On Wednesday, after the Canes assigned Anton Babchuk to Albany, he refused to go. As I pointed out, he's the only defenseman with a two-way contract, making him the only blueliner who can be moved. The Canes playoff position is still too unclear to make any trades of large proportion, and Jim Rutherford is unwilling to make any shotgun trades. The ONLY other option was to demote winger Andrew Ladd. That isn't going to happen, so the Canes did the only thing they could.
According to an article in the N&O, Babchuk refused to go, saying he needed to "think about it". This didn't sit well with Rutherford, who quipped:
"In his words, he wants to think about it. In our words, Albany has a game in Norfolk tonight and he should be there playing. ... We want him playing, not sitting at home thinking."
Ouch. This is diplomatic speak for "Who the eff does he think he is?!?!"
As their riposte, the Canes have suspended Babchuk indefinitely. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him on the waiver wire before the week is out. Rutherford doesn't like whiny bitches. The rest of the league will probably take note of his petulance and allow him to clear waivers. Third pairing defensemen are roughly a dime a dozen, and in fairness, he's only a third pairing guy on a good day. I have a feeling this is Do svidaniya, Anton!
In other news, Sergei Samsanov, who has been a huge bust this season (and last, for that matter) was placed on, and cleared, waivers yesterday. No team in their right mind would pick up the tab on his $3.525M salary for next season and the remainder of the same salary this season. The tiny winger has attended the Alexei Yashin School of inefficient salary/goal ratio and won't be touched with a 47 1/2 foot pole at that price. Since his trade demand was made public yesterday, he's lightened his stance a little. Now he says he wants to remain a part of the Habs big picture. Guy Carbonneau's vague show of support isn't very promising. From a TSN article:
"I never had problems with Sergei Samsonov as a man," Carbonneau added. "He's been professional. He always works hard. He never moans or comes to my office asking for ice time. His play wasn't up to par and that's why he missed some games, but he's a good person."(emphasis mine)
Something about that screams "This dude is so out of here, it isn't even funny". When a guy is being commended on his qualities as a person, it doesn't look good. It's like "No hard feelings, but this is a business, after all." Remember Kevyn Adams? Top notch guy. When he was traded, JR said:
"Kevyn has been a real role model for our franchise and somebody we all really like," Rutherford said. "That was the most difficult part of this decision. But we almost got pushed into making a decision instead of making it under normal circumstances. His role had changed a little bit."
It's almost a mirror image quote.
Babchuk will probably be back in the Ukraine by this time next week, and Samsonov might be back to Russia.
I'm just sayin'