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Time is tight for Novoseltsev - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
By Dave Joseph
SUNRISE · Listen to the praise being heaped on Panther right winger Ivan Novoseltsev recently by coach Rick Dudley.
"He's one of the best skaters in the game ... he can [create turnovers] as well as anyone in the league ... he's been a great puck pursuer ... he's starting to come through ...
So why do you need a search warrant most nights to find Novoseltsev?
It's 26 games into the season and Novoseltsev has suited up for only 17. When he does, he's playing on the fourth line; he skated just 4:28 Wednesday against the Rangers.
"Four minutes is tough," Novoseltsev, 24, said. When told of Dudley calling him one of the best skaters in the game, Novoseltsev replied; "That was always my best ability, and I have to use it. But it's very hard to use it sitting on the bench. There's not much I can do with four minutes. But there's coaches behind the bench and they decide."
So if Novoseltsev is so good, why is he so hard to find?
"We've had him in and out of the lineup for reasons; some of them you can say can be blamed on a little bit of inconsistency, but a lot of it is blamed on the nature of the beast," Dudley said of Novoseltsev, who scored 10 goals in 78 games last season. "We wanted certain elements in the game at certain times. Ivan's done well and he's starting to understand exactly what we're telling him. He has also been asked to play on a fourth line, which is not easy on him."
While Novoseltsev, now in his fifth season with the Panthers, has always been known for his skating, he's not as talented a scorer. Dudley wants to see the 6-1 winger create turnovers and pursue the puck.
"Ivan is one of the best skaters in the game," Dudley said. "He's a strong kid, and if you use those two assets to create turnovers, he can be a very effective player.
"That's what he has to understand because we have Val [Bure] and [Viktor Kozlov] and those two play the right wing and, you know, they're a little more gifted offensively than Ivan.
"Although Ivan's done some good stuff offensively, for him to play he's going to have to assume a role that's suitable for the line he's playing on, and one of the things he has to do is create turnovers, and he can do that, and he can do that as well as anyone in the league if he uses what he's got. I wouldn't want to be a defenseman playing against him."
It's unclear whether Dudley is exaggerating Novoseltsev's talents; the native of Golitsino, Russia, has been the subject of trade rumors for more than a year. But for now, or until he can assume the role of a fourth-line winger, Novoseltsev may have to settle for fewer minutes -- if any -- come game night.
When asked about the possibility of being traded, Novoseltsev said, "There's nothing I can say right now. I haven't heard anything. If anything happens ... maybe the team [is] going to do what's the best for them and me.
"Everybody wants to grow as a player and play more because the careers can be very short. If there is anything, why not, as long as it will help the team and help me."
Пресса: Сезон 2003-2004
1 декабря. Time is tight for Novoseltsev - South
1 декабря. Time is tight for Novoseltsev - South Florida Sun-Sentinel