- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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At the Bruins' request, prospect Alexander Khokhlachev is returning to North America to play for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
After signing an entry-level deal with Boston last summer, the skilled Russian forward bolted for the KHL to play for Moscow Spartak. Khokhlachev's father is the general manager of Spartak. But Khokhlachev struggled and saw his playing time dwindle. He had only two goals and five assists in 26 games.
"We asked 'Koko' to return to Windsor because we were concerned about his ice time and development," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told ESPNBoston.com in an email Tuesday night.
Chiarelli added that Khokhlachev won't be attending Bruins training camp, which is expected to begin Sunday.
The Bruins weren't happy when signed with Moscow, according to team sources, although the team did not say so publicly. The belief among Bruins brass was that the crafty center was better off remaining in North America, where he excelled in the previous two seasons with 59 goals and 145 points in 123 career regular-season games in Windsor and 9 goals and 20 points in 18 playoff games. They also felt they would have better control over his development with an easier trek to Windsor for them and their scouts.
Khokhlachev told the Windsor Star he had a good experience in Russia but now plans to suit up for the Spitfires starting Tuesday.
“I have a contract with Boston and Boston told me I have to come back,” Khokhlachev said. “I'll come play in Windsor and play hard there. It’s a really good experience to play in (the KHL), but I come back to Canada and play North American style on smaller ice."