I am surprised because when I saw him in the World Juniors, he was a pest. He always seemed to be having a good time off the ice when was being interviewed. People on message boards are asking why and he will comeback after he sees how good he had it playing hockey. I can't fathom what this kid is going through and the daily grind of the hockey season physically and emotionally. Maybe if people were put in his shoes, they might understand.
"Right winger Stefan Legein, the Blue Jackets' second-round pick in 2007 and one of the top up-and-coming agitators, has decided to quit playing hockey.
I didn't believe it either, but it's been confirmed just a few minutes ago by the Blue Jackets. They got a call today from Legein's agent, Doug Woods, telling them he won't be at training camp and has decided to hang up his skates. He'll be 20 years old in three months.
This story is shocking on so many different levels. Earlier today, I got an email from a Puck-Rakers reader, Bethany, of Bethany's Hockey Rants. Actually, it was a "forward" of an email she got from an anonymous person in Ontario saying Legein had retired.
After a slew of phone calls to sources throughout the NHL, I finally got somebody to tell be off the record that's it true. Just a few minutes ago, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson confirmed it.
Legein's mother, Christine, said around 5 p.m. that she hadn't heard the news yet. Either Stefan has some explaining to do, or Mrs. Legein wasn't in the talking mood. I can't blame her if she wasn't. UPDATE: Just talked to Stefan's father, who said: "Until Sept. 20 (when training camp starts), he hasn't quit anything." He did confirm, however, that Doug Woods still represents his son as an agent.
I've since gotten two more calls from north of the border saying it's true. Unbelievable. This isn't a 35-year-old veteran we're talking about, or a 25-year-old who's never going to get an NHL shot. This is a young player with a real bright future ahead of him.
We have a full story in Wednesday's Dispatch. Somehow I don't think it'll be our last story on the topic.
In other news ...
I'll have another update later tonight about Filatov. This is good news for you Blue Jackets fans."
As for the Columbus Blue Jackets, they will miss a big part of the future. He won't light the lamp because that's not his style. He does everything else. If this story is true, it's another draft pick that didn't turn out their way. Can't blame the scouting staff because no one thought this would happen. Teams will pay more attention to the psychological testing they do at the Draft Combine.
As for the Nikita Filatov news, he has been granted a USA Work visa. He will be in North America on September 7th.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for MVN.com. He's the writer for the Asylum which covers the Lewiston Maineiacs of the QMJHL. He's also a regular contributor to the NHL Source also at MVN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)