According to Dmitry Chesnokov, Nikita Filatov's agent is considering returning to Russia. This story surfaced yesterday and now that Chesnkov is reporting it, it seems more credible. Filatov himself spoke to Joy Lindsay this morning and was quoted as saying:
Nikita Filatov said he can't talk about KHL rumors. "No reason," he said. "Just rumors."
I have been on the record several times as saying that Filatov hasn't been given a shot by the organisation. Bryan Murray said that Filatov will get a chance to be in the top six, and he was given exactly two games. He didn't perform badly in those two games either. Whatever you may think of him having to earn his chance through the fourth line, the part about him being a chance in the top six simply hasn't been true.
However, the real thing I want to discuss is, how likely is it that Filatov leaves? He's in his last year of his contract with the Sens. If he leaves, he presumably still owes Ottawa another season should he return to the NHL before the age of 27. Could he be trying to put a little pressure on Bryan Murray, or is it just the work of his agent? If Filatov feels that Ottawa won't give him an honest look, then I won't blame him if he leaves. The KHL is a stronger competition than the AHL, he will get paid more and he will get to be at home.
Links after the jump.
- Stats from NHL.com. Filip Kuba led all Senators with 6:33 of shorthanded ice time and 24:19 in total. Solid night on the penalty kill from Kuba. He also blocked six shots to extend his team lead. [Boxscore] [Game summary] [Face-offs] [Play by play] [Ice time]
- Advanced stats from TimeOnIce.com. Jason Spezza's line ended up on the minus side of Corsi, with Spezza and Colin Greening at -6 and Milan Michalek at -7. Daniel Alfredsson led the way at +6. [Corsi] [Head-to-head] [Zone starts]
- Game recap. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- If Daniel Alfredsson makes the all-star game, should he be the captain? I can't believe this is even a question. If he plays in the game, I can say with 100% certainty that he will be a captain. (Ottawa Citizen)
- Zenon Konopka won't run goalies, Chris Neil had a limited skate in Ottawa while Peter Regin travelled with the team and skated as well. Regin isn't expected to return until around Christmas though.(Ottawa Sun)
- Jared Crozier asks if Zenon Konopka is fighting too much. Through 13 games, he has already had eight fights, most of them of the pointless variety. Konopka has had a total of 89 minutes and 14 seconds of ice time, meaning that he is in a fight every 11 minutes and 9 seconds. Granted I am against all fighting in hockey, but this is just absurd and a it is a case of a guy trying to justify his existence on a team. I also disagree with Jared in that I don't feel Konopka will have a job in this league without fighting. He is not even being used for face-offs lately, yielding to Jesse Winchester. (SenShot)
- Konopka isn't just a hockey fighter though. He also runs his own wine company. He is in another company trying to develop a medical device. Lastly, he imports cream from Brazil to counter bruising and swelling. (Calgary Sun)
- Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst had some harsh words for Patrick Wiercioch, saying that he is not even sure if he can use Wiercioch on the power play any more because he just refuses to shoot the puck. With Binghamton having lost eight games in a row, Kleinendorst also doesn't feel Robin Lehner has been anything special lately. He will alternate goaltenders until one of them wins a game. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)
- The Wiz from the Team 1200 would be happy to see Filatov leave. (@Team1200TheWiz)
- Nichols doesn't think Filatov will leave, and blames it on the Russian media. As mentioned above, it hasn't stopped some in the media from already having him gone. (The 6th Sens)