Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets won't call on Burmistrov

Still under contract to KHL's Ak-Bars Kazan

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A name occasionally forgotten in these parts was spit out Wednesday as a possible replacement for Mark Scheifele.

One problem with the Alex Burmistrov-to-the-rescue chatter: When he became a restricted NHL free agent last summer, the 22-year-old forward bolted for the KHL and is currently under contract to Ak-Bars Kazan and cannot play in the NHL while he is on that deal.

As well, the deadline for players coming from Europe to be eligible to play in the NHL has long passed this season.

Ak-Bars, for the record, finished third in the KHL's East Division and is facing Sibir in the playoffs.

CROWDED SICK BAY: Scheifele wasn't the only Jet to pull up lame in Tuesday's overtime loss to the Islanders. Winger Chris Thorburn, who had been the subject of some trade rumours, suffered an upper-body injury after a fight with Matt Martin early in the game and was limited to just 48 seconds of ice time.

He's now listed as day-to-day and is doubtful for tonight's home game against the Los Angeles Kings

"I would leave him as questionable for (Thursday), but he shouldn't be too long," said Jets coach Paul Maurice.

The Jets do have two extra forwards in Eric Tangradi and Anthony Peluso.

QUICK ESCAPE: Right-winger Devin Setoguchi, possibly the hottest of some very lukewarm rumours earlier this week, was nowhere to be found at Jets practice on Wednesday.

Setoguchi will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. His name was linked loosely to possible talks with the San Jose Sharks prior to the NHL's trade deadline but nothing came of it and Setoguchi will continue as a member of the Jets.

The 27-year-old has 11 goals this season and was seen driving away from the MTS Iceplex well before the team's scheduled noon optional practice, where only a few players skated.

STRESS? WHAT STRESS? It was just a couple of hours before Wednesday's NHL trade deadline when Olli Jokinen, facing a throng of reporters, was asked if the day was more stressful for the players or the players' families.

"I think it's more stressful for you guys, to be honest," he said with a grin. "It's more stressful for the media because you have to check your phone every two seconds. I've been around 16 years, I understand the business and the way it goes. It's a normal day."

Evander Kane, meanwhile, was quizzed as to whether he planned to spend the afternoon watching the trade-deadline action on TV. Said Kane with a grin:

"I'm going to go home and watch Dr. Phil."

IRON MEN: Jets forwards Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler have been among the NHL's most durable players since the 2008-09 season. Ladd and Wheeler rank tied for first and fourth, respectively, among all NHL players in games played in that time. Overall during that stretch Ladd has appeared in 438 games, tied with Andrew Cogliano, followed by Jay Bouwmeester (436) and Wheeler.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 6, 2014 D9

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