There is no joy in Mudville, aka Vancouver, this morning. To cap off the most disastrous season ever, where the Vancouver Canucks hockey team missed the playoffs and was the second worst team in the NHL, top prospect, young Russian Defenseman Nikita Tryamkin announced on Russian twitter yesterday, that he was not returning to the Canucks, or the NHL in the fall. He has returned instead to his former Russian hockey league, the KHL.
Here is the story from the Vancouver Province/Sun and I will have more thoughts in comments to follow:
Jason Botchford: Defenceman Tryamkin takes offence and bolts Canucks for Russia
It was Canucks general manager Jim Benning who chose Nikita Tryamkin. He was Benning’s guy, and the draft pick was a beauty. Tryamkin is 6-foot-7 and graceful on skates. This isn’t easy. The Canucks, desperate for talent, landed a valuable one and did it in the third round. They got a player they could develop into something good, maybe more. Tryamkin could have been a game-changer for a franchise in desperate need of one or five.
With a high ceiling and mountainous size, Vancouver needed Tryamkin to succeed and instead he failed, and they failed him. For a team that needs a lot to go their way to accelerate the current rebuild, this one will hurt and that hurt will linger. The official word from the Canucks is Tryamkin left for family reasons. This, of course, is part of the story. But, generally, when players choose to leave a postcard city and the luxurious, red-meat, Ritz-Carlton lifestyle of the NHL to return to a city in eastern Russia, the reasons are plenty and complex.
In Russian interviews after deciding to leave Vancouver, Tryamkin has made some things clear. He’s talked openly about his ice time, or lack thereof, which was limited, even though he clearly outperformed Luca Sbisa and arguably Ben Hutton, too. He has expressed confusion about why the coaching staff in some games went to five defencemen late in third periods, keeping him on the bench. Some of us watching were confused, too.
He questioned why it took so long for him to play at the start of the season (10 games), knowing the only reason he did play that first game was an injury to Chris Tanev. He seemed genuinely flummoxed as to why the Canucks asked him to go down to the AHL, when he was so adamant that he didn’t want to do this that he had a clause about it written into his contract. It’s clear there was a breakdown in communication between the coaches and Tryamkin and, language barrier or not, that falls on the team.
Tryamkin did believe he was better than defencemen who were getting ice time in the first 10 games, when he wasn’t playing, and when he got his chance in the lineup he proved he was right.
Why? Indeed. Why would a young man with more promise and potential than the rest of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team combined...suddenly throw it all away, bolt the prestigious NHL to return to his "primitive" homeland in eastern Russia? I use the word "primitive" [sarc] because that is just one of the adjectives that the disgusting Main$tream Media is using to describe Russia these days...in its concerted effort to demonize all things Russian.
Did the young Russian feel the non-stop conjured-up negativity towards Russia that infuses what passes for Western "culture" these days? I can only hope what they say about professional athletes living in their own "sports bubble" is true--about them necessarily being unaware of things going on in the world around them. Alone in a strange country, not speaking English, I can only hope he was not reading in translation the slings and arrows, lies and disinformation that is constantly spread about Russia and its leaders by the West.
Make no mistake, folks, in Vancouver this story is a BIG thing, This will not go away. There will be many post mortems over why the young man left--and who could have prevented it. The coach? (now fired after the disastrous season...who told Tryamkin to "man up" after the team lost a crucial game?) The President of the Team, former elite hockey player Trevor Linden, who, in post season interviews, leaned heavily on Tryamkin's "promise" as a hope for the team's future? Did he not also personally convey this opinion to Tryamkin to ensure that the young man felt he was valued--and that his vision for his own future could be met by the Canuck's brass?
As an avid and very disappointed Canuck's fan, I am torn. While I feel the loss to Vancouver of such a great future talent...at the same time, one part of me is pleased. I am pleased that young Nikita gave the finger to the West. I am pleased that he stunned an entire city and no doubt the NHL by voting--for Russia---with his feet. I wish other Russian hockey players would do the same. Can you imagine if Ovechkin left to return to Russia? Perhaps that would wake up the sheeple!
We in the West have been programmed by our narcissistic, ethnocentric press to believe that we are the centre of the Universe. But, lol, here is a young man who insinuates, instead, that we are the @$$hole of the world. Spaciba, Nikita.