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09-17-2004, 01:22 PM
  #24
Vito Andolini
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 923
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
or shall I call you arseman...

Jamie's goal is still to become an NHLer, plain and simple. Last year should've been the year he broke out, but didn't and an injury may've played a bit into that. To me, his best shot at getting to the NHL is through Hartford, where others are competing against him for a job. I understand the complexitities surrounding the NHL right now, but for this season, he needed to prove himself in North America and play better than the guys who want the same job as him (in my opinion).

If he turned it up this season and was at over a point-per-game in Hartford while playing well in all situations, then I think he's on better footing to do whatever's best for his pocketbook. I think going to Italy makes him fight and even more uphill battle if play resumes and automatically puts him at a disadvantage to guys like Balej, Wiseman, and even Moore who will be in Hartford, and will be watched daily.
To put money issues aside, I don't really see that much of a benefit in him being with the Pack. Honestly looking at Hartfords roster, I don't see any of their forwards (not counting Balej since he's almost definately the 2nd line RW) beating out Jamie for a top line spot with the Rangers because they had a nice season in the minors. Jamie simply has guy like Moore and Wiseman outclassed with talent. And besides, we all know that spots will be won and lost in training camp, and not based on what someone did in Hartford or in Europe.

On top of that, I see Jamie's biggest problem as being himself. By most accounts, Jamie is not a shadow of the player he was when he was drafted. He has lost his edge, and he isn't going to get it back by playing in the AHL. Whatever he has to figure out, he's gotta do it on his own, and maybe being apart from the Rangers organization for a while could help him to do that. In Europe he'll be a top line player, he'll get ice time and score points, and hopefully he'll regain that fire that made him the 9th pick, and transport it back to the NHL, whenever play resumes. Watching Lundmark last season, it's obvious to me that he has no confidence. I think it would do him good to dominate a league again.

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