Maybe having one of the greatest defenseman in your country’s history tell the press you’re making a mistake is enough to give one pause. Or maybe the New York Rangers aren’t offering the kind of contract Mikhail Pashnin and his agent were hoping for. Either way, it appears Pashnin’s signing with the club that made him the 200th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft may not be as imminent as it once seemed.
Ekaterina Mukhlinina of Infox.ru spoke to Pashnin’s agent Alexei Dementiev, who made it clear the decision on where Pashnin will play next season has not yet been made. “At the current moment, Pashnin has not signed any contract, either with CSKA Moscow or the Rangers. All roads are open for Mikhail,” he stressed. “Anything’s possible.”
“I think everything will be determined within a week to ten days,” Dementiev added.
Responding to CSKA President and Russian hockey legend Viacheslav Fetisov’s criticism earlier this week of Pashnin’s decision to continue his career in North America, Dementiev clarified their position. “Neither I or Mikhail himself claim that he won’t develop in Russia. At present we’re evaluating all prospects and opportunities for his next actions.” In an effort to smooth over any potential or perceived rift between his client and the team that continues to hold his KHL rights, he added “Pashnin has great respect for CSKA. He has only positive feelings towards the brand, the team.”
This could be nothing more than Dementiev trying to make sure his client’s relationship with CSKA hasn’t been damaged, and that the young defenseman has a job to return to if things don’t go well for him in the Rangers organization. Or, it could be a misguided attempt by the agent to put pressure on the Rangers to sweeten the terms of their offer. Or maybe the kid is just having second thoughts. Either way, it looks like Pashnin’s arrival in North America this fall isn’t such a slam dunk after all.
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