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09-29-2003, 02:46 PM
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Worst Preseason writeup ever?

It's probably been mentioned before but here is ESPN's preseason writeup on the Preds...

Not the smartest hamster in the cage, Wheatley keeps hockey on its toes

Some gems...

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen had 40 points but only six goals, four on the power play. He simply isn't a threat from the point and probably would be better served by getting a two-minute breather on the bench rather than taking space on the power play. The solution is probably not in house. So management should relax its "Play the Kids" mandate and bring in a power-play specialist.

I would hardly call Timonen a waste of PP space. He did have 28 power play points. And Zidlicky, whom you will see Wheatley knows nothing about, is a potential PP point man and could be a very, very good one at that.

If none of that happens, four rookies are likely to make the varsity. They include Czech countrymen Tomas Kloucek, Marek Zidlicky and Robert Schnabel, plus Dan Hamhuis.

Zidlicky, 26, and Kloucek, 23, couldn't make the Rangers with their awful D. Schnabel is 25 and was waived by Phoenix, another team not exactly stocked on the blue line.

Once again, does he follow Predators hockey? Firstly, Kloucek isn't a rookie. 98 games of NHL experience will oftentimes rob you of that. Secondly, Kloucek could and did make the Rangers. He basically spent all his time at the age of 20-21 playing for the Rag$ big squad. In that two year span, he only spent 30 games in Hartford. If it wasn't for injuries, he would have spent most of both seasons (2000-01, 2001-02) playing in New York. And Zidlicky coudn't make the Rag$? Of course not, he was never given a chance. Hard to make the team playing in Finland.

And Schnabel, he was waiver wire material how many years ago? Two and a half years to be exact. That year, Phoenix was in the top half of the league in terms of GA. Their defense had names like Mara, Vaananen, Numminen, Lumme, and Carney. Not that bad on D. But distinguishing bad defensive depth today with what actually happened when Schnabel was waived is a feat far beyond Wheatley's comprehension.

An obvious choice is free-agent forward Cliff Ronning, the ex-Preds favorite who never wanted to be dealt away. At this point in his career, he wouldn't be taking minutes at even strength from the kids on the first two lines. But he would take pressure off them as a power-play quarterback.
How would Ronning be any more effective on the PP? We were talking about lack of a pointman and he throws Ronning out there. I have news for you, Thomas. If you think Timonen is bad from the point, you haven't seen Ronning's blast. Ronning slides along the end boards on the PP. He wouldn't address your initial concern at all. Geez man, are you an 8th grade Lit student here? You mis-answer your own question. What a wonderful tactic as it completely catches the reader off guard. You're strolling through the article thinking it's written by a proffessional and then, Bam, a junior high grammar error.

Your transition from needing a PP point man to needing a PP specialist who can't play the point is flawless. In fact, it doesn't exist. Not that we don't need both but answer your damn question first before posing a similar one.

This leaves me thinking Wheatley knows less about the Predators than your average Nashvillian. 'Tis so sad.

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