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10-29-2003, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Mizral
And I'm not one of those guys who thinks Saprykin sucks. Ask Zoidberg - I was one of the few who thought he might break out this year. I'm not so sure of that anymore. Saprykin's potential might be high, but at this point, Saprykin's potential is looking to be more in the AHL than the NHL. In fact, he's the type of player that I think may be back in the RSL in a couple years. I simply do not see the effort or skill level on a nightly basis. And with Sutter there, he won't put up with that. Saprykin may be on waivers at some point this season because of it, and it's anybody's guess if he'd pass through or not.
There's no way we'd put him on waivers and no way he'd pass through. I also take issue with the suggestion he's only worth a 5th or 6th pick. I think teams would be lining up outside the Saddledome to get him at that price. I think he's a whole lot more.

As for Sutter, he did sign Saprykin to a one-way, three year contract. That says a lot about what he thinks of Saprykin.

Obviously we'll have to agree to disagree. I see Saprykin's potential as being similar to Nagy or Havlat's upside. Unlike some other players who have significant on ice issues to overcome (complete lack of defense, soft/perimeter style) he has a solid all around game. He needs to show he's dedicated to fitness and he needs to gain strength. I expect Sutter and the rest of the coaching staff to whip him into an NHL calibre player over the next year with a tough love approach.

I think there's a chance we would deal him because he hasn't shown a commitment to fitness and conditioning. If we did I'm sure Sutter would only do it if we were getting significant value back. Otherwise we'll keep him and let him develop into a regular top two line NHLer.

A lot of people are underrating Saprykin. If he were on your team and you'd seen some of the things he can do then you'd be a firm believer in his upside. I understand why people outside of Calgary are more skeptical and tend to focus on the negatives (him temporarily leaving Saint John and not missing a game as an example) but I don't think many are being very objective on him. He remains a top prospect. I think he probably has a higher upside than Chuck Kobasew and is probably the most skilled young players in the system and one of the most skilled players on the Flames.

Check back with me as the season continues, I think his stock on this board will be rising.

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