Enigmatic winger Kirill Kabanov did not skate with the rest of the Islanders prospects during the first day of rookie camp in Syosset this morning. He missed the rigorous two-hour practice for disciplinary reasons, according to a team official.
Kabanov, a third-round draft pick for the Isles this year, was late for team physicals and was held out of practice as a result.
Although the young Russian has unquestionable talent and potential, he was also seen as a risk leading up to the draft for his questionable reputation (cut from the Russian under-18 team, dropped by his agent this summer and a tenuous relationship with his junior team -- the Moncton Wildcats).
The Islanders took a gamble on Kabanov in June, but Garth Snow insisted he wouldn't tolerate any bad behavior from the draftee.
Was today considered the first strike?
"I'm not going to get into a pitch count for him, but he has to learn how to abide by the team concept," Snow said while watching the prospects skate this morning. "He has to follow the same rules as his teammates."
Head coach Scott Gordon said Kabanov was made well aware of the organization's concerns and the implications of any missteps.
When asked if he was disappointed by Kabanov's absence, Gordon said, "not as disappointed as he's going to be. This is an area we've talked to him about and he's got to learn to follow the rules."
Kabanov's de facto agent (his Russian contact with the Orr Hockey Group) met with Snow and team officials during practice. The issue is expected to be addressed today and Kabanov will likely skate tomorrow.
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