Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hostage Taking Hockey Style

There are times when the rules of hockey can do more harm than good to a prospect's development.

Keep him or send him back? Sit him or play him? Trade his rights or not?

Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd) who's junior rights currently belong to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL is in such a limbo. What we should be talking about here is what Kabanov did Wednesday night in their game against the Moncton Wildcats.

The problem is that Kabanov did not play and why he is not playing is not his fault either. The Armada have not added Kabanov to their active roster despite the Islanders sending him back to them last week.

The Armada are reportedly in a rebuilding mode so they are trying (reportedly) to trade Kabanov's rights to whoever will give them the biggest return. They have not used Kabanov out of the supposed fear that he might get hurt and then nobody would trade for him.

In the meantime Kabanov has missed out on playing 4 games and now rumors are starting which are painting Kabanov in a bad light. None of the rumors are true, Kabanov has said he wants to play hockey in North America which is good enough for us.

But the question that we feel Kabanov deserves an answer to is how long can the Armada be allowed to keep him from playing? There has to come a time when Kabanov either is allowed to play for the Armada or is granted his release to be able to play somewhere.

One other thing regarding Kabanov which is that an interview with a Russian sports website came out and Kabanov according to the interview regrets coming to North America. One day we hope that we  will read a Russian hockey interview where something in the translation does not wind up lost or twisted.

It seems that every time we read one of these translated Russian interviews that the NHL, an NHL team or North America wind up as the bad guys. We believe Kabanov when he says his words were being twisted and distorted.

Another player who appears to have little say in his own fate is Scott Stajcer (NYR 2009 5th) as now it looks like Stajcer will indeed play for Owen Sound at least for a while. The first story we have says that Owen Sound plans on going on a rotation with Stajcer and Jordan Binnington.

The second article has quotes from Stajcer himself saying all the right things but we want to key in on this one quote:

"They told me they want me to play a lot," said Stajcer. "With missing almost a whole year last (season) they just want me to get games in. They said come in next year and make it so we can't send you down to the (American Hockey League)."

Good for Stajcer who no matter where he plays as long as he stays healthy will be an excellent goalie.

Game Action

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) after a goal in his Edmonton Oil King's 6-1 win over the Kootenay Ice now has a 3 game scoring streak (2-2-4). His Oil Kings now have a 3 game winning streak after defeating the defending WHL champions.

Yesterday we talked about how just a small gesture by St. Croix's coach Derek Laxdal helped St. Croix break out of a 5 game scoreless slump. This was your traditional 4 point game as the Oil Kings with their win opened up a 4 point lead over their division rivals.

In the QMJHL, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar are still ranked 2nd in the new CHL weekly poll but that might not be the case next week as the Drakkar dropped their 2nd straight game 3-2 to the Chicoutmi Sagueneens.

Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) did not score but got into his first fight of the season when he took on Chicoutmi's Alexandre Beauregard. The two are no strangers to each other as they have fought each other last season.

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Kelowna Rockets spent most of the first 2 periods of their game against the Medicine Hat Tigers watching Emerson Etem (1-2-3) and Hunter Shrinkauk (natural hat trick) before they started playing hard in the 3rd period.

Too little too late to save the Rockets from a 3rd straight loss 4-2. Like his teammates, McColgan had a good 3rd period but the other 2 periods decided the game.

McColgan had the only assist on the Rocket's 2nd goal which game at 15:54 of the 3rd period. It was McColgan's 6th assist of the season (no goals) and 3rd straight game with a point.

Brendan Kitchon (NYI 2011 5th) scored his first goal of the season as his Spokane Chiefs behind 3 unanswered goals rallied for a 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. Kichton scored a power play goal at 2:37 of the first period to tie the game up at 1-1.

The Chiefs have now won 2 straight games and remain unbeaten at home.

(Kabanov courtesy of Ron Morin/Lewiston Maineaics)

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