Traktor Boy now a Yarolslavl Locomotive

This is one of my favorite photos. Marc Pouliot and Alexei Mikhnov lining up to congratulate the goalie after a win.

Rare photo.

Pouliot will come to camp and try to make the big club, but Mikhnov’s season is already underway. He’s played in one game for the Locomotives and has an assist. Alexander Bumagin plays for Atlant and also has an assist in his first game.

Both players are in the new Kontinental Hockey League and although they have talent both seem unwilling to come to North America and throw the dice on an NHL career. Reason? If they don’t make it, they’ll play in Springfield for pennies compared to the Russian loot.

Can’t say I blame them, but from a selfish point of view it would be nice to see what they could do over a full season.

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18 Responses to "Traktor Boy now a Yarolslavl Locomotive"

  1. Paper Designer says:

    You’d think that they would at least try to make the NHL. Russia will still be there if a two year experiment doesn’t work out; but to get huge money, either in the NHL or KHL, you should be trying to raise your profile. Succeeding at the NHL level is the best way to do that.

  2. doritogrande says:

    Definitely one of MacT’s biggest blunders is not giving this guy an audition earlier in the season. Did the same thing to Jan Hejda, look where both of them are now.

    Of course, if Mikhnov stayed in the AHL for another couple weeks, he would have been playing top-6 ice time for the rest of the season based on the injuries we had. Shame really.

  3. boopronger says:

    Mikhnov is brutal imo. Watched him at the rookie games a few years ago and it always seemed like he was a step behind. Too slow and I dont know about these “soft hands” that he has.

    Then when he did get some action in a game, the oilers had a 5 on 3 and he was right in front of the net and botched any chance at all of scoring a goal.

  4. Lowetide says:

    He played 13:43 in 2 games boo. Lots of players miss golden chances in their first 13:43 in the NHL and find their way as scorers.

    The footspeed thing was probably a factor and there were no doubt others. One of the factors imo was the organization had all kinds of depth. If Moreau has one more short season Mikhnov might be an option next summer.

  5. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    Didn’t Mikhnov sit in the PB for over a month before he played his first game? Mikhnov was handled about as well as Alex Plante’s season was last year from the moment he was drafted.

    Who knows what would have happened if he came over 5 years ago and learned to train with Horcoff and the Moreau’s and Smith.

  6. raventalon40 says:

    I’m tempted to say it’s Jani Rita or Tony Salmelainen over again… but it’s not.

    This is a situation where a player chooses the safer, more secure option for himself. I would love to see Tony Salmelainen or Jani Rita or Mikhnov in Oiler silks… but they don’t need us and we don’t need them right now.

    Do you think the Oilers might have given him his 1-way contract if we didn’t have the kid-line and Pouliot/Schremp/Reddox/Brule/Potulny… bringing in the rear? I think there’s at least a good chance.

  7. Showerhead says:

    If you’re counting, that’s Lupul in the background for three incredibly unlikely Oiler heroes ;)

  8. Julian says:

    My girlfriend and I picked our KHL teams the other day. I went with the Locomotive (in part because of Mihkhnov) and she went with Mettalurg Magnit…. Mag… the one Malkin used to play for. Big showdown between the two this Saturday, it’s gonna be huge!

  9. Doogie2K says:

    she went with Mettalurg Magnit…. Mag… the one Malkin used to play for.

    Metallurg Magnitogorsk

    And for the record, it’s actually spelt Lokomotiv, for all the burgeoning Yaroslavl fans in the building. Just so we don’t get our English translations mixed in with our Russian city names.

  10. Oilman says:

    I remember Mikhnov playing big minutes in a pre-season game against Phoenix and the only impression he left me with was how soft a player he was. One play in particular – he was chasing down a loose puck against Dennis Seidenberg and turned away from the play to avoid contact. It was a poor first impression to say the least.

  11. jdrevenge says:

    This could be the way it starts to shake down in terms of some of the player development around the league. Fringe players leaving for the leagues overseas waiting for the Toronto Maple Leafs or Vancouver Canuck’s of the league to throw big money at them. Bigger money than the remaining Oligarchs of Russia can pass their way.

    There will be the Ovechkin’s and the Filatov’s of the world but for eveyone of them there’s a Radulov. Women way outnumber men out there and the women ain’t that bad looking either and i hear they like money.

  12. Suneil Parmar says:

    You can’t blame some of those European players for staying over there – whether it’s in the KHL or other Russian/European leagues. Unless they’re an Ovechkin or Malkin, they’ll likely never come close to the money in the NHL that they could make in the KHL. Also, for many of those European players it’s a different game – a different mindset. Some of them didn’t (unlike most of us) grow up dreaming of one day hoisting the Stanely Cup, or playing for their favorite NHL team, or pretend they were Gretzky. For some of them, the desire to play in the NHL is completely different from some of the NA kids who live for the chance to play in the NHL.
    I don’t blame them for not deciding to shift their entire lives to a whole new continent where they likely don’t know the language, won’t know any people, and won’t live nearly as comfortable of a life as back home.
    I think that’s why if you look historically at the Oilers drafting, they go for Canadian kids – especially from here out West. Didn’t Eberle say his favorite team growing up was the Oil? Do you think that’s a coincidence?

  13. Julian says:

    hah, reminds of Schremp saying he wanted to be drafted by either Edmonton or the Rangers. Odd final two preferences.

  14. Addicted-to-oil says:

    Draft Picks:
    3/5 in 2008 were North Americans
    3/6 in 2007 were North Americans
    4/5 in 2006 were North Americans
    6/8 in 2005 were North Americans

    The last two years have seen the Oil look overseas a bit more – but usually not to Russia. Sweden and Finland are the most popular non North American stops for the Oilers. I’ll be taking a look at the Oilers drafting in my blog later in the season.

  15. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide defects to the KHL.

  16. Bruce says:

    Lowetide defects to the KHL.

    I’m in shock. I haven’t felt like this since Aug. 9, 1988.

    OK, maybe not since Cryin’ Ryan went on his way. But still …

  17. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    LT where are you? Did you get the tux back on time?

  18. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Bruce…many have expressed the opinion recently that you should be doing this.

    Do it.

    I for one would be all eyes.

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