Now that the evil Detroit Red Wings have been valiantly vanquished by the team that saved hockey once again, the Chicago Blackhawks, it's time to start everyone's favorite off-season activity - rosterbation. One of the biggest problems for the team during the season was the inability to score and the lack of a pure scorer in the top six. How do they fix this? By trading for the RFA rights of a guy who's never scored more than 30 points in any given season, of course.
Alexander Burmistrov is a 21 year old Russian-born forward currently mired in the trenches of Winnipeg, set to be a RFA coming off of his entry level deal when the season ends. Burmistrov was selected 8th overall by the then Atlanta Thrashers in the 2010 entry draft and pressed into service with the team soon after. Since Atlanta/Winnipeg was and still is experiencing a dearth of talent, Burmistrov was able to make the team after only spending one year in Barrie of the OHL, and I think this has a lot to do with his lack of production so far. He has 58 points in 194 career games, but really never found his groove for the Jets despite having a ton of talent. It's a common joke around here to poke fun at Ken Holland for how he likes prospects to overripen in Grand Rapids, but Burmistrov is a good example of what happens when a guy is pushed to the main stage before he's ready - his growth is stunted.
According to Burmistrov's agent and a recent THN article, Burmistrov has no intention of resigning with the Jets this off-season. He's clashed with Jets head coach Claude Noel, and the latter has put Burmistrov into a checking role in which he clearly isn't comfortable nor suited for. Arctic Ice Hockey has a good article up about Burmistrov and Noel not seeing eye to eye, and it seems to be a consensus among fans and the talking heads that a change of scenery would be best for him. Why not Detroit?
Because of his lack of production and relative inexperience, Burmistrov wouldn't command anywhere close to the money that Valtteri Filppula seems to want nor would it take that much to pry him out of Winnipeg. Since he's made it clear that he will not resign there, the Jets aren't dealing from a position of strength. I think Burmistrov would jump at the chance to play in Detroit since he would finally get an opportunity to be on the same team as Datsyuk, the man who helped him out when he needed it the most. There's been speculation that Datsyuk might want to play in Russia after his contract expires at the end of next year, so why not bring in a young version of Datsyuk who so desperately needs someone to mentor him? Pavel would get to play with a fellow Russian for the first time in a long time in Detroit, which may give him more of an incentive to stay past next year.
What do you guys think? Should Kenny go after Burmistrov in the offseason as a potential replacement for Filppula, or look elsewhere for scoring help?