Olympics in 2010.
Radulov, meanwhile, has been stripped of his captaincy after one season. One of the KHL’s most dynamic scorers, Radulov had 68 points in 48 games in 2012-13. His 46 assists led the league as he made his fifth-straight All-Star Game.
Without elaborating, Fedorov said off-the-ice troubles had triggered the leadership shuffle.
“The last captain had problems with discipline,” said Fedorov, who did not mention Radulov by name. “Will it hurt the previous captain? He shouldn’t and cannot be hurt.”
The mercurial Radulov, notorious for his brash on-ice showboating, is no stranger to controversy. While playing for the Nashville Predators in 2012, he and teammate Andrei Kostitsyn were suspended from a playoff game against the Phoenix Coyotes after breaking curfew at a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Morozov, a Moscow native, has 112 goals and 152 assists for 264 points in 256 KHL games. A four-time All-Star, he led Ak Bars to back-to-back Gagarin Cups in 2009 and 2010.
He also played seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1997 to 2004, wrapping his NHL career with 84 goals and 135 points for 219 points in 451 games.