Saturday, September 6, 2008

Got to Love Finger Pointing

There are times when we really get turned off by the folks involved with Avangard Omsk, and to be honest we make no secret of our dislike for the way they do business. Our dislike traces back to when the Omsk GM Anatoli Bardin last spring came over to New York during the Ranger season and made all sorts of outlandish statements especially about his desire for a relationship with the Rangers themselves.

What is it they say about what makes a good relationship? You start with trust and honesty and that builds up a relationship over time. Right off the bat we have trust issues with Bardin so you can see why we are not his fans.

Laurie over at Beyond The Blueshirts reported that Cherepanov sat out Omsk's game against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk due to a groin injury that according to was due to "(Cherepanov)being worked too hard during his recent time with the Russian junior team, and that he aggravated during Wednesday’s game."

Oh please, Cherepanov got hurt because the Russian National Junior Team worked him too hard is a crock to us. We got to ask what exactly is their idea of overworking a player even better what would be underworking him?

Sorry but when it comes to credibility then the folks at the Avangard Omsk led by their General Manager Anatoli Bardin have some serious issues with us. It goes back to that trip Bardin took to New York during the regular season because it was Bardin who told the media that he was in New York to talk about building a relationship with the Rangers.

How Bardin talked about wanting to have Cherepanov come over to North America to attend Ranger prospect and training camps. We knew then just by looking at a calender that it was not going to happen since the KHL regular season would be already underway while the Rangers were not even close to the opening of training camp.

And Bardin did not help matters when he proclaimed that he was able to sign Jagr without having to give up the rights to Cherepanov. Excuse us as Bardin knew that was not possible to happen given all the various factors dealing with international hockey.

The Rangers were barred by the NHL and the CBA from paying any form of compensation for the rights to any European player still under contract. Bardin acted like he had fleeced the Rangers out of Jagr when that clearly was not the case due to Jagr's desire for a multi-year contract that Glen Sather was unwilling to give Jagr.

Even more so is that a professional does not meet with a player who is under contract to another team even if they are the best of buddies to avoid the appearance of tampering. A professional would have waited until the Ranger season had ended but as seen we are getting used to questionable behavior from Mr. Bardin.

It is bush league to pull those kinds of stunts and now to point a finger at the Russian National Junior team (which by the way is coached by former Ranger Sergi Nemchinov) for "working him too hard" is hard to believe. Sorry but we have to wonder if perhaps this is more of an excuse to not make Cherepanov available for any of the Russian Under-20 teams this season.

Here is another reason why we are having trouble believing this because rumors of a personality clash between Cherepanov and Nemchinov surfaced last year and had Nemchinov overworked Cherepanov as it is being claimed then those rumors would have been reborn. They have not which makes us doubt the accusation.

Sorry but we have been down this road before with Anatoli Bardin and his track record makes us seriously doubt this accusation.

Game Action

You know there was one thing we might not have warned Evgeny Grachev about prior to his joining the Brampton Battalion (OHL). That was that Battalion Coach Stan Butler will chew his team out royally if they are not playing hard.

For us it is one of the reasons why we like Coach Butler as his demands for hard work is exactly what we want to see instilled in Ranger prospects. Got to wonder how Grachev reacted to Butler's chewing out of the Battalion during the first intermission of their exhibition game against the Guelph Storm.

Oh and the butt chewing was being done during an exhibition game that the Battalion were only trailing 1-0 after one period. Like we said it is why Stan Butler is the reason we want to see a Ranger prospect or two assigned to his team annually.

For the game overall, the Battalion suffered their first loss of the pre-season 3-2, Grachev did play again as right wing but was kept off the scoreboard. It is also interesting to note that while Butler has swapped out several of his returning veterans that the "rookie" Grachev has gotten to play in all 4 exhibition games which again is a good sign.

Elsewhere in the OHL, we are still awaiting for the report on Michael Del Zotto's Oshawa General's 7-5 win over the Peterborough Petes. We will update this spot when we get our report as we are hoping that the 2008 Ranger first round draft pick made his season debut.

On the other hand, Chris Doyle got the night off for the Prince Edward Island Rocket (QMJHL) and the Rocket responded by playing just like they did last season getting whipped 6-3 by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Rocket were limited to just 17 shots on goal while giving up 42 which as we said was a flashback to last season.

No other Ranger prospect was in action on Friday night but Saturday night is expected to be different as we are expecting about 6 prospects to see action.

Victoria Cup Website

Our friends in Europe has launched a new website to cover the Victoria's Cup that the Rangers will be taking part in on October 1st at It is sad that the NHL is so focused upon the exhibition games that they set up and are paying next to zero attention to this event.

Sad to say it is typical of the NHL to continue to behave as if their partners (they do call them that) are simpy second fiddle. When the NHL wonders why the folks from the KHL start getting cheered while the NHL gets booed this is one reason why.

(picture credit: Cherepanov: Avangard Omsk, Grachev:Brampton Battalion, Del Zotto: Oshawa Generals)

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