Russian Roulette?

This topic could also be associated with the Boston Bruins but I thought the timing relates it closer to the World Cup. Another player is in trouble…

This is not a Mike Danton or Alexander Perezhogin story but is about the unfortunate twists and turns of a young hockey player.

The Hockeynews reported that Bruins prospect, Sergei Zinovjev, was sent home because the deft forward was caught with marijuana. The player was with a team of Russian hopefuls for the World Cup. They were playing in an exhibition game in Sweden when the player was caught and sent home.

This is the fifth bad turn for the 23 year old this year. Drafted by the Bruins 73 overall in 2000, it was thought that this centerman would fill the void on the second line. And then came the problems….

#1. At the start of the ’03 season the center did not have the appropriate papers to allow him to come over to the States. The player was in an isolated part of Russia out in the Siberian region. Getting papers was next to impossible. His arriving to Boston was delayed beyond the teams liking.

#2. Once the player arrived his misfortunes and decisions continued to plague him. Despite a quick start, earning an assist on a Samsonov goal in his first game, it was decided that the player needed to polish his game. The slick center did not follow the advice of the suggesters and had a run in with vocal team leader, Martin Lapointe. Zinovjev left a obtional skate and was told by Lapointe that he should stay. The player smartly agreed.

#3. After some defensive issues arose the Bruins brass thought the youngster could use a stint with the baby b’s in Providence. Zinovjev went awol. The player said he could play in a better league over in Russia and make a better living. He left the team.

#4. Reports came out of Russia saying that the player had regrets from his decision. He said that he wished he had reported to the AHL team. He thought he pushed back his development for the NHL. Probably true.

The severity of the consequences remain to be seen. It appears he has ruined his shot with Team Russia and he certainly has brought head aches to the Bruins. Hopefuly this player grows as a person and will learn from his mistakes. We hope his hockey career will develop without any further issues.


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