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Kuhnhackl signs three-year entry level contract

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03-23-2011, 03:01 PM
  #76
Jeff Goldblum
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
Maybe and maybe not. If they are too good for the competition they are facing, then they could also develop bad habits.
I've heard this, but can you find me an instance of a player's development stagnating because he spent too much time in a Junior league? I honestly can't think of one, but I can think of plenty who suffered from leaving Juniors too soon.

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But being the go to guy has nothing to do with developing as a player. Either you are producing or you aren't. Just because there is somebody better on their team doesn't take away from that.
This is kind of like saying Kris Letang didn't benefit from being the Captain of his WJC team. I just don't agree with it. The benefits are less physical and more mental, but they are there in regard to both. Again, you get to work on weaknesses while maintaining strengths and you get the swagger that comes with knowing how to carry a team.

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Certainly there are pluses to being a go to guy, I never said otherwise. Will that be a reason why a guy succeeds at the NHL level or not? Maybe and maybe not again. It all depends on the player and the kind of person they are. Maybe, playing devil's advocate, getting added pressure will make the kid feel like he has to do too much and hurt his progression.
That happens too. Almost everything happens in prospect development. That won't be the case with Kuehnhackl though. Windsor likes winning and Khokhlachev isn't NHL-ready. I don't follow junior hockey close enough to know how Windsor is looking for next season though.

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Who's rushing him into the AHL? It's not me. If he's going to be there, it's because he stands to gain more from playing against greater competition. Who's to say he hasn't learned all he can at that level anyway? Maybe he would benefit more by learning our system and getting taught by our minor league coaches.
Kuehnhackl isn't a finished product at the Junior level. People that have watched him are the ones saying it. His skating is sub-par. He could use more muscle. He could benefit from becoming a better playmaker. These are his present weaknesses and the first two especially are just going to be all the more exposed at the AHL level.

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Just proving a point that being the go to guy doesn't always mean your player turns out better.
There is a huge difference between a player's junior abilities and his NHL prospects that you are ignoring. That's the difference between Taylor Hall and Justin Azevedo.

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The point is it happens. Again though, I'm not advocating him be moved along faster than he's capable. If he proves he is better than junior hockey, then so be it. I'm certainly not going to send him back there just because he hasn't been a go to guy yet. That's a good way to hold back your prospects as well.
Is this a theoretical discussion or a discussion of what's best for Kuehnhackl? He has not proven himself better than junior hockey, but I agree that when top six prospects do prove themselves to be too good for junior hockey and will be able to hold top six spots in the AHL, they should move on.

You're hung up on one term. 'Go-to guy' doesn't necessarily mean he has to be the best player on his team, just that they are elite, counted on to be elite every night, and a big part of that team's success.

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He also didn't have the option to go to the AHL. What I'm certain of is the fact that the Pens will make the best decision for his development. Whether that is back in junior or in the AHL will be determined by how well he plays in camp, not because he needs to be a go to guy somewhere.
Well, no, it won't. Most of these prospects' paths are already pretty much mapped out. Camp is a nice experience, but this season means a lot more in determining who goes where and who is ready for what. Camp can change minds and force management's hand, but that's up to the players. Our scouts have already figured out who is likely to go where. They need to know this so they know who to go after on July 1st.

One final factor that I'd like to add is that a player's contract does not kick in until he plays professionally. In the cap world, an entry-level contract is gold. Delaying that contract one year while having the player still develop makes it a smart decision financially.

To be clear, if Kuehnhackl takes power-skating lessons while simultaneously adding 15 pounds over the summer and earns a first line spot in WBS, that's fine. That's an unreasonable expectation but weirder things have happened. Barring that, Kuehnhackl still has a lot to learn at the Junior level. Wilkes-Barre is always a deep team and he'll likely have trouble even cracking the line-up. There are a lot of older wingers like Tangradi and both Johnsons that I'm sure management would prefer to give the opportunity to.

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03-23-2011, 03:01 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
The only point to move him up would be because he's shown he deserves to be up.
Yeah...but didn't Despres last year?

What he deserves and what's best for him are probably two different things. I deserve a big sandwich and maybe family sized bag of Doritos for staying in relatively good shape...but eating that would make my tummy sore.

I guess you just aren't thinking fourth dimensionally. The Kuhn has the chance to be a leader as opposed to a complimentary piece, he has another season to improve his weaknesses before facing professional players, his contract won't kick in and those Indians aren't even going to be there.

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03-23-2011, 03:04 PM
  #78
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Yeah...but didn't Despres last year?
No Despres didn't.

As for Jeff, I think you are mistaking what I'm saying. I'm not arguing for or against Kuhnhackl to be in the AHL next season. What I'm arguing is that he doesn't need to be the go to guy to become a very good top 6 player.

If he proves that he is good enough to be up here next season, can compete against professional athletes, and (here's the kicker) can succeed at it, he should be kept up here. If he can't cut it then he needs to go back down. Whether that happens or not is anybody's guess. That decision shouldn't be made on whether he needs to be a go to guy or not.


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03-23-2011, 03:19 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
No Despres didn't.
Ha...ok...nevermind then. Despres season last year as a defenseman should be considered an identical translation to Kuhnhackl's season this year as a forward. If we're really going to debate this then I think I'm going to bail.

This guy's a real card.

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03-23-2011, 03:27 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by IHWR View Post
Ha...ok...nevermind then. Despres season last year as a defenseman should be considered an identical translation to Kuhnhackl's season this year as a forward. If we're really going to debate this then I think I'm going to bail.

This guy's a real card.
Debate what... Despres showed that he wasn't ready to play in the NHL this past season, and even less so the year before that. I'm not quite sure what there is to argue here.

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03-23-2011, 03:38 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
Debate what... Despres showed that he wasn't ready to play in the NHL this past season, and even less so the year before that. I'm not quite sure what there is to argue here.
I can see how you misunderstood me. I just meant that Despres was good enough to move up to the AHL but he was prohibited due to his age and CHL draft status. I didn't mean NHL.

My point was, even if Despres was good enough to play in the AHL he was better served to go back and play another dominant year in the Q. Look at the season he had this year...he went from above average defensively to a shutdown pairing for Team Canada at the World Juniors. That's the type of next step that Kuhnhackl could take.

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03-23-2011, 03:41 PM
  #82
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I can see how you misunderstood me. I just meant that Despres was good enough to move up to the AHL but he was prohibited due to his age and CHL draft status. I didn't mean NHL.

My point was, even if Despres was good enough to play in the AHL he was better served to go back and play another dominant year in the Q. Look at the season he had this year...he went from above average defensively to a shutdown pairing for Team Canada at the World Juniors. That's the type of next step that Kuhnhackl could take.
I agree that's a step that Kuhnhackl could take. I never said he couldn't or shouldn't be put back in junior. I'm only arguing that the reason shouldn't be because he needs to be "the go to guy." If he's good enough to be in the AHL in a top 6 role, I think that would be better for his development.

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03-23-2011, 04:27 PM
  #83
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Here's an interview I hadn't seen before, its in German but it has subtitles for you guys

This kid is going to be my favorite Penguin as soon as he makes the team I can just tell because he has

A. Great head on his shoulders, really that interview speaks volumes
B. He's German, I love everything German
C. He seems like he's going to be quite the hockey player, maybe won't set the league on fire, but he's going to be good

Only problem is his nickname is going to be similar to Kunitz and they both wear 14
I agree he seems like a real level headed individual. I love those highlights too. I know it's the OHL but I saw some hands, I saw a bomb of a shot from the point (good god do we need a forward who can play the point on the powerplay) and he looked just smooth out there. Like none of his goals seemed particularly difficult for him. I just feel poise oozing from this kid.

Hope he keeps progressing.

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03-23-2011, 04:42 PM
  #84
Jeff Goldblum
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
I agree that's a step that Kuhnhackl could take. I never said he couldn't or shouldn't be put back in junior. I'm only arguing that the reason shouldn't be because he needs to be "the go to guy." If he's good enough to be in the AHL in a top 6 role, I think that would be better for his development.
To this and your prior message, fair enough. I just didn't understand why we were having a hypothetical discussion about a prospect whose play is pretty well documented. We pretty much know he's not going to be good enough for a top six AHL spot, especially with who he has ahead of him on the depth chart.

I don't think anyone was saying that a prospect absolutely needs to be a go-to guy to develop, but Kuehnhackl was surrounded by some of the best players in Juniors this season. Replace 'go-to guy' with 'player seeing increased responsibility' and I don't think we have a problem here.

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03-23-2011, 06:26 PM
  #85
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the preliminary word from capgeek is that kuhnhackl's cap number will be $610,000.

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03-23-2011, 07:17 PM
  #86
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the preliminary word from capgeek is that kuhnhackl's cap number will be $610,000.
Nice and cheap, hopefully he'll still be on that deal when he gets to the NHL.

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03-23-2011, 08:04 PM
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Nice.

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03-23-2011, 09:25 PM
  #88
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Kun - Sid - Hackl in 2011-2012 - the solution to all our RW woes!

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03-23-2011, 10:10 PM
  #89
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Kun - Sid - Hackl in 2011-2012 - the solution to all our RW woes!
That line would be SICK if Kuhn could develop to his potential.

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03-23-2011, 10:20 PM
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That line would be SICK if Kuhn could develop to his potential.
Plus it would be fun to say / type all season. "Kun stops the puck on the half wall, passes back to Hackl... Hackl slides past the defender, throws one off the goalie's face-mask... and IN! SID SCORES on the batted deflection as the puck bounces off the goalie's face!"


That said, it's a big jump to the AHL so let's see how he does next year. Not uncommon for OHL guys' production to dip 50% when going up to the bigs.

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03-24-2011, 10:04 AM
  #91
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Windsor has their first playoff game tonight vs. Erie.

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03-24-2011, 01:28 PM
  #92
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If Tom is anything like his father Erich ("The Closet on Skates") he'll fill out his frame nicely and will be a really good player.

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03-24-2011, 01:43 PM
  #93
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The Closet on Skates? I don't get it.

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03-24-2011, 01:45 PM
  #94
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The Closet on Skates? I don't get it.
Erich Kuhnhackl was a very large man.

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03-24-2011, 01:50 PM
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The Closet on Skates? I don't get it.
I think it's translates better a 'The Wardrobe on Skates'

His dad's huge 6'5 215 lbs, Tom's not going to be quite as big but 6'2 205 would be achievable I think.

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03-24-2011, 04:01 PM
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But my closet is built into a wall...

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03-24-2011, 04:05 PM
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But my closet is built into a wall...
That's because you don't live in Europe.

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03-24-2011, 04:07 PM
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What a waste of space.

Let's hope that doesn't become Tom

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03-24-2011, 04:08 PM
  #99
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But my closet is built into a wall...
Yes, that's why Wardrobe works better as a translation IMO.

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03-24-2011, 04:11 PM
  #100
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You know German wej? A cultured fellow is moderating us. I can dig it.

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