Lot of mystery and speculation regarding the status of one Dmitri Vorobiev of Lada. Leafs 5th round pick back in ’04 has really come into his own as one of the top young D-men in Europe. Leading your team in scoring at age 21 in the RSL, as a supposed “physical, defensive defenseman” is not an easy thing to do. Add in some very nice size at 6’2 216 (almost a Schenn clone), along with a devastating and somewhat crazy mean streak reminiscent of Danny Markov, and you’ve got yourself a pretty intriguing prospect.
Unfortunately, much has been made about the Vorobiev situation over the past 2-3 years and his reluctance to come over to play in North America. There has been speculation about money issues, lack of desire to leave his hometown, or even just the fact that he doesn’t want to play for the Leafs.
Well two days ago, Vorobiev released an interview on Lada’s official website yesterday in Russian: http://www.allhockey.ru/news/36887/
Courtesy of some translation by a hfboards member who speaks Russian, we get some very revealing statements:
– In the off-season, could you move into another team?
“Theoretically, probably yes. Indeed at the end of the past season my contracted with Lada has expired, and i had offers from several Russian teams. But Lada “qualified” me and signed me for other two years. (…)
– Haven’t you considered offers from the NHL?
They called me from Toronto, the team that drafted me. To tell you the truth, I heard that the rights on me can pass to another team via-trade. Well, I’ve been told something like: “You’d spend a year in farm-club”…and in this, frankly speaking, i am not interested. I think, that at first in Russia I should strive for more than I obtained thus far. Additionally, I started to play stably in the Russian National Team, and in my club the results are improving. Successes will be here, the way for the other side of the Ocean is open…”
Basically, the kid does not want to play in the AHL, and wants to make the jump straight into the NHL in his 1st year. The situation is similar to Stralman’s, who was quite unhappy when sent down for a few games. However, the good news is that he doesn’t seem to have closed the door on a possible NHL career. Though the comment about transferring his rights as a possibility kind of worries me. Was that just a generic statement or a slight hint that he’s not exactly happy with how his drafting team has handled him?
What are your thoughts on the situation? Is it worth it to promise Vorobiev an NHL roster spot next season?
Always a pleasure,