George McPhee....The Teflon GM. 15 years of failure and counting....
6 - Number of playoff series the Capitals have won since George McPhee took over as General Manager in 1997 (which makes him the third-longest-tenured GM in the League), three of which came in McPhee's first season on the job.
Quite often players that try to make the NHL is fairly young. Cast offs from NHL might be borderline NHL-players as 23-year olds and give up on the NHL-dream. After a few years of development in KHL they might be high quality players (and might even be top-6 players in NHL if they gave it another go).
So when NHL-fans bash players like Patrik Thoresen and ask how a NHL-bust can be a highscoring player in KHL, the answer might actually be that the player have developed. Few players peak at the age of 22-23 or so.
There is quite a few players that are top-6 in NHL or nothing, players that lack the physics and the grit to play in the bottom-six. When they fail to make NHL at a fairly young age they can still have a very high skillevel and the development curve to become high quality players. A guy like Nikolai Zherdev comes to mind. If he ever would get his act together, he could be a worldclass player.
The bottomline is why shouldn't the KHL-teams be happy? Among those cast offs there can be players of really high quality when they enter their prime.
It would be much better for NHL without competition, with the money that the KHL-teams can offer theres bound to be quite a few NHL-calibre players that doesn't end up in NHL. This lowers the quality of NHL or at least hurts the depth of the league in a way.
I'm not a KHL fan, but I would probably get excited if my favorite Finnish SM-liiga team signed a player with NHL experience. Especially if he's previously played successfully in Europe or is a former player of my team.
You have to understand that the NHL is the highest level of hockey... if a player isn't good enough to play in the NHL, it doesn't mean he's not a good athlete or a useful player in a lesser league. The KHL, Swedish Elitserien, Swiss NLA, Finnish SM-liiga etc. have their own star players and obviously most of them wouldn't succeed in the NHL.
I'm sure that Filatov for example, is going to be a good addition for the CSKA. I would think, that their fans are excited about the signing.
It really depends on player, what were the reasons for him being cut/not being able to make it in the NHL. If the reason is he has the talent but either isnt gritty enough to play a bottom-6 role or the club just has too much depth then ok, now lets look at, can this players skill set translate into the European game.
If the answer is he has the skill set but just cant crack a top-6 role and his skills are able to translate over here, then yes, I am very pleased. If he isnt good enough for the NHL but his game translate well for KHL then I would still want him, but good enough for NHL but skills cant translate, dont want him, dont need him.
I'd say they used to be a lot more excited in 2008... After a few years there have been some really big disappointments too with NHL players, so people have started to be more cautious.
E.g. a lot was expected from Jagr when he arrived, everybody thought that now he'll destroy the league etc. etc. but... nothing of that happened. He was very good, very good, but the hype about him was so good that it just wasn't enough, especially when Radulov in his second KHL season became a bigger star than Jagr in the league.
After that we've not really seen players of his calibre going here. Yeah Thoresen is good and couple of others but we've also had Wellwood, Miettinen and couple of Russians that didn't turn out to be as good... we remember Nabokov, Afinogenov is not visible at all, couple others.
People are happy about Russians stuck in AHL returning home, like Shirokov and Tikhonov (both have done very well) and Filatov too. But I wouldn't say they are really optimistic and happy about, say, Bergfors going to Kazan... cause he seems like Miettinen 2 for them, I guess. And we've seen already few of these 20 point season NHL guys to say that it won't be anything stellar... AHL leaders who rarely get NHL ice time imho do much better in KHL than these NHLers, 1/4 point per game players
Bergfors has played 4 games already, 0+0...
Last edited by Latgale_fan: 12-21-2011 at 04:42 PM.
AHL leaders who rarely get NHL ice time imho do much better in KHL than these NHLers, 1/4 point per game players
This seems pretty much true in Elitserien too, people expected a NHL-grinder like Fredrik Sjöström to put up numbers when he went home, but after being a bottom-six player for so many years he just doesn't have it in him. He just do the same stuff he did in NHL, skate very well, PK well and not produce. PJ Axelsson is another example, a bit more interesting since he actually put up numbers in NHL some seasons, was a olympic player and so but he doesn't produce much in SEL.
A AHL allstar like Jason Krog on the other hand turns in to a topplayer.
Looking at the scoring leaders and best point producers the past few years in SEL and you will not find that many former bottom-six NHL:ers there. (Marcus Nilsson comes to mind though). Homegrown latebloomers and players that was great in AHL but never managed to take a place in permanent place in NHL is a more common profile.