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Kirilly Being an Idiot, Turnovers From Gretzky’s Office


Didja hear?  Kirill Kabanov is on punishment number two with the Isles.

This picture annoys me for no particular reason, it just does.

He was late for a second time in the young not-yet-started season, and received the mandatory “extra conditioning” after practice.  And by mandatory, I mean they were like “well shit, now what do we do with the kid?,” and weren’t creative enough to think of anything other than the ‘ol fail-safe bag skate.

You know who has a GREAT idea?  Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank, who did something awesome today, and pretty much called out the team.  I agreed with his general tone, which was:  Send the kid home.  He’s 18.  He’s not ready for the NHL yet anyway.  So you deny him a few precious days of “experience” that he clearly doesn’t give a fuck about anyway.  He’s denying himself the privelege of gaining that experience.

It’s not a “giving up on a kid” move, it’s a reality check.  It says character matters to your team.  The biggest part of This Guy’s (his name, henceforth?) development is going to be getting through the message that he’s not above the rules.  He’s not above anything.

Kid sleeps in and misses his alarm on the first day of NHL camp, I don’t even know what to say about that.  I have no idea how it happens, but let’s just say it was an innocent mistake (fuck’s sake, I would’ve slept in full gear had they let me take it home).

But a second time in ten days?  Do you have any idea what kind of Rube Goldberg device I’d have hooked up in my room to make sure it didn’t happen again?

As was (I think) subtly implied in Botta’s article, there’s more going on there than a couple innocent sleep-ins.  The kid is going out at night (and that’s the me-saying-”SPADE” portion of today’s entry).  Again, if I’m picking up any cues from Botta, and from my own I’ve-been-there-ness, the longer he’s there, the more he drags out other young players with him at night, the bigger problems he causes.

I love that the Isles drafted him.  It’s a home run swing from an often too-cautious organization.  I hope the kid becomes a STUD.  But it’s probably time to show who’s in charge.

(Grrr, that’s my tough-guy strict-parent face.)


Now that'd be a cool pic to have. Iconic.

You know what coaches LOATHE that most announcers and fans love?  When a player on offense chucks the puck out from behind the net to the front, hoping somebody is there.

It’s the most celebrated turnover in hockey. 

*GASP (says the crowd)

The blind, no look, “maybe if I push the puck into that rugby scrum it’ll find my guys blade and I’ll look like I’ve got Gretzky vision.”

I’m not exempt from this scorn - I was a big advocate of the prayer (ECHL All-Star Game 2008, I looked like I would be a great linemate to have after one worked out), but it’s really just not that great a play, as a number of my benchings go to show.

If you aren’t looking, and don’t have a clean blade to find out front, just hang on to it.  See that picture of Wayne-o?  He didn’t exactly rush that pass (then again, back then they just let you hang out back there, but still…. he waited for an open blade) so much so that they named it his office.

Let’s not celebrate that prayer pass so much, if only for the fact that coaches (who tend to know stuff about things, as a general rule) hate it.


Go to Deadspin today and read all the new FJM’s for the one-day reunion of Ken Tremendous, dak and Junior.  It’s AWESOME.


And as always, go to Hockey Primetime for my Midweek Musings, on fitness testing.  It should be up soon.  Happy Humpday!  10:30 PM rec league game for me.  Not cool.


10 Responses to “Kirilly Being an Idiot, Turnovers From Gretzky’s Office”
  1. Sending him home sends the right message to the kid. You know that the media would be all over it too.

  2. SDC says:

    They should’ve cut him immediately after that picture was developed. They should base his ice-time purely on his ability to portray that he actually looks and acts like he is taking the NHL, the freaking greatest hockey league on the planet that only so few humans even get to experience, seriously.

  3. KForbes says:

    Remember, this is the same Kirill Kabanov that got kicked off his junior team in the first round of the playoffs. When he goes back, he’s due to go back to that same junior squad. I think it is no surprise that the Moncton Wildcats (Kabanov’s junior squad) are run by Danny Flynn, formerly an Islander assistant coach. In fact, I think that had something to do with why the Islanders picked him in the first place.

    And considering Kabanov has already burned his bridge in Russia and because of the CHL/AHL agreement, he pretty much has to go back to the QMJHL and the Wildcats.

    I dunna, both Flynn and Kabanov have said all the right cliches about wanting to work together, looking forward to being a part of the team, a fresh start and so on, but I’ll be interested to see if and when he does come back to Moncton and what the reception is as well.

    Clearly the Isles have to look out for themselves and their other prospects as well, but I’m just trying to say that this kid is making things difficult for himself at all levels, not just with the big leagues.

  4. Dave K says:

    It’s easier to punish bad behavior when he’s there, instead of counting on another organization to do it for them. If they kick him off the team, what’s a lower level team (who, incidently, will count on him much more) going to do? Punish him instead? Keep him with the big boys and bag skate the crap out of him. Let him play 2 minutes a game or sit in the press box. At least the Islanders have the talent (did I just type that, seriously?) to not require his services.

  5. 7thWoman says:

    Dave K is right. You can’t try to change bad behavior if you just ship him off. He’ll screw up elsewhere. Keep him around and continue to try to drill in the message. It’s called “developing” not “giving up.” if you have a teen at home, you know the feeling! They push, you have to push back. I don’t think shipping him off right now would be beneficial.

    Besides… isn’t it THREE strikes you’re out? The Russian Bad Boy has one more coming.

  6. Sioux in the Cities says:

    I thought your “Grrrr” was quoting that picture of Kabanov. Works as a good tough-guy, strict-parent face too though.

  7. nightfly says:

    Hm… FJM returns for a one-day reunion on deadspin, the day after Hat Guy, Mike Celizic, passes away from cancer. RIP Hat Guy.

  8. Char says:

    Just wondering why Kabanov doesn’t have a roommate.

  9. john says:

    Agreed on throwing the puck out blindly in front of the net. It usually ends up on an opposing D-man’s stick. I think that one of the most helpful mantras in hockey is ” do not get rid of the puck unless you know where it is going”.

    Kids should be drilled on that from day one. They rarely are.

    And yes, it is much easier to preach that than practice it. I have flung a bunch of Hail Mary’s out into the slot in the heat of the moment. Often it resulted in a turnover.

    Good post.

  10. nightfly says:

    john: Either on a defender’s stick, or through everyone and out to the blue line – and in that case, the best-case scenario is your defense holding it and re-setting; worst-case is having it picked up before it gets there by the opposing wings, who then break out with speed while at least one of your players is behind the opposing net.

    A lot of times the puck won’t even get to the front of the net if the goalie is deft enough to bat those passes. Of course if it does find a target it’s a really tough shot to stop, and that’s why people keep doing it.

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