Maine Hockey Journal

Kabanov has landed in Lewiston

Kirill Kabanov is finally on the ice with the Lewiston Maineiacs.

Nearly a week after a blockbuster trade that landed the Russian sniper from the Moncton Wildcats, he was skating with his new teammates in Lewiston, but not before Maineiacs’ captain Cameron Critchlow thought it was important to make a good first impression so prior to Kabanov’s arrival he traveled to Halifax with assistant GM Tim Schurman to meet the newly acquired player and introduce himself along with giving Kabanov a little insight on what he should expect in Lewiston.

“I got a chance to go down and meet him, just to explain to him what it’s like – it’s different being in the United States,” Critchlow said. “He’s been to a couple of continents, I just wanted to prepare him and say what we like to do here.”

“So far it looks like he’s enjoying himself.”

Kabanov was pleased to see his new captain.

“I was real excited about it,” Kirill Kabanov. “He showed he’s a real nice captain.”

“It seems like he’s meshing well with guys,” said Maineiacs Head Coach J.F. Houle. “Guys were laughing, giving him a little push, we will see with time.”

Kabanov was excited to watch his new teammate’s defeat the number one team in the CHL, a 4-3 win against the Quebec Remparts, after arriving from Halifax yesterday.

“It was perfect,” Kabanov added. “They did a really good job. Quebec is a tough team to play. The guys are playing great and I am really excited about this team.”

During practice, he showed off his shot as the team practiced their power play.

“There are some guys that can control the play and control the puck, he looks like one of those guys,” Critchlow said.

“He’s very skilled obviously, said Houle. “Just in practice you can tell he has a good shot. He should be good for us.”

Houle added, “He’s a fast player, he’s quick, and really good hands. It takes more than that to be a hockey player. You have to play well defensively and you got to finish your hits.”

General Manager Roger Shannon isn’t ready to compare Kabanov to any former Maineiac.

“Just like any player that’s 18, he certainly has all kinds of potential,” Shannon added. “He’s going to have many opportunities to prove that in Lewiston. It’s hard to compare someone to somebody that has been successful already and has proven themselves.”

“David Perron, Jaroslav Halak, Jonathan Bernier, and all those kids that moved on, have proved themselves. Each kid has the potential to be those players and I think (Kabanov) will be.”

The team will make a decision after tomorrow’s morning skate whether Kabanov will suit up Friday against the Val d’Or Foreurs.

“He (has) to get his game legs and we are going to sit down and go over our systems,” Houle added.

NOTES: Francis Beauvillier, Andrey Makarov, and Olivier-Dame Malka were all given what Houle called a “maintenance day” on Thursday to rest up for this weekend’s games.

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