Monday, October 18, 2010

Burmistrov is a Success; Now Send Him Back

Alexander Burmistrov has proven he's got the determination and the skill to make it in the NHL. Through five games, his line centering Thorburn and Eager has been the most consistent and productive on the ice. He has also seen time on the penalty kill and his high hockey-IQ has served him well there.

The kid shows poise, good decision making, speed, tenacity, and skill. He could fill the role of third or fourth line center admirably for the rest of this season.

But he shouldn't.

I know I'm going to be lambasted for saying this, but Burmie should spend the rest of the year in Juniors.

The company line from both Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay has been that Burmistrov "has done everything he needs to do to stay here." And I can't disagree. However, a player with the amount of potential Burmistrov has shown in these five games needs ice time to develop.

Burmistrov has been centering the fourth line, though that line has been getting pretty decent ice time. In the California swing, Bumistrov averaged around 13:35 even strength ice time each game.

In Juniors, Burmistrov would likely play on the top line of his team and earn closer to 18 minutes of ice time per night, plus power play time.

With Patrice Cormier due back at some point from injury, it might make more sense to send Burmie back to Junior, place Cormier in his spot, and retain three full years of Burmistrov's entry level contract.

The principle is similar to that used when a head coach decided whether or not to redshirt a blue chip player in college football. Do I want four (or three) years of this kid at age 18-22, or do I want four years of this player at age 19-23, after an addition year of practice? Do the Thrashers want 3 years at $850k/year when Burmistrov is 18-21, or do they take those 3 years at that price when Burmie is 19-22, had another year in Junior, and has bulked up and matured for 12 more months?

Patrice Cormier isn't the same kind of prospect as Alexander Burmistrov. Cormier is expected to be an energy guy who spends his career on the third and fourth lines. Burmistrov is slated to be a top six guy and a point producer. It makes more sense for now to let Burmie practice lighting the lamp for 18 minutes per night in Junior while Cormier centers the thumper line in Atlanta.

12 comments:

FrenchCatalogues said...

No I agree. Yeh he's been good, but I don't want to waste our money and his time. Like you said he is supposed to be top six. Also, I don't want something serious to happen to him like him getting hurt pretty badly when he isn't fully developed.

j_barty_party said...

What a bunch of panzies!! Let the kid stay and play. He's only getting better by the game. Sure, give him some rest from time to time when Cormier is healthy, but who cares about the money and contract BS. The kid loves ATL and he seems to genuinely want to be here. If we keep winning and he grows with his mates into a top 6 forward, how is that a bad thing?

Also, do you really want to risk seeing Cormier struggle to get going and have to endure another learning curve for a young player if Burmy can be there to share the load? Lastly, don't forget that Burmy is an "old" 18 and about to turn 19 soon. He's more mature than he looks in his face. And he seems crafty enough to avoid big hits that might kill him.

JuneyMoon said...

He's just as likely to get hurt in Juniors, with lower level training staff to look after him. If you read Ramsay's comments today, he is looking out for him. As far as getting any bigger, that ain't happening during the season in either place.

Here he's learning that if he's going to play in the NHL he has to bust his ass all the time. That's not a bad habit to keep up

Mortimer Peacock said...

Isn't it spelled "pansies," Mr. Party? UNLESS we're talking about the important German tank, the Panzy. As in:

Panzy division!

Panzy-Kommunismus!

"Although the early-war Panzy II, III, and IV were clearly inferior to some of their French and Soviet counterparts, this blitzkrieg (‘lightning warfare’) was made possible by several factors..."

j_barty_party said...

Oh Morty! I was simply pretending to be Canadian...in my defence.

Thanks for your participation over at Henry House Hill by the way!

FrenchCatalogues said...

It's just that all of our rookies miss a part of the season much like how Kovy got hurt his first year along with Kane and Bogosian. It'd just be nice to actually develop a player. I know he likes it here, and that's all well in good. It's just I'd rather take a contract year when he is actually producing larger numbers. I'm just tired of blowing our load on our prospects, and the thrashers turning into a high quality nhl development camp.

FrenchCatalogues said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrenchCatalogues said...

But, he will probably stay. Ramsay is going to most likely let him. So, it doesn't really matter does it?

j_barty_party said...

Fair argument French! I can certainly understand that line of reasoning...let's just hope he bucks the trend of rookies getting hurt. But that's why I think the platoon combo of Burmy and Cormy may actually help both out.

Who's the odd-man out though?

Certainly not Anthony Stewart!!

FrenchCatalogues said...

All I know is that Modin and Dawes don't inspire much love from me. I would rather have Pettersson be up and Bergfors back in (obviously). So I don't know. Something about Dawes and Modin just seems like dead weight, not much energy or excitement there. And yes, that shoot-out goal was nice, but Christensen was good in the shoot out too. Take what you will.

j_barty_party said...

Monsieur Cats - I agree. I'm underwhelmed by both Modin and Dawes. Thought Dawes would be better at this point, but tis' still early. I'm worried that Modin may not have the legs, but he could prove valuable eventually on the PP...we shall see.

Jay said...

I don't see the point of sending him to Juniors where he is going to dominate. What is he learning then? Did having Kane up all year last season hurt him? By the looks of it this year, I'd say a resounding "NO". Is playing an additional five minutes in juniors REALLY that much better? The experience he'll get this year will make him that much better of a player. He'll go into the offseason better prepared for his 2nd year, similar to Kane. Keep him up. When Cormier is ready, cut Modin and move Burmistrov up a line. Increase his minutes as the year goes on, similar to what they did with Kane.