I was quite surprised when he went back to Russia and I heard some opinions that Fitz send him down there. So I decided to check, since I know the language, I started looking on Russian sport sites any information and stumbled upon huge interview that he gave to a local journalist in Ufa.
Here’s a direct quote from him:
"I expressed my desire to play at home (Ufa) for a year or two. I need to get stronger both mentally and physically. I need it, that's how I feel.
This is my opinion, which is supported by my family and loved ones. The agents said: "Well, whatever you want, we'll do it." New Jersey persuaded me for a long time, but they realized that I love my city and club (Salavat Yulaev, Ufa), I like everything here, I want to play here more. So the clubs pretty quickly agreed among themselves on all logistics."
Make out of this whatever you think. The whole interview made me uneasy. He said that Defense style is very different in US and then he said that he wants to be back in Ufa. To me, it sounds like he’s a kid who has big supportive system at home with relatives and he’s not ready to be on his own and not ready to be in North America.