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Old
12-25-2006, 11:15 PM
  #1
Holly Gunning
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HF's AHL prospects update

http://hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=9338

Sorry for the delay.

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12-26-2006, 10:20 AM
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Fravashis
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Good stuff as always Holly!

You said Sterling is ready to make the jump, is there anyone on the Thrashers current roster you think he could take the spot of?

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12-26-2006, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by slater23fan View Post
Good stuff as always Holly!

You said Sterling is ready to make the jump, is there anyone on the Thrashers current roster you think he could take the spot of?
I got the impression that Coach Anderson said Sterling's ready to make the jump. I'd rather see Sterling play a full season with Chicago. As someone pointed out in another thread, time on the 3rd/4th line in Atlanta might not do as much for him as dominating in the AHL.

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12-26-2006, 09:03 PM
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Holly Gunning
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Originally Posted by hockeyist77 View Post
I got the impression that Coach Anderson said Sterling's ready to make the jump.
Right, it was Anderson saying that, though I wouldn't disagree strenuously. The best thing for him though is to play the whole year there, with maybe a handful of games up just so he knows what he needs to do. Rushing guys is never good.

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01-14-2007, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Holly Gunning View Post
Right, it was Anderson saying that, though I wouldn't disagree strenuously. The best thing for him though is to play the whole year there, with maybe a handful of games up just so he knows what he needs to do. Rushing guys is never good.
i don't know what you have against Valabik Holly, but i'm at every home Wolves game-get to see him quite a bit and as more poeple at this board were saying-he is the best defensive prospect to come to Chicago in a long time. i don't know how many games you have actually seen here in Chicago, but i get the feeling you don' give him as much credit as he deserves. you talk about his penalties - the fact that he doesn't get holding, hooking penalties proves that he does NOT have a problem with the new NHL and as i said-i see him and the other guys play A LOT and most of his penalties (as your penalty-table in your article proves) is roughing and fighting...
and if you went to some Wolves games, you would know, that most of those are after he steps up for a teammate and that1s exactly what we have been missing here for past few years, him and Desbiens are very good at it and that is needed in every hockey team. feel free to block me now, i just had to expres my opinion for once.
and yes, he is my favourite player, but that doesn't change a thing... so is Brett Sterling and Jason Krog (while he was with us) ....
GOOD LUCK JASON!

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01-14-2007, 01:10 PM
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Holly Gunning
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This seems to happen every update, and as I always point out, what makes someone successful at the AHL level is not the same as the NHL level. See Haydar and Gamache. We're looking at and for different things.

It's interesting that Valabik is brought up though. Don't be surprised if he is part of a package headed out as the NHL team upgrades.

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01-15-2007, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Holly Gunning View Post
This seems to happen every update, and as I always point out, what makes someone successful at the AHL level is not the same as the NHL level. See Haydar and Gamache. We're looking at and for different things.

It's interesting that Valabik is brought up though. Don't be surprised if he is part of a package headed out as the NHL team upgrades.
well, i don't mean to act too smart, but i know from a pretty good source that Valabik is going absolutely nowhere as Waddel and he whole Thrashers organ. is very high on him. and so they should be.
actually , before Valabik came to Chicago and i saw him play, i thought he was just big and slow... thats how you usually made him look like. but then we saw him play here in Chicago and we love this kid. and nit just we do i guess --

D Waddell after asked which draft was the best for the thrashers- "I don't know if we can call one our best draft, they all run together on me. But you look back at guys like Valabik who's having a tremendous year..."
i guess that says it all.

also, do you really think that Oystrick is going to be better NHL player than Valabik? i personaly don't see him playing in the big league. and he has tons of points in the A. we can agree on what you said earlier-what makes someone successful at the AHL level is not the same as the NHL level...

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01-15-2007, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wfan View Post
well, i don't mean to act too smart, but i know from a pretty good source that Valabik is going absolutely nowhere as Waddel and he whole Thrashers organ. is very high on him. and so they should be.
actually , before Valabik came to Chicago and i saw him play, i thought he was just big and slow... thats how you usually made him look like. but then we saw him play here in Chicago and we love this kid. and nit just we do i guess --

D Waddell after asked which draft was the best for the thrashers- "I don't know if we can call one our best draft, they all run together on me. But you look back at guys like Valabik who's having a tremendous year..."
i guess that says it all.

also, do you really think that Oystrick is going to be better NHL player than Valabik? i personaly don't see him playing in the big league. and he has tons of points in the A. we can agree on what you said earlier-what makes someone successful at the AHL level is not the same as the NHL level...
All this coming from the same great talent evaluator that thinks Kyle Wanvig is "great".

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actualy, when Wanvig is playing, he is playing great! i love the energy he brings to the table along with points. Can't ask for much more, really, i absolutely love the guy.

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01-16-2007, 07:30 PM
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Shameus
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Originally Posted by Holly Gunning View Post
It's interesting that Valabik is brought up though. Don't be surprised if he is part of a package headed out as the NHL team upgrades.
Hey Holly, thanks for the reporting and responding. But I was wondering why Valabik over Coburn or one of our other prospects? Any specific reason or just because of the year he is having?

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01-16-2007, 09:33 PM
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Holly Gunning
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Originally Posted by Shameus View Post
I was wondering why Valabik over Coburn or one of our other prospects? Any specific reason or just because of the year he is having?
You've got to give something to get something. There's not a lot of guys who have some value on the market, yet are not being used in the current run. Coburn is valuble to the team right now, and you don't trade someone off your roster on a winning team if you can help it.

And the org's strength is defensive prospects, so they can afford to give up a Valabik far before a Little or a Pavelec, for example.

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01-17-2007, 02:45 PM
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Holly,
Concerning Sterling, I would love nothing more than a RW for Ilya Kovalchuk or even some more scoring help and it is flattering that Coach Anderson thinks he is ready for the next step, but how true is it?

The kid is scoring goals like crazy and from all accounts, doing all of the little things to light the lamp. Apparently, Sterling has amazing resiliency with the whole "overcoming small stature" angle.

However, with a team in first place, I feel the Thrashers will be hesitant to rush youth into the NHL. You mentioned that there is a vast disparity between speed, size, and skill from the AHL to the NHL. This is very true and there are 4-A players that cut it in the American League, but not in the big dance.

Then on the other hand, Sterling seems to have a nose for the net and scorers score, no matter where they are.

Secondly, concerning Haydar, I disagree that he is one of those 4-A players. You compared him to Simon Gamache. Gamache scored at the QMJHL level, but never consistently dominated offensively in either the ECHL or AHL.

Haydar has been a consistent offensive threat in the AHL. Also, Gamache has/had more chances at the NHL level. Haydar played two games and is already labeled a minor league scorer. Is he the Crash Davis of the AHL?

Until Haydar gets a Krog-like 15-game stint in the NHL, playing with comprable players (offensive-minded) then I really don't feel like a conclusion can be made on Darren. I'm not saying he's going to light up the NHL, but without a chance we will never know for sure.

Thirdly, Boris Valabik. I've not yet seen the big Slovak play and your report addressed the same things I've been hearing about Boris for the last couple of years. He is a developmental player at this stage. For whatever reason, Braydon Coburn (according to Chicago sources) did not play at the same level as he has with Atlanta. Coburn was and is more polished than Valabik.

The knocks on Valabik are stick-handling, skating ability, defensive mobility (laterally mainly) and his propensity for taking penalties. Other than skating ability, these were also knocks on Zdeno Chara when he was coming into the league.

As for stick-handling, Valabik still hasn't caught up to the AHL speed of the game. There is less time for him to make decisions and take care of the puck. This is something that doesn't always come easily for players. Sure, we'd like his development in this area to be sharper, but there is still time.

Skating ability is the hardest to improve. Defensemen need to be able to skate and if Valabik can't get up to the AHL level, then this could be a serious problem.

Defensive mobility. Playing against more skilled players will improve defensive mobility. At the AHL, better players are exploiting Boris's weaknesses. The only way to remedy this is to keep playing and keep learning.

Taking penalties. Now this is something, even evident in your break down, that is more voluntary than an actual mistake. Boris likes to muck it up and when he does, he goes big.

I personally don't see this as a problem, especially looking at the lack of Atlanta Thrasher defensemen without a consistent mean streak.

Valabik's penalty breakdown does suggest he is not taking many so-called "bad penalties" like hooking, holding, interference, or other infractions that usually are a result of bad positioning.

If the kid likes to fight, let him fight.

You said that you think Valabik might be moved, which is always a possibility, but I would think the most likely, valuable, and attractive defenseman in Chicago would be Popovic. Marc could jump into an NHL lineup now and be low-salary (maybe a reason the Thrashers would keep him around).

But with depth on the blue line in Valabik, Denny, Oystrick, Lewis, and others, Popovic is expendable.


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01-17-2007, 04:22 PM
  #12
Holly Gunning
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Originally Posted by zimthrasher View Post
I would think the most likely, valuable, and attractive defenseman in Chicago would be Popovic. Marc could jump into an NHL lineup now and be low-salary (maybe a reason the Thrashers would keep him around).
I think Popovic is liked a good deal more by the Thrashers than by other teams. He did after all make it through waivers at the beginning of the year (as he did last year). If a team wanted him, they would have taken him then -- and he hasn't really had the type of season that would cause anyone to change their minds. So I don't think he has as much value on the market as a younger guy with more potential upside.

Haydar and Gamache were not the point above, so it seems irrelevant to go so deep into them. The simple point is that the levels are not the same, insert examples as you wish.

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01-17-2007, 05:30 PM
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I wonder how much the Thrashers are waiting to see how soon/how well Sutton comes back next month. When he does, that'll leave them with Sutton, Havelid, Hnidy, Exelby, Vishnevsky, deVries, McCarthy, and Coburn (8 total). Someone will have to move, and if Coburn's considered to have earned a spot by that time, there's little sense in even attempting to send down anyone else, but one of the veterans might be able to be packaged in a trade, possibly even more readily than Valabik if someone wants an NHL-experienced player.

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01-17-2007, 06:12 PM
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Shameus
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Originally Posted by toph2o View Post
I wonder how much the Thrashers are waiting to see how soon/how well Sutton comes back next month. When he does, that'll leave them with Sutton, Havelid, Hnidy, Exelby, Vishnevsky, deVries, McCarthy, and Coburn (8 total). Someone will have to move, and if Coburn's considered to have earned a spot by that time, there's little sense in even attempting to send down anyone else, but one of the veterans might be able to be packaged in a trade, possibly even more readily than Valabik if someone wants an NHL-experienced player.
I'll take deVries and Hnidy for 200 Alex.

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01-17-2007, 08:10 PM
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Holly Gunning
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Originally Posted by toph2o View Post
one of the veterans might be able to be packaged in a trade, possibly even more readily than Valabik if someone wants an NHL-experienced player.
Think about the potential trading partner though. If a team is selling, then that means they are in rebuilding mode. It's unlikely that a rebuilding team wants veterans. They would much more likely want prospects/picks. Trading D for C would be convenient for the Thrashers, but not likely for anyone else.

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01-17-2007, 11:06 PM
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Good point Holly, I was thinking more along the terms of a trading partner that had an extra C, and/or was short on D, trying to squeeze into one of the bottom playoff spots maybe. Or possibly even packaging a C (Kapanen?) with a D in a 2 for 1...

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01-18-2007, 12:42 PM
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I like Popovic... I love the way he plays and handles himself on the ice.
Anyone have information regarding when Valabik will be back from his injury ?

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