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03-18-2007, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER View Post
I have a personal philosophy about that, how do some players who appear to struggle and then all of a sudden blossom to become a solid player in Knuble's case and a bonafide NHLer in Armstong's case. Understand that I am not talking about elite players. Generally speaking, I hold that the difference between most players comes down to opportunity, confidence, the player's own and the confidence that a particular coach shows or is preceived to show to the player. That is the key in my opinion.

When you look at most players and why we like or dislike them it comes down to personal preferences, whether it is you or me or the coach or coaching staffs. Why has Renney shown such patience with Hossa? Here in our own organization is a prime example of what I am talking about. On the flip side is Immonen. To a lesser degree Prucha. Knuble left us, goes to Boston puts up similar numbers his 1st year and then got quality ice time and gained the confidence and became an NHLer and a scorer. So much of playing involves confidence. Some players make a mistake and they are benched, sat out or sent out. Yet a another player with very similar skill sets makes the same mistakes and they get chance after chance. It is all about perspective.
Personally I think it all comes down to the pieces falling in the right places.

You could take 100 players with similar careers similar to Knuble's up to his breakout and 90 of them stay nice third players. 10 of them figure it out like Knuble did. Same with Armstrong.

To me it just happens sometimes. Hockey is also a weird sport where some players start of their careers great and burn out, others pick it up later in life, etc. etc. You have to be careful though because it's a fine line. You ultimately play the odds and percentages and while everyone likes to believe they'll find the next Knuble or Armstrong the reality is that most teams tend to get a little lucky because the odds just aren't good enough to dedicate those kind of recourses to every play in that area.

Making a hockey player is like learning math. Sometimes it all just clicks and the one thing that doesn't make a lot of sense is what does it for you. It's what makes prospect watching so much fun, no matter how good you are at it you'll never be perfect.

I've had players I was spot on with, and as a whole my track record is pretty dang good. But let me tell you I could also give you a list of guys who I was sold on who bombed and a list of guys I wasn't sold on who made me look like an idiot. It's what keeps me interested.

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