Nikita Zadorov isn’t being quiet about his feelings about the Buffalo Sabres and how he thinks they approached Russian players.
Speaking with Russian reporter Slava Malamud, the Colorado Avalanche defenseman told him that while the organization didn’t hate Russians, they “think there shouldn’t be too many of us on the team.”
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) June 27, 2016
It’s a bizarre comment for Zadorov to make, but he’s not alone. Malamud previously reported former Sabres goaltender Andrey Makarov, who bolted for the KHL this offseason, told him that Tim Murray was unfair to Russian players and was biased against them.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) June 4, 2016
It’s hard to say whether the claims are true, as we aren’t privy to Murray’s discussions with his former players and we don’t have locker room access, but it’s strange two separate players would make the same case against him. The most common thread, however, is Zadorov and Makarov didn’t pan out in Buffalo and Murray was responsible for ending the relationship. Perhaps the duo were scorned about how things transpired.
As for Murray being xenophobic or hostile towards Russians, it’s hard to believe. Murray just acquired Russian Dmitry Kulikov last week. Again, I don’t know what’s transpired in the Sabres organization but it would be shocking to see a general manager be so closed-minded about a country that produces quality hockey players.
It’s interesting to see Zadorov call out his former GM, but it comes across as bitterness. Hopefully, the comments are anger and don’t have truth to them.