Burmistrov leaves for nothing, Jets can't get rid of Cheveldayoff or Noel for anything

Kevin McCartney
July 08 2013 12:01PM

Photo by clydeorama 

It's going to be a sour day in the Jets blogosphere. Alexander Burmistrov, the under-used, under-appreciated advanced stats wunderkind has signed a two year deal with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL. 

This was a known possibility, and Burmistrov was rumoured by Gary Lawless to want out of town, to want away from Claude Noel. Noel is a middling coach, and I suspect fans and bloggers alike would have happily sent Noel to Russia in Burmi's place. Not only that, but the team's refusal to trade Burmistrov means that the two main assets they had at the deadline - Hainsey being the other - were allowed to walk for nothing. Cheveldayoff had an excellent draft and addressed a known deficiency at forward this off-season, but continues to play a two-steps-forward, one-step-back game in building his roster.

Illegal Curve gathered this statement from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff:

"Through our conversations and correspondence with Alex and his agent, it became apparent Alex had a desire to continue his development as a young player in the KHL. He remains a very talented player within the Jets organization and we will continue to monitor his progress and development going forward"

The implication that Burmistrov is on a development stint is simply a ruse. A poor ruse. Burmistrov is already a quality NHL player at a young age who, while rushed into the NHL and perhaps harmed by it, is nevertheless capable of helping the Jets win now. One has to think his development is not helped by moving to bigger ice and a slightly worse league.

(Right click > View to enlarge)

Above are his advanced stats where we see a young player with positive possession against medium opponents. By eye, he hits, drives the play, and has all the talent to score even when it's not going in for him. That said, he has scored 28 points in the NHL already, and has never been given much better than a 3rd line assignment.

Now What?

It's definitely a frustrating day to be a Jets fan. Still, we have to hold out hope that Burmistrov will be back after his two year contract with Ak Bars Kazan. The Jets will still hold his rights two years from now, and his departure makes room for a UFA addition who may be able to slide up to the second line should Jokinen or Setoguchi hit a cold streak. Grabovski has been discussed here, and is made a more attractive option with Burmistrov's depature. Peter Mueller, Dan Cleary, (UPDATE: Thanks readers for being more up to date than me and CapGeek. I'm in Europe - what's CapGeek's excuse?) and Mason Raymond are all still available, as well. 

With this management group, our worst fear is the status quo. Should the team enter the season with another hole at RW, it could be a very long season. 

 

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Kevin is the Managing Editor of Jets Nation. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, The Sporting News, and around the Nations Network. An enthusiastic over-analyst, his background and interests are diverse, but you might notice he's obsessed with hockey. Track him down on twitter @kevinmccart or @nhljetsnation
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#1 Jibmeister
July 08 2013, 12:05PM
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Dan Cleary is not available.

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#2 Robert Cleave
July 08 2013, 12:20PM
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Jibmeister is correct, Cleary signed with Detroit. Mueller might be a guy to look at, since he can play C or W. He might be acceptable Scheifele insurance while the team waits on his development.

As for the matter at hand, it's a complete failure of personnel management, from Don Waddell rushing a kid so that his bonuses would help them reach the floor right through Chevy not making the Burmi/Noel relationship work.

I'll also add that if I were Burmistrov, watching Olli Jokinen get chance after chance last year would have burned me royally. For all the rush that we'll certainly see in the local press to villify the kid, he likely has a gripe with the way the coaches treated him in comparison to Joker.

I don't know what the long term outcome will be, but I'd expect the Jets to trade his rights at some point, and that day will be a sad one. Gary Lawless has sort of intimated this afternoon that the team, and maybe even Chipman specifically, has chosen Noel over Burmistrov in this skirmish. I suspect that will be seen as the wrong choice in the end.

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#3 Tim Bonnar
July 08 2013, 02:08PM
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Nik Antropov and Kyle Wellwood are still available to teams in need of a 3rd line centre.

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#5 The Last Big Bear
July 08 2013, 09:30PM
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I would have been happy enough to see Calgary trade one of their late 1st rounders to Winnipeg for Burmistrov's rights (assuming he was willing to sign in Calgary, of course).

Burmistrov is good. This "Nobody" kid that the Jets are getting in return for him seems pretty underwhelming compared to a first round pick in a very deep draft.

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#6 Brett Martin
July 09 2013, 03:27AM
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Why can't Noel chase away Thorburn instead?

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#7 howard stewart
July 09 2013, 01:53PM
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The Burmistrov situation seems to underscore the coach's inability to work with younger players. Young players need experience and will make mistakes in getting that experience. Burmistrov is sent packing...Postma is sat for 14 games last season. It is always safer to play a veteran with no upside but the only way the roster is going to improve is through playing youth.

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#8 Travis Hrubeniuk
July 09 2013, 03:49PM
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I'm not ready to give up on Noel as a good coach for younger players. He has a plethora of positive experience with them, so maybe this is a one time thing.

The Jets cannot afford to have another young guy want out/walk away though, so they better monitor this situation closely for the upcoming season.

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#11 dllb
July 10 2013, 04:44PM
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I think Burmi will come back in the future at some time and burn them. He wasn't given proper time to develop. No one should really doubt his talent.

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