There was once a time in which Russian defenseman Denis Bodrov was considered to be the top blue line prospect in the Philadelphia organization. But on the heels of signing a measly AHL contract with the Flyers on Monday, after being exiled from his KHL team Atlant Mytischi due to poor play and a feud with management, it seems that times have changed.
“He hasn’t played in about a month,” General manager Paul Holmgren told Frank Seravelli of the Daily News. “I don’t really know the process over there in Russia, but it worked out where he was free to do what he wanted. He’s been here the last few days.”
Refusing to pass up tax-free money and guaranteed playing time with his original KHL team HC Lada Togliatti, the Flyers’ second round pick in 2006 denied signing an NHL contract on multiple occasions since being drafted.
Midway through the 2008-09 KHL season, HC Lada management accused Bodrov of being a bad influence on younger players and traded him to Atlant.
According to Russianprospects.com from 2008…
“…Lada head coach Petr Vorobiev stated in interviews with HC Lada Press and Sport-Express newspapers that the club “Was not happy with the level of his (Bodrov’s) play and he also badly influences his younger brother [Evgeny] and Dmitri Vorobiev (Toronto Maple Leafs). Things are just getting worse and worse and we believe he is bringing a negative influence on the team…”
Once with Atlant his game took a down turn and the skilled, stay-at-home defender began having troubles with his new organization, which eventually cut him from the roster.
The 6-foot, 185 lbs. Moscow native, is now exercising one of the few opportunities he has left with the Flyers. At 23 years old, Bodrov will finish the rest of the AHL season with the Adirondack Phantoms, hoping to display his effectiveness in the North American game and get back on Holmgren’s radar. Russian sources believe a fresh start could get Bodrov back to talent he once was.
“He was a highly thought of defenseman in our system at one time,” Holmgren said. “He was on our reserve list. He’s not in shape right now. He needs to get down there and play. We’ll see what happens.”