After Russia lost it's second straight game Monday night at the World Junior Championship, giving them a disappointing 6th place finish, their star player dropped a few bombs when speaking about his future in the NHL.
Nikita Filatov, who should have been one of the top 3 scorers in the tournament, finished outside of the top 29 scorers with 6 points in 6 games and it sounded like he might be finished with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
General Manager Scott Howson selected Filatov (photo: Matt Manor HHOF-IIHF Images) 6th overall in 2008 and the dynamic forward has been pegged as the organization's top prospect ever since. That might all be coming to an end though.
"Something should change, I'm not going to say what, but there are a couple of reasons if they are still the same, I'm not going back," said the Russian star.
Filatov wouldn't say what the reasons were that led him to return to Russia and play in the KHL, but most believe he is not happy with head coach Ken Hitchcock. Filatov went to Columbus management disgruntled over his playing time and asked if he could return to his home country.
"Probably they were happy not playing me and also they agreed with me when they heard I was going back."
Filatov missed his family, but more than that he missed being a go-to guy.
"When you're playing and you're in the season in the team situation you feel like you in the game you don't worry about things so much."
If Hitchcock is indeed the reason why Filatov isn't happy, the Blue Jackets head coach might not be the only bench boss he's having problems with. When asked if Filatov and the Russians quit on Vladamir Plyuschev, he had this response.
"If it looked like this, you're probably right."
Plyuschev sure didn't endear himself to Filatov too much when he unceremoniously stripped the marquee Russian of the captaincy before their 5th place game.
An NHL executive told me that Plyuschev was to hard lined with his players, who tuned him out. The Pipeline Show saw evidence of this during the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in Camrose when Plyuschev went ballistic several times behind the bench.