Once 8 years of pass after drafting a player and still not seeing him play in any of the teams affiliates, the player slips off your radar and never usually gets back on. It's different with a kid named Ilya Nikulin. He has had never shown up on the stats side of things like most defenseman so I had never cared to follow him or his Russian teams but today I followed his team. That team was the world championship Russian team, and yes he wasn't completely the player that drew me (that'd be Kovy...) but has played equally good as Kovalchuk, just on the different side of the ice. Yes, it was only an assist and nothing huge but it shows that some players almost play better off the radar, like Ilya here. Yes, after these World's are over I'll probably forget about the kid again but it gives you something to look forward to in training camp and preseason.
Now going out of Russia, fellow Thrasher and Canadian Colby Armstrong also participated today, and finally did get some time to expose himself to everyone after being in a mostly looked over team in Atlanta. It has been mostly good for the Thrash, making all of us here in Blueland happy to say we get to watch those guys every night. But I start to wonder, for guys like Colby, is this time to represent your team or to more so get your name out there a little more come July 1st? I know some people just waive these questions off but seriously, whats more important for you come these World Championships?
Is it representing you country and getting that good ol' trophy, and for the great experience? You get to talk to some people or coaches who you might've played with when younger and for some, just be glad to be able to put on those skates and play competitive hockey does it for them too. There is also the fans cheering you on harder than maybe some of your own. Playing in a energized arena is better than playing in a empty one, isn't it?
Or is it getting your name out there for a trade and maybe showing you can play more for a contract with the team you're on. GM's are reckless and except for the few like Doan, every guy has to worry espiecally when you haven't had a playoff win like Atlanta. There is also always the player who is playing for more money too, and if there was any way to maybe get you an extra .50 or 1 million, it's lighting it up here as for some, it's their last chance.
If I was a hockey player, it'd be the 1st for the exact reasons I listed. Getting Canada another World Championship would be a lot better in my mind than playing good for extra money but getting caught up in it and having crappy performances. So there you are folks, I'd really like your opinion and for the 2nd one, remember you're a UFA or someone who's been rumoured to be traded alot like Lecavalier or something...