directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Russian invasion!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Russian invasion!

Out with the old - Zherdev, Fedorov

In with the new - Tyutin, Filatov, Mayorov, Plekhanov

For those that may have been worried that the Jackets were about to lose their Russian flavor, fret not as the Jackets will have plenty of new faces from the motherland.

The guy who is making noise right now surprisingly is the 19 year old 2007 4th round pick Maxim Mayorov - from the Dispatch:

"Maxim has NHL skill all over the place," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I didn't know anything about him, but …"

"It's been really good for us to have him in this setting, to see how he plays against and interacts with players his own age," general manager Scott Howson said. "I saw him play in Russia last year, but the competition was not very good.

"What we're seeing here this week is a player with really good hands and a really strong skater. It's been really good."

Quite a heap of praise for the kid. It sounds like he'll have a place on the Crunch's roster next season and with the way injuries hit the Jackets I woulnd't be surprised if he gets a cup of coffee next year on the big club.

First thing's first though -- this kid needs to adjust to the North American game and make sure he plays at a high level without the puck as much as he does with it.

Of course we also have the highly touted recently drafted 6th overall forward Nikita Filatov. There is some scuttlebutt going around that the Russian Fedoration is giving Filatov some trouble regarding his status to play in North America. All indications from the Jackets is that Nikita has submitted all the proper paperwork and should be free to sign a contract with the Jackets sometime this week and should be stateside by August 1st.
Getting this kid over though may not be the lock we all hoped for when the Jackets drafted him. According to this article K.H.L. (Continental Hockey League) cheif Alexander Medvedev wants the Jackets to compensate his league $500,000 for the rights to bring Filatov over.

I can tell you right now that ain't happening. I fully expect this kid to still come over and *probably* play in the AHL and then see some time with the big club once injuries hit. He may have to sacrafice international play for a couple of years but eventually all will be forgiven and forgotten.

In fact judging from Howson's comments last night on the radio I think the Jackets may announce that he's been signed as early as today.

I know as a fan I'm really excited to see what this kid brings to the table in training camp. He's seems about as committed to play in North America as you can be and I truly hope he's Z without the baggage. If so we could truly have something special here.

Kid looks good in that jersey though eh?

Another Russian prospect who
is in town and just signed a two-way contract is Andrei Plekhanov. Plekhanov is a 6'1" 187 pound d-man who spent 40 games with the Syracuse Crunch last season in his first season in North America and is said to have a powerful NHL caliber shot. He notched 9g and 16a in those games. As I've mentioned before the question with him is his hockey sense and ability to read the game at a fast pace. By signing him to a 2 year deal the Jackets are certainly going to find out.

Finally we have the Russian defensemen acquired in the Zherdev trade which is the 24 year old Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin is a hulking 6'3" 210 pounder who has 3 full NHL seasons under his belt. Tyutin is a bruising NHL defensemen who can log key in minutes in every situation. He is said to have some untapped offensive potention and has notched 25, 14 and 20 points in those 3 seasons.

I think Tyutin is going to be a huge acquisition for us. He is going to really get a chance to take his game to the next level and become a go to guy for this organizaiton. I'm super excited to see this guy in action in a CBJ sweater.

As far as the departed - well we all know the Zherdev story and he just did not fit in the long term plans of the organization.

Fedorov never really fit in either and of course was moved last year in a trade at the deadline. In fact yesterday it was announced that he signed a 1 year deal with Washington for 4 mil. Ouch - good luck with that Capitals. It will be very interesting to follow if you can keep up the level of play he gave them down the stretch after the deal for a full season.

So there you have it. The two headed Russian monster has quickly been replaced by the four headed monster and you know what they say -- four heads are better than one (not really -- I just made it up).

If you can make it down its the final day of the prospect camp. There will be a scrimmage which may even involve Derick Brassard. I'll have a full report later on for those that could not attend.

Update: Well wouldn't you know that as soon as I publish this post the announcement comes that Filatov has been signed. Thanks for the heads up Erik!



Erik said...


I completely agree with your assessment of the upcoming talent, specifically the Russians. I am really curious what Howsen has to say about the legal issues regarding some of these upcoming Russians.. I really want to have Filatov compete for a spot on the CBJ roster no matter how unlikely he is to make it. You agree that Filatov is very likely to make it in the 09/10 season ?? Furthermore considering some of the holes in our lineup, and the flexibility we have with the 3rd and 4th line, which Rookies do you expect to see in the 08/09 lineup?? I guess Brassard is a given, although I am not sure if he’s ready. Could I perhaps propose a future article on all the talent in the pipeline and their chances of making it to the big club this upcoming season??



wizworm said...

My question is if Brassard isn't ready for the 2nd line center spot, who lines up there? It doesn't look like Howson is going to add another forward so who gets the nod if Brassard isn't ready? Peca? Can Modin or Torres play center? The only other option would be Novotny I guess.

Todd G said...

The plan is to have Peca step in to the #2 slot if Brassard isn't ready. But lets think positively. It's been discussed on this here blog that we are due for a breakout season from our young guys.

Brassard - 22-48-70

Is that too much to ask!!!

tom said...

Todd- Methinks...

Nash 55-28-83
Umberger 23-43-66
Huselius 28-34-62

Torres 18-22-40
Brassard 17-32-49
Modin 26-22-48

Voracek (for Torres) 22-34-56

Big T said...

Just watched the scrimmage. Brassard was head and shoulders the best player on the ice. He controlled every shift he had and looked very comfortable playing with Voracek{who also looked very good} His vision and puck control are outstanding. He also looks to be a much stronger skater, and bigger than last year. He also can skate hard a long time without getting winded. He was the last one off the ice!

LTL said...

Nice suggestion Erik. I will definitely throw something together over the next couple of days.

I think if Filatov doesn't stick this year and he has the kind of talent that has been reported its going to damn hard to keep him off next year's squad.

Tom if we could get that kind of production out of our top 6 we are playoff bound. Those numbers certainly aren't out of the quesiton we just need our boys to stay healthy.

I just got back from the scrimmage as well and will throw a post up. Big T is absolutely right though - Brassard was a man amongst boys out there.


tom said...

That is great to hear aboat Brassard/Voracek clicking. I would love to see these two on the same line for years to come. Perhaps Filatov on the other wing?

Dang-it's good to have home grown depth finally.

markislander said...

Numbers like that would get us in for sure like i said before just have to stay healthy as long as possible.

Googlewiz said...

was at the luncheon today with the players from camp, and Don Boyd spoke. He told us that it will take at least a month to get Filatov in the States, about two weeks to process the visa, and then another two to three for the interview process.By the way, LTL, nice to meet you today, finally, at the camp. Good luck with S.L.