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07-09-2011, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Canucklehead View Post
And the notion that AV "only gave Raymond and Hansen" a chance to play is silly. Burrows was forced to pay his dues and was then given plum minutes by AV, to which he responded in spades. Kesler started as a third-fourth line player under AV, and gradually worked his way up to star status. Edler started as a bottom line and and so on. Plenty of the core members of this team rose to prominence under AV's watch, and I can't believe he is getting so many questions over his handling of a marginal offensive prospect.

AV has developed a very clear profile as a 'developmental coach'. Everyone knows what to expect from a 'skill' player 'graduated' by AV at the NHL-level. When it works, the results are outstanding. We get well-rounded, responsible, 2-way players who become core members of the team.

The issue is with the failures, when his methods don't really work. Shirokov is just one example of a player who for whatever reason, did not fit AV's mold for a skilled player. And i think it's important not to gloss over his failures just because his successes shine so brightly.

Then there's a guy like Grabner, who i think that falls under the category of a failure by AV. It's hard to say AV really molded Grabner into the player he is today, simply by having him sent down to the farm to develop under other coaches, and tossing him the occasional 4th line shift now and then. Beyond that, it seemed as though AV did not fully recognize the upside there or the potential pace at which he could progress. As most will agree, there was no way Grabner would've had the breakout year he did if here were still in Vancouver under AV. Part of that is down to depth, sure. But at the same time...when is the last time we saw a rookie step in and score 35goals under AV? yeah... I think seeing how AV manages Hodgson's development next year is going to be very telling. Not that i'm expecting anything like 35goals, but to see what sort of leeway he is given and the opportunities he gets to showcase his skill will indicate a lot about AV's willingness to adapt to the pace at which a prospect is capable of developing, rather than adhering to his own preordained schedule.

Basically, i don't think you can really say that AV is a phenomenal developmental coach when it comes to grooming young offensive players, and there are certainly things to criticize there, but i don't think it's fair to say he's completely clueless either. He just has a very set approach to developing skilled players that is almost 'boom or bust' in nature, and very time-consuming because it seems to happen on a fairly rigidly 'set' schedule somewhat independent of actual potential pace. We seem to either get outstanding 2-way 'AV-type' players, or we get absolutely nothing. And if we want to be a 'Detroit-style' organization feeding off of internal promotion, we're going to need to be sure that AV is having a high success rate in integrating a steady stream of talented young players, and adapting to the pace of individual players development.

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