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.
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.