The improvements since Laviolette took over
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01-27-2010, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St. Andrews
Originally Posted by
Except for maybe Downie. Most of the guys who "never got a chance" under Stevens empirically sucked. Kukkonen, and Vaanaanen simply were not NHL players, and subsequent history seems to bear that out.
There's a difference between playing favorites and not having a chance. Stevens' treatment of Upshall at times was absurd. From dropping him down in the lineup, to singling him out for penalties while other guys did far worse (I'm looking at you Hartnell and Briere).
Kukkonen started out as a solid defender, that blocked a lot of shots...and proceeded to regress throughout his time with the Flyers.
Vaananen was solid for us, if unspectacular...and it remains bizarre that he went from being paired with Timonen playing 20 a night to the press box in about two weeks worth of games.
While both are in the KHL, I'm not sure that is indicative of them not being bottom pairing NHL talent...just going to be more money for those type of guys over there.
My biggest gripe with Stevens was his clear soft spot for Nitty. You can say what you want about Biron's play here, but it was largely solid and for whatever reason Stevens kept creating goaltending controversies without any real reason to.
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