Garth Snow sat on the hand he was dealt, but folded again. And with reason. Don’t dwell on the “again” factor.
#Isles have placed F Kirill Kabanov on unconditional waivers.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) July 15, 2014
Placing Kabanov on unconditional waivers is the first step of a buyout. The 2010 3rd-Round pick was labeled “troubled” with “behavioral issues” since the he was tagged as an NHL prospect. With the 65th pick Garth Snow made Kabanov a minor celebrity, something he had been in the KHL and QMJHL.
In the Q, he was a point-per-game-player on each of his three different teams. He saw himself as a lone star in an organization, in a league and country, that placed the team above the one. As a Bridgeport Sound Tiger he was nothing, scoring little and hustling less. He went from a 15-year-old standout in the KHL to a painful nobody rather quickly.
He was bought out due to his failure to perform as a professional athlete.
“Confusion” and “headaches” were the backbone of his North American “hockey celebrity” status. The debate over whether it was all within the mind of Kabanov or if there were any outside forces escorting him down this road to nowhere. Google Image Search shows three versions of Kirill; the excitable youth on his draft day, a tattooed kid who can fish, and a sad young man seemingly running out of time and options. Running out of everything, really.
This next point needs to be treaded on very lightly: auto-completed Google searches do not always reveal truths. If there is a tangible cause for any of Kabanov’s problems, is is rumor an innuendo until proven otherwise. Just because it is on The Internet does not mean it is cold hard fact. That reason (or others) may have contributed to his state of mind, but not directly to his contract termination. There are a few NHLers that come to mind who, unfortunately, played through such issues. Help and support is what is needed for Kabanov.
This is the third buyout of Snow’s tenure, and sadly the most painful. The prior two were based solely on the players being detriments to the on-ice product. Kabanov was cut loose because he went from gamble to risk. If this is a step to get his mind clear and aid in his maturation, it is the best move.
Snow gambled on a kid with potential. In the end, the kid is responsible for his actions, not Garth Snow or the New York Islanders. Folding this hand was necessary.