Islanders Assign Kirill Kabanov to ECHL Stockton: 'Personal' or Other?

Needs minutes, or an alarm clock? - Harry How

Is a reported meeting tardy another entry in the Kirill Kabanov Learnings file?

Something to monitor: Kirill Kabanov missed Bridgeport Sound Tigers practice for "personal reasons" (as did Andrey Pedan, according to coach Scott Pellerin as reported by Michael Fornabaio).

This afternoon, the Sound Tigers announced Kabanov had been assigned to the New York Islanders' ECHL affiliate Stockton Thunder on the other side of the continent.

Fornabaio, of the Connecticut Post, later added on Twitter that a source told him Kabanov was late for a team meeting. Newsday's Arhtur Staple tweeted that he was told the move is not a demotion, but a route to get Kabanov more minutes.

Either scenario, and indeed both, is plausible.

Thus far, Kabanov isn't in the featured offensive role at Bridgeport that his pedigree indicates he needs to succeed in his pro career. Other prospects have earned those minutes instead. He struggled late last season after returning from a lengthy injury that wiped out much 2012-13. But he also has a history of occasional professional slip-ups like arriving late, etc.

Could be the Isles and Sound Tigers were mulling one move, and were prompted by the slip-up to act just one week into the season. Could be they're sending a message as he enters the second year of his entry level contract at age 21. The Islanders are a "keep it in house" type of organization, so they'll never say on the record, "X missed a meeting, we're docking him" (nor "X's agent requested a trade, we're dumping him").

Either way, it's a developmental move they've done before with players ranging from Jason Clark to Mikko Koskinen to Andrew MacDonald. And either way, he'll need to earn minutes in the AHL, and succeed there, before he improves his chances of an NHL career.

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