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Old
12-02-2011, 07:49 AM
  #1
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"Finley grateful for chance to make NHL debut"

From the Sabres Edge blog:

Quote:
"I really just took it upon myself to focus on things I can control and that's trying to play a real simple, solid brand of hockey," Finley said. "I've been fortunate to do that so far. Things are moving in the right direction but there's a long way to go to being here fulltime, that's for sure."

Finley leads the Amerks with a plus-10 rating and 57 penalty minutes this year. He's been on the No. 1 pair with former Sabre Shaone Morrisonn in a meteoric rise from training camp tryout when coach Lindy Ruff said the Sabres were "test-driving a used car."

"I'm not really thinking about it too much, that's the good thing," Finley said of his debut. "You just have to worry about waking up tomorrow, having a pregame skate and worrying about the things you have control. That physical play comes. It's about playing good positional hhockey. All the guys up here are in fantastic position and they're on you that much quicker."

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12-02-2011, 07:56 AM
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I hope he does well. Great story if he does. Too bad he didn't get to play against washington just as a little nudge at them.

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12-02-2011, 08:02 AM
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Interesting to hear that he trains with Leopold.

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12-02-2011, 08:05 AM
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Very intrigued by this guy, excited to see him play.

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12-02-2011, 08:10 AM
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I thought it interesting that the Sabres sent out a mass email article about him. It's unusual for guys to get callup hype like that.

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12-02-2011, 08:11 AM
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I was not very excited about him after we invited him to training camp and I researched him.
He seemed like a piece of crap, both on and off the ice, but I've taken a liking to him after seeing him play and hearing what he's had to say since joining our organization.
Good luck to him in his debut and thanks for the free player, Washington.

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12-02-2011, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
I was not very excited about him after we invited him to training camp and I researched him.
He seemed like a piece of crap, both on and off the ice, but I've taken a liking to him after seeing him play and hearing what he's had to say since joining our organization.
Good luck to him in his debut and thanks for the free player, Washington.
He's certainly done what he can with the opportunities he's been presented. His interview is solid, no pauses, no "ummmms", no "errrrrs", just a well-spoken exchange and very humble. Quiet optimism for his debut now.

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12-02-2011, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Interesting to hear that he trains with Leopold.
I also saw in another article that, in addition to playing with Morrisonn in Rochester, he played with or at least got advice from Sheldon Souray in Hershey.

Playing with and/or learning from 2 NHL-caliber players while in the AHL? That can only help him.

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12-02-2011, 08:32 AM
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How mad is washington going to be if he turns into a solid 1-4 Dman. Would be great if he could live up to his first round pedigree.

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12-02-2011, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
I was not very excited about him after we invited him to training camp and I researched him.
He seemed like a piece of crap, both on and off the ice, but I've taken a liking to him after seeing him play and hearing what he's had to say since joining our organization.
Good luck to him in his debut and thanks for the free player, Washington.
Why, did he kill a guy? **** an aardvark? Steal the Ark of the Covenant and use it for world domination? What?

How did the Sabres acquire this kid? Sounds like we got him for free!

I'm betting he's very slow, and wont be able to thrive in the Sabres system. If he can climb to 6th or 7th on the full health depth chart I'll be impressed. Weber's play has been poor, in fact he looks worse than last season. So, if Finley can skate as well as Weber (not hard to do) and bestow some punishment upon those who would dare tread upon thy crease. That would be tremendous. There are plenty of speedy puck movers who could help him out, so long as he is quick enough to cover up defensively.

I'm curious to see how hard he can shoot a puck.

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12-02-2011, 08:46 AM
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What's the used car story all about?

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12-02-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
He's certainly done what he can with the opportunities he's been presented. His interview is solid, no pauses, no "ummmms", no "errrrrs", just a well-spoken exchange and very humble. Quiet optimism for his debut now.
Yeah, he's seemed like a pretty solid dude in every interview I've seen since he's come here.
Sounds like his injuries and what went on his senior year have put things in perspective for him.

It's really weird how comfortable he is with the media considering the fact that he's spent the majority of his career on the IR in the ECHL.

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Originally Posted by HiddenInLight View Post
How mad is washington going to be if he turns into a solid 1-4 Dman. Would be great if he could live up to his first round pedigree.
I don't know if you should really expect anything amazing from him just because he was selected in the first round.
Teams and scouts have a stupid obsession with giant players even though in reality they are likely to be either equal to or worse than a player of average size that's available.

If he was 6'3'' or 6'4'', he would have been a tough shutdown defenseman that needed to work on his skating and would have been a solid middle round pick.

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Why, did he kill a guy? **** an aardvark? Steal the Ark of the Covenant and use it for world domination? What?
No, while he was a senior he was not a very good influence on Maple Leafs prospect Matt Frattin, which led to him (Frattin) being sent home from school and almost ruining his development and chance to go to school.

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How did the Sabres acquire this kid? Sounds like we got him for free!
We invited him to training camp after his ELC with Washington expired and he went unqualified, which made him an unrestricted free agent.

Quote:
I'm betting he's very slow, and wont be able to thrive in the Sabres system. If he can climb to 6th or 7th on the full health depth chart I'll be impressed. Weber's play has been poor, in fact he looks worse than last season. So, if Finley can skate as well as Weber (not hard to do) and bestow some punishment upon those who would dare tread upon thy crease. That would be tremendous. There are plenty of speedy puck movers who could help him out, so long as he is quick enough to cover up defensively.
He's not slow.

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12-02-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiddenInLight View Post
How mad is washington going to be if he turns into a solid 1-4 Dman. Would be great if he could live up to his first round pedigree.
I'd settle for him at least making it as a 6/7 first before working his way up. Most organizations seem pretty happy when one of their former guys makes it somewhere.

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12-02-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play4Miracles View Post
Why, did he kill a guy? **** an aardvark? Steal the Ark of the Covenant and use it for world domination? What?

How did the Sabres acquire this kid? Sounds like we got him for free!

I'm betting he's very slow, and wont be able to thrive in the Sabres system. If he can climb to 6th or 7th on the full health depth chart I'll be impressed. Weber's play has been poor, in fact he looks worse than last season. So, if Finley can skate as well as Weber (not hard to do) and bestow some punishment upon those who would dare tread upon thy crease. That would be tremendous. There are plenty of speedy puck movers who could help him out, so long as he is quick enough to cover up defensively.

I'm curious to see how hard he can shoot a puck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyJay View Post
What's the used car story all about?
He was basically a UFA. Just a walk-on tryout because Washington let him go. He had a bunch of flukey injuries that stalled his development and they didn't re-up him.

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12-02-2011, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
Yeah, he's seemed like a pretty solid dude in every interview I've seen since he's come here.
Sounds like his injuries and what went on his senior year have put things in perspective for him.

It's really weird how comfortable he is with the media considering the fact that he's spent the majority of his career on the IR in the ECHL.

I don't know if you should really expect anything amazing from him just because he was selected in the first round.
Teams and scouts have a stupid obsession with giant players even though in reality they are likely to be either equal to or worse than a player of average size that's available.

If he was 6'3'' or 6'4'', he would have been a tough shutdown defenseman that needed to work on his skating and would have been a solid middle round pick.


No, while he was a senior he was not a very good influence on Maple Leafs' prospect Matt Frattin, which led to being sent home from school and almost ruining his development and chance to go to school.


We invited him to training camp after his ELC with Washington expired and he went unqualified, which made him an unrestricted free agent.


He's not slow.
Haha hence the reason I HATED the Tyler Myers pick and ripped it right from the second the pick was made. Boy do I look stupid now.

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12-02-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play4Miracles View Post
Why, did he kill a guy? **** an aardvark? Steal the Ark of the Covenant and use it for world domination? What?
His arrest at UND probably isn't the best endorsement. He seems to have grown up a lot. Just keep him away from throwing any tables into the street....

Quote:
How did the Sabres acquire this kid? Sounds like we got him for free!
Yep. Washington didn't tender him last year as an RFA, meaning they walked away, rescinded their rights to him. Buffalo invited him to training camp as a non-contract player and he managed to impress enough to get a deal with the Amerks. He then impressed enough to get a deal with the Sabres.

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I'm betting he's very slow, and wont be able to thrive in the Sabres system.
Prepare to pay out on that bet. He's not very slow. He moves well, and given his size, he moves VERY well.

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12-02-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
Yeah, he's seemed like a pretty solid dude in every interview I've seen since he's come here.
Sounds like his injuries and what went on his senior year have put things in perspective for him.

It's really weird how comfortable he is with the media considering the fact that he's spent the majority of his career on the IR in the ECHL.

I don't know if you should really expect anything amazing from him just because he was selected in the first round.
Teams and scouts have a stupid obsession with giant players even though in reality they are likely to be either equal to or worse than a player of average size that's available.

If he was 6'3'' or 6'4'', he would have been a tough shutdown defenseman that needed to work on his skating and would have been a solid middle round pick.

No, while he was a senior he was not a very good influence on Maple Leafs prospect Matt Frattin, which led to him (Frattin) being sent home from school and almost ruining his development and chance to go to school.


We invited him to training camp after his ELC with Washington expired and he went unqualified, which made him an unrestricted free agent.


He's not slow.

That's it? A bad influence? I need more info than that. I mean, drugs, cheating on a test, something sexual, all 3 at the same time?

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12-02-2011, 09:06 AM
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Haha hence the reason I HATED the Tyler Myers pick and ripped it right from the second the pick was made. Boy do I look stupid now.
Story on his disorderly conduct arrest.

More on Frattin, the teammate he was arrested with:
Quote:
In July 2009 he was briefly detained by police after allegedly throwing a kitchen table from a garage at 3AM. He later stated that in his first years at North Dakota his play suffered due to the amount of time that he spent partying. He was released from the team in August 2009 after being arrested for driving under the influence. Though he almost left college to play professionally, Frattin decided to stay at North Dakota even though he had lost his athletic scholarship. He took one semester off from school and worked two jobs in Edmonton.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Frattin

The somewhat humorous story on him "assaulting" Wisconsin's mascot.

Also, a more complete story about him
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo87 View Post
Haha hence the reason I HATED the Tyler Myers pick and ripped it right from the second the pick was made. Boy do I look stupid now.
Well, he's an exception to the rule, not the rule, so there's not really any shame in hating it at the time.
A bunch of other posters here seemed to hate the pick too.

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12-02-2011, 09:09 AM
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Play4miracles he did "assault" a badger but has done nothing to an aardvark as far as I know.

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12-02-2011, 09:10 AM
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What is it with these UND guys and mascots?

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12-02-2011, 09:15 AM
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Well, he's an exception to the rule, not the rule, so there's not really any shame in hating it at the time.
A bunch of other posters here seemed to hate the pick too.
I didn't follow last years draft nearly as close as I did in 08 but I felt the same way about Oleksiak last year, and it appears he's having a very 'meh' season in the OHL so far.

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12-02-2011, 09:17 AM
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Finely has leapfrogged everyone in Rochester, which is quite remarkable. He immediately stood out to me in the very beginning of the season and I am looking forward to watching his Sabres debut while at the Amerks game tonight

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12-02-2011, 09:18 AM
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Here's the email from Sabres Insider if anyone's interested. I wouldn't think an email list would count as copy-written material so I'll post the whole thing, but inform me if I'm incorrect in my assumption.



Quote:
"BIG JOE" OVERCOMES ADVERSITY

If Zack Kassian’s recall last week would be considered “eagerly anticipated,” you can file Joe Finley’s in the “completely unexpected” category. Because that’s normally what happens when you start the season as a healthy scratch in the AHL after being a Sabres training camp invitee.

But Finley isn’t your run of the mill minor league recall. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound defenseman was a first-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2005, and played four years at the University of North Dakota. In his first professional season with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, Finley suffered a ruptured artery in his hand on an innocent play in the defensive zone when he was checking an opposition player.

“I didn’t know it right away, but when I took my glove off at the end of the shift, my fingers were completely white,” he told John Walton of theahl.com last season. “It was scary. I’d never seen anything like it before.”

The injury has limited Finley to just 69 professional games since then, including 26 at the AHL level with Hershey and now Rochester. In 18 games with the Amerks this season, Finley leads the team with 57 PIMs and a plus-10 rating, while adding one goal and one assist.

Finley, 24, started the season on an AHL deal, but was signed to an NHL contract by the Sabres on Monday. Three days later he finds himself preparing for his first NHL game on Friday night when Detroit comes to town. Finley knows what has worked for him in Rochester, and wants to play the same way in Buffalo.

"I really just took it upon myself to focus on the things I can control, and that’s trying to play a real simple, solid brand of hockey. I’ve been fortunate to do that so far. Things are moving in the right direction but there’s a long way to go to be here full time, that’s for sure.”

With Jordan Leopold out of the lineup recovering from an upper body injury, many would have assumed TJ Brennan and his offensive skills would’ve been a better fit as his replacement on the blueline. But Brennan also has an upper body injury, and Finley was the best man for the job in the eyes of Amerks coach Ron Rolston.

A native of Edina, Minn., Finley may not have the offensive numbers that Brennan does, but Lindy Ruff was very impressed with his skating during training camp.

“He was able to skate and make plays, and for a big man that’s always the challenge,” explains Ruff. “He skates very well, he’s able to handle the puck, and his first pass has been good. When you have that size and that reach, you’ve got an automatic advantage over a lot of players.”

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12-02-2011, 09:20 AM
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Can you image a D with 4 guys over 6'5"?

Finley
Myers
Regehr
McNabb

Toss in reg and ehrhoff and thats a very intimidating sight to look at.

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12-02-2011, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo87 View Post
I didn't follow last years draft nearly as close as I did in 08 but I felt the same way about Oleksiak last year, and it appears he's having a very 'meh' season in the OHL so far.
Well, he's not an really an offensive defenseman like everyone thinks he is, even though he seems to want to meet those expectations.
He's just an athletically gifted two-way defenseman that happens to be very large and is just okay at using his size.

I wasn't a huge fan of him either and I'm glad he was picked before we were on the board so we didn't have to hear about how we passed up the chance to create the largest defense core ever.

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