Traktor Boy Can’t Come Out to Play

This is an old photo of Alexei Mikhnov. He isn’t on the Russian World Hockey Championships team (if they had a Ukraine team he’d have made it) but he was on the 05-06 team (6gp, 3-2-5).

He had a decent playoffs this spring (16gp, 3-5-8) and a solid regular year (52gp, 14-20-34, +15) and with just one year remaining until he’s UFA this might be the last chance Texaco for both team and player.

It isn’t going to happen.

Guy Flaming’s European update gives us this item from Kevin Lowe: “It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Mikhnov next year, but he did show us enough that at least I have some intrigue in going forward.” Now I haven’t dated in quite some time but it probably still holds true that if you’ve known someone 8 years and there’s still no spark, no amount of Smirnoff is going to be enough to get it done.

Guy’s article is well worth reading.

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10 Responses to "Traktor Boy Can’t Come Out to Play"

  1. DeBakey says:

    You’d think he’d be of interest to someone like the Thrashers.
    They’ve exactly zero guys to play with Kovalchuk.

  2. Lowetide says:

    debakey: I think a team might make an offer (say a draft pick) this summer and Lowe may indeed take it.

    However, he’s played in NA (2 NHL games, about one half an AHL season) and considering what these clubs are spending on people like Brunnstrom one would think Mikhnov would either be an attractive option or there is a fatal flaw.

    Probably speed.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    Mikhnov ain’t quick but he ain’t stupidly slow either; he certainly doesn’t make the Cory Cross All-Stars for “NHLers whose times blueline to blueline need to be measured using carbon dating”.

    I suspect Mikhnov’s problem is that there are probably a dozen guys who are posting his kind of numbers in the RSL. He’s bigger than lots of them and puts on fancier dekes than most but for all the tools the guy has he remains a generic “pretty good European player”. Now, I’d argue that Brunnstrom falls into that category too, but we live in a world where Kevin Lowe and George McPhee practically had a slapfight for the honour of signing Michael Nylander, so it’s clear that NHL managers do get the rose-coloured glasses going sometimes.

  4. Ribs says:

    Geez, I know Euros are sterotypically invisible in the playoffs in the NHL but I figured they didn’t do the same thing in their home lands!

    Awesome article. Thanks Guy (whom is probably reading this).

    I think Traktor Boy is officially dead to me now. It’s kind of sad, but really, I don’t have the time or will to cheer for the guy anymore.

    Prendergast sounds pretty frustrated with these guys. You’d think ther’d be a way around getting these foreigners over here that didn’t involve one-way contracts and begging and pleading. Can’t we just give their relatives new cars under the table or something? Hah… I watch too many sports movies I think.

  5. Dennis says:

    We always say that Nilsson took Schremp’s job but that also could’ve been Mihknov’s job as well.

    Lowe’s right not to pay a guy 1.5 mill and giving him a job right off the hope and Mikhnov fucked himself by going him midway through the ’06 season.

    If Richards was right and he was starting to show something, then he would’ve been in a good position to compete for a job in ’07.

    It was probably the right move for AM in terms of money but not in terms of an NHL career.

  6. David says:

    Why not give him a one-year, one-way deal, bring him to camp, and if he doesn’t make the team, put him on waivers?

    It’s a better solution than simply letting him rot in Russia, IMO.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    Why not give him a one-year, one-way deal, bring him to camp, and if he doesn’t make the team, put him on waivers?

    What if he gets left unclaimed? Then you’re left with a cap hit and paying him salary.

    He’s a good player who can stick on the 4th line for the Oilers, with potential to move up going forward. The problem is there just aren’t enough spots.

    Mikhnov probably killed his NHL career by ”bolting” to the RSL mid season of 2006-2007

  8. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers also have JF Jacques who they like better and is in the same position. Should they clear the decks on draft day there might be room to talk about Mikhnov.

    Is Jacques worth more thank Mikhnov in trade? I don’t know.

  9. rickibear says:

    Dennis(iofkcc1)& PJO: Haven’t we all been thinking he would have been Horc and Hemsky’s LW when Smyth left.

  10. Schitzo says:

    PJO: If he ends up unclaimed, there’s no cap hit, all you’re out is real dollars. Isn’t that supposed to be the big advantage of a rich owner – Burying the occassional fuckup in the minors?

    I doubt it would matter, though. If he goes through waivers, assign him to Springfield and he’ll go back to Russia.

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