Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mikhnov does the Lokomotiv

The rage of our optimism boners threatened to tear the sweatpant fabric of the Oilogosphere this summer when it was learned that enigmatic 2000 first-round draft Alexei Mikhnov was finally coming across the pond to attend training camp.

We all marvelled at video footage of the 6-foot-5 powerhouse effortlessly dangling through defencemen to the strains of Finnish wizard metal about Greek goddesses, for many our first look at this presumed lost prospect. We wondered aloud just how high up the depth chart this Russian monster would climb, what sort of impact his tantalizing combination of size and skills would have on the Oilers' Mighty Vaunt.

It's funny how things turn out.

After playing two pointless games in the big leagues and posting respectable numbers (6-12-18) in 27 games with Wilkes-Barre of the AHL, a disgruntled Mikhnov is packing his bags and heading back to Russia to join his former team, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.

According to the Edmonton Sun, Mikhnov's departure was the result of a deal negotiated between the three parties involved, and everyone seems to be walking away happy. Traktor gets a raise, better ice time and the benefit of more familiar surroundings; Yaroslavl gets the player they felt had been their property all along; and the Oilers retain Traktor's rights and presumably pocket the balance outstanding on his contract. The Oilers will probably invite Mikhnov back to training camp next summer, but as the Sun article concludes, it's doubtful he would be as interested in making the trip a second time.

And so Mikhnov joins the ranks of the Coyotes' Enver Lisin and formerly the Senators' but now also the Coyotes' Alexei Kaigorodov as disgruntled Russian players who pulled the chute this season after failing to put in the necessary work for an NHL roster spot to which they felt entitled. It's a shame, but hey. It's not like their presence will be sorely missed. Indeed, it was barely felt at all.

22 comments:

Mike said...

À propos of nothing related to Mikhnov, but a topic of some interest: Joe Corvo to Edmonton? Slight possibility, says the Ottawa Sun:

http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Senators/2007/01/24/3437637-sun.html

Chris! said...

When I first heard the Oilers were sniffing around the Senators, I kind of figured they were looking at him. I like Corvo a lot. He's a remarkably solid defenceman with offensive skills who is being underused on Ottawa's d-rich squad.

Fans and the organization have been disappointed with his play all year, so they would likely be willing to let him go for less than he's really worth, and I could see him stepping into the Oilers' top pairing right away. If Lowe can swing this deal for Bergeron and a prospect, I'd be incredibly pleased. He's this year's Spacek, for sure.

sacamano said...

Dude. It's Lokomotiv.

Colby Cosh said...

Well, technically it's Локомотив.

Chris! said...

Fixed. Thanks, nerd!

MetroGnome said...

Grabia must be completely heartbroken.

mike said...

Bergeron in a package for Corvo? I could see it. One defensively challenged blueliner for another, although Corvo has better credentials and history. I live in Ottawa, and the distrust of Corvo here is palpable. I'd venture that it's comparable to Edmontonians' distrust of MAB. But all things considered, I'd take Corvo over MAB.

Oh yeah, and over Eric Brewer too. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Oil should look at some good western canadian talent on draft day. You know, like Iginla, Langkow, or Phaneuf.

Eyeris said...

Maybe Traktor can bitch about the Oilers with Prez's boyfriend, Igor Ulanov.

mike w said...

Damn.

You'd want to say that he was listless and didn't seem interested anyway, but Mikhnov didn't really get much of a chance.

Then again, he wanted to go home. Not much that you can do.

PS: Does anyone remember the last time the Oilers had GOOD news?

SweatyO said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Oil should look at some good western canadian talent on draft day. You know, like Iginla, Langkow, or Phaneuf.

Smyth, Stoll, Horcoff...those names ring a bell? They even played past the first week of May last spring!

I vote for an Oilogosphere-wide ban on anonymous posting. Man-law?

uni said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Oil should look at some good western canadian talent on draft day. You know, like Iginla, Langkow, or Phaneuf.

He's got a point, the Flames have never drafted a Russian player who didn't pan out, ever, let alone having something similar happen to them this season...oh wait.

mike w said...

For a box of Old Dutch potato chips, we could get Darius Kasparaitis if we wanted:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=193421&hubname=

Chris! said...

Yeah, I saw that. He's also making over $3-million this season, incredibly. Pass.

sacamano said...

Fixed. Thanks, nerd!

I needed something to bitch about.

kwyjibo said...

Your points are all valid. But they've overshadowed by how bad-ass that penguin is.

Julian said...

That opening line is probably the best one this blog has seen yet. Props are warrented.

joninabox said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Oil should look at some good western canadian talent on draft day. You know, like Iginla, Langkow, or Phaneuf.

Just thought I'd point out that Calgary only drafted one of those players, and they basically would have been idiots not to draft Dion at 9th.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say I told you so(not really), but I did indeed tell you so. Casting my mind back to those track pants stretching days of summer I took a lot of heat on these pages for my dour view of the Traktor.

One thing that keeps me fascinated by the Coilers is the continual line of bullshit spun by K-Lowe that gets happily lapped up by the good folks north of Red Deer. It's like watching Fox News, you know it's horshit but you can't take your eyes off it.

Good riddance materbyets...

Duke

SweatyO said...

Duke,

Fuck off.

Sincerely,

Oilers Fans

PS: Stronger message to follow.

mike w said...

Now, now Sweatyo.

Manners please.

SweatyO said...

Mike,

This is why I normally don't post after 9pm. I'm usually tired and grouchy, with zero tolerance for Flames-fan trash-talk (especially after last Saturday).

I'll give him this...he had the guts to sign his name!

And besides, more than anything else, I wanted to use that "stronger letter to follow" line. I was chuckling at work when I thought of it last week.