Thread: Confirmed with Link: Free Agency Thread
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07-22-2012, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by stlweir View Post
Robb_K, do you think Stewart may have had a hard time adjusting to Hitchcock's system and was thinking oo much instead of reacting. There were times as you said he looked bewildered.
Absolutely! He didn't have much hockey experience in late teens age due to playing high-level football. So, he was always behind and needing to "catch up" in terms of fundamentals. He has always relied on his great natural gifts of size, strength and straight-on skating speed to get him through, given his being behind in fundamentals training and experience (therefore hockey instincts).

So, naturally, it is more difficult for him and takes longer to pick up new concepts, such as the various responsibilities of a relatively complicated offensive/defensive system. Not having a camp/pre-season to work on that only hurts a player like him much more than the average player.

Now, having a camp and pre-season to work on mastering that system, and having trained intensely enough to be in good enough physical condition to carry out its responsibilities, Stewart may well be able to be an effective 2-way player in that system. The system, itself, due to defensive responsibilities, will likely cut down his chances for the old "cherry-picking type goals he used to score, but he may also get some other goals from being in the proper position on the cycle. I don't expect him to score as many goals per minute played as he was doing when he first came to The Blues. But he should be able to score 20-27 goals, and a similar amount of assists, even in this structured 2-way system.

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