Isles prospect Kirill Kabanov oversleeps again, earns bag skate and criticism

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GYI0060890048-kirillkabanov-bennett-getty.jpgNew York Islanders 2010 third round pick Kirill Kabanov is having a training camp to forget. On the first day of rookie camp, Kabanov over-slept and was held off the ice from workouts. Now with the rest of the NHL vets in place and working out, Kabanov has done it again and over-slept causing him to arrive late to practice this morning (subscription required) and winning him a bag skate from head coach Scott Gordon.

For an 18 year-old kid, oversleeping is practically a way of life but when you’re a talented prospect with a history of personal discord, a kid with first-round talent that wasn’t taken until the third round, making sure you’re up early enough to get to practice on time should be of more importance. While the Isles are going to be patient with him and try to not run him out of town too soon, Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank says that Kabanov, while good, should just go back to juniors now.

Make no mistake, Kabanov deserves a year or two of chances to overcome his. But he has not earned the privilege of playing a hockey game over the next week alongside Streit, Tavares, Okposo, Bailey and DiPietro in a New York Islanders uniform before New York Islanders fans.

Late twice in the first ten days of his pro career? The Islanders have had a few troubled souls and wacky characters on their roster the last two decades; I don’t recall anything like this. Today’s 30-minute bag skate (with pushups!) a punishment? You’ve got to be kidding. Kabanov is a hockey player. Deny him the ice. Deny him entry into the locker room.

Botta was very stern and direct in his takedown of the Kabanov situation and I can’t say that I disagree with what he’s saying, although his tone is that of an angry father and it’s not without just cause. There are other guys in the locker room that doing everything possible to try and make the team and a kid with the talent to eventually be an NHL contributor that opts to not take that seriously isn’t someone that should be around.

Kabanov will grow up eventually and start to take things more serious. Until then, people are going to get upset at him for not getting it done right away. Lots of fans and others will call it a “mistake” that the Isles drafted him when they did or at all. It’s just too early to say things like that now. Everyone grows up eventually, Kabanov just has to make sure he does it before he runs out of chances to make a positive impression on everyone with his game on the ice.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images)

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.