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11-30-2011, 04:14 PM
Minister of Offence
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The speed of the game is more than it's ever been, puck movement and possession qualities are beginning to dominate. The game is as free flowing as ever. There's a place for Nathan Gerbe and Rocco Grimaldi may have been a top 10-15 player on several progressive organizations' lists last year.

The ability to make the right decisions in the least amount of time is becoming the most important thing. It's the innateSkating can always be improved to some degree, so can can't teach a player to be Skinner/Duchene/Karlsson....and you can't teach him to be Lucic or Greening. But you can get him to the necessary levels like we are doing with Stone, or force them to play harder physically like Alfie has done, like we tell guys like Sorensen and Pageau to do.

You can't sit a kid in a class room and teach him how to make decisions on the ice. Hockey sense and puck skills rules out and you can't beat it...the rest is why Director's of Player Development and extensive development scheming has become so prevalent.

At a younger age it's all skating...because the best skaters skate circles around the other kids. The higher you get, the skating is evened out and the smarter kids win out. The big kids with skill and hockey sense at the extreme are guys like Malkin, and they are on a different level because they have everything.

For an example of how hockey sense dominates size in terms of importance....see Ryan Nugent Hopkins, a PPG 18 year old that can't be dominated physically because he gets rid of the puck before you can catch him. And it's always on a teammates stick, even when no one is seemingly open. That's why the first time I saw RNH I thought he was being so underrated.

Filatov's an outstanding skater....but so far I think what he's failed to show yet, if he ever will, is on ice smarts to match it.

Last edited by Minister of Offence: 11-30-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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