WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Jets centre Alex Burmistrov is ready to learn his fate if the NHL goes into lockout mode this weekend.
The 20-year-old Russian, who has played two years in the NHL, would be eligible to be sent to the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps if the NHL goes dark.
After a skate this morning at the MTS Iceplex, Burmistrov said he hopes to find out more about that on Friday.
"No. I’m waiting," Burmistrov said. "Chevy (Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff) was not here today. I was thinking about going today to his office but guys were saying he’s not here yet. Hopefully I will go tomorrow and we will talk."
Cheveldayoff is believed to be in New York today for the NHL’s board of governors’ meeting this afternoon.
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.
"It depends what will be better for me," Burmistrov said this morning. "The American League or a different league will be different levels.
"We will, I guess, see what Chevy and talking to Claude (Noel), we’ll decide what will be better for me."
Given that many of the contentious labour issues focus on the NHL’s younger players like Burmistrov, the eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft said he’s trying to get engaged with the details.
"I’m not understanding a lot of things but I went to the meeting in Moscow," Burmistrov said of the informational session a few weeks ago. "Don Fehr came to Moscow for one day and I went. I tried to understand when I went there but it’s still tough; the language is hard.
"I trust Don Fehr and those guys who are there. I think they will battle for the good. Hopefully the NHL will agree with them and we will be starting the season."