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05-09-2013, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
You did read the "unless they're ready to play in the National Hockey League" part? Are you sure about that most NHL players part? Because developing players wasn't exactly their primary focus before 2004-05 lockout and a lot of their Europeans went fairly quickly to play at Grand Rapids.
I think you may be confused with the wording... They stay in Europe unless (as in until they are ready for the NHL)... Yes you are right, many of their recent players have spent significant time in GR. However his statement says they have had the best luck with guys who have stayed in Europe, not a concrete statement saying every guy who has made the NHL has not spent time in GR. Meaning their best guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Franzen etc.. who have gone from Europe to NHL are obviously better players than the other guys who are regulars who have made the NHL but spent significant time in GR.

You are correct in that they revamped the GR program post lockout, I follow it closely they have put more focus into development. They now have recycled retired players like Chelios working on player development with the GR guys. I think the new philosophy is to have the Euros play in Europe until they are ready and the come over and get maybe a year of an eye opener in the AHL to get aquainted with the RedWings system and see how they react to physical play etc.. That is why Jarncrok and Puulkinen are here now only for the end of season. Holland said he sent Jarncrok back and said it was an eye opener for him. Expects both of these guys to earn a roster spot next fall in camp assuming they work on their strength... Both these guys could have been assigned to GR at the beginning of the year but Holland believes that they were better off in Europe. Almquist is close as well, the only reason why he is in GR is because they think he is far too weak, and wanted him to beef up a bit. They want to see how he handled the physical play with his small frame and he responded well.

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