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They call him Ka$h because the man is money

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:58 pm

Recently I was watching Nikita Kashirsky take an outlet pass and fly in to start the scoring barrage on Wheeling’s goalie Peter Delmas. Delmas has been the strength of the desperate Nailer’s team of late. Ka$h just blew into the zone, and sent a laser high on Delmas’ glove side before he could react.

His play led to more converted scoring chances, chasing Delmas and denting his replacement, Scott Darling, too. Is he the straw that stirs the drink on this Royals team? Some may think so, myself included.

Click here to watch an interview I conducted with Kashirsky.

But just who is this determined, dedicated professional we are so lucky to have in Reading? His official profile lists his excellent career at Norwich College and his part in the 2009 Kelly Cup Championship with South Carolina. He contributed significantly to those victories with 18 points in 21 playoff games, as a college call up. The stats show some years of professional hockey between teams in the ECHL and the AHL. But Ka$h is more than those stats.

He started playing hockey at 8 in the Russian Dynamo program and has been playing ever since. His skills have taken him to NHL training camps, through college and all around this country as well as Russia.

Some say that character shows when adversity is felt. Ka$h has seen and felt adversity. In game 5 of the 2009 Kelly Cup playoffs, he suffered a broken jaw and was unable to finish the series.

When the entire KHL Lokomotiv team perished in an airplane crash, he was right there promoting the cause of the wives and families of those players. He not only helped promote the financial end of this effort, but also gave his time to translate many of the messages sent to the grieving Russian families.

It is a credit to all of hockey that there was such an outpouring of support in this time of tragedy. It’s also a credit to Nikita that this sober young man gave the support he did as well.

Maybe all this has something to do with the maximum effort I see out of Ka$h every time he is on the ice. I know other fans and the players see it as well.

People may not know that Kashirsky grew up as the best friend of the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin.

As Ovi’s boyhood friend, I only had one question for Nikita. I asked him, “On the ice, what are you better at than Ovechkin?” He smiled and started talking about how good a player Ovi is. Then the light went on and he said, “Oh, I’m definitely better on face offs than he is!”

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