Detroit Red Wings’ Evgeny Svechnikov looking forward to facing brother


They hope this is the time, Thursday in Carolina.

Evgeny Svechnikov and his brother Andrei, who plays for the Hurricanes, appear to be playing against each other in the NHL for the first time.

They got close last season but Evgeny was sent to Grand Rapids the day before. At the season opener in January Evgeny was injured and went back to the Griffins.

“I was hoping both times,” said Evgeny Svechnikov after Wednesday’s training session, that he would face his brother. “It was definitely disappointing. But you cannot control it and it is in the past. But it’s very exciting right now and it will happen one day.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) hopefully.”

The 24-year-old Evgeny was in the first round of the wings in 2015 (19th overall round), who has made his way to the NHL due to injuries.

The 20-year-old Andrei was Carolina’s first choice in 2018, second overall, who quickly came under pressure and expectations and reached or exceeded them.

“He did a great job, not entirely well,” said Evgeny, who trained with Andrei in North Carolina during most of the pandemic, and as the two have often done every summer. “He is so mature and so calm that you can learn these things from him. It’s great to see him as a little kid, 18, 19 or 20, doing these things and it’s hard and he’s done it and kept going.

“It’s pretty impressive.”

The two brothers have never played against each other in an organized game.

But they’ve been thinking, dreaming, and talking about the possibility since the family moved to North America in 2014 and Evgeny played in Cape Breton in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“When we got here in North America, we realized it could become a reality,” said Evgeny, who speaks to his brother after every game and basically every day. “I came here because I was drafted into the NHL (possibly) and my brother obviously followed in my footsteps.

“We started realizing one day that it was coming.”

The two, who grew up in Russia, barely had the NHL on their radar.

“I grew up here because of the NHL, but you couldn’t really see it,” said Evgeny. “It was in the back of our minds, we played in the national teams and grew up playing hockey, but it’s not a reality until you move to North America.

“We had no channels as a family, we had no NHL (on TV). We had 10 or 15 channels and had to fix the antenna to see the channels. There were hardly any sports and especially the NHL. We didn’t see any of it. “

The Svechnikovs’ parents are back in Russia, and Evgeny spoke to his father earlier this week.

“You’re pretty excited, it’s going to be a special day,” said Evgeny. “I said to my father, ‘Can you imagine it’s been almost 20 years since we started counting to this day? ‘

“I’m just very proud of my parents and how much they put into us to be in this position and to be trained. I am very happy for you and how happy you will be.

“You are (currently) in Russia and you watch every game. You will definitely see this one.”

Evgeny Svechnikov ran in line with Luke Glendening and Darren Helm during Wednesday’s practice.

After scoring two goals in his first three games with the Wings this season, you’d imagine Svechnikov would be a suspension from Thursday’s lineup.

But coach Jeff Blashill was shy about his plans.

“I’m human, but I also have a job to do and my job is to take out the 20 guys who are giving us the best chance of winning,” said Blashill. “Evgeny is a great person, one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s a great person and I’m sure I know how much that would mean to him (to play against his brother).

“But I have to put the top 20 out there.”

Nevertheless, Svechnikov has had a positive influence on his small sample size with the wings in the last week.

“He’s never lacking work, work is always there,” said Blashill. “So far he’s been fine. And he takes care of a few. “

Svechnikov has been grateful for the opportunity since arriving from Grand Rapids.

“I feel good, very good and good,” said Svechnikov. “I have momentum and I know what I’m doing. I just have to keep doing the little things better and keep producing.”

Filppula decided against it

Veteran forward Valtteri Filppula was canceled by the Wings Wednesday to join seasoned teammates Frans Nielsen and Danny DeKeyser which has also been waived in the last few weeks.

But Nielsen and DeKeyser weren’t claimed, and Filppula was supposed to come through before Thursday lunchtime too, rejoining the Wings and giving the team flexibility.

At this point, the Wings Filppula can, if necessary, assign the taxi team what they did with the other veterans to massage the roster.

Filppula, 37, March 20, is in the final year of a two-year contract for $ 6 million ($ 3 million annual salary cap). Filppula has five points (two goals, three assists) in 20 games this season.

Red wings during hurricanes

Allusion: Thursday, 7 p.m., PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

TV / radio: Fox Sports Detroit / 97.1 FM

Outlook: The Red Wings (7-15-3) and Hurricanes (15-6-1) have split two games to open this season. … Carolina has won three games in a row and has fourth place power play (29.6%). … C. Vincent Trocheck (12 goals) made the offense dangerous.

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Twitter: @tkulfan


Dusty Kennedy