Saturday, June 25, 2011

Murray Steals Filatov From Columbus

Impressive and inspired move by Ottawa GM Bryan Murray today to steal former 6th overall pick Nikita Filatov from the Blue Jackets for a third rounder.

The infusion of skill into the organization at the forward position the past few days is mind-blowing, even if most of it won't be on display for at least a couple of seasons.

But that's where Filatov can ease some pain. If he's going to pay off, it will likely start this coming season where he'll probably get a chance to skate on one of the top two lines in the early going, a role that Murray tried to fill cheaply with his late-season pickup of Marek Svatos from the Nashville Predators, a good idea that didn't exactly pan out. Filatov is an upgrade on Svatos, or at least on potential alone and he comes with a cap hit of just over 2 million, most of that made up of bonuses.

And the kid is just 21. It's no surprise that Filatov didn't excel in the Columbus organization after such high hopes because that's commonplace down there. They give up on young players better than any team in the league over the past ten years and Filatov is just the latest.

Give Filatov a centre (like Jason Spezza) and he's going to score some goals. He's too talented not to. I've already heard the Alexei Kovalev comparisons, but that's just an easy out to try and describe the young Russian. Yes, they're both skilled and they're both Russian. That's where the comparisons should end. Kovalev is a species unto himself. In order to find someone similar, you have to read Dostoevsky or Gogol instead of pointing at any Russian kid who can stickhandle through a Cribbage board.

Just two seasons ago, Filatov was coming off three successive World Junior tournaments where he was consistently one of the best players from any country. He can also speak English better than a lot of people in the Ottawa Valley and seems to have a bit of an outspoken and stubborn personality that will either serve him well or tear him down in the eyes of many.

The short story is Bryan Murray made a very low-risk move picking up the talented Russian because he had already drafted three skilled forwards with huge upside on Friday night. Filatov is a player who can help right away if he takes his second chance in the NHL seriously enough.

Could you imagine the ramifications of this deal if Filatov actually lives up to his status as a top-ten pick?

Even if Filatov can score 50 points in one of the next two seasons, this trade will have paid off ten times over.

I'm still shaking my head at the thought of it.


impressed said...

Great deal for the Sens. He is only 21 years old and could play very well with Spez. 6th overall only a few short years ago...what a steal.

Anonymous said...

How is this a steal? He's been bouncing between the AHL, KHL and NHL for the past while. He's known as moody and has already asked for a trade at age 21.

Are you ever critical of anything Murray does?

Terry Lafortune.

Jonathan Plinefieldson said...


Get your head out of your ass and read up on the circumstances of the fallout between the player and the team that drafted him, they are well documented.

Filatov was universally recognized by everyone as one of the most skilled, elite talents in the draft year. Some thought he was second to only Stamkos.

There was a time not too long ago when players were not expected to play in the NHL at 18. This player was poorly managed by a club that was desperate for offense.

Am I saying he will be what he was projected to be in 2008? I don't know if he will be. There's a good chance he won't. But for a third round draft pick, WHY NOT ROLL THE DICE???

EXCELLENT move by Murray's staff. Easily the most exciting trade of the day.

Anonymous said...

I don't like what Murray has done to the Sens. He should have been fired at the end of the season.

That said, I like the Filatov move a lot. I think that this is Murray's best move in four years. If this works, it's an absolute robbery.

The only thing is that it's boom or bust. He's no third liner. He has to be put in a position to succeed, otherwise he'll lose interest, like he seems to have done in CBJ.

If I'm a CBJ fan, I'm pissed. How do you give up on a high first rounder who's still on entry-level? Even if you don't want him anymore, why not play him with Nash for ten games so that Filatov can get some decent point totals, then sell him high.

I don't get the sell low philosophy. You gotta manage your assets. Great move by Murray to take advantage of the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Ya ok last poster, tell me your opinion on Karlsson and Andersson and now Filatov. Ya your right he should be fired. you follow hockey?

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1:39am

Karlsson, Anderson, and Filatov still have a lot to prove. I'm optimistic, but they have to prove it on the ice.

Karlsson still gives the puck away a ton, and his +/- is brutal. Let's not forget that he's a defenseman. Great talent though. Let's hope he continues to improve. I love the guy.

Anderson had a bad year last year, aside from his short stint in Ottawa where there was no pressure. You have to give that deal the right context. If we don't acquire him, we would have landed Landeskog or Huberdeau. Who knows, maybe Zibanejad ends up being the prize of the draft.

As for Filatov, I love that deal. But, he hasn't proven a thing yet. He has talent, but the management has to get it out of him. Can they do that?

He's a highly creative, skilled player. Not a dump and chaser. The callers on the post game show will be ripping this guy by the end of November.

The bottom line is that the team has to win. They haven't done that the last few years.

Andy said...

My concern with Filatov is potential dressing room issues. This team has had plenty over the past few seasons, and now there will be lots of impressionable young guys in there.

I understand the move - Filatov is very talented - but it's a little higher risk move than people are making out. It's not just a 3rd rounder - it's the potential to bring in a bad attitude and work ethic. As we've seen in the past one bad apple can infect the whole team. But perhaps in that situation he'll give the coach an opportunity to show the rest of the team how that sort of thing is dealt with.

Oman said...

Filatov will bring back some of Ottawa's "swagger", something they had none of last year. Attitude can be a great thing if managed properly.

Anonymous said...

Oman, I agree with you. But, if you want to add even more swagger, the Sens should sign Masterton nominee Ray Emery as the backup. Great perseverance and attitude from a guy that had to overcome an injury that would have destroyed many.