The 35-year-old Russian is on trial at the legendary NHL club. Will Anisimov make it to the main team?
Rodion Vlasov September 20, 2023, 18:30 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
It seems that the most experienced center forward will teach life to the young people of the Detroit farm club.
Eight years ago, the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line was generally recognized as one of the best in the league. While two large coaches, who grasped the “chemistry”, created and painted miracles, the defensive center back from Yaroslavl cleaned up the defensive defects of the coaches who did not really like training behind them. Anisimov was also able to successfully follow the game on the spot, thanks to which he set a personal scoring record of 45 points in Chicago.
“Do experts often forget Anisimov’s role? You are wrong. You can see for yourself that he has scored in almost every game lately. It’s ok don’t worry! “Artyom does an excellent job!” Panarin said in an interview with Championship in the fall of 2015.
Artem Anisimov and Artemy Panarin
Photo: Mike Wulf/Zuma/TASS
However, due to problems with the roof, Artemy left for Colón and the great bond fell apart. The coaches began to look for other partners for Kane and the Russian center’s productivity began to slowly decline. The fact that Anisimov was not the fastest forward also played a role, which in the new NHL began to be doubly valued. Soon, Artyom was sent to Ottawa, but even there, during the covid season, he was more often on the reserve list. Perhaps the most vivid memory of two seasons in the Canadian capital is the role of the second goalkeeper in the match against Vancouver due to injuries to two goalkeepers at once.
A unique case in the NHL! The Russian striker wore a goalkeeper’s uniform during the match
Usually in such situations players return home, and Anisimov spent half of the 2021/2022 season in his native Lokomotiv. Someone expected the forward to make the Olympic team, given the acute shortage of centers, but Artyom remained out of the lineup. After the early end of Loko’s season (0-4 against CSKA), the striker left relatively early for America; According to the club president, at the end of April he was training abroad. If last year Lokomotiv expected the return of the striker, now Loko has a reserve center line. There are already several young players in the system who it is time to bring into the core, plus if the team needs newcomers, then they are more likely to be brilliant goal scorers than experienced workhorses.
Last year, Artyom signed a tryout contract with Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania club was coached by John Tortorella, whom our forward knew well from his work with the Rangers. “He is one of the smartest hockey players I have ever coached. Anisimov does not need to explain anything. “I like him a lot,” Torts said about the Russian center. It is quite possible that Artyom would have entered the squad of the “pilots”, who last year still had hopes of reaching the playoffs, but the forward was injured in the preseason. After his restoration, all places in the lineup were filled and Anisimov signed a contract with the Philadelphia farm club.
Now, just before the start of preseason games in the NHL, Anisimov signed a contract with Detroit, which has already acquired a dozen newcomers in the summer. Many teammates began to evaluate the forward’s chances of playing for the Michigan Club, where this year the only Russian would be Klim Kostin, and began to remember how Steve Yzerman respects Russian players. However, it is difficult to imagine that the forward, under normal circumstances, will play at least a dozen matches for the main team.
Firstly, the club’s center line is already overstaffed. Behind Dylan Larkin there are no stars, but there are many players: there are Andrew Copp and JT Compher, each of whom can play both in the center and on the wing. There’s the talented but monstrously traumatic Robby Fabbri, from whom you can expect damage at any moment. There is Joe Veleno, who stood out for his bad tricks in the World Cup and is adapting to the NHL. Finally, there is top 10 draft pick Marco Kasper, who has already played a couple of full seasons in the Swedish senior league. In general, even in case of injuries, there is someone who plays this position.
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Secondly, the striker’s desire to stay in the United States is most likely due to family circumstances. Last year it was written that the forward wanted to leave his family to reside permanently in the United States. Although Anisimov’s wife is from Russia, it can be assumed that she is one of the initiators of this: there have already been several such precedents in our hockey.
Artyom Anisimov in Ottawa
Photo: Fred Chartrand/Zuma/TASS
However, it is very possible that Anisimov will sign a two-way contract with Detroit and play most of the season with the farm club. After the start of perestroika, enough young players accumulated in the containers of the “Wings”, whose hockey development will take place in the “Grand Rapids” of the AHL. Detroit’s farm failed last season and management doesn’t want a repeat of that. Anisimov will undoubtedly strengthen the club not only from a sporting point of view, but will also impart to the younger players the work ethic that Yzerman and his assistants want to see in every player on the roster.
Recently, Lada forward Donat Stalnov said: “I was lucky to work with him then: go out on the ice together and train together. It was a revelation for me in those years: Artyom gave me many important lessons on throw-ins, told and showed how it is done in the NHL.” The Russian center can become a mentor for many players in whom Detroit has high hopes.