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article imageOp-Ed: Alexander Nikulin Unhappy? Quelle Surprise!

By Mark Alexander     Oct 4, 2008 in Sports
Ottawa Senators Forward Alexander Nikulin has asked for a trade or he'll bolt back to Russia. Is he justified in his frustration? Find out my take.
Alex Nikulin has apparently expressed his desire for a trade or he's heading back to Russia. I think I eluded to that in an earlier Blog. In any event, here is a translated version of Nikulin's personal Blog;
"Goodbye, Ottawa.
October 1, 2008.
I will say right away that if I’m going back to Russia, it’s only to play for the CSKA. When I’d be able to join the team I don’t know. Maybe in about two weeks, but perhaps more time needs to pass.
One thing is clear: I will not be playing for Ottawa. A lot of stuff’s happened during this time. Ilja Zubov and I were sent down to the farm, prior to which I was told they were unsatisfied with the results of my tests. That was rather strange to hear, because I improved all my results from last year. And anyway, tests are one thing; playing the game is another. They didn’t give me a chance to play in the exhibition games. But did give that chance to Ilja Zubov. Put him on the fourth line with the tough guys—try and prove yourself there. I don’t even know what’s better; maybe, like in my case, to never take to the ice at all. And could the tests really matter that much? Especially given the fact I played on the big team last season, having worse conditioning status than I do now. Plus, players with better results were sent down. So it’s not just the tests.
Only afterwards did it become known that the coach just doesn’t see me on his team. Just doesn’t see me there, and that’s it. He didn’t explain anything to me personally, my agent was told of this, but that’s the official version. That seems a lot more like the truth, but I still don’t understand why I couldn’t have been given just one chance, why I was simply crossed out.
So, I’ve asked for a trade, and the General Manager of the Senators Bryan Murray has agreed. But for some strange reason it’s been really dragging. Because I was supposed to have been traded last week by Friday. Then they moved the deal to Monday. But then on
Monday nothing was clear again, so I wait. Now the team has left for Europe where they’ll start the season. I’m hoping everything will be settled there. For now I’m training with the farm team. But I’m not prepared to wait a long time for a deal, two weeks at most. If Ottawa can’t find a deal, I’m heading to Moscow.
But then again, a lot depends on where I’d be traded. For instance, if it’s Detroit, then I can buy a ticket to Russia right away. I won’t have a chance to play for that team. I would like to get on an average team, so I can play. By the way, should the new team also send me down to the AHL, I’ll again have to think. I will find out for how long this would be. I’m not going to waste a season in the minors.
Obviously, I’m hoping everything works out in the best way. I won’t say where I would like to end up. I’ve become a bit superstitious lately. At any rate, I’m waiting now, but it’s apparent now that I’m spending my last days in Ottawa."
Apparently, this kid just doesn't get it. He is a perimeter player, the coaches wanted him to get more involved, he didn't and winds up back in the AHL to learn how to dig. He obviously thinks he's too good to play on the 4th line with "the tough guys". Maybe he'd learn something about desire and heart from some of those guys.
Like I've often eluded to, drafting Russians is more often than not, a wasted draft pick.
Did he even think of going to Binghamton, working hard, getting more involved in the game and wait for his shot in the bigs as an injury call up?
Now this cry baby has published his trade request on his blog which in turn hit the local news media thus driving down his trade value. Thanks, kid.
The NHL needs to put its foot down with these players who are under NHL contracts bolting back to Russia and playing hockey over there. The IIHF needs to step in and not allow these players to play. Anywhere. Period.
Would anyone like to start a pool as to when Zubov pulls the same stunt?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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