Kirill Kabanov is being cut by the New York Islanders -- waived, then bought out if no one claims him -- but a post on his Facebook timeline says the separation was his choice.
(For those of you still not on Facebook -- first, bravo and much respect for your persistent holdout -- that is how some young folk still "communicate" with "friends" these days.)
Kabanov said he fell in love with Long Island, thanked Islanders fans and GM Garth Snow "for understanding," and regretted that he never got to play more. The text:
"I think it is time to say goodbye to all NY Islanders fans. Thank you for all your wishes and for great support through all those years. It was my choice to move and huge respect to Garth for understanding.
I spend 4 years with the Islanders organization and never had a chance to play even in AHL for them. But I still appreciate Islanders Medical staff for being with me after injury i get my first year in Bridgeport. and all the staff in Islanders organization.. And specially fans . You will be my friends forever no matter what team i will play in the future. I made great friends and fall in love with Long Island, but it is time to move."
Kabanov actually appeared in 48 games for the Sound Tigers, though some were in quite diminished roles. Rumors and hearsay have surrounded his rocky career, so the idea that it was strictly his choice to leave should be viewed with at least a critical eye.
Whether it was more his wish or their choice, he clearly wasn't going to be in the club's plans at the NHL level for the upcoming 2014-15 season, the third and final year of his Entry Level Contract. What came beyond that, well, looks like the writing was on the wall.