EDMONTON - Nikita Filatov isn’t willing to pay the price to score goals and that’s why he’s not in the NHL.
The Senators winger was the talk of cyberspace Thursday after it was revealed he wants to bolt the organization to join the Central Red Army in Moscow unless GM Bryan Murray agrees to recall the 21-year-old.
Toiling with the club’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, it got even more embarrassing when Columbus Post-Dispatch hockey writer Aaron Portzline tweeted the following story about Filatov from his days with the Blue Jackets.
“One of (Filatov’s) many previous coaches calls him into room with video guy for 1-on-1 film work, to show him (instances) where they want him to crash the net and get to rebounds, create scoring chances,” wrote Portzline. “After four or five clips, Filatov steps back from the monitor, looks at the coaches and says, flatly: ‘Filly don’t do rebounds.’ ”
Apparently, ‘Filly don’t do the minors, either.’ The Senators hope this isn’t the end of Filatov in Ottawa, but that decision won’t be made until the end of November.
“Every person is different with how they handle stuff,” said Zenon Konopka, who bounced around the minors before earning an NHL job. “(Corey) Perry and (Ryan) Getzlaf played in the minors in Portland when I was there.
“There’s something to be said for the character of what moulds you in the minors. You learn a lot, not just hockey lessons, but life lessons. It’s a good place for everyone to be, minus (Sidney) Crosby and (Alex) Ovechkin.”
Good advice for Filatov.
THIS ’N’ THAT
Jason Spezza, 28, laughed when he was told that Edmonton rookie C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 18, thought of the Senators centre as one of his idols growing up. “I don’t feel old, but it definitely puts into perspective that I’ve been in the league for a little while,” said Spezza, who is in his ninth season. “He’s an exciting player and a good player. It’s a huge compliment coming from a guy like that.” Nugent-Hopkins, a Burnaby, B.C., native, said he loved the way Spezza scored highlight-reel goals ... W Ryan Smyth has enjoyed a lot of success after being dealt back to Edmonton from Los Angeles in the off-season. “I’m enjoying myself coming to the rink every day, even in practice,” said Smyth.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Oilers coach Tom Renney confirmed D Cam Barker will be out at least three months after having ankle surgery. You can cue up the trade rumours for any available blueliners because Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini was already looking before the Barker injury. A couple of Ottawa D-men — Filip Kuba or Brian Lee — could be of interest to the Oilers. The Senators might not be so quick to get rid of Kuba. He led the club with 42 blocked shots going into Thursday’s game vs. Edmonton and is playing some of the best hockey anybody has seen in Ottawa. The Oilers’ No. 1 target is Toronto D Cody Franson ... There was no update on Senators W Chris Neil, who is sidelined with an ankle injury. He hasn’t skated since he tried to go on the ice Monday. D Matt Carkner (knee) won’t return for at least another week. Don’t rule out the possibility of a conditioning stint in Binghamton for Carkner.
OFF THE GLASS
With time to kill Wednesday, Erik Condra and Kaspars Daugavins went to a huge tourist trap: The West Edmonton Mall. Not only did they shop, Condra considers himself a roller-coaster aficionado and he convinced Daugavins to go for a ride. “He had never been on one before, so he went on with me and it took me about 20 minutes to convince him,” said Condra. “We should have bought the picture they take when you’re on it, because the faces we had were priceless.” The fun didn’t stop there: Daugavins knocked off Condra in a game of mini-putt ... Nice to see Garth Phillips, the father of Chris Phillips, outside the dressing room after the morning skate. Garth, who has had health issues in the past year, was in a wheelchair, but he looked great and was joking around with friends.
WIN CHEAPSEATS TICKETS: Email us the headline of this article on Ottawasun.com to enter our draw for 2, 300-level seats to the Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place on Nov. 27 vs. Carolina. Email your answer, along with name, address, email and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line must read "Ottawa Senators Cheapseats Tickets". One entry per person / email address. We will make the draw at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21 and inform the winner via email. You must be able to pick up your tickets in person (bring photo ID) at the Sun, 6 Antares Dr., before 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24.