directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Howson "Filatov worth the risk"

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Howson "Filatov worth the risk"

Can't get enough of this guy? Well I've got more for you below:

“We loved Filatov,” Maloney added. “My worry was not now – he wants to play here, he's a good player, he speaks English. My worry is three years from now. When you hear the numbers they're talking about with Malkin, we worry that after three years in the league, if someone like him becomes a star, how are we going to keep him?

“That was a real concern for us. As a franchise, can we afford that versus the alternative – to pay another good player where we don't have that [threat of him leaving]?”

Scott Howson, the Blue Jackets' general manager, who selected Filatov sixth overall, conceded the new Russian league “is a threat for sure. They're going to take players and obviously they're going to put pressure on good Russian players. But we went through a pretty thorough process with Nikita. We tested him many ways and went back and talked to people, and his story has been consistent. He wants to play here.

“It's a leap of faith for us, but we believe in him, we trust him and we think he does honestly want to play here.”

Even at the cost of the sixth overall pick in a deep entry draft, Filatov was worth the risk?

“He was for us,” Howson said.

First thanks to Skraut for pointing this article out.

There are three things that I find very interesting about this artcle.

1. In one breath the GM of the Coyotes says his worry is three years from now about Filatov. Okay - valid point - one I can see. However, the Coyotes drafted a Russian 28th overall in Viktor Tikhonov but he justifies that one by saying that they see him as a "Californian kid playing in Russia". If Tikhonov becomes a star mark my words this kid could also use Russian as leverage come negotiations.

Bottom line in this new CBA be it Canadian, American, Russian or Vietnamese -- if you start putting up the points before your rookie contract expires these kids are going to get paid so GMs need to prepare themselves for that possibility.

2. With the 8th overall pick the Coyotes chose Mikkel Boedker out of Kitchener of the OHL. Here's the interesting part -- Boedker is Danish. With the IIHF transfer agreement terminating for all countries who is to say Boedker couldn't play in Russia or a Swiss league or some other league closer to home...or use it as an advantage?

3. There is no doubt that on the surface that Howson took a bit of a gamble of Filatov - especially given the situation with Russia and of course our own Zherdev. Going into the draft I did not think they'd take him. It almost seems a bit unlike Howson to take the risk.

Everything I hear from Howson and this kid is that he's 100% committed to playing over here. I mean at the end of the day what young Russian star has ever gone back to Russia - Ovechkin, Datsyuk, Zherdev? We've heard the rumblings on Malkin but all indications now point towards him staying in the NHL and signing a ginormous contract with the Penguins.

Howson and the Jackets made the right pick. They had to take what many services called the 2nd best player in the entire draft at 6. Heck Howson and co. had him rated #3 on their own list.

There were 6 top talents in this draft and at 6 the Jackets took the final one. Sure there is some added risk there but that is why he slipped to 6.

I believe Howson when they say they did their homework on this kid....and if he becomes the superstar we all hope he will then pay the kid. Its not like this team is overflowing with superstars at the moment.



Rick said...

Being as Howson & Hitch are much smarter men than I (that's why they get paid the big $$$), I'm sure they did their homework on Filatov. I still think it's a stretch for him to be playing right out of camp, I do see the very REAL potential this kid brings to the Jackets.

Call up this year? Almost definately. Starting for the Jackets next year? Baring unforseen events, Most definately. Maybe we'll get lucky and "Z" will feel threatened by this kid and bring up the level of his play. We can only hope.

Skraut said...

Full Article is a good read as well, even if it isn't solely about Filatov

LTL said...

Crap.. meant to link it... thanks double now Skraut!