Russia. Even if he were on a NHL contract probably.
Where is Nikulin committed to playing?
North America. He has even stated that it is not being guaranteed an NHL spot, but the opportunity to earn it, which until recently he believed he would get the opportunity.
If he is not traded, what has Nikulin said he would do?
Return to play in Russia.
Who told him he was not in the Sens future plans?
Who did Nikulin tell he wanted to be traded?
Who else gets paid more if he plays in Russia?
Who benefits without actually losing anything if Nikulin chooses to forgo chances in NA and return to Russia?
Now I have obviously made some serious speculation here, but from what I have read about Nikulin was told and what the Senators organization knew, there has been only one constant: the middle man, Nikulin's agent.
Well when the KHL is a serious option and the difference of making an extra 100-140K, his comments make sense.
Reason why I believe Zubov is next if he does not make the team by next season.
Money is pretty important for players trying to make it, an injury and your career is done with not much to fall back on. Make the money while you can.
I totally agree with you. Money is reality, players have to feed their family (or future family). Nikulin might had a serious chance at making the team next year with the departures of McAmmond, possibly Neil and Donovan... (or even this year in case of injuries). Seems like he couldn't wait anymore. It's NHL now or never for him (in his mind).
The Sens didn't think he could become a top-6 forward, maybe a 3rd line center but unfortunately, we can't have more than one 3rd line center. We already have Kelly and guys like Z.Smith, Regin,... who could fight for it in the future. But anyway, that will leave more space/chance for guys like Zubov, Regin, Zack Smith to make the team next year...
I just think he got mad because he didn't play a pre-season game (and i understand him), so he reacts emotionally (very normal IMO) and asks for a trade, or is it a suggestion from his agent?
I agree to an extent that I can't imagine them explicitly (or intentionally) saying "you have no place in the organization." But...not giving him a pre-season game when career AHLers get a couple, that's a strong non-verbal message in itself.
Lost in translation?
I can see Nikulin asking his agent what it all means and his agent saying "The Sens are telling you that you don't have a future here". While that statement may be a reasonable conclusion to draw from how the camp went, it doesn't mean it's the only conclusion possible.
The Sens could clear this up with a few clear comments to the media about Nikulin's game, what he needs to address, how long they think it will take, and his eventual role on the big team. They should do that after talking to the agent, just to make sure that the information gets back to Nikulin without being filtered too much.
Off-topic, but Bill Simmons is a hell of a sports writer. I spent my lunch hour reading that same article.
I have been reading simmons for almost 10 years now, and he is still one of the most entertaining writers out there. While his humour level has dropped a touch, his writing style has improved a great deal.
Center Alexander Nikulin's absence from Friday night's exhibition had nothing to do with his desire for a trade, Clouston said. Rather, Nikulin tweaked his knee in practice Thursday.
"He was OK for the rest of practice," Clouston said. "But it was a little bit sore (Thursday) and (Friday) morning. ... Medically, there's no damage, it's just tender. Real sore."
Asked if there was anything new regarding Nikulin's trade desires, Clouston said: "Nothings written in stone. We still think Nikulin's a promising young hockey player. And I think there might have been a little bit of miscommunication, but we'll have to wait and see, and evaluate the situation in a day or two, and go from there. But ... we still think he's a promising pro hockey player. He has a big future ahead of him. He made some real big strides last year. At the end of the season, he was playing a much better game than he was at the start of the season. And so we still think he's got a big future, and we'll have to wait and see how things play out. But I don't think anything's carved in stone, that's for sure."
Doesn't look like the organisation wants him to go.
although, thats coming from Binghamton people, so of course they want to smooth things over with him. It would be nice if he did stick around, but I chalk this up to wishful thinking my B Sens management.
Ottawa director of hockey operations Brent Flahr said he had spoken with Sens GM Bryan Murray on Wednesday, and that as of then, team officials had not received any formal trade requests from Nikulin.
Also, Flahr rejected the notion that Nikulin was no longer in the club's future.
"That's not true at all," he said, adding later: "He's got great skill, great hands, vision. But away from the puck, certain things. The speed of the game up there, it's hard. So he has some things to learn, but we want him here. And if he doesn't want to be here, then we'll have to make a decision."
Flahr said Nikulin's blog entry this week caught Ottawa officials a bit off-guard. Murray already had a meeting scheduled with Nikulin's agent over in Sweden to discuss a few unrelated matters, and so the guess here is that this situation will be brought up then as well. Hopefully, at the very least, the two sides can use that time to get on the same page.