we would have to ask the Leaf board. I think they expected more offense out of him and wanted some of their younger players to get more time.
Here's some good stuff for you guys.
Originally Posted by R1R2L1L2
It was a combination of regression and poor coaching.
John Mitchell was a Fourth Line player trying to play as a Top Six player. The problem was, he didn't have the skill to do so. He'd try out-dekeing every player on he other team (Which led to turnovers) he'd try to create offense on his own (which generally led to turnovers).
The other problem was Wilson seemed to love him. He played him in situations he couldn't hope to excel at (With Kessel, on the PP, on the PK). He was supposed to be atleast decently defensively, but bar-none he was our worst PKer by a country mile. The stats for PPGA while he was on the ice was astronomical. This led to our PK (which was decent when Zigo was up) plummeting to worse in the league. Wilson eventually figured out he couldn't get the job done, and he was removed from the PK.
Plus, Kulemin (Who many around here believed had Top 6 potential) was getting the same/less ice-time as him, but he was playing 100% better (This was before Kulemin's breakout year last year) Kulemin was beasting defensively, physical, etc. But Wilson was loathed to give him a look in an offensive role, but always went to Johnny F Mitchell.
The fan-base soared on him, and I guess Burke saw what we all did, too.
If Wilson never played him in situations above his head, and Mitchell never got confused about what kinda player he had to be, well, he would still be gone, actually. Better options for Bottom Six roles in the organization now.
But we wouldn't have soared on him like we did.
Originally Posted by LeafOfBread
His opportunity and ice time dropped and he was beaten out by other better players as he proved to be ineffective.
Mitchell is actually decent when utilized properly. In his rookie season he had a good role in the bottom six and put up 30 pts. He had a good, simplified game and did the little things right, he was doing just fine in his role. The following season, Wilson developed a man-crush on this guy and put him on the first and second lines numerous times (we were lacking at centre so I guess Wilson was experimenting) and Mitchell tried to do way too much, he was clearly in over his head, and he became the whipping boy of the fanbase. Last year was his last chance, and he failed to deliver.
But again, if used properly, he's a good player. He's fast, can get gritty and is willing to go in the corners and dirty areas, and his defensive game isn't too shabby, can be utilized on the PK. His hands aren't horrible as long he doesn't try to overdo it (he was quite successful in the shootout, has a nice backhand), and he actually has a pretty sweet shot, his release is just a bit slow. The only thing he really lacks is hockey IQ, and that's what keeps him as a bottom six guy and not a top six guy.
Mitchell reminds me of Ruslan Fedotenko--or in another era Brian Noonan. An up and down your wing grinder type of guy--good size, good in battles along the boards and in the corners, smart defensively--fully capable of knocking in 10-15 goals a year.
As for Hagelin--if he can keep his level of play where it is now I would think his AHL days are done.
The Rangers have a ton of depth at forward now--that can compete well at the NHL level.