It didn’t take long for the Nikita Filatov experiment to blow up in Bryan Murray‘s face as the disgruntled winger asked for and was provided assignment to the KHL. By assigning him to the Russian League, Ottawa retains his rights should he wish to return to the NHL in the future.
It is difficult to lay blame as to who is responsible for this development, as the Senators jockeyed him around between scoring and checking lines, and up and down to and from Binghamton. But in the end, Filatov didn’t produce when given the chance and didn’t feel the need to be a team player and do what the Senators needed him to do organization-wise, so Ottawa is in the same position that Columbus found themselves in a year ago, and that is what to do with an unhappy player.
Filatov played 9 games as a Senator, netting one assist. His ice time varied dramatically over those games. Before he was sent to Bingo, he was averageing around 7 minutes per game. After his recall from Binghamton, his season low 3:05 against Winnipeg on Nov 29th (he was injured early with a skate to the face) was bookended by his two highest games in terms of TOI, both around 15 minutes but there was still no production.
With the return of Peter Regin to the lineup and the emergence of Colin Greening as a decent sidekick to Jason Spezza, there wasn’t really room for Filatov and the style he plays in Ottawa’s top 6. He also doesn’t play the type of game that would fit on a checking line, so really he was a player with no home, and now he is going home.
Still, in hindsight, the deal that sent a third round pick for the former first rounder Filatov was worth the risk for the Senators, and a move that I would do again if given the oppportunity. This one didn’t work out as the Senators had hoped, but the cost for the experiment was pretty negligable.
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