For any Columbus Blue Jackets fan, if you ask them about young players on the team, you may hear names like Jakub Voracek, Derick Brassard, or even Steve Mason.
How often is is that you hear the name Nikita "Nicky" "Filly" Filatov? Few are the times I can count it. How often is it that you hear the same name in a positive connotation? Even rarer, seeing how he is playing for CSKA in the KHL for the rest of the season. Why is that? Many things led up to it. Among them were Hitch's lack of trust for young players and Russians, of which both classifications apply to Filatov, and the amount of Time On Ice that Filly recieved. He was recieving somewhere around two or three minutes a night.
I can explain to you through a simple phrase why Filatov will be back next season; "ILECD." It may sound crazy to you, but it stands for something.
I stands for Identify. We have already identified the problem. Hitch's lack of trust, and very short leash on all of the younger players.
L stands for List. List out the pros and cons for him to come back. Now that Hitch has gone, and Noel is behind the bench, coaching philosophies have changed. As we can already see in Noel's two games as the Head Coach, he is playing the younger kids more often. Look at Voracek; he had three assists on Saturday, and was looking like we were still playing in last season. Filatov was promised a NHL lineup spot after a year in the AHL. Again, now that Hitch has been fired, that lineup spot will be on the ice more than two minutes.
The cons are rather short. He won't be in his homeland, playing for fellow countrymen and women.
E stands for Examine. Examine the situation. The situation at hand, is whether Filatov will return or not. It's clear to see that all of the reasons as to why Filly left have been eliminated, and therefore the problem no longer exists.
C stands for Consider. Consider the other options. He really only has two options; stay in Russia, or come back to America. Either way, Filatov is set for playing hockey, the profession he has chosen. He just needs to choose who he will play with and for. As soon as the loan expires, he'll be back in the US.
D stands for Do. Do it. This is the simplest of all of the previous meanings. He has to come back to the US, and stay with the Blue Jackets, which is the easiest solution.
And that, folks, is why Filatov will come back to play with the Jackets.