23-year-old Andrei Mironov, the Russian born defenceman of Colorado Avalanche, has finally cleared unconditional waivers, which led to the termination of his contract. It’s one deal that never seemed to work out for either side. Mirinov will return to Russia. He is likely to sign a contract with a KHL team, but won’t play until the beginning of the next season.
Andrei Mironov a Dynamo Moscow draftee
After Dynamo Moscow changed the form of ownership in 2017, he became an unrestricted free agent. The same summer, Andrei Mironov moved to the NHL. He signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Avalanche.
No place in a town, no place in a team.
He has played just 10 games for Colorado with one goal and two assists.
While the most part of the season Mironov played in the AHL. That unstable situation led to an extreme frustration on the part of the young player: “There was no sense in renting an apartment, I was going up and down the whole season … I lived between the AHL and the NHL. My things were always packed, so I could get to San Antonio any time. The coach told me that I would go there for just three or four games but had to stay there for one month just with one change of clothes …It was hard. I lived in a hotel all season… It was boring in America, I had nothing to do. When the other half of the team was practicing, I learned how to cook in a hotel room…”
A Good Decision for All
The buyout seems to be the correct decision for both sides. The Avalanche do not see Andrei Mironov as having a spot on the current roster. The Russian player did not see a reason to extend his stay in San Antonio. He felt mistreated by the club. As a rule, the defenceman was recalled numerous times, only to sit in the press box. At that point a return to Russia became a viable option.
Recently, Andrei Mironov gave an extended interview to the correspondent of the Sovetsky Sport, Pavel Lysenkov. He made a number of very cold comments about his situation. He was not shy to call names and bring up reasons for his lack of playing time in the NHL. “Some of coaches didn’t appreciate my game, my hockey, maybe even myself. Probably the GM of the team didn’t like me,” Mironov said.
While from the Colorado Avalanche perspective, Mironov simply wasn’t ready for the NHL. He had a hard time adapting to the pace of the North American hockey. His inability to play a structured, bound to a system NHL game, was the source of the player’s problems.
Russian déjà vu
Mikhail Grigorenko, Vadim Shipachyov, and now Andrei Mironov did not find their game in the NHL. Is there a similarity in their cases or we have a pure coincidence here? All three are of the Russian origin, hadn’t found their places in the main roster, felt mistreated. No wonder, the former Avalanche defenceman mention a possible “Russian factor” in his situation.
But it is also not a secret, all three of them weren’t able to keep the pace of the NHL, couldn’t compete on the same level as local players. Probably, only time will tell which opinion was right. As the players are still relatively young, they can prove being elite players of both major leagues.
Unrestricted free agent
Unfortunately for Andrei Mironov, his buyout happened after the Winter Olympics. He didn’t get the same opportunity to play on the team and win a gold medal as compatriots, and other ex- NHLers.
On the other hand, the good news is that there are several leading KHL clubs interested in signing Andrei Mironov. The first in the list is Dynamo Moscow. But one should keep in mind that the hockey player is a KHL unrestricted free agent and can sign a contract with any team.