STH "Town Hall" Meeting Report
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04-06-2009, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Alright, I just got back and I'll try to ramble off anything I remember:
Sbisa-everyone in the organization thinks the world of him. They can't say enough about how good he is, and they said that his season is going to end by Wednesday when Lethbridge will get swept by Calgary. They said he would join the Phantoms until the Flyers got to the playoffs, and once he joins the team he may or may not play in the playoffs. Holmgren thinks he's going to end up being 6'4", saying he was taller than Sbisa at the draft, and when Sbisa was in his office to get send back Luca was taller.
Jones/Alberts-A guy called Alberts out in regards to the turnovers, and Stevens admitted that that pairing has struggled as of late. He said that he still believes they can be a solid 3rd pairing, but that they are trying too hard with the puck, and that they need to get back to basics.
JVR-The prospect guys tried to keep saying that JVR had a good year, but they kept trying to downplay the fact that it was a disappointing year. They agreed that he was not being challenged enough in college, and that it was time for him to move to the next level. They said that JVR was a hard-working guy who would be the first to admit that he has other needs to work in in his game. That seemed like a good sign, that JVR was willing to improve.
Bodrov-They seem to be impressed with him. Said that they have tried to get him to sign and to come over, but have been unsuccessful. They said that the KHL is being even more difficult with getting players over than the RSL. They are going to keep trying to get him to come to training camp.
Backlund-They seem to think that this guy can have some success in the pro game. He was mentioned a couple of times, they said that he is going to come over here in the fall, probably meaning training camp.
Gustavsson-This is the part of the thing that disturbed me.
They didn't know who Jonas Gustavsson was.
I asked if they had had any contact with him or had been scouting him, and they said that they had never heard of him. They said they faintly remembered hearing the name, but didn't know anything about him. I can't figure out how they had scouted and signed Backlund, but they hadn't even heard of the younger, more talented Swedish goalie. This was disappointing, because I thought that Gustavsson had some potential to make an impact.
Bourdon/Marshall-They are happy with both of them. Think Marshall is a very good defenseman who makes the other team's life a living hell, hard hitting defenseman who is a good leader. Bourdon they said had all the talent in the world, and that he has a lot of intangibles. A good hockey mind, good stick and puck skills, and physical. The one knock on him according to them was that he maybe needed to improve on his skating and conditioning. They said that he is a raw prospect who needs shaping, but the talent is there.
Biron/Niittymaki-One of the most surprising things was that Homer believes that he can keep both of them. He said, "I don't see any reason why we can't keep both of them." He has confidence in the both of them, and that he thinks Marty is getting on that same hot streak he got on last year this year. He didn't say much about contract negotiations, saying that they have been in contact with both of their agents.
Organizational Goaltending-They think that Munroe has looked good this year, he may have a future. Multiple times they cited they have some good goalie prospects that they like. They also said "we have some European goalies we like", and considering we only have two and Kovar hasn't been very good, they obviously see something in Eriksson.
The Draft-Someone asked what the chances they take a goalie in the first round is, saying that chances are they won't. This part disturbed me. They said at the spot they believed they would be picking, they didn't see anybody that was good enough. I got the standard "we will take the best player available". Pryor cited the fact that your chances of having a goalie pan out that was drafted in the 1st round is just as good as one drafted in the 7th round. I agree with this statement to a certain extent, but not to the degree that he said.
Salary Cap-They think that the cap is going to stay about the same this year, maybe go down the smallest bit. They are more concerned about the year after next. When asked if they were thinking about unloading one of the bigger contracts, they said that they didn't think that they had to, but if they had to they could do it.
Bouwmeester-I found this part interesting. I'll quote Homer as good as I remember it. "For me, it didn't make sense to pull the trigger. The long-term implications if we would have made the trade would not have been good for the team. We would have had to give up one of our best young forwards, one of our best young defenseman, and plus." The forward part to me means Giroux, and at that point I say no. That also probably meant Coburn, which means that what Florida was demanding was way too much.
Physicality on D-Holmgren is really big on puck-moving defensemen. I could tell that he really didn't like Jason Smith or Hatcher when they were here, as he constantly cited their inability to get the puck out when people brought up the lack of physicality on D. He believed that the team as a whole needed to get bigger, not necessarily more physical. Thinks Alberts brings a good physical element to the team, but the defense needs to get bigger.
The team as a whole-They like where the organization is at. Luukko likes the core that they have built, and that they think they have done a good job of signing that home-grown core long term. Holmgren seems to like where the team is at right now, and so does Stevens. They have kept that core (Richards, Carter, Gagne, Coburn) together and surrounded them with good players to compliment them.
I know that was really long-winded, and I probably forgot some things. I'll add anything that I remember.
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