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Who is the next Willie Mitchell?

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Old
12-09-2012, 07:13 PM
  #51
vadim sharifijanov
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like others say, we all knew how good mitchell was, long before he ever played for us. he ended bertuzzi's peak in the '03 playoffs.

but that said, let's not pretend that a good portion of this fanbase hadn't turned on him the summer before he left. what pat kane did against us in that first blackhawks series, so even before the concussions uncertainty, made a lot of people say big willie was too slow for the new NHL.

but i will say that the mitchell/salo pairing, when they were put together, was the best shutdown pairing i've ever seen in this city.

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12-09-2012, 07:16 PM
  #52
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Willie Mitchell was very highly regarded in Vancouver, the only reason he lasted as long as he did in free agency was because of the concussion issues.

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12-09-2012, 07:35 PM
  #53
Vagrant
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As for the actual thread title being "Who is the NEXT Willie Mitchell", I will go out on a limb and talk about Jay Harrison a bit. Harrison has really had an odd career to this point. He was drafted 1st overall into the OHL in 1998 at an already NHL sized 6-3 at 15 years old ahead of a pretty highly regarded Lou Dickenson among others. He immediately began playing in the OHL the next season. He was actually so highly regarded at the time that he made the WJC for Canada as a 19 year old defender and again as a 20 year old. CHL top prospect game. The whole deal for a player who had never posted more than modest stats at the OHL level. The offensive aspect of his game never materialized until his final season of Junior when he scored an improbable 43 points in 61 games, nearly matching his total Junior hockey career totals in one season.

The next year he turned professional for the Toronto Maple Leafs who had picked him in the 3rd Round in 2001. Billed as too soft to be a top four and not offensive enough to be a PMD, Harrison fell into disrepair as a prospect culminating in a year in St. Johns when he played 60 regular season games, didn't score a goal, and had only 4 points as a 3rd year professional.... a time when many young hockey players at that level see a break out in progress.

Then in 05-06, for some inexplicable reason, Harrison developed an offensive game at the minor pro level and scored 29 points in 57 games for the Marlies and Paul Maurice. This production was rewarded with a brief showing with the Leafs, who were much as they are now stacked with borderline NHL talent in the depth department. Harrison battled through the next two years, his 5th and 6th at the AHL level with only one more call up of five games to the Leafs during that entire stretch.

At 24-25 years old, Harrison was left with few options. He didn't want to toil away in the AHL for the remainder of his career and despite being on the cusp of a spot as an NHL regular, depending upon who you asked, he took his game to the NLA during contract negotiations with Toronto. Despite that, the relationship stayed somewhat amicable. He was, after all, a pretty easy guy to cheer for and had endeared himself to many Toronto fans and even Don Cherry. At the end of his NLA season, which was considered a personal success for him, he signed with the Leafs to finish the NHL season and played a handful of games with Toronto.

By this point, Paul Maurice had migrated back to Carolina with fond memories for his 05-06 Marlies team and later teams. At a point in his Carolina stint he had brought Justin Pogge, Jiri Tlusty, and Jay Harrison back into the fold. After an injury plagued first season with Carolina, in which he played a career high 38 games in the NHL, he decided to stick with the club again and became a regular NHL player at 27 years old.

Last season in the NHL was by far Harrison's best. He scored 9 goals and had 23 points in 72 games and was perhaps Carolina's most consistent defender all season. He turned his 180 NHL games with Carolina into a 3 year deal worth $1.5 million per season.

I think that when hockey starts back, Jay Harrison is going to be again taking steps to finally being the Top 4 he was projected as being so many years ago.

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12-10-2012, 09:21 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
I think that when hockey starts back, Jay Harrison is going to be again taking steps to finally being the Top 4 he was projected as being so many years ago.
Yeah, Harrison isn't going to be a Willie Mitchell but he definitely will be a serviceable NHL defenseman from this time forward. I think he's a good sleeper to play the next few years as a solid top four, and like you said, really easy to cheer for.

Another guy worth keeping an eye on is Tim Gleason. He gets overused badly because of the lack of defensive depth in Carolina, and that has hurt his reputation because he doesn't have the offensive skill to be out there trying to act like a puck moving defenseman. But he's become quietly one of the more solid defensive defenseman in the league even in spite of looking more awkward than he had in the past. I think he's going to turn into something pretty good for Carolina in the long run and it wouldn't surprise me at all he ended up becoming a Mitchell-type star somewhere else.

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12-10-2012, 10:37 AM
  #55
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Kyle Brodziak started showing signs of this in Minnesota last season. He might break out whenever NHL returns, as we finally have some depth. He's a hard worker, does all of the right things and has underrated hockey IQ & passing. I can't help but think that he's going to be a stud when we make the playoffs.
Good one, Brodziak is a very good player, very underrated by everyone.

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Old
12-10-2012, 11:40 AM
  #56
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You could argue that he already is a top-pairing defender right now, but I believe Braydon Coburn still has the potential to develop into the force he was projected to be earlier. Playing 25min+ being dominant in his own end while contributing offensively on a decent pace. He'll get every chance when the game returns on this Flyers defense.

Same could be said about Meszaros, too, btw
.
absolutely not

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12-10-2012, 03:05 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yeah, Harrison isn't going to be a Willie Mitchell but he definitely will be a serviceable NHL defenseman from this time forward. I think he's a good sleeper to play the next few years as a solid top four, and like you said, really easy to cheer for.

Another guy worth keeping an eye on is Tim Gleason. He gets overused badly because of the lack of defensive depth in Carolina, and that has hurt his reputation because he doesn't have the offensive skill to be out there trying to act like a puck moving defenseman. But he's become quietly one of the more solid defensive defenseman in the league even in spite of looking more awkward than he had in the past. I think he's going to turn into something pretty good for Carolina in the long run and it wouldn't surprise me at all he ended up becoming a Mitchell-type star somewhere else.
Could not agree more.

Timmy was a defensive stud for the 2 or so years he was with the Kings, and although I'm happy we got J. Johnson in the trade, was very sad to see who we had to part with.

Going to Carolina, they really tried to put him into a role he wasnt well suited for. I think he's started to solidify his all-around game in the last year or two (although he will never be an offensive force)... but he's someone that can have a similar career trajectory as Mitchell.

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12-10-2012, 03:30 PM
  #58
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Okay lets start off on what you said.

Willie was never a bottom pairing guy on vancouver, he was the exact opposite, he was our #1 D-man who logged over 25min a game, he was highly regarded here, and the ONLY reason he left was because of his concussion concerns.

Secondly, I believe a guy like hamhuis was proof of a player who was mid teir on one team, signs with another team, and has flourished into a top end #1/2 D-man.

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12-10-2012, 04:16 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Lucbourdon View Post
Okay lets start off on what you said.

Willie was never a bottom pairing guy on vancouver, he was the exact opposite, he was our #1 D-man who logged over 25min a game, he was highly regarded here, and the ONLY reason he left was because of his concussion concerns.
In my user CP, I saw you posted a comment. I thought you were going to say that Willie was never a bottom pairing defenseman and that Vancouver was concerned about his health. I'm not kidding. Quite often you feel the need to repeat what 15 others have said already. You didnt disappoint me.

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12-10-2012, 05:55 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
like others say, we all knew how good mitchell was, long before he ever played for us. he ended bertuzzi's peak in the '03 playoffs.

but that said, let's not pretend that a good portion of this fanbase hadn't turned on him the summer before he left. what pat kane did against us in that first blackhawks series, so even before the concussions uncertainty, made a lot of people say big willie was too slow for the new NHL.

but i will say that the mitchell/salo pairing, when they were put together, was the best shutdown pairing i've ever seen in this city
.
You have a pairing right now with bieksa and mostly hamhuis that is better. If any evidence is needed, just look at what they did to Toews in 2011.

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12-10-2012, 06:08 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Aucoin11 View Post
You have a pairing right now with bieksa and mostly hamhuis that is better. If any evidence is needed, just look at what they did to Toews in 2011.
Juice is extremely hit or miss. You never know which Bieksa will show up.

You always know what you're going to get from Salo and Willie.

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12-10-2012, 06:20 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by luongo321 View Post
Juice is extremely hit or miss. You never know which Bieksa will show up.

You always know what you're going to get from Salo and Willie.

Hamhuis > Salo > Willie > Bieksa, although all 4 are great players.

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12-10-2012, 06:35 PM
  #63
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The next Willie Mitchell:

http://www.maxpreps.com/athletes/I9l...e-williams.htm

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12-10-2012, 07:24 PM
  #64
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aucoin11 View Post
You have a pairing right now with bieksa and mostly hamhuis that is better. If any evidence is needed, just look at what they did to Toews in 2011.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luongo321 View Post
Juice is extremely hit or miss. You never know which Bieksa will show up.

You always know what you're going to get from Salo and Willie.

that's my thinking too. at their very best, hamhuis/bieksa have a higher ceiling. but for dependability, mitchell/salo all day every day.

babych/diduck was pretty awesome too though.

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12-10-2012, 07:48 PM
  #65
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elite defensive Dman capable of chipping in 20 points left Vancouver due to concussion riskls and went to LA where he became an elite defensive Dman capable of chipping in 20 points.

anyone who didn't know how good Mitchell was when healthy might be surprised at his "transformation" in LA, everyone else recognises he's healthy and performing as usual.

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12-10-2012, 07:48 PM
  #66
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Old
12-10-2012, 07:53 PM
  #67
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Many, many, many Canucks found a bit of joy in the Kings cup win because of Willie.

Fans absolutely loved him here. Me included.

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12-10-2012, 08:27 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by skywarp75 View Post
Hamhuis > Salo > Willie > Bieksa, although all 4 are great players.
Totally agree with this. Why did Hamhuis have to hipcheck Lucic in the finals?!?! WHY

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Old
12-11-2012, 01:32 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by luongo321 View Post
Juice is extremely hit or miss. You never know which Bieksa will show up.

You always know what you're going to get from Salo and Willie.
The bad bieksa only really shows when he isn't playing with Hamhuis. Together Bieksa's moron plays largely vanish. So to me as a complete pairing they are much better. Though individually, I wholeheartedly agree with the prior assessment.

Perhaps, the absolutely terrible performance of salo and especially mitchell against the blackhawks is just lingering in my mind too much.

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12-11-2012, 04:08 PM
  #70
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I don't think I would say he developed at his age. He was always good, and he fit well into the Kings' system. Dino gambled and comes up aces. If Willie takes a blow to the head, Dino craps out. If the Kings don't go on their SC run, is there even a thread? And with that SC run, is there a bigger redemption story than Dustin Penner?

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12-11-2012, 04:13 PM
  #71
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Did Mitchell get used on the powerplay in Vancouver?

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12-11-2012, 04:42 PM
  #72
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Did Mitchell get used on the powerplay in Vancouver?
Don't think so, but he only showed any type of offence in his last year here, and best case he wasn't going to bump of Edler or Ehrhoff.

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12-11-2012, 05:29 PM
  #73
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Mitchell is one of those under the radar players where he's highly regarded throughout the league and his team fans, but not as well known by the rest of the other teams fans. Hell even the OP shows proof of this statement. He's gotten a lot of spotlight because of the playoffs though. If the Kings didn't win the cup I doubt we'd be seeing this thread.

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Old
12-11-2012, 06:24 PM
  #74
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Don't think so, but he only showed any type of offence in his last year here, and best case he wasn't going to bump of Edler or Ehrhoff.
Mitchell did play on the PP occasionally. He's got a real good shot and knows how to skate the line. You'd never expect a lot of fancy plays from him, though.

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12-11-2012, 06:25 PM
  #75
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The next Willie Mitchell is Tinordi.

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