Flyers likely to keep Roenick
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07-17-2005, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
[QUOTE=GagneScores12]These are guys who won a memorial cup (Richards), a gold medal at the WJC (Richards and Carter) and have also won the Calder Cup as AHL Champions (Richards, Carter and Umberger).
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Playing in those leagues is not the same as playing in the NHL.
Winning is winning, whether it be junior, AHL, Europe or the NHL. Winners bring a certain swagger and a certain attitude with them. It is infectious and contrary to popular belief, winners know what it takes to win. So, to be perfectly honest, I would love to see Richards, Carter and Umberger get boatloads of ice time because: A) They are the present and they are the future; B) Out of all the veterans we have, which one has one a Stanley Cup? Exactly. Roenick hasn't. Knuble hasn't. Primeau hasn't. Kapanen hasn't. Gagne hasn't. Handzus hasn't. Markov hasn't. Johnsson hasn't. Only Desjardins has. We've won nothing with the veterans. That's a fact. So, why not see what the youngsters can do? What if they outperform the veterans? The chances of them outperforming the vets as well is a probable chance too; C) If the emphasis is going to be opening up the game, then the kids have nowhere to go but up. All three of the young forwards mentioned can score in tight checking games. Imagine giving those kids some room. We might actually have a 40 goal scorer out of the buch. Hell, we might have someone who might actually get just as much press as Ovechkin and Crosby.
I'm hard on Hitch. That's a personal opinion. His track record with developing young players speaks for itself. He is almost Mike Keenan-esque in terms of how rough he is on youngsters. Say what you want about Williams, but he is overly rough on Justin. Didn't matter if he put Justin on scoring lines or checking lines. Justin could do no right in Hitch's eyes. If Justin fired a shot on net and the goalie stopped it, Hitch would let him have it for shooting instead of passing. If Justin passed the puck to one of his linemates and they got intercepted or stopped by the defense, Hitch would let him have it for not shooting. There was no winning with Hitch. As for Pitkanen, he played 71 out of 82 games. He was in the press box for games when he was healthy and he was benched for games if he made a mistake clearing a pass out of the zone or missing a defensive assignment. If any other veteran did what Pitkanen did, they continued to play. Do you not call that rough treatment? I'd expect the veteran to be benched as well.
The problem is this. There is going to be a learning curve with young players. Like it or not, they aren't going to know everything. If they make a mistake, then it's important to get them back out there so: A) They learn from their mistake; B) Their confidence isn't killed; C) They know how to react the next time something happens. Our youngsters aren't given a chance to make mistakes and that will always bug me. I've read on here that learning the game is what the AHL is for. Bull. There are plenty of veterans on this team that make more mistakes than our youngsters have made, and amazingly, you never see them get benched or not dressed for the next game. There is a double standard in Philadelphia. That is what I find the most agonizing. There's one set of rules for the veterans, one set of rules for the youngsters. That's why I have no faith in Hitch. Is he a good coach? Of course, his record reflects he's a good coach. But his record reflects he's a good coach of a veteran ladden team (if you take a look at his Dallas team, each player on average had at least 8-9 seasons of experience). His track record with young players speaks for itself. We'll see how Hitch does with a team full of young and gifted players.
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