Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Andrei Nazarov gets stoopid again

Russian goon Andrei Nazarov gone dunnit again! The "Russian Bear" has been handed a one-year suspension by the Russian Hockey Federation. The IIHF and the other European leagues will honour this suspension, leaving Nazarov with few options for next season, especially if there is no NHL.

From Russianprospects.com:

Russian hockey officials suspended Andrei Nazarov (Phoenix Coyotes) for the duration of the 2005-06 season for his actions that took place after the club's third and deciding loss to Dynamo (Moscow) in the RSL semifinals. According to an interview between PHL vice president Vladimir Shalaev and the Soviet Sports newspaper, "after the conclusion of the third game against Dynamo, in which the Moscow club was victorious over Avangard thanks to a questionable deciding goal scored by Igor Mirnov (Ottawa Senators). He threatened physical harm to the PHL representative Sergei Kozlov and the referees. He behaved himself horribly, and we made the decision to suspend him for a season. Next season he will not play in the Super League (Russia 1) or the High League (Russia 2). Last season Nazarov lead the Super League in PIM with 179 in 39 games, including five match misconducts.
Joeri Loonen of Eurohockey.net informs me that the Nazarov had just served a 6-game ban for partaking in a brawl earlier in the playoffs and that this incident took place in a restaurant after a game.

Dumb dumb dumb!!

Now I know Nazarov has never been the sharpest sushi knife in Osaka, but you have to question why any club would want him in the first place! He can't score, he takes dumb penalties, and he's bad defensively. Nazarov finished with just 2 assists (no goals) and a -10 rating in those 32 Super League games.

It's safe to say that Nazarov's 2000-01 season (split between Anaheim and Boston) was one of the worst in NHL history. Nazarov finished with 2 goals and 4 assists in 79 games with a -23 rating and 229 PIMs.

Although players have finished with far worse than a -23 before, it's rare to see a player who played about 5 minutes a game (I don't have his exact figures, but his ATOI was very low that year) playing for two solid, well-performing teams rack up such 'impressive' numbers. In addition to being almost a guaranteed goal-against, Nazarov's dumb penalties gave his opponents even more chances to score. I once did an analysis of Nazarov's season for a message board, but it seems to be forever lost to the internet black hole.

If the NHL does return next year, I wonder if the NHL would uphold the Super League suspension. I doubt it, and I doubt one dumb NHL GM will resist wanting to sign Nazarov to a contract.

Why pay to make your team worse?

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