Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This He Earned

Prospect Park Prospect Of The Week

Given the timing of this that the first thought some people might have is that this was a charity selection due to the passing of Alexi Cherepanov. Our word to anyone who thinks that Evgeny Grachev did not earn being named as our Prospect of the Week is to forget it, this was very much earned.

Last week we did not name anyone as the Prospect of the Week because in our eyes nobody stood out. This week Evgeny Grachev of the Brampton Battalion earned it with some very clutch play on his part. The Ranger's 2008 3rd round pick finished the week going 3-0-3 +5 and a game winning goal.

The week for Grachev started with his first goal in the OHL as the Battalion defeated the Barrie Colts 5-4 on Thursday. Grachev then followed that up on Saturday with the only goal in the Battalion's win over the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors as Grachev was the game's second star.

Grachev then finished his week with his 3rd goal of the week, a +3 and the game's 3rd star in helping the Battalion win their 4th straight game also over the Majors 5-3. With the goals, Grachev also has a 5 game point streak going equaling fellow 2008 draft pick Michael Del Zotto streak from earlier this season.

At 3-3-6, Grachev is the second leading scorer for Brampton who appear to have gotten their season in order after a 2-6-0 start. The question now is how high to set the bar for Grachev as what we saw this last week for us validates our belief that Brampton was the perfect place for Grachev to be sent to.

The 6'3 200 power forward from Yaroslavl, Russia is being taught the North American style of play by one of Canadian Junior hockey's legendary coaches in Stan Butler. Butler who has a very long list of players that he developed for play in the NHL earned his 400th win as a CHL coach on Saturday thanks to Grachev's goal.

A 30 goal season for Grachev just might not be out of the question as this is not your average 3rd round pick given that his being from Russian had more of a reason as to why he fell than anything else.

We also know that this is just the first of a number of times that we will talking about Grachev as Prospect of the Week. Now we should hold a contest to come up with a nickname for this monster of a man-child.

Breaking News NOT

Scott Burnside of ESPN.com reported that the KHL has asked the Russian State Police to investigate the death of Alexi Cherepanov. Great that the KHL is wanting an independent investigation so a neutral party can supposedly point a finger of blame at someone.

All of this happened during an emergency meeting of the KHL Board of Directors (including Igor Larionov) and included Slava Fetisov head of the Russian Ministry of Sport. The calls for an investigation which is supposed to be handled as a criminal case (according to Larionov) really is pointless because what stands out from this meeting was what did not get announced.

Our advice to the KHL: if you really wanted to show that you were serious about this incident then you would have announced what specific conditions were now going to be expected at KHL arenas effective immediately.

Had the KHL announced that new rules saying that ambulances would be on station at every KHL game, had they announced that trained paramedics would be at every KHL games, had they announced that all defibulator units would be tested right away and then tested PRIOR to each KHL game then this "meeting" would have had some value.

Instead as we expected it was more ways to find how best to cover someone's backside while finding someone to blame.

Really look at what has happened since what happened to Cherepanov and ask what exactly has the KHL done to insure that nothing like that video of Cherepanov happens again.

Until the KHL stops with the finger pointing and puts into place strict standards to best protect their players then they will be just as criminal as those they are looking to blame.

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