At the rate Russian hockey players are currently succumbing to injury, it will be a wonder if they are able to ice a complete roster for the commencement of the 2014 Sochi Olympics in two weeks time.
All joking aside, a recent impairment to Denis Kokarev has opened the door for Alexander Burmistrov, formerly of your Winnipeg Jets, to become a likely addition to the Russian Federation's roster early next week.
Kokarev, a 28-year-old forward employed by the KHL's Moscow Dynamo suffered a leg injury during league play yesterday that has effectively ended his Olympic campaign before it even started.
Dmitry Chesnokov, best known for his work at Yahoo! Sports blog Puck Daddy has noted that Burmistrov appears to be next in line to fill the void left by Kokarev's absence.
Kokarev is now the second Russian forward that Executive Director Valery Fesyuk has must replace this past week. On Tuesday, Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin was named to the roster in lieu of an ailing Sergei Soin, also of Moscow Dynamo, after he collided with SKA St. Petersburg defenceman Maxim Chudinov, resulting in a knee injury.
Both Kokarev and Soin were likely to be used in defensive roles by head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, primarily as it related to their penalty kill. While Burmistrov is a versatile forward who is more than capable of filling a two-way game, it is uncertain to what capacity Semin will be used at these Olympic games.
Burmistrov currently leads his club team Ak Bars Kazan with thirty-five points (10G, 25A) in forty-nine regular season games. Should he be named to the Russian line-up, he will become the sixth player to represent the Jets in Sochi behind Blake Wheeler (USA), Michael Frolik (CZE) , Ondrej Pavelec (CZE), Olli Jokinen (FIN) and Arturs Kulda (LAT).
We now turn our attention to Perry Kane for more insight and analysis.