Homesick rookie ponders quitting the NHL in breakout season.
Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports  

Homesick rookie ponders quitting the NHL in breakout season.

A rookie is reportedly pondering a return home despite having a breakout season in the NHL.

Jonathan Larivee

A team in the National Hockey League that has already dealt with a ton of turmoil this early in the season has just had more added to it's plate.

Earlier this week reports out of Russia indicated that Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Dmitry Voronkov was not happy with life in America and struggle with life as a non-English speaker in Columbus, Ohio. One of those reports, from Russia's Business Online, revealed that Voronkov had a clause in his contract that would allow him to return to Russia prior to December and rejoin his former team in the Kontinental Hockey League, Kazan Ak-Bars. According to that same report, Voronkov has maintained an open line of communication with that team in Russia.

Now, Columbus Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline has confirmed those reports in speaking with Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

"We are dealing with it internally," said Kekalainen as per The Athletic. "It’s normal for a young player to feel homesick at times. And so we’re dealing with it."

Kekalainen is currently under tremendous pressure after his most recent hire, the hiring of head coach Mike Babcock, blew up in his face before the season even began. Having a rookie player up and quit the team would not help the current perception of the longtime Blue Jackets general manager and I have no doubt Kekalainen is using every resource to keep Voronkov as comfortable as possible in North America.

The 23 year old is in his first ever NHL season but has been a solid performer for the Blue Jackets with 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of 9 points in his first 15 NHL games. Voronkov also boasts a plus minus rating of 0 on the season and that combined with his point total is fairly impressive given that his team has just 6 wins in 21 games and has a goal differential of -14 on the season.