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11-29-2004, 05:21 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Originally Posted by
I don't get the Flyers organization anymore. I had high hopes for Eager. I was thinking that rather than groom him as a replacement for Fedoruk or Brashear, they were actually going to develop him as a talent. Instead, they use him for fisticuffs and rather than play him on one of the top lines, they use him on an "energy" line...read: A good line. Take a look at the two other players Ben is playing with. It's not as if Smith and Gratton are going to help develop his offensive game. Shame on the Flyers organization for wasting his development. This is a disgrace and as Flyers fans, we should all be hanging our head in shame in the role they are using Ben. What a complete and utter waste........
Ben is a rookie, which in and of itsefl means its going to be hard for him to get ice time. Besides the fact that he is a young rookie, unlike a college player coming in, means the fact that Ben is on the checking line isn't really a big deal. What makes it even less of a big deal is that he is good at this role, he is a good energy player because of his hitting and skating abilities. Players are put onto the Phantoms, and then the Phantoms do with them what's best for the team, not what is best for their development.
Eager is NOT being groomed to be an enforcer. He has one fight this year. When he first came into the OHL he fought a bunch, but as he became more important to his team, he picked his spots a lot. In fact, he became pretty well known for ducking fights and turtling on people to draw penalties. Eager is a good fighter, but he won't be a heavyweight. Must fighters out of the O never turn into NHL heavies, because the average fighter in the OHL is smaller than those that come out of the W or Q. They can't compete with them, it's been like that for years. Eager, IMO will probably fight 10-15 times a year, with middle weight competition. He's going to make his mark by being physical, but that's how all powerforwards break into the league. Shanahan, Primeau, Tocchet, all these guys fought at pretty high paces when they broke in. You make your name being tough, then you show your skills. Ben has to make his mark on the Phantoms by busting his ass, knocking people over, and being a pest. From there, he'll progress, just like he will in the AHL. I don't see him on the extremes that most people do. He won't be a Fedoruk, he has better skills and less fighting ability than a guy like him. And he won't be a Leclair, he doesn't have the size or hockey sense to be a big time powerforward. Eager, IMO, is going to fill a role a lot like Kapanen plays for us now, but with a toughness that Sami can't bring. That'll take awhile though. We'll see Eager in the NHL soon, but it'll be on the 4th line for a bit. But I think he's going to be an important part of the Flyers for some time. He'll make some people hate him because of the penalties he takes, but the Flyers haven't really had a pest like him in some time.
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