Marc Staal resign, Willie Mitchell signing?
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07-24-2010, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York
It's really not as important as you think it is. It's nice that your coaches stressed it, but that's likely only because, as a guideline for players who don't have a preference, it makes sense to start out playing a righty on the right, etc. Some players PREFER to play on the opposite side and many players can and will play both. Some players prefer to play on the side of their handedness and you could argue that for those players it's important, but otherwise it's much more flexible than you're making it out to be.
And yeah, I didn't write it to be arrogant in any way, but yes, I do think that having played DI hockey for my entire college career, and witnessing first hand guys who went as far as to be drafted or had already been by the time they came to college and were playing in our conference - not necessarily guys who made the show, but still - play on their opposite sides consistently and without it being at all noteworthy is first hand knowledge that is worth more than the opinion of a guy who played high school hockey. The high school I went to didn't even have tryouts for their hockey team; the better kids made varsity and the rest played JV... high school hockey and DI hockey are really not even close.
I understand your argument about stick position and playing the puck to the outside but its at a level where it's just not as significant as you believe. These guys will make the right play the majority of the time regardless. Gaborik also played on the left at times this year and was absolutely fine there, so it's not as imperative as you think for him to have a LH center either, although that situation is slightly more relevant because when you're going to have a premium sniper on your team you want to give him the ideal setup man, of course, and that means someone who won't have to be passing off their backhand a good deal of the time.
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