Notes from camp….
“First star!” said Glen Sather, patting 21-year-old Russian defenseman Mikhail Pashnin on the shoulder while he was talking to Russian friends after today’s 5-2 red-white scrimmage.
In the 40-minute scrimmage, the former KHL rookie delivered some resounding checks, including one on Ethen Werek from behind into the corner boards that prompted Werek to chase him, dropping gloves and starting throwing punches and cursing him. Pashnin and Werek had been battling minutes earlier at along the boards at mid-ice, and he later flattened Chris McKelvie with a hip check near the blueline.
Besides the physical, sometimes chippy, play, the 5-11 Pashnin evoked memories of a young Darius Kasparitis and some chuckles, riding his stick like a broom after scoring on a penalty shot and jumping into countryman/interpreter Evgeny Grachev’s arms after the victory.
The No. 1 draft choice in the KHL in 2009, said he was retaliating for a “dirty” hit by Werek and wasn’t trying to impress the coaches in their executive perch above the rink.
Pashnin doesn’t speak English, but through Grachev, said he wanted to experience playing against North Americans and learn from the Rangers training methods. “I’ve always been (physical) growing up and I like to jump into the rush… “I’m just enjoying it (camp), it’s a pleasure for me,” said Pashnin, sporting a small cut on the chin from the Werek battles.
Pashnin, selected by the Rangers’ in the seventh round in last year’s entry draft, has another year on his contract with CSKA Moscow and returns to Russia Friday, but should be returning. “I would like to try and make the NHL, it’s the best hockey, the best league,” he said.
The scrimmage was two periods of 20-minute running time….Scott Stajcer started in goal for Red; Cam Talbot for red. D Jyri Niemi, (white) former Islander prospect, opened the scoring, ripping a rising slap shot past Talbot at 6:05. Roman Horak (or perhaps Yogan with a tip) beat Talbot with 3:14 left in the first, and then off a scramble, Tommy Grant, on a line with Grachev and Derek Stepan, cut it to 2-1. Dylan McIlrath (Red) scored with 15:34 left to tie it….Pashnin scored on a penalty shot; Werek was stopped on a penalty shot….At 4-2, McIlrath’s pass freed Grant for an empty-netter….In the first, Kundratek fell awkwardly into the backboards, was helped off favoring his right leg, and was limping later…G Chris Robbins made a couple beautiful saves on McKelvie and Yogan in the second…
The lines and d-pairs
Tommy Grant-Derek Stepan-Evgeny Grachev
Chris Kreider-Rick Schofield-Randy McNaught
Ryan McDonagh-Dylan McIlrath
Mikhail Pashnin-Tomas Kundratek
Jason Wilson-Ethan Werek-Danny Hobbs
Andrew Yogan-Roman Horak-Christian Thomas
Ryan Bourque-Matt Read-Chris McKelvie
Jyri Niemi-Blake Parlett
Ken Peroff-Daniel Maggio (switched to red after Kundratek went off)
Scrimmages continue tomorrow….
Asked Gordie Clark but he wouldn’t say what Rangers would have done if closely-held, secret pick Dylan McIlrath was gone by 10…He did say Rangers were not interested in Kirill Kabanov at 40, more so in centers Nick Bjugstad and Brock Nelson; both were long gone... Isles got both Kabanov and Nelson.
Waived at today's deadline were Aaron Voros, Donald Brashear, Patrick Rissmiller. They are eligible for buyouts, but if they clear waivers, they likely will be assigned to Hartford to create more cap space.