Thread: john tripp
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09-30-2003, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by agentfouser
that's an interesting point you make.

do you mean that tripp would best serve the organization as someone who really will not make it to the big league but can lead by example in the ahl, as a career ahler? or do you see him as someone that simply needs more time to develop? or does tripp need to be there as someone for the more skilled players to pass to, someone upon whom opposing defenses can focus their fury, sparing blue-chippers from nightly physical punishment?

i was under the impression that eric healey was a 30 year old sniper who had never bothered to learn any other facet of the game; as such, he had no nhl contract despite scoring buckets of goals in the ahl. are you saying that a minor league farm team needs someone like that on their roster? i am not trying to put forward any other idea, but i am really curious as to why an organization would want its farm team to have anything other than prospects who would someday have a shot at the nhl.

Well, first off, I'm glad you didn't take offense to my post, as I've been a bit defensive today having been called out for my "know-it-all" board attitude (LGK)

Honestly, let's look at John Tripp's career to date:

drafted twice

first pro season, one goal in 70 games (that's tough to do as a forward)

four or five seasons later, still in the ECHL (Pensacola)

sixth pro season, a cup of coffee with a HORRIBLE Ranger team, and he scores in his first NHL game, and all of a sudden fans are calling him the second coming of (fill in the blank with a Hall Of Fame forward.)

eight more games and suddenly he is not even offered a Ranger contract.

The Kings, knowing they have a WEALTH of finesse (and smaller) forwards bound for Manchester (at the time, Aulin, Cammalleri, Clarke, Lehoux, etc.), realize that this is a guy who comes to play hard every game, and has proven he has a scoring touch in the AHL. They sign him with the invitation to make an impression in training camp (*which he did) but basically let him know that they need him to provide some muscle and some scoring, as well as some assistance for these younger kids.

Tripp realizes he's not going to walk into ANY NHL camp and be handed a top 12 forward slot (Hey, Healey walked, got signed by Atlanta, and he was one of the first to be shipped to Chicago (AHL) --- so these NHL talent evaluators know the difference between AHL and NHL talent.

John Tripp is there to score some goals, but ultimately provide an outlet for the Clarkes and the Lehouxs of the world. If they succeed, he succeeds, and vice versa. The investment in the kids is far greater than the investment in John Tripp, but like Steve Kelly... you never know when the call will come for a "plug in."

Charlie Simmer, perhaps the greatest "plug in" of all time, is someone who I had very little faith in when he made his Kings debut, but one day at a time, he hung in there and found some ultimate chemistry. Will it happen for John Tripp? Me thinks not, but years from now we will all laugh about how he scored in a pre-season game (anyone remember Jim Moxey?) and we all thought he was the second coming of Charlie Simmer

As for why an organization would want to have anything other than prospects... you always need veteran leadership on a team, so that the youngsters road is paved with good intentions. Last year, Dane Jackson was one of those guys... this year he's an assistant coach. The reason the Kings made the Hnilicka trade was to assure themselves of a veteran (older) goaltender to help Chouinard along... be it Milan or Cristobal Huet, who despite being a 2nd year North American, is 27 and a veteran of international hockey wars. The reason the Rulliers and the Seeleys of the world are still there... they know the drill, and though they are quickly falling from prospect to suspect, they, along with Jason Holland, will be asked to help the Gleasons and the Grebeshkovs prepare for their lives as NHL players. Because of that, the Kings will always look out for the best interests of the fringe guys who help them with their master plan. If they see an opportunity for a Rullier, a Seeley, a Kelly or even a Tripp, outside of their organization, they will embrace that chance for them with open arms.

Anyway, that's my ramble for the night... I'm all Tripped out.


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