Islanders Bits: The NHL Combine is for Grilling Russians

Great Moments in Combine History: Scouts convince Tyler Seguin to jam on the vertical xylophone.

The NHL Scouting Combine is underway, with all of its half-naked teenagers having tubes stuffed in their mouth and people in white coats probing them with instruments. This year, with so many Russians and/or Russian-descent prospects near the top of the draft, "The Russian Question" is top of mind.

Great article on that from the CP, in which Nail Yakupov comes off very well and Don Maloney comes off like your grumpy uncle:

"...you never get them to buy in," said Maloney. "There's always that little option that when you face some adversity, it's easier just to say 'nyet' and go in the other direction (to the KHL) instead of making it work. You have that out."

To be fair, Maloney's had his own rough Russian experience with Viktor Tikhonov, the son of the legendary Russian coach, who opted to return to the KHL on multiple occasions rather than keep on with AHL reassignment by Maloney's Coyotes.

But tell me Maloney wouldn't consider "that out" or hesitate to "buy in" if, while pursuing his career in Siberia, one stroke of the pen could knock his salary down by 90% and send him to a smaller town while offers for outright raises were on the table back in the comfort of home.

Oh, also: In the foreign land, people constantly accuse your kind of being "soft" and "only in it for the money" while the natives are revered as good hard-working tundra boys.

Hot Islanders Link Action

Hockey's Future ranks the Isles system 7th. Then you get to some of the weird (and brief) descriptions of the system's weaknesses and wonder what monkey did the research (emphasis mine):

The Isles have had difficulty convincing many of their young prospects such as Anton Klementyev, Kirill Petrov, and Mikko Koskinen to play North American minor-league hockey. Others, such as Ty Wishart, Nino Niederreiter, or Jason Clark have hit snags in their development. The organization has had difficulty in the past signing some of their NCAA prospects as well.

So NCAA boys Okposo, Nelson, Donovan and Ness are in the fold, but we're worried about Gregoire and Kessel The Lesser?

General Hockey is Drafty in June

Assaults, Departures, Theories

Finally, holy cow: Phill Hartman and Atari Ice Hockey ad (h/t Harrisson Mooney):


Oh, also: The Stanley Cup final resumes tonight. Go hockey.

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