Here’s some fresh news from the Pacific coast that may not seem important, but does take a name off the “centers available” aisle of the Rumor Mill Market..
Vancouver Canucks center Alexander Burmistrov has retired from the NHL, according to agent Dan Milstein. However, an official announcement regarding his future is expected in the coming days. Burmistrov is just 26 years old, so the news of his retirement is certainly unexpected. Some have speculated that he is simply retiring temporarily so he can play in the Olympics. Remember, the NHL is not permitting its players to play in the Olympics this winter, so this may certainly be the case. Still, right now, there is no official word on why Burmistrov has decided to call it quits.
Not Insiders Verdict: Burmistrov was drafted during a time where lots of Russian players were coming out of the World Junior Championships looking like world-beaters. There was a near worriless process to go through to have these players come to North America to chase the Stanley Cup. Players like Burmistrov, Evgeni Grachev, Alexei Cherepanov (RIP), Nikita Filatov and Alexander Radulov were among that group as well, and on the whole, we can now call the experiment what it was – a bust! Burmistrov started with the Jets, but also was acquired by the Coyotes for a season setting themselves up with key pieces for their franchise overhaul.
Burmistrov never lived up to a number eight overall pick, and I am sure he got frustrated along the way (not when he left for the KHL, just his overall situation. He was supposed to be a star, but a lack of consustent effort saw him getting less and less prime time minutes, which eroded his confidence, which lowered his production, which starts the cycle again.
Good luck, Alex! Have fun at the Olympics!