Agent Alexander “Sasha” Tynjynch told Point Blank today that, although he is not optimistic about Garth Snow’s plan to free his client Kirill Petrov from his KHL contract, he would like to see the highly-skilled wing become Islanders property by the start of next season.
Tynjynch said neither he nor Petrov were told of Snow’s attempt to use the Russian Federation’s request for Bridgeport defenseman Anton Klementyev as a bargaining chip to secure his client’s release from his contract with Kazan of the KHL. The agent said he first heard the news on Sunday when he received several calls from Russian hockey officials asking for details. “I’ll tell you what I told them,” said Tynjynch. “Kirill has a valid contract with Kazan for this season and for the next two seasons after. It’s very difficult to see anything happening soon.”
Petrov’s agent was not angry that he wasn’t tipped off about the Islanders general manager’s maneuver – suspiciously leaked by the GM himself, who enjoys his rep for keeping things quiet - but he could not envision how it would work.
“The two players are completely different cases,” said Tynjynch. “I don’t know much about Anton Klementyev; just that he’s a good young player who is playing a little in Bridgeport instead of junior. I’m sure there are reasons, and I respect that. What’s happening with Kirill does not have anything to do with him. The Russians want Klementyev for the national junior team. Kirill is under contract to a pro club.”
At the 2008 NHL draft the Islanders used one of their many early-round picks to select Petrov, a potentially high-scoring right wing, in the third round. Petrov was considered by many scouts to be a first-round talent, but his long KHL contract and uncertain desire to come to North America scared off some teams. With the 73rd overall pick, having already drafted seven players, the Islanders made Petrov a low-risk, high-reward selection.
The 6-3 Russian continues to tease with his talent, but his time in Russia since the draft has been mostly unproductive. He will play in another World Junior Championships this month, but Kazan Ak Bars earlier this season demoted him to the KHL’s second division. As Petrov demonstrated at the recent Super Series in Canada, he still has the tools, but the Islanders need to get him out of Russia before his play stagnates any further. Whenever Petrov is freed from his KHL obligation, he would almost certainly begin his North American career in Bridgeport.
Tynjynch told Point Blank his advice to Snow and the Islanders will be to negotiate in a honest manner with the management of Petrov’s pro team in Kazan. “I speak with the Ak Bars people all the time,” said the agent. “I think if we’re going to ever get anything accomplished with Kirill and get him to New York before his Kazan contract expires, it will be by dealing directly with the team. Garth really should talk to Kazan.”
Told this blog was writing about Petrov, Garth Snow declined to comment. Intrepid Klymentyev agent Paul Theofanous – almost certainly a co-producer in this maneuver – has not returned two phone calls. As for Petrov, he left today for Moscow to start training camp for Team Russia.
Even if Snow’s negotiating tactic is not successful this month, there is still big news to come out of this international affair. Tynjynch and Petrov now realize the player must begin his development with the Islanders as soon as possible.
If you told the Islanders at the 2008 draft that they may get Kirill Petrov under contract in 2010, they would have signed up for it.
Rick DiPietro experienced no discomfort after his game on Saturday in Bridgeport, so he practiced today with the Sound Tigers under the guidance of goalie coach Mike Dunham. DiPietro’s next start will be either Friday in Springfield or Saturday in Hartford. He will then likely play at home for Bridgeport a week from tomorrow. That third start could be his final AHL tuneup.
Jack Hillen did not practice today at Iceworks, but Scott Gordon said he’ll play tomorrow in Philadelphia. The defenseman took a hard slapper in Tampa Bay. Andy Sutton (groin) is rehabbing, not practicing, but Gordon expressed optimism the Islanders could get him back for Saturday at home against the Bruins.
Now that bruising forward Jeremy Reich is close to playing AHL games, he has to go on waivers and clear so he can go on Bridgeport’s roster. Reich will clear.
The first Point Blank Night of the 2009-10 season is this Wednesday, beginning at 7:00 at SOCIAL on Hempstead Turnpike, across from the Coliseum and adjacent to the Hofstra campus. Among the highlights:
- The Islanders vs. Toronto on more than a dozen television screens
- Free buffet from 7-8:00 pm, prepared by Danny Gagnon of “Top Chef”
- Special guests Steve Webb and Deb Placey
- $1 Bud and Bud Light drafts in the first hour
- Complimentary shots – SOCIAL slap shots – after each Islanders goal
- Raffle, including Islanders tix, a John Tavares jersey. All PB readers in attendance have an equal chance of winning. Just see the SOCIAL staff for your ticket.
All ages welcome. 21 and over to drink. SOCIAL – formerly BARSOCIAL and Chrebet’s – is at 1002 Hempstead Turnpike across from the Coliseum.
I’ve met with the owners and staff of SOCIAL a few times over the last week and they are determined to show us a great time and provide the kind of first-class service you deserve.
My way of saying thanks for the amazing support of the second season of Point Blank.
PLEASE RSVP (YESSES ONLY) AT THIS LINK. I’m also on Facebook.
Scott Gordon on Kyle Okposo’s goal-scoring slump: “He’s getting opportunities every game. They’re just not going in.” The coach said “the good news” is that the Islanders “are staying afloat” during Okposo’s slump and will benefit when he gets hot.
The Islanders’ coach on his team’s struggling power play: “The majority of our personnel on the power play is under 23. You’ve got to give them some slack, too.”
Comments on Petrov and the Islanders’ D situation in this post.