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Barabanov Disappointed To Not Get Traded, But Still Plenty Motivated

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

PHILADELPHIA – You can’t blame Alexander Barabanov if he’s disappointed.

Last Thursday, the 29-year-old winger was scratched for trade-related reasons before the San Jose Sharks’ game against the New York Islanders. While no guarantee, this appeared to be a prelude to him leaving San Jose during the next day’s Trade Deadline.

And Barabanov, much as he enjoyed the city – he established himself as an NHL’er with the Sharks and both his kids were born here – was excited the leave the last-place Sharks.

The two-time Gagarin Cup champion couldn’t contain himself when asked, before the Deadline, how much he missed winning, “Oh my god, so much, so much. When I was 25, we won every year, the KHL Cup. Big games. World Championships, we didn’t win, but we have medals. I miss the playoffs and everything. It’s why I play hockey.”

Instead, despite a deal being struck with the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers, Barabanov wasn’t dealt. The Sharks’ last salary retention slot, earmarked for Barabanov’s $2.5 million AAV, instead went to Tomas Hertl, sent to the Vegas Golden Knights in perhaps the most shocking trade of the year.

SOURCE: Barabanov Trade to Rangers Fell Through Right Before Deadline

“That’s life. You can’t control that,” Barabanov told San Jose Hockey Now today.

For what it’s worth, Barabanov, back in the San Jose Sharks’ line-up on Saturday, got traded Anthony Duclair’s spot on the first line, next to leading scorer Mikael Granlund and Fabian Zetterlund.

There are worst places to get over your disappointment.

And he played well, according to head coach David Quinn: “I thought he played well the other night. He had some pop to his game. Didn’t look like it affected him, which is really all I care about.”

After all, that’s all the pending UFA can do now, just one month left in the San Jose Sharks’ season.

“Just keep going right now, keep playing. That’s what I can do,” Barabanov said. “Keep playing for my new contract.”

A strong finish to this year will help erase the sting of not getting moved and a tough season on the scoresheet.

After 93 points in 147 games in his first three seasons in teal, Barabanov has just three goals and 10 points in 39 contests this year.

“Everybody’s got something to play for. I know we look at the standings,” Quinn said. “If you think you have nothing to play for, you are going to be out of this league. That’s something that people got to realize.”

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