So, what do you do when you've missed most of your draft season to a severe wrist injury suffered in November that required surgery to fix and cost you most of the 09-10 campaign's games and cast significant doubt over your status?
If you're Kirill Kabanov, you miss a team bus to Halifax for starters. Then, you take a terrible penalty in your first playoff game with your team behind in the second period, get screamed at by David Savard, your own teammate, and ultimately get benched by coach Danny Flynn and don't play again that game.
I just heard that Kabanov did not play in Game 2- a healthy scratch. And my source tells me that to this day, he's never seen a player get shown up so blatantly in a game by his own teammate as Savard did with Kabanov last night.
The saying, "shooting one's self in their own foot" doesn't do Kabanov justice, apparently. Imagine-- all those NHL scouts in Moncton to see you, and you have an epic meltdown of a performance that sees your team come roaring back after you get the boot, and then the next night, you've been given a seat. To quote the old Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush "41" SNL skit: "Not...gonna...do it!"
Yes, Kabanov is super talented (forget any of the ludicrous Alexander Ovechkin comparisons you may have heard, though, they're both Russian is about as far as I would go at this point), and yes- some team will be lauded for getting a "steal" with him when he drops either down to the final 10 picks of the first or out of that round entirely. But, his wrist is still a questionmark and now you have significant character concerns on top of that. That he's Russian doesn't help his cause, either.
So, Kabanov might end up being a Bruin, but you can be sure that they won't touch him with either of their picks in the first round, which leaves that high Toronto second-rounder as a possibility if he drops that far, which, based on this latest turn of events, he very well could. The question then becomes, would YOU take the risk with this highly talented, but clearly immature player? When you have the multiple early picks that Boston does, you can afford to gamble a little bit, but let's be clear, here-- Kabanov comes with baggage. Before you sign on the dotted line for him, understand that if he's someday wearing a spoked-B and misbehaving, the red flags were there well in advance.
Oh, and speaking of other 2010 draft candidates, I also hear that defenseman Brandon Gormley is playing great so far. Apparently, he's not all that far away from Cam Fowler in terms of skill and potential, so consider his stock on the rise. Moncton is expected to go far in the playoffs, so it will be interesting to see what Gormley does. I've got at least one source telling me that Gormley is a sure top-five for him, so if Boston somehow misses out on the top two, and Fowler is off the board as well, then Gormley might be the way to go.