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Buyout: Kirill Kabanov on waivers as New York Islanders cut ties

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Well, that was a strange trip.

Where my Kirill go?
Where my Kirill go?
Mike Stobe

Kirill Kabanov has been placed on unconditional waivers by the New York Islanders, the first step on the way to a buyout by the club.

Kabanov is entering the third year of a three-year Entry Level Contract (technically it was signed four years ago, but the first year was a "slide" since he returned to juniors) that paid $900,000 salary at the NHL and $67,500 at the AHL level, according to CapGeek.

However, he never made an NHL debut to earn that bigger salary, and based on the last year's events, it was never close.

After an early season skate injury to his wrist disrupted 2012-13, the organization was disappointed with how he returned after rehab, ultimately appearing in just 32 AHL games.

Then 2013-14 began no better, with reports of missed meetings getting him a demotion to the ECHL Stockton Thunder, and Kabanov appearing in only 16 AHL games and 9 ECHL games before being loaned to Modo of Sweden, where he appeared in 12 games.

Every time it seemed like there was hope for him putting it together, the tea leaves of his usage and assignment by the organization indicated it was falling apart.

A third-round pick with proverbial "first-round talent" -- he had fallen down the draft projections after reports of various behavioral incidents -- the Islanders took a no-brainer chance on his mercurial talent back in 2010.

He quickly became one of those almost mythical hopes for fans -- displaying skill in prospect scrimmages, showing up for a fan roller hockey pickup, continuing his collection of tattoos. A "late show" at his first camp hinted at what became a theme rather than an anomaly. The Isles signed him to an ELC a year before they had to -- perhaps a show of faith, perhaps more -- but his game and arguably his discipline or commitment never caught up to the organization's expectations. Rumors of what else might affect his life populate Internet theater.

In a sense, the book closes -- at least the Islanders' book -- on Kabanov like so many other frustrating talents in hockey history: The skill was there to entice, but the production and other peripheral attributes never kept pace.