Alexander Burmistrov

Burmistrov sticking in KHL next year, won’t return to Jets


Claude Noel might be long gone from Winnipeg, but that’s apparently not enough to get Alex Burmistrov back with the Jets.

Burmistrov will stick with KHL club Ak Bars Kazan next year rather than return to the NHL, agent Yuri Nikolaev told the Winnipeg Sun. Burmistrov, 22, spent last year in Russia and performed well for Ak Bars, scoring 10 goals and 37 points in 54 games, but there was some hope he’d be returning to the Jets after Noel — who Burmistrov reportedly clashed with throughout his two seasons in Winnipeg — was dismissed and replaced by Paul Maurice in mid-January.

Nikolaev did say, however, that Burmistrov will consider a return to the Jets once his two-year deal with Ak Bars concludes at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

The eighth overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — taken ahead of the likes of Mikael Granlund, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko — Burmistrov had a solid sophomore campaign with Winnipeg in 2011-12, scoring 13 goals and 28 points as a 20-year-old. He looked to be part of the Jets’ foundation moving forward, but tensions with Noel proved his undoing — both Burmistrov he and Nikolaev spoke publicly about how Noel’s presence behind the bench was one of the reasons for the move to Russia last summer.

Earlier this week, the Winnipeg Sun reported on rumors of Burmistov contemplating a move back to North America. It’s worth noting that while he’s not under contract to the Jets, Burmistrov’s rights remain with Winnipeg should he return to the NHL.


Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?