Great news for the Columbus Blue Jackets, although this certainly
wasn’t much of a surprise. Yet we have confirmation, from Nikita Filatov
himself, that the young prospect will be back for Blue Jackets training
camp this summer. From Aaron Portzline of the Puck-Rakers Blog:
“Yes, I’m sure I’ll come for training camp,” Filatov said.
Some questioned what the coaching change might mean for Filatov, but
he says it was never a factor:
“The coaching change doesn’t mean much for me,” Filatov said.
“Anyway, I was going to be back. When I left (in November), I said I was
coming back, and that was no matter who the coach will be.”
The original arrangement between the Blue Jackets and CSKA Moscow
always had Filatov returning after the 2009-2010 season, although once
he was back in Russia — and being productive — there were rumblings
that he may have had second guesses about returning.
He may say that the coaching change wasn’t a factor in his coming
back to Columbus, but you have to think that with Ken Hitchcock gone
Filatov would be much more eager to give it another go in the NHL. He
was a healthy scratch in six of the first 19 games of the season, and
was extremely displeased with how he perceived the coaching staff as not
giving him a chance to succeed.
In 26 games with CSKA Moscow, he was named the KHL’s Rookie of the
Month, and scored nine goals in 26 games, with 22 points overall.