The pipe dream of many Dallas Stars fans has finally come true - Sergei Zubov has finally returned to the NHL.
Of course, the Russian-assassin of a defenseman won't be playing anymore and he won't be with any of his former teams. The St. Louis Blues announced Friday that Zubov had joined their front-office staff as a Consultant to Hockey Operations.
At first, the fact that he joined the Blues surprised me. After all, Zubov is most associated with the Stars, though he had a memorable start to his career with the New York Rangers as well as a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But the Blues have become Stars-north in their front office, and the fact that Doug Armstrong is running the hockey side of the operation while Ken Hitchcock is coaching the team almost certainly played a part in this. Armstrong spoke briefly about the addition.
"Sergei was a champion in the NHL and is well respected in our league and also in Europe," said Armstrong. "We will rely heavily on his opinion and expertise as he monitors our European prospects."
Reading between the lines on that quote, it sounds like Zubov will still be based in Europe in his new role. He was last spotted as an assistant coach in the KHL last season, and although he and his children are American citizens, it looks like he's staying on that side of the pond for the near future.
A lot of what made Zubov great are things you can't really teach - patience, phenomenal hands and an inborn sense of where a player is going to be a half-second after you release your pass. Because of that, he could be the perfect type of person to looks for those instincts in young players and help the Blues nurture them.
It might not be with the Stars, but I for one am glad to see the sultan of sagacity (TM Razor) back with an NHL team.