Monday, December 12, 2011

To Russia, With Lunch

And with that, the Filatov experiment comes to an end -- at least for 2011-2012.

This is one of those situations where there is clearly some information missing from the public record. On paper, Filatov did everything that could be reasonably expected of a prospect: work hard, tear things up in the minors, and wait for the call-up opportunity.

The only thing he didn't do, on paper, was tear up the NHL, and frankly playing twice on the 4th line and then being scratched five times in a row isn't likely to give him the platform to do that.

Frankly, when other players like Butler and DaCosta are getting a ton of ice time -- even if DaCosta ended up getting sent back down, you can't say that he didn't in any way not get a fair shake at playing -- while Filatov sits, there has to be something else going on.

Whether or not that something else will prevent Filatov from having a future with the Ottawa Senators, or indeed anywhere in the NHL, remains to be seen.

Even if Filatov never provides any further value to the Senators I say this was a gamble worth trying. If it had paid off, the team would have a top-six forward where it desperately needs one. If it fails, the team is out a third-rounder -- a gamble in and of itself.