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“Sinister” Russian Speculation Plus A Subtle Shot At Detroit

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

We have already moved past it, haven’t we, onto the next story in a life replete with endless news cycles and an inexhaustible amount of fodder over which to be outraged and/or titillated?

Except for Artemi Panarin, his wife, Alysa Znarok, and their families living in Russia, that is.

The scandal here is not that Panarin was charged with having assaulted an 18-year-old woman in Latvia in 2011 by an unreliable third party with personal and political axes to grind by the name of Andrei Nazarov.

Rather, it is that those ostensibly specious claims created enough psychological damage to Panarin that the elite winger has been forced off the ice to deal with the repercussions, whether real or imagined.

How sinister is that?...

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Finally, why do I always get the impression that when Steve Yzerman speaks up in support of some systemic change to the system — such as postponing the 2021 entry draft — it is rarely to benefit the greater good, but rather to benefit his team?

But that was always the way of the Red Wings in the days of the dynasty for which Yzerman played, yes?

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Unlike all the other GMs looking out for the greater good?

Posted by ThatGuy on 02/27/21 at 06:18 PM ET


Also, looks grimey coming from the guy who writes for the team that benefitted from league incompetency

Posted by ThatGuy on 02/27/21 at 06:19 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Well gee Larry maybe its because the Wings are tired of getting screwed in the lottery. Could that be the reason? Maybe you’re just too stupid to realize that’s his job.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 02/27/21 at 06:44 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Larry is one of my favorite NHL writers because he tends to call a spade a spade, even if it ruffles some feathers in doing so…

That being said, I’m going to agree with the commenters here on this point, not only because 1. It’s totally okay for a general manager to speak with his own self-interest in mind, but also 2. because, in this case, Yzerman isn’t looking to spike the odds in his team’s favor—he’s suggesting that a bunch of kids who haven’t played during a pandemic are kind of hard to judge on the basis of their playing abilities.

There’s a fair amount of GM’s who are pushing for the 2021 draft to be pushed back because they simply cannot evaluate some of the players that they’re going to be drafting. That strikes me as a very fair assessment of a situation where teams that are using the draft to build for their future (and there are 32 of them) might *all* benefit from a situation in which they’re more able to fully assess the players who will form the foundations of their future rosters.

That’s not just self-interest speaking in this case. That’s a reasonable argument making itself heard.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/27/21 at 07:04 PM ET


Well said, George.

And it makes sense that the teams with the highest picks coming up
and ones who have had the fewest high picks in recent years and so
desperately need that high-end infusion of talent have the most need and
most to lose if player evaluation is scrambled and disrupted.

Yzerman has had to swallow the lottery debacle last summer,
bad lottery luck from previous years hobbling the team he inherited
(no Stamkos or Hedman types), plus his team being off and unable to play
or practice for 8-9 months. He’d be negligent if he didn’t push for a chance to
actually evaluate draft prospects on the ice in real games.
Weird drive-by by Brooks. He doesn’t even make an argument - to support
the comment about Yzerman or the earlier era of Wings he references.

Meanwhile, check out the story about Zibinejad.
“Disasterous decline” is just one hyperbolic description.
That’s NYC sports and entertainment media: they can’t help
pumping up athletes and stars to an absurd level - and then go over the
top tearing them down when they falter. If, after a media pile on, that athlete
or star can pull themselves back up, it becomes a hugely hyped redemption story
- until they stumble in some way personal or professional and because of their
resurrected status are again a valid target for over the top criticism.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/27/21 at 09:25 PM ET

Primis's avatar

BROOKS: “Baseless accusations and speculation are ridiculous and can hurt a player for the team I’m covering, and everyone involved should be ashamed”.. 

*moves on with article hurling baseless accusations and speculation about rest of the league*

Yup, that about nicely sums up the Larry Brooks Experience.

Posted by Primis on 02/27/21 at 11:58 PM ET


Fortunately Brooks doesn’t have the power to disappear or poison people.

I like his old-school, acerbic commentary and reporting.
He brings a long-term knowledge base and perspective and
doesn’t usually pander.

But he can be wildly inconsistent in the standards he applies and, yes, hypocritical

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/28/21 at 12:18 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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