Winnipeg Jets center Alexander Burmistrov has missed the past 10 outings with an upper-body injury that has left his status as day-to-day, but the next time the 25-year-old sees the ice in the NHL, it could be with another club.
After a frustrating season in which he has managed just two points, both assists, and averaged roughly 11 minutes of ice time across 23 outings, the Jets pulled the trigger on waiving Burmistrov on Sunday. Placing Burmistrov on waivers comes after weeks of speculation that he could be moved on as the Jets looked to make room in their lineup for one of their younger players currently plying their trade with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.
However, with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff unable to find a trade partner Burmistrov now finds himself open to being picked up by any of the league’s other 29 clubs. He very well could find himself scooped up, too.
With the number of injuries some teams are dealing with up front and down the middle, Burmistrov could be an intriguing pickup off the waiver wire. It’s not as if picking him up will break the bank, either. Burmistrov carries a $1.55-million cap hit for the remainder of this season and he’ll become a restricted free agent at season’s end. That would make picking him up a relatively low-risk play, considering if it doesn’t work out he can be waived again and allowed to walk in the off-season.
While he has no doubt struggled this season, Burmistrov has proven he’s capable of chipping in offensively in the past, even if it is in a limited role. During the 2015-16 campaign, he netted seven goals and 21 points while suiting up in the middle-six of the Jets’ lineup and he was often relied upon to take on penalty killing duties over the past two campaigns. Burmistrov’s best season in the league came in the Jets’ inaugural campaign in 2011-12 when he managed 13 goals and 28 points in 76 games.
This has been far and away the worst season of his career, too. He’s never been a dynamo offensively, but his current .09 points per game rate is only a third of the .27 rate he has managed over the course of his nearly 300 games in the NHL and he could be a useful role player if he finds the right fit.
If Burmistrov doesn’t wind up back in the NHL by the end of the campaign, one has to wonder if he doesn’t try his hand at finding work in the KHL come the off-season. Burmistrov left the NHL following the lockout-shortened season in 2012-13, inking a two-year deal with his hometown Ak-Bars Kazan. He scored 20 goals and 63 points in 108 games in the KHL.
UPDATE: According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Burmistrov has been scooped up by the Arizona Coyotes. He won’t have to wait long to square off against his former mates, either, as the Coyotes and Jets will meet on Jan. 13 in Arizona, with a second outing between the clubs coming Jan. 18 in Winnipeg.
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