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Erik Johnson signs 4 years $3.75M AAV
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07-02-2012, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Originally Posted by
I'm sorry I don't care if you've been playing since Howie Morenz, you're quite simple wrong. This is not a Sacco thing at all, as much as I don't like him. The list of left handed defenseman in the league that have played their off wing in spurts or consistently is probably twice as long as the right handed ones.
Teams used to have to scour the league looking for right handed D to trade or sign. The Avs had this problem ever since they lost Foote and Blake, and have been trying ever since to have that kind of balance. As it is (not including Elliott and Barrie since there's 7 vets ahead of them) they only have two right handed defenseman. Why would they then move a guy like O'Byrne to his off side, and then consequently have to also move a lefty to his off side?
Over the years I can think of Hannan, Clarke, Quincey, Kasparitis, Leopold, Marchment, Salei, Skrastins, Vaananen, Liles, and recently under Sacco, O'Brien, and Wilson all spending significant time on their off left side.
I can think of a couple of games where the Avs tried Foote and Morris on their off left side. That's it. Maybe some of the guys on the original Avalanche group, but I don't remember the pairings well enough from back then to say either way.
It's been the same way for pretty much every team up until the last few years, where the larger group of kids that grew up playing as righties have started to enter the league and establish themselves, and so there hasn't been quite the unbalance between lefties and right handed D in the league.
You don't have to educate me on the facts about left handed D playing the left side and right handed D playing the right side. I also know full well that the vast majority of defenceman in the NHL over the last several decades have been left handed.
My point was simple. It was that left handed kids aren't being taught to play on the right hand side more often then right handed kids are being taught to play on the left hand side.
Like I said, I know the amount and quality of RD in the NHL are much lower than LD.
As someone who scouts and follow prospects, I also know that right handed D tend to be slightly more valuable than LD in many situations in a hockey organization.
I watch a ton of hockey, upwards of anywhere from 10-15 games a week and see that Sacco is a much bigger proponent of keeping D on their correct side than many coaches and staffs around the league. Our coaches in the past never had to be that rigid.
With that being said, it was much easier in the past for us with guys like Foote and Blake on the team, as you mentioned. Those two guys were locks as top 4 defenders so the team essentially only needed a mediocre 3rd pairing RD to help round out the roster. Guys like Klemm, Miller, Finger, Boughner, Morris, etc.
Johnson is our key in this area going forward, but I can guarantee the hockey operations staff is hoping one of Elliott or Barrie can fully develop into that second pairing guy on the right hand side for us in 2-3 years.
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