- NHL fans may not know who Kirill Kabanov is, yet. On Friday Kabonov took a major step closer to becoming a household name in North America in years to come.
Kabanov is widely expected to be the top choice in the 2010 NHL Entry draft. The Russians were trying to prevent him and all future young stars from going to the NHL by trying to force long term contracts on them at age 17. The Russians were claiming Kabanov was the property of KHL team Salavat Yulaev Ufa until his late 20s.
Kabanov balked, and came to Canada claiming he had never signed any contract. The IIHF ruled in Kabanov's favor, and he will begin playing for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL this coming week.
This is a huge win for Kabanov, the Wildcats and the NHL. Kabanov clearly wants his future in North America and the NHL, not the KHL. But watch for the Russians to be very protective of future young talent.
- With the recent retiring of Mats Sundin, the Calgary Sun made a top ten list of the greatest Swedish players of all time. No arguments here, although the list is completely NHL based. Now is a perfect time to learn about Swedish hockey pioneers like Tumba Johansson, Ulf Sterner, Lennart Svedberg and Leif Holmqvist.
- Stay tuned to GHL and Hockey Book Reviews this coming week. I've got interviews with Stephen Brunt of Gretzky's Tears and Mike Leonetti of the children's book The Rocket.
October 10, 2009
Saturday Slap Shots
Time to put the puck on the 'Net: