The Winnipeg Jets waited until the eleventh hour of CBA negotiations to assign thirteen of their contracted players to St. John's of the AHL for the commencement of the upcoming regular season.
From the official Winnipeg Jets site:
The Winnipeg Jets announced today they have assigned 13 players to the Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps.
The players assigned to St. John’s include Alexander Burmistrov, Chris Carrozzi, Ben Chiarot, Patrice Cormier, Jason Gregoire, Carl Klingberg, Julian Melchiori, Eric O`Dell, Will O`Neill, Edward Pasquale, Zach Redmond, Cody Sol and Ivan Telegin.
The Jets have also announced they have assigned Mark Scheifele to the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.
While twelve of the thirteen noted players on this list were most likely to spend the season on "The Rock", the designation of Alexander Burmistrov is an interesting one.
Burmistrov still has 10 NHL games of waiver eligibility left in his current contract before he would have to clear waivers on assignment. He exhibits an abundance of potential, though two sub-par statistical seasons have fans wondering how much impact he will have on NHL score sheets.
However, Burmistrov may choose not report to the farm club this fall, instead opting to play for his hometown team in Kazan, Russia.
Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press explains:
Burmistrov wouldn’t say this morning that he’d prefer to be playing nearer home in the Kontinental Hockey League if the NHL is in lockout.
He wouldn’t discuss the specifics but he’s believed to be interested in that option if there are no NHL games in the near-term future. But if the Jets were to assign him to the AHL and he really wanted to be in the KHL, it would place him in a tough spot. He could still go to Russia and be in breach of his NHL contract, but given that there’s no formal agreement between the KHL and NHL, there is likely little anyone could do about it.
Should the lockout extend past December, there's a very good chance Burmistrov will be playing in a country with a nine hour time shift.
BREAKING: Friend of the Blog Ed Tait has passed along this important information.
Which suggests that he is willing to accept the assignment, for the time being at least.