It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for Pavel Gogolev, who has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows as he was recently traded from the Newfoundland Growlers to the Chicago Wolves, only to be swiftly returned to the Growlers.
Gogolev, a 21-year-old Russian forward, was initially sent to Chicago in a deal that saw the Growlers acquire forward David Cotton on Mar. 8. However, the Wolves were unable to agree to terms on a contract with Gogolev, making him a free agent and prompting the Growlers to bring him back into the fold.
“It’s just been crazy,” Gogolev said. “At the same time, it’s been a good experience because it’s been a new challenge.”
Gogolev is one of the top scorers in the ECHL this season, posting 20 goals and 45 points in 45 games. He had established himself as a fixture in the Growlers lineup, playing in all but one of the team’s games this season.
The move to Chicago was a surprise for Gogolev, who was planning to remain with the Growlers for the rest of the season.
“It was unexpected,” Gogolev said. “I didn’t expect to be traded, but sometimes in hockey that’s how it goes. You just kind of roll with the punches.”
Gogolev quickly adjusted to his new surroundings in Chicago, even while waiting to see whether or not he would stay with the Wolves.
“It was a nice city,” Gogolev said. “The people there were very friendly and it was cool to be able to experience a different organization.”
In the end, the Growlers were able to bring Gogolev back, which was a welcome sight for the team.
“We’re happy to have him back,” Growlers head coach John Snowden said. “He’s been a big part of our success this season. We’re glad to have him in the lineup again.”
For Gogolev, it was a relief to be able to return to a familiar setting.
“It feels good to be back with the Growlers,” he said. “It’s a great organization and I’m glad to be part of it again.”
Gogolev’s journey has been a whirlwind, but he’s taking it in stride.
“It’s just been crazy, but I’m just trying to stay focused and keep doing what I do best,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season.”
It has been a turbulent saga for Gogolev, but he is now back in the fold with the Newfoundland Growlers and looking to help the team make a run for the Kelly Cup.