Filatov: Will he stay or will he go?

 

D-Day is imminent for Nikita Filatov and the Ottawa Senators.

At some point in the next few days, Senators general manager Bryan Murray will talk with the talented but often times indifferent Filatov to chart a course for his future.

While Filatov created a stir 10 days ago with speculation that he would prefer to play in the Kontinental Hockey League than in the American Hockey League with the Senators top farm team in Binghamton, he has since made some positive noise with some inspired play.

Filatov was held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch Friday, but he had scored three goals and three assists in his two previous games. He had seven goals and five assists in 14 games before Saturday night. Filatov has one assist in six games with the Senators.

“I told him when I put him down (to Binghamton), that by November 30, I would have a meeting with him,” said Murray. “It would be (about whether) to come back and get another chance to play up here or I would consider – and that’s the big word, I would consider – allowing him to go back to the KHL.”

Murray says nothing has changed.

“By Nov. 30, I will tell him he’s in Binghamton for the rest of the year, or he’s in Ottawa for the rest of the year, or a combination of the two, or I would let him go back and play (in Russia). But it will be what we decide.”

Murray acknowledges that Filatov’s play has improved.

“He has played very well, (Friday) night the team was not very good, but overall, talent-wise, he has been as good as anybody, or better than anyone down there.”

For Filatov to be recalled to Ottawa, a roster move would have to be made. The Senators currently have no extra forwards, with both Chris Neil and Peter Regin recovering from injuries.

“It’s all about him,” said Murray. “If he gets a chance to play, to come up and show us he can play in the NHL. It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to say that he can have an influence on the power play because the coach (Paul MacLean) might not put himon the power play. The coach will decide, if we bring him up, where he plays, how many minutes he plays.

“I think that’s what we always have to concern ourselves with. Can he get into the lineup in a proper place?”

CONDRA MAKES HIGHLIGHT REEL: In the big picture, it was a nothing goal, allowing the Senators to turn a four-goal deficit into a three-goal loss with time ticking away Friday. Yet Erik Condra admits that he heard from plenty of his old college teammates after splitting the Penguins defence, picking his spot and beating Marc-Andre Fleury high to the glove side. “For sure, that was a nice one,” he said. “Once I got through those two (defencemen), I was surprised the puck was still there and I took a pretty good shot. It was kind of a meaningless goal at the time, but it’s always good to get your confidence up and maybe get something going for the next game.”

 

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