Center Nikita Filatov should take the ice in Dispatch Ice Haus in one hour, his first workout as a Blue Jacket.
Yesterday, Filatov took a few minutes to chat during his tour of Nationwide Arena. He was blown away by the place, saying it was a whole different world than the rinks he's played in back in Russia.
He also said he spent a month working out with Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Nikulin, an Ottawa Senators prospect. Ovechkin gave him some advice: "First few games, stay out of the middle (of the ice). And keep your head up."
The kid seemed no different yesterday than he did in June when the Blue Jackets made him the No. 6 overall pick. He smiles and laughs a lot. He has a tremendous understanding of English, especially comprehension. Very impressive.
Now comes the hard part. Filatov's goal is nothing less than to make the Blue Jackets' roster on opening night.
I asked him about the alternatives, what might happen if he doesn't make the Blue Jackets. He can go to junior hockey (Sudbury) or the minor leagues (Syracuse), but said he's prefer to go to junior.
"I've been told that you either want to be in NHL or junior," he said. "I agree with that."
Seems like Russians don't like the AHL.
Stu Hackel translated the interview with IIHF President Rene Fasel that he gave to Pavel Strizhevsky of Sport-Express:
And Fasel presented a hypothetical example of how the lack of a negotiated agreement with the IIHF and KHL could be harmful to the NHL. “Leave everything just as it is, and you can easily imagine the following situation. In a few days, the NHL will open their pre-season camps. There will be a large number of players with two-way contracts and not all of them are going to make the parent club. With the money the players earn in the minor leagues, many of them will be ready to flee to Russia for amounts 8 to 10 times more than their contracts will call for. And there could be dozens of these players, if not more. Can you imagine what a mess that would start?
“It can be prevented, if the NHL agrees to sit down with us at the table and develop a set of rules. Otherwise, in the near future, we won’t be sitting around a table, but in a courtroom — and with unpredictable outcomes, since the courts in America and in Russia — they’re not quite the same thing.”
Watch out the end of pre-season training camps in NHL. There will be dialogs like that:
GM: "You are assigned to AHL farm club"
Russian kid: "I'd rather go to Siberia..."