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02-14-2013, 03:45 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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Philadelphia Inquirer article from February 14:


Surely, the Flyers' third-round pick in 2011 thought his new coach was joking when Sheldon Keefe challenged him in December to lead the OHL in scoring this season.

It was Keefe's first day on the job as coach of the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, brought in to replace Mike Stapleton midway through the season. His first objective was to meet with Cousins, a player he inherited with plenty of potential but a poor reputation.

"He was a guy I'd heard a lot about, from a lot of different people," Keefe said. "Frankly, not a lot of it was positive."

Cousins, 19, earned a rap as one of the OHL's troublemakers the wrong way: a talented but mouthy diva with a soiled off-ice history who wasn't interested in dropping the gloves to settle scores.

"I was the first one to meet with him here," Cousins said. "He challenged me to change. I looked at the stats, and I was 20 points back of the league leaders. I told him, 'We'll see.' I guess I've even surprised myself."

When Flyers director of development Ian Laperriere met with Cousins last week in their usual spot - a Boston Pizza restaurant in the small town on the Ontario border with Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Cousins was atop the OHL scoring chart with 84 points in 54 games. He now remains on top with an added 88 points in 55 games.

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