If you scratch your head about the handling of the Heikkinen situation, what about Evgeny Grachev? Should the soon-to-be 20-year-old (Sunday), who scored 80 points in juniors have been allowed to play for
The 6-foot-4 Grachev, whose English---if not his game---has really improved since training camp, isn’t satisfied with his season. “I don’t get as much points as I’d like,” said Grachev, the Rangers third-rounder in 2008 who was 40-40-80 in 60 games with
There, he began playing left wing, mostly with No. 3 overall draft pick in 2009, Matt Duchene. He is 12-13-25 in 56 games in
The transition for countryman Artem Anisimov seemed easier (16-27-43 in 74 G in 2007-08 in
You can still sense a little disappointment in being prohibited from playing for
Then, there is the position shift, which I had speculated was being done to groom him to play with Anisimov, a center, in
Grachev, who played center in Russia, has certainly been inconsistent this season, many observers say. In Hartford, he has skated with Dale Weise and Brodie Dupont, and lately with Dupont and Kenny Roche. “It’s just different," he said. "At center, you have to find your wings more. On the wing, there’s more stops and starts.”
In the summer, “I’ll go home and skate and train with my old team, Yaroslav…if they allow me,” he said with a grin.