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Small Defensemen: The Wave of the Future?

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Old
03-21-2005, 08:37 PM
  #1
Ziggy Stardust
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Small Defensemen: The Wave of the Future?

It seems as though more and more defensemen listed under 6'0 are starting to emerge and become impact players on their respective clubs.
The most notable that stand out today are Brian Rafalski, Kimmo Timonen, Marek Zidlicky, Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Boyle. John-Michael Liles had a superb rookie season with the Avalanche, and I think we are starting to see a change, and NHL clubs (and scouts) are starting to take more notice towards the smaller, but very skilled defensemen. What most of these guys have in common is that they are great skaters and have above average puck control.

Hopefully the trend continues for the Kings, and the next small defenseman to come from Finland could be Tuukka Mantyla. He had a very productive season in the Swedish Elite League, matching his career best numbers that he produced in Finland.
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...php3?pid=50572
Here is Tuukka's profile on Lulea's official site, http://www.luleahockey.se/default.as...id=5&player=25

I would hope that the Kings could convince him to cross the border and spend some time in the minors to get more accustomed to North America.


Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 03-21-2005 at 08:47 PM.
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03-21-2005, 08:41 PM
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Reaper45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust
It seems as though more and more defensemen listed under 6'0 are starting to emerge and become impact players on their respective clubs.
The most notable that stand out today are Brian Rafalski, Kimmo Timonen, Marek Zidlicky, Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Boyle. John-Michael Liles had a superb rookie season with the Avalanche, and I think we are starting to see a change, and NHL clubs (and scouts) are starting to take more notice towards the smaller, but very skilled defensemen. What most of these guys have in common is that they are great skaters and have above average puck control.

Hopefully the trend continues for the Kings, and the next small defenseman to come from Finland could be Tuukka Mantyla. He had a very productive season in the Swedish Elite League, matching his career best numbers that he produced in Finland.
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...php3?pid=50572

I would hope that the Kings could convince him to cross the border and spend some time in the minors to get more accustomed to North America.
I would hope so, the guys probably my height, but he's got incredible offensive skills and I've always liked him. From everything I've heard from the Finnish boards, Tuukka plays pretty gritty for a guy his size...

Hell bring him over anyways, if push comes to shove, make him a forward, and see what he can do....

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03-21-2005, 08:54 PM
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King'sPawn
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How about we just give him stilts? Or strap him to Boyle's back?

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03-21-2005, 09:41 PM
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Mike Weaver is doing a heck of a job in Manchester this year. He's listed at 5'9" but he appears to be about the same height as Cammalleri who is listed at 5'9"

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03-21-2005, 10:32 PM
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you know i would love to think small defensemen are getting a chance along with small goalies, but its not true. I mean the guys you listed are pretty much all offensive defensemen and outside of timonen none of them are really complete players.

I'm a big supporter of below 6 foot players, especially goaltenders, but the fact is the NHL scouting and NHL staff and gm's and all of them are ****ing ********. Its plain and simple. Guys like martin houle, sergei samsonov, st. louis, timonen, legace, theodore, and many others consistently prove SMALL PLAYERS CAN PLAY in the NHL, but no they dont' care, they stick to their stupid mindset of picking big guys who have issues skating. Size is always taking a precent over everything and for me it pisses me off. I know that typically size can't be taught, but that doesn't prevent them from GIVING A FREAKING CHANCE to the smaller guys...ergh.

ok i've ranted about this like 20 times, i just saw this thread scrolling around...i really would love to think small dmen are exceling and starting to be given chances..but until oure league wakes up its not true sadly.

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Old
03-21-2005, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King'sPawn
How about we just give him stilts? Or strap him to Boyle's back?
That might work. Kind of like the guy in Beyond Thunderdome

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03-22-2005, 09:56 AM
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Fat Elvis
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I have a feeling that when the next season starts, some rule changes that have been talked about to increase scoring and eliminating the zone trap, will only help the smaller quicker skaters. Tuuka is a stud player even if he's only 3'9. Let him nar their knee caps off. But seriously, the game will be different when it resumes.

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Old
03-22-2005, 04:11 PM
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mattihp
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I am a bit doubtful about Tuukka Mäntylä's offense and how that part would adapt to the NHL....

But his defensive game... He just keeps impressing me. You just don't notice his size the way he playes.

Some improvement on his quickness when making offensive moves and maybe some better mobility and this guy could make one awesome defenseman.

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03-22-2005, 04:31 PM
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Matt13
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No love for Don Sweeney?????

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Old
03-22-2005, 04:54 PM
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mattihp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt13
No love for Don Sweeney?????
The guy I think Mäntylä compares best to

A tenacious hard worker who never looks out of place.

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Old
03-26-2005, 10:21 PM
  #11
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There's no way that smaller d-men are the wave of the future, at least not the immediate future. I wish it were true, I'm sure it would result in better hockey. The problem with D-men is that they must be matched to forwards. So as long as you see the Getzlafs, Staals, Ovechkins, Malkins, Frolovs, Carters, Ladds, Kovalchuks, Heatleys, Thorntons, Lecavaliers, Nashs, and other big, physical forwards being top picks and players, GMs are going to want to have big d-men to match up to them.

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