(Boise, ID) - Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Hardy Sauter announced late Tuesday that defenseman Andrei Plekhanov has left the Idaho Steelheads to return home to Russia.The team has placed the 25-year-old on team suspension.In 36 games with the Steelheads, Plekhanov picked up 13 total points, one goal and twelve assists."He made a family decision to return home," Sauter said of Plekhanov, who is married and has a young child. "We understand his decision, it isn't easy to be that far from home and separated from your family as long as he was."Plekhanov, a 3rd-round draft choice of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2004, had surged in recent weeks for the Steelheads. He had one goal and five assists over his last nine games with Idaho and had become one of the team's steadier performers on the blue line.The move leaves Idaho with five active defensemen - Chris Hepp, Derek Matheson, Adam Maccarone, Michael Gergen, and Steven Tarasuk. Kory Scoran and Matt Cowie are each on the ECHL Injured Reserve and Matt Case is on loan to Texas of the American Hockey League.Idaho returns home Friday and Saturday to host the Ontario Reign at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. Friday night is the fourth and final Project Filter "Autograph Card Night," accompanied by a team autograph session following the contest. Saturday night is Curb It "Reusable Bag Night," as the recycling program spearheaded by the City of Boise and Allied Waste will hand out reusable bags to fans prior to the game. Quantities of the autograph cards and the reusable bags are both limited, so fans are encouraged to arrive early. Game time each night is 7 PM and tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208.331.TIXS.
Defenseman leaves team to return home
Tuesday, March 13th
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