Fetisov calls Pashnin’s decision to leave for North America “a mistake”
Tuesday August 02nd 2011, 10:42 pm

Viacheslav Fetisov may have been a trailblazer in his own time, helping pave the way for Russians to leave their homeland for the NHL, but he’s not a fan of New York Rangers 2009 draft pick Mikhail Pashnin’s decision to leave Russia to join the Rangers organization this fall.  The former NHL defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup champion, who now serves as President of KHL club CSKA Moscow, made his feelings know in an interview on the league’s web site on Tuesday:

Sometimes hockey players listen to the entirely wrong people. Pashnin had a very good season, but nobody would argue that he doesn’t still have far to grow. I’m sure that one or two more years in Russia would bring him much greater benefit. The chances of him making the Rangers main roster are extremely small. And I don’t think that a season in the AHL will bring him more benefit than a season in the KHL. We tried to explain to Mikhail that he was making a mistake, but we couldn’t change his mind.

Pashnin has split the past two years between CSKA and their junior team, after becoming the first overall pick in the KHL’s first ever entry draft.  While the honor doesn’t quite equate to being the top pick in the NHL draft — only those who didn’t grow up within a KHL team’s feeder system are eligible for the draft — CSKA gave up four draft picks in order to land the young defenseman, who was a favorite of CSKA General Manager and former Ranger Sergei Nemchinov.

It’s easy to dismiss Fetisov’s comments as sour grapes.  But in reality, he has a point.  Pashnin is a long way from challenging for an NHL job — if he ever does.   He struggled to stick with a middling KHL club last season, though he did show progress over his rookie campaign.  And he gained invaluable experience when CSKA’s season ended early and he was sent to their junior club, where he played a leading role en route to the MHL championship.

While there’s value in coming to North America to adjust to the smaller ice surface and different style of play, he’ll be lucky to crack the top four on the Connecticut defense corps this season.  With CSKA, he would have been looked upon to play a significant role, and would have gained an extra year’s experience, maturity and strength.

The risk in bringing over a player as raw as Pashnin is that he’ll get discouraged after a year or two in the AHL and head home before he reaches his full potential.

Only time will tell if the Rangers risk will return a reward.

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Filed under: Mikhail Pashnin


Coming to America: Mikhail Pashin
Friday July 22nd 2011, 11:42 am

New York Rangers 2009 7th round pick Mikhail Pashnin has decided to continue his career in North America.  According to CSKA Moscow General Manager and former New York Ranger Sergei Nemchinov, Pashnin has decided not to renew his contract with CSKA, opting to come New York to pursue his dream of making the NHL instead.

“Pashnin’s contract with CSKA has ended.  We offered him a new [contract] but he has decided to try to make the NHL. He has an offer from the New York Rangers and is currently negotiating with them,” Nemchinov told RIA Novosti.

“We were glad to have him on our team, but he has made his choice in favor of the NHL club.”

Nemchinov made it clear that Pashnin’s departure was amicable.  “There was no conflict,” the 1994 Stanley Cup champion added.

Pashnin, the first overall pick in the first ever KHL draft, will need seasoning in the AHL with the Connecticut Whale before challenging for a job in New York.  Despite impressive showings at the New York Rangers development camp the past two summers, he remains a longshot to make the NHL.

The native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, scored 4 points in 42 games for CSKA in the KHL last season.  At the conclusion of CSKA’s season, he went on to help lead their junior team to the MHL championship, the Kharlamov Cup, with a goal and four assist in 16 playoff games.

UPDATE: Pashnin’s agent Alexei Dementyev has confirmed he is negotiating a deal that would bring Pashnin to New York this fall.

“We’re currently negotiating with New York,” Dementyev told Sport-Express.  “Mikhail took part part in the Rangers rookie camp this summer and received good reviews.  Team management informs [us] that they expect him at their main training camp, starting in Sepetember. ”

Asked if there was any chance the 22-year old defenseman could remain in the KHL with CSKA, Dementyev admitted “nothing can be ruled out,” but confirmed that Pashnin had not travelled to Finland for the start of the club’s training camp.  “The Rangers are very interested in the player, therefore I hope that negotiations will conclude successfully.”

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Filed under: Mikhail Pashnin


Anisimov not satisfied with successful sophomore season
Sunday March 27th 2011, 3:52 pm
Artem Anisimov

Photo: Yarsport

With seven games remaining in his second NHL season, New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov has already eclipsed the numbers he put up in every major statistical category during his rookie year.  And his current 18-24-42 stat line is on par with those achieved by current linemates Brandon Dubinsky (13-28-41) and Ryan Callahan (22-18-40) in their respective sophomore seasons, fueling hope that his career will take a similar trajectory as his two teammates’, who currently lead the team in scoring.

As Anisimov told Sovietsky Sport correspondent Alyssa Volbidakht following last week’s match-up with the Ottawa Senators, he isn’t satisfied with his sophomore production, and recognizes that there’s room for improvement. In the interview, translated below, the the 22-year old Yaroslavl native also discussed the Rangers playoff aspirations, their Madison Square Garden neighbors the New York Knicks, and why he chose to wear the number 42.

- It would seem that the Rangers really don’t want to be the last playoff seed.

- That’s the truth.  We need to win each game. The more points we collect, the further the separation from those pursuing us.

- As your goaltender Henrik Lundqvist likes to say, “Every day I remind myself that last season we missed the playoffs by only one point.”

- Exactly! Now we could even overtake Montreal.  We’re looking at those in front of us, instead of behind.

- Are you happy with your successes this season?

- No.

- But you have good statistics!

- Could have been even better.  There are very good examples in the league.  Steven Stamkos, the Sedin brothers, Pasha Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sasha Ovechkin, Zhenya Malkin… I need to improve myself, to raise the level of my play.

- It’s possible that you’ll meet some of those guys at the world championship.  Will you be going to the national team?

- It depends on the situation in the NHL.  For us the most important thing now is the playoffs.  The further we go, the better.  But if there’s a misfire and the Rangers are knocked out, I’ll gladly play for my native team Russia.

- Do you go to New York Knicks basketball games?  After all, you play in the same arena…

- I’ve never been.  There’s not enough time.  But I’d really like to get out [to one].

- So you didn’t get acquainted with Timofey Mozgov.

- Well… We saw each other in the training center where the Knicks and Rangers train together.  We met during lunch in the cafeteria, said hello…

- After the Knicks traded Mozgov for Karmelo Anthony, they lost seven of eight games!

- That’s how it goes.  Sorry, I really don’t follow the NBA intently.

- Why did you choose the number 42?

- When I played in Hartford, I wanted to take the number 12.  But the sweater with that number was already hanging from the rafters of the local arena…

- Actually, 12 is the only number removed from circulation there.  In honor of the former forward and captain Ken Gernander, who now coaches your farm club.  He’s the AHL record-holder for goals in the playoffs – 123.

- And then I wanted to take the number 24, because that’s my birthday.  But my conscience wouldn’t allow it — my friend [Devil's prospect Alexander Vasyunov], with whom I played together for 7-8 years, wore that number.  What to do?  So took it and inverted it.  And got 42.

- I have to ask you: have you ever read the Douglas Adams book “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?”

- No. What’s that?

- In it the number 42 is answer to the meaning of life and everything else.

- Really? – Anisimov is extremely surprised.  – I didn’t know.  I’ll have to read it.

- In English it’s called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

- Thanks, I’d rather read it in Russian.  It’ll be easier.

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