Originally posted on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 10/30/12
  Believe it or not, another Russian national has expressed ambivalence towards returning to the NHL stemming from comforts enjoyed in the Motherland. First there was Alex Ovechkin threatening to stay in the KHL should NHL owners follow through and roll back the salaries of its players. Then there was Sergei Kostitsyn’s acknowledgment that he would not mind the lockout wiping out the entire 2012/13 NHL season, if it meant that he could definitively know where he would be spending the rest of his season. This time, it’s a member of your Ottawa Senators who is raising some eyebrows. Pick up your pitchforks and torches folks. From an article that originally appeared Saturday on Yahoo! Sports which examined how the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin had embraced playing at home in Russia; also included a few comments from Senators defenceman Sergei Gonchar. Playing over here, it's much more enjoyable now than it was," said Gonchar, a 17-year NHL veteran, who spent 2004-05 with Magnitogorsk when it was a member of the old Russian Superleague. To be honest with you, I'm enjoying it here. For me, it goes either way [if the entire NHL season is canceled]. I like it here. I enjoy my teammates. We have a great team. So I don't care. Maybe for the sake of PR, you should Sergei; if only because in some sects of North American hockey fans, ripping on the Ruskies and/or "Eurotrash" (h/t Mad Mike) for that matter is such low hanging fruit. It’s akin to slapping a Senators logo on Brad Fritsch’s golf bag and not expecting some really tired and stale golf jokes to be directed the franchise’s way. These kinds of comments will always be miscontrued to some degree. Sadly, controversy sells in the newspaper industry and conveniently the Gonchar quote that concludes the Yahoo! article was left out of this piece in the Ottawa Sun… "When you think about it, playing with the best player in the world, it's always enjoyable," he said. "It doesn't matter where you're playing." Oh, the fine print. Of course, if the season starts, there’s no guarantee Gonchar would finish the season in Ottawa. With his no-movement clause (NMC) set to expire by the New Year – the Senators will have a window of opportunity in which to trade Gonchar from January 1st to the NHL trade deadline; and he has to provide Sens management with a list of ten teams that he would accept a trade to – Ottawa could conceivably trade him. Corey Pronman’s Top 50 U-23 Prospects The Hockey Prospectus/ESPN Insider scribe has penned his latest incarnation for HP. To be considered for his piece, the criteria for players was limited to players with more than 25 GP this past season or 50 NHL games are deemed eligible. A player also had to be 22 or under as of September 15, 2012. Two members of the Senators made the list and to no one’s surprise, Erik Karlsson headlined the duo coming in as Pronman’s seventh-highest rated player and third-highest ranked defenceman – trailing only LA’s Drew Doughty (5) and St.Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo (6). The reigning Norris Trophy winner is as elite a talent from the back end as they come and had an unusual offensive season for a U-22 defenseman. While I don't see him as a high-end defensive player, he isn't a slouch in that area either. With his mobility and hockey brain, he should be able to be a consistent above-average defensive player in his prime, and combining that with his offense makes for a scary player to deal with. Jared Cowen bookended the list at number 50. Cowen logged a large amount of minutes in his rookie season although he was still somewhat sheltered which isn't an issue considering his age. His combination of size to go along with a fine all-around skill set are indicators that he should be a tough minutes player pretty soon. For an organization that boasts a deep variety of forward prospects, the presence of Cowen and Karlsson is a good reminder that among prospects actualized and contributing in the NHL - the Senators strength at present is defence.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The NFL is thinking about eliminating the preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker