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Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II

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07-18-2008, 10:21 AM
  #476
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Looking forward to it.

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07-18-2008, 10:21 AM
  #477
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Scored four on my agent.
July 18, 2008.


Yesterday I skated on one of the Moscow rinks. Like I was saying before, everything’s starting unusually early for me this year. By the middle of July I’ve already been through the development camp in Ottawa, working out at a gym prior to that, and now I’m hitting the ice and going to the gym as well. I have a good fitness center right by my house, it has a pool and a wide selection of exercise equipment. So that’s where I train, at my own expense, of course. And hockey’s needed to regain the feel for the ice.

Yesterday I played with amateurs. Although there were other professionals aside from me, a few guys 18-19 years old. Tending the goal was my agent Gennadiy Ushakov. Usually we play on the same team, but this time he was the opposition. Oh well, scored four on him. But Ushakov’s good. And could absolutely play in the KHL. So if anyone’s looking for goalies, let me know.

But seriously, goals and assists are completely unimportant in such games. It’s just to get back to form, to remember your skills. Every once in a while you do, of course, get into it, start pushing and shoving with someone… For instance, I almost got hit in the face with a stick yesterday. But that’s hockey. Although, I always thought high shots were not allowed at this level. But I saw the puck flying by heads all the time. Everyone’s firing.

In four days I’m going to St. Petersburg. That’ll be another independent training camp. Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and I will be preparing for the season using a special training program. I won’t name the athletic trainer (it’s honestly too bad that Dmitriy Kapitonov signed a contract with Dynamo and won’t be able to work with us—I’d heard only good things about him), but I’m hearing he’s also very professional. The program consists of track and field, gym, weights, and the ice. I will spend there almost a month. Hoping it’ll do me good.

There’s nothing strange about hockey players keeping in shape during their well-earned vacation. I was reading on Sports.ru that the guys from Atlant returned without any extra weight. Truthfully, that’s a serious achievement, but hardly a sensation. After all, they know what they risk.

To say nothing of myself. I’m counting on arriving for the Ottawa training camp in top shape, and that I can stay with the big team. This is why I’m spending my vacation in a way that may seem weird to someone who’s not an athlete, going to the fitness center, to the on-ice training, and to the gym.

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07-18-2008, 10:24 AM
  #478
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Originally Posted by ThirtyFive View Post
Scored four on my agent.
July 18, 2008.


Yesterday I skated on one of the Moscow rinks. Like I was saying before, everything’s starting unusually early for me this year. By the middle of July I’ve already been through the development camp in Ottawa, working out at a gym prior to that, and now I’m hitting the ice and going to the gym as well. I have a good fitness center right by my house, it has a pool and a wide selection of exercise equipment. So that’s where I train, at my own expense, of course. And hockey’s needed to regain the feel for the ice.

Yesterday I played with amateurs. Although there were other professionals aside from me, a few guys 18-19 years old. Tending the goal was my agent Gennadiy Ushakov. Usually we play on the same team, but this time he was the opposition. Oh well, scored four on him. But Ushakov’s good. And could absolutely play in the KHL. So if anyone’s looking for goalies, let me know.

But seriously, goals and assists are completely unimportant in such games. It’s just to get back to form, to remember your skills. Every once in a while you do, of course, get into it, start pushing and shoving with someone… For instance, I almost got hit in the face with a stick yesterday. But that’s hockey. Although, I always thought high shots were not allowed at this level. But I saw the puck flying by heads all the time. Everyone’s firing.

In four days I’m going to St. Petersburg. That’ll be another independent training camp. Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and I will be preparing for the season using a special training program. I won’t name the athletic trainer (it’s honestly too bad that Dmitriy Kapitonov signed a contract with Dynamo and won’t be able to work with us—I’d heard only good things about him), but I’m hearing he’s also very professional. The program consists of track and field, gym, weights, and the ice. I will spend there almost a month. Hoping it’ll do me good.

There’s nothing strange about hockey players keeping in shape during their well-earned vacation. I was reading on Sports.ru that the guys from Atlant returned without any extra weight. Truthfully, that’s a serious achievement, but hardly a sensation. After all, they know what they risk.

To say nothing of myself. I’m counting on arriving for the Ottawa training camp in top shape, and that I can stay with the big team. This is why I’m spending my vacation in a way that may seem weird to someone who’s not an athlete, going to the fitness center, to the on-ice training, and to the gym.
He's really determined to crack our roster.

I hope he makes it.

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07-18-2008, 10:44 AM
  #479
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I am curious to see him in the pre season games. not sure who he has to out play in order to get the spot though.

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07-18-2008, 10:56 AM
  #480
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Originally Posted by Sens fan in Toronto View Post
I am curious to see him in the pre season games. not sure who he has to out play in order to get the spot though.
IF we were to re-sign Vermette and make no other moves this offseason... I'd say he'd just have to work at passing Winchester for the 13th forward... and then depending on what shape McAmmond's in (if he's back 100% or not finally from those concussions), he'd be getting a chance occasionally on the 4th line or if he really stuns people passing up Foligno.

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07-18-2008, 11:09 AM
  #481
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Was Murray saying he'll be playing with the Senators this season just wishful thinking or reading too much into word on Niku's part, or does he really have him penciled in.

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07-18-2008, 11:12 AM
  #482
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Originally Posted by ThirtyFive View Post
Was Murray saying he'll be playing with the Senators this season just wishful thinking or reading too much into word on Niku's part, or does he really have him penciled in.
The only way I see it is as a winger.

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07-18-2008, 01:05 PM
  #483
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Originally Posted by spoon View Post
He's really determined to crack our roster.

I hope he makes it.
Me too, and I hope we don't trade him too.

Although, I wouldn't be terribly upset if we did (I was definitely ok with the fictional Barker for Neil/Nikulin deal)... but only if it means he gets to play in the NHL.

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07-18-2008, 01:09 PM
  #484
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Considering the need for skill in the top 6, maybe Murray is leaving a spot open for one of the young guys to take?

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07-18-2008, 01:19 PM
  #485
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Considering the need for skill in the top 6, maybe Murray is leaving a spot open for one of the young guys to take?
Bochenski style? Give him a shot on the top six for the start of the season to give him a taste.

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07-18-2008, 01:38 PM
  #486
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Originally Posted by Prickly Pete View Post
Bochenski style? Give him a shot on the top six for the start of the season to give him a taste.
It wouldn't hurt to give someone a try.

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07-18-2008, 02:39 PM
  #487
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Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
It wouldn't hurt to give someone a try.
I agree, but he will have to look a lot better in camp, otherwise I think he'll be stuck waiting for an injury to get called up.

I wonder if one of our swedes might not be more likely to be able to make the team in camp. Not sure what their contract status is anyway...

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07-18-2008, 02:50 PM
  #488
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I wonder if one of our swedes might not be more likely to be able to make the team in camp. Not sure what their contract status is anyway...
Like who? Do you mean a forward?

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07-18-2008, 03:09 PM
  #489
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Originally Posted by ThirtyFive View Post
Was Murray saying he'll be playing with the Senators this season just wishful thinking or reading too much into word on Niku's part, or does he really have him penciled in.
I think he will have a shot at earning a roster spot in training camp. If he doesn't make it, I think he will be the first call-up, at least to start the season. I know people are trying to do the roster math but once Meszaros/Vermette are signed I expect at least one change to follow. Incidentally, I'm not convinced Cody Bass is guaranteed a roster spot--with both Ruutu/Neil on the roster, it's not a slamdunk.

ThirtyFive, if you'll notice, Nikulin keeps talking about making the team--indicating he doesn't believe it's a guarantee that he will.

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07-18-2008, 03:43 PM
  #490
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I agree, but he will have to look a lot better in camp, otherwise I think he'll be stuck waiting for an injury to get called up.

I wonder if one of our swedes might not be more likely to be able to make the team in camp. Not sure what their contract status is anyway...
Petersson is our only Swedish forward prospect of note, and he's no where near physically mature enough to play in the AHL, let alone the NHL. A year with the Majors (was this confirmed?) and an NA training regimen should get him on the right track, but he still a few years away.

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07-18-2008, 06:05 PM
  #491
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Petersson is our only Swedish forward prospect of note, and he's no where near physically mature enough to play in the AHL, let alone the NHL. A year with the Majors (was this confirmed?) and an NA training regimen should get him on the right track, but he still a few years away.
Petersson's reputation has spiralled out of control. Someone said he's Havlat 2.0 and its stuck. People have to recognize that he was just drafted and is far from physically mature. He'll take time. He's not some phenom like Toni Dahlman.

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07-18-2008, 06:11 PM
  #492
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Petersson's reputation has spiralled out of control. Someone said he's Havlat 2.0 and its stuck. People have to recognize that he was just drafted and is far from physically mature. He'll take time. He's not some phenom like Toni Dahlman.
He's a longterm project for sure.

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07-18-2008, 07:48 PM
  #493
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I think he will have a shot at earning a roster spot in training camp. If he doesn't make it, I think he will be the first call-up, at least to start the season. I know people are trying to do the roster math but once Meszaros/Vermette are signed I expect at least one change to follow. Incidentally, I'm not convinced Cody Bass is guaranteed a roster spot--with both Ruutu/Neil on the roster, it's not a slamdunk.

ThirtyFive, if you'll notice, Nikulin keeps talking about making the team--indicating he doesn't believe it's a guarantee that he will.
I'll do some roster math here.. just the forwards and assuming Vermette's in (my line preferences).
Heatley-Spezza-Alfie
Foligno-Vermette-McAmmond(if pre-concussion form)
Ruutu-Kelly-Fisher
Neil-Bass-Donovan
13th: Winchester/Nikulin

One way Winchester/Nikulin get bumped out is if Bell stays up in the big club and they move Schubert back up to wing rather than playing him on the 6th pair with Lee.

I assume Bass is in, because otherwise we have to use McAmmond to centre the 4th line. Or perhaps Nikulin can pass Bass at training camp.

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07-18-2008, 07:53 PM
  #494
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I assume Bass is in, because otherwise we have to use McAmmond to centre the 4th line. Or perhaps Nikulin can pass Bass at training camp.
In my personal opinion - Bass, Kelly, Ruutu and Donovan are guaranteed bottom 6. The other 2 are to be decided or could be traded. (I don't include Fisher in the bottom 6.)

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07-18-2008, 09:52 PM
  #495
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Petersson's reputation has spiralled out of control. Someone said he's Havlat 2.0 and its stuck. People have to recognize that he was just drafted and is far from physically mature. He'll take time. He's not some phenom like Toni Dahlman.
I said it.

But I also said he's a very extreme boom bust player. He's a longshot to make the NHL, but his playing style really does remind me of Havlat.

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07-18-2008, 09:54 PM
  #496
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I said it.

But I also said he's a very extreme boom bust player. He's a longshot to make the NHL, but his playing style really does remind me of Havlat.
Yeah, I wasn't blaming you. His report suggest the boom/bust thing as you mentioned. Some have just misinterpreted your comparison I think.

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07-19-2008, 07:17 AM
  #497
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Like who? Do you mean a forward?
Yeah, I didn't realize Peterson was the only one we have under contract.

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07-19-2008, 12:43 PM
  #498
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Yes, there are too many forwards. I strongly believe that Neil will not be here and McAmmond could be on thin ice.

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07-19-2008, 01:37 PM
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I said it.

But I also said he's a very extreme boom bust player. He's a longshot to make the NHL, but his playing style really does remind me of Havlat.
Exactly. Petersson was said by many scouts to have the most raw offensive skills out of all the Swedish prospects. However since he is so young (only 17) he still has a lot to do in terms of maturing physicaly and mentally. If we are able to surround him with good people and take our time with him in order to teach him to develope his 2-way play and get him to be 100% motivated on the ice he should be a great player.

IMHO I think it was a great move to draft him with the Majors. We will be able to follow his progression very closely and in same time tailor him for the organisation and teach him things like 2-way play, forechecking, physical playing and ect. Hopefully this is also a first step in developing a system very much like Detroit where their draft picks are closely supported along their progression through their related junior teams

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07-19-2008, 02:47 PM
  #500
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Yeah, I didn't realize Peterson was the only one we have under contract.
We don't have him under contract, we just own his rights.

We also own the rights to Emil Sandin, another Swedish forward.

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