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09-27-2003, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanM
One thing I think being overlooked is the chance he has this year to WIN in junior. We all know he'll be Canada's #1 at the World Juniors where he'll have a chance to win the gold medal he lost out on last year. Cape Breton is already 5-1 and has only allowed 12 goals in 6 games.

2 things you can not teach a player are confidence and winning. Playing in Pittsburgh this year all year and getting say 40 starts behind a terrible team will improve him, but will it improve him more then potentially winning a gold medal or a QMJHL championship? And then next year, what does he do? According to TSN the other day if he plays this year in the NHL, he can not play in the AHL next year if there is a lockout. So 1 year of NHL, then a year off during an important time period in his development? Or say 9 NHL games this year, then playing in Junior for the rest of the year and moving up to the AHL next year and then being ready in 05-06 when guys like Whitney and Orpik also have 2 more years development and maybe a player like Ovechkin or Crosby with them.

People can argue this ALL day. But there is no right or wrong way to develop a hockey player and what has happened before to other players is useless to bring up, because those players are not Marc-Andre Fleury. He was not supposed to make Cape Breton as a 16yr old. Not only did he make it, he started our 1st playoff game. He was not supposed to be the starting goaltender on the WJHC team as an 18yr old. Not only was he the starting goaltender, he was the tournaments MVP. The guy just seems to exceed all expectations laid out for him, and keeps that huge smile on his face the whole time while he's doing it.
Good and reasonnable post.

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