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08-18-2010, 09:00 PM
  #283
etherialone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chruceg View Post
(cropping mine)



The recently posted radio interview with Dean Lombardi raised an excellent point in regard to this. The question asked a little after half way through (sorry there is no time given on the broadcast) was "Do (the Kings) need to add more the backend?" Lombardi's initial answer was typical with "shoring up the backend would be something we'd look at" and "finding the right fit is important" but he raised two excellent points with his addendum.

The first is that the Kings need to give (even more) time to their stable of young defense prospects to develop. We should all keep in mind that with only a few exceptions the majority of defenseman don't break into the NHL until three or four years into their development. He commented that five of Manchester's six defenseman were 21 and under. That means the most development any of those five could have had would have been three years. I realize we all want to see the fruits of the draft as soon as possible but it isn't always the best decision.

Which brought Lombardi to his second point which was he thinks "the proper way to be trained (is) in the minors." This brings up a very important point that Lombardi has consistently brought up. Spending more time in the minors is better for player development. The examples of this are everywhere: Kyle Quincey, Brian Rafalski, Duncan Keith, and the pretty much the entire 2003 draft are excellent examples. I wish I could find the radio interview where he said this but Lombardi is "convinced" the reason why the 2003 draft was so good was because of the extra year everybody spent in the AHL. He's also repeatedly said that he is not just trying to get the players he drafted to the NHL he wants them to be good NHLers. He believes the best way to do this is through playing time in the minors.

These points together show us that the players weren't brought up because it's more important to the long term health of the organization that they spend time in the minors. I hated the Randy Jones era as much as you (and everybody else) did but I'm willing to stomach a half year of Jones if it means Hickey, Voynov, or Martinez become legit NHLers rather than highly touted flame outs. Could any of those three have played in the NHL this past season? Probably. Would it have likely stunted their development? Highly likely. It's just not worth the risk.

I honestly think Lombardi wants to give his defenseman, at least three, preferably four years of development before he breaks them in. I realize goaltenders are different but look at what he did with Bernier. He didn't want him to just play in the AHL; he wanted him to dominate the AHL. I think he wants the same to be done with his defenseman. Teach the prospects as much as possible in the minors and when they've mastered the AHL then move them up. This will lead to better players, playing longer, with less of a learning curve in the NHL.
I agree and thank you for further proving my point that we simply don't need to rush our kids up and if that is our plan for the coming season then we are making a mistake. Especially if we are expecting to simply throw them into the fire without any (or very little) actual NHL experience.

That is what I was trying to say in my other post. If DL does have a plan that is centered around playing several true rookie's as regulars next season then we are in serious trouble *and* we are risking the long term development of several of the young players/prospects that we are counting on being key parts of our future.

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