Now that Alex Burmistrov has left Winnipeg for KHL club AK Bars, Claude Noel is reflecting on their time together.
Though it doesn’t sound like there’s much to reflect on.
On Thursday, the Jets head coach downplayed talk of a rift between he and Burmistrov, suggesting there wasn’t much to discuss about their relationship.
“He’s elected to change locations to advance his career — I guess that’s what he believes,” Noel told the Winnipeg Sun. “But I don’t really have any comment on what somebody else says. If Alexander had problems with me, he’s never mentioned it to me.
“He’s played two years here, has played a lot of minutes for us and a lot of situations.”
Noel’s comments come a week after Burmistrov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, said coaching was part of the reason his client left the Jets.
Here’s more, from the Sun:
During an e-mail interview with The Sun on Tuesday, [Nikolaev] conceded the relationship with Noel was one of the factors in his client’s decision to sign a two-year deal to play for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League.
“That was one of the reasons why he left,” Nikolaev said through translator Ruslan Kim.
Although Nikolaev didn’t expand on the nature of that relationship or where things broke down, it’s clear that a four-game banishment to the press box as a healthy scratch didn’t sit well with Burmistrov, who managed only four goals and 10 points in 44 games last season while averaging 15 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time.
Burmistrov, 21, was selected eighth overall by Atlanta at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and enjoyed a successful rookie campaign (6G-14A in 74 games) with the Thrashers, followed by a successful sophomore campaign (13G-15A in 76 games) with the Jets.
His third year in the league, though, was far less successful.
Burmistrov had just 10 points in 44 games during the lockout-shortened campaign — made a healthy scratch four times — and, following the season, reports surfaced of him being unhappy in Winnipeg and demanding a trade.