by Bethany on 04/02/09 at 12:44 AM ET
It was a tough call to bring Filatov up, a really tough call. I know that the Syracuse Crunch fans are in a tizzy over it. I was confused when the move was made this morning, but the more I think about it and the more I talk to people about it the more I understand the move - not saying I necessarily agree, but I understand.
Nikita Filatov was playing great hockey in Syracuse, a team that is fighting for its playoff life. Then we have the Columbus Blue Jackets - a team that has never tasted playoff hockey. They’re on the verge of making it, and well, they want Filatov, their number one draft pick in 2008 to be a part of that. Probably for a number of reasons, here’s just a couple of reasons why I think they’re doing this.
*Seeing this team and the trials it goes through and being a part of it, even if he is only practicing brings him closer to the team and allows him to build chemistry with his teammates.
*The group that the Jackets have right now are a tight group. You can see it on the ice and hear it during interviews, Nikita needs to be a part of this.
Scott Howson made the decision he felt was best for the player. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one, but he hasn’t steered us wrong yet, and I don’t think he is this time around either. (Make sure you read this blog from Craig Simpson on Howson and the Jackets.)
Also of note:
*Make sure you read all of Lindsay Kramer’s blogs from today about Nikita.
Here’s the quote from assistant GM Chris MacFarland:
“It wasn’t an easy decision. It was talked about at length over the last few days. The staff as a unit believes this experience will do wonders for him. There was certainly no desire to hurt Syracuse. We know it’s a tough decision. That’s what a development team is all about.
“I can tell you this. The experience he’s going to get here is not going to hurt him. The experience he’s going to get here is crucial. He will benefit from this. Is it a blow to the Syracuse lineup? Absolutely.
“You’re saying there are extra bodies here (at forward). You are missing it here. The organization felt it was important for him to go up here and experience this. He’s got a skill set that none of our extra players have, and even that some of our players playing don’t have.
“It was strictly the organization looking for what is best for the development of Nikita Filatov. It is the National Hockey League. It’s a league above the (AHL).
“Minor league teams are used to this. Players get called up. Players get traded. Everyone acknowledges his skill set will be missed (in Syracuse). The Crunch has been, if it’s been one thing this year, it’s been resilient. We’ve got a good team down there.’‘
Now, after I write all this, and think about it, maybe the Jackets aren’t happy with the way the Crunch have dealt with Nikita. Who knows, it’s time to move on though. Both clubs have a playoff run to think about and they need to focus on that with the team they have.
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