-- According to a teammate with Moncton of the Quebec League, Kabanov was so obsessed with tattoos that he said he would like to get a new one every week. And then he supposedly came pretty darn close. "Ridiculous," the teammate told NHL FanHouse. "Most of the guys like tats, but Kirill went nuts with them." Kabanov became the illustrated young man while missing half the season with a wrist injury.
-- Before Moncton's third playoff game, Kabanov was given permission to leave the Wildcats to play for Russia at the World Under-18 Championships in Belarus. The reason given was that the experience was important for the young Russian wing. However, one of his former agents -- he has already been through four -- told FanHouse, "The fact is, his teammates in Moncton wanted Kirill off the team."
Of course, when Kabanov arrived back home, he was soon cut from the national team.
Speak to Kabanov, and it's easy to come away with the impression that he's just a teenager from a faraway land who loves hockey and wants to be a star. His preference for the NHL over the KHL may lead to questions about his motives, but he is sincere. At the NHL Draft Combine last month, he even offered to give his inquisitors his passport to prove his commitment to play in North America.
So why is this precocious talent -- mentioned in the same breath as Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Brett Connolly just nine months ago -- sinking like a stone on draft boards across the NHL? Sadly, Kirill Kabanov's biggest problem appears to be his father.
Perhaps out of respect to an elder or to the notion of family, almost no one will go on the record about Sergei Kabanov's role in the nosedive of his son's status heading into the draft on Friday and Saturday. However, Ilya Moliver, a representative for the Jay Grossman-led Puck Agency, spoke with the Russian newspaper Sovietskiy Sport about his dealings with the player's father. The following was translated by the website Russian Hockey Fans:
To be sure, Kirill Kabanov will be drafted. He has too much talent for every team in the league to ignore him. Once a team's must-haves come off their board -- especially those teams with extra picks in the second and third round -- scouts will push for his selection."Kirill isn't to be blamed," said Moliver, one of four men to represent Kabanov before walking away. "It's hard to find a common language with his father. Sergei believes that an agent is a player's servant. Kirill is a nice young man. I told him once, 'You have to choose: we either work with you or your dad.' I have worked with players and parents since 1992, and I never had to deal with such a complicated person."
"When we started working together, Sergei told me his son was better at age 16 than (Ilya) Kovalchuk, (Alexander) Ovechkin and (Evgeni) Malkin. Why all this arrogance? This can only spoil the kid. I understand why scouts and agents changed their attitude towards Kabanov. Kirill isn't progressing as he should, but the guilty ones are the ones surrounding him. What can you do when you have a stone wall like Sergei Kabanov?"
At his new NHL's team Prospect Camp soon after the draft, the coaching staff will immediately go to work on Kabanov's game and psyche. Hopefully for the young man's sake, Sergei Kabanov will be far, far away.
Not every day can be Father's Day.