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09-30-2003, 02:28 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Originally Posted by
I'm looking over the Hershey Bears training camp roster and I noticed that Liles was listed while Svatos and McCormick's names were absent. Coincidence or is the Avs coaching staff merely rewarding Liles by keeping him up for one more game before sending him down?
I'm guessing the Avs would rotate five defensemen since McAllister and Smith wouldn't get much ice time.
If that is the case, it is extremely stupid IMO. I haven't seen Liles play, but from what I've heard he has been very impressive this camp. If the Avs are planning on going with either McAllister or Smith, it will hurt the team over the course of the season. Niether McAllister or Smith can play more than a handful of shifts per game, so that means more minutes for d-men like Blake and Foote, and I for one would like to lessen their load defensively. Liles (from what I've heard) appears to be a player that can play 15 minutes a game as a 6th defensemen.
I just hope the Bears training camp listing is a mistake. Otherwise, what has Granato been doing this entire preseason playing Smith or McAllister at forward? Either player still would qualify as a project at this point, and they would both warrant as much ice time on defense as possible to develop their skills. Instead, Liles has received the bulk of the preseason minutes in place of either player.
The beat writer for the York Daily News had an article about a week ago in which he mentioned the possible defensive depth of the Bears this season. He stated that the Bears depth may even be more improved with the addition of possible players like Slovak and Viitanen from the Avs camp, but he gave zero mention to Liles possibly being in Hershey this season. Plus the articles out of the DenverPost and Rocky Mountain News have indicated that Liles has stood out among the rookie prospects when discussing new faces that might make the team.
It would be difficult for me to comprehend how Liles could start out the season in Hershey when McAllister and Smith have shown zero ability to play at the NHL level. If that is the decision Granato makes, he is sending the clear message that size matters more than ability.
Plus if the Avs are keeping Svatos and McCormick, wouldn't that mean that Aubin should be in Hershey? Either that or Cummins is also gone. I just think the listing for the Bears site has to be a mistake.
I think it would be a mistake to keep Svatos and/or McCormick up with the Avs when half the time they would be healthy scratches and/or playing 8-10 minutes a game or less on the third or fourth lines.
I just have a hard time imagining that the Avs have given Liles such a prominent preseason role on defense to turn around and send him down to Hershey. Shouldn't they have used McAllister or Smith a little more on defense so that they can get the extra playing time?
If this is the decision that is ultimately made (sending Liles down) I will reach the decision that the Avs biggest weakness this season isn't between the pipes but rather behind the bench.
Enough of my rant of the day.......
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