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Guys Who Significantly Improved Their Skating

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Old
03-24-2013, 11:17 PM
  #1
IComeInPeace
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Guys Who Significantly Improved Their Skating

Which players can you recall (if any) that came in as poor skaters, and over the years significantly improved in that area?

I can't think of a single one that started off as a poor skater and ended up having his skating become a strength.
The Sedin's were bad skaters when they came in and while their skating is not a strength by any means, I think they are now very average skaters.

Obviously skating is one of the hardest areas to really improve in, but you'd think there would have been some guys that really, really improved dramatically in that area (the Sedins improvement was dramatic to me)...

Any others you can think of?

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03-24-2013, 11:30 PM
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Killion
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This thread just screams Zdeno Chara...

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03-25-2013, 12:23 AM
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Ed Wood
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It's bloody near impossible to improve a players skating once he's grown into his body.

The minor leagues are teeming with guys with great hands and hockey sense but not NHL skating ability.

Ottawa prospect Mark Stone should be worth watching. The guy has tremendous hands, size and hockey sense but he was taken in the sixth round due to a serious skating deficiency. The Sens got him a skating guru and say he's vastly improved but judging from his recent callup I just don't see it. I predict he busts.... a very unpopular view on the Ottawa board.

And, no, I can't think of a single player who entered the league with a pronounced skating deficiency who became a better than average skater.

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03-25-2013, 12:48 AM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Wood View Post
It's bloody near impossible to improve a players skating once he's grown into his body. And, no, I can't think of a single player who entered the league with a pronounced skating deficiency who became a better than average skater.
Your absolutely correct about that. It can be improved, but not significantly, dramatically. Current guys like Nik Antropov & Filip Kuba "lumbering" to say the least despite all kinds of time spent on them. Jonathan CheeChoo, early in his career with the great linemates & determination, all fine n' dandy, but once traded, moved around, pretty clear that guys skatings just plain weak. Still, since the demise of the enforcer not so many blatant or glaring examples, but enough that one cant help but wonder how whomevers ever going to keep up, last. Pre-04/05, back through the 90's & beyond, quite a list could be compiled what with the DPE, teams often carrying 2 or 3 designated hit men, hasty expansions & the WHA etc. Even during the 06 era, guys a half or full step behind, others just plain ragged on their blades, unsteady on their feet, beyond choppy, lousy skaters. Players though who at that time & in the manner in which the game was played effective enough to stick. Context important when considering skating, the single most important & fundamental aspect to playing the game.... todays modern BF Goalies? Absolutely pathetic but for a few. That too has to change, improve, and at the amateur level. By Midget, its too late, let alone Jr., pro...

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03-25-2013, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Jonathan CheeChoo, early in his career with the great linemates & determination, all fine n' dandy, but once traded, moved around, pretty clear that guys skatings just plain weak.
Cheechoo also was hit by injuries and had major abdominal surgery which, combined, pretty much took away his mobility in the short-term. It wasn't a matter of bad technique so much as a matter of recovering from major surgery.

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03-25-2013, 12:55 AM
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Eberle wasn't the greatest skater in Junior, one of the reasons he fell to 22. Now I'd say he average to above average.

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03-25-2013, 12:55 AM
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pdd
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This thread just screams Zdeno Chara...
That was my thought. From pylon that can't skate to Norris winner?

Who would have guessed it?

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03-25-2013, 01:57 AM
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Brad Marsh was about as slow as molasses in January who had a little more to his game than just punching.
Just a lousy skater if ever there was one was Hal "Stand Still" Gill. Won a SC in Pittsburgh if Im not mistaken.

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03-25-2013, 02:04 AM
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Jason Spezza made massive improvements to his skating over the years.

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03-25-2013, 02:14 AM
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Mike Farkas
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I don't recall Ryan Getzlaf being all that great of a skater in junior...

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03-25-2013, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Cheechoo also was hit by injuries and had major abdominal surgery which, combined, pretty much took away his mobility in the short-term. It wasn't a matter of bad technique so much as a matter of recovering from major surgery.
You might wanna revisit some sources, take a look at BleacherReports; All Time Worst Skaters in the NHL. Some pretty damning videotape evidence of CheeChoo's skating deficiencies after his breakthrough season with Thornton post Sharks. If injury related alone, well, how long ago was that? While ago no? Did he ever really have serious skating ability & lost it as a result of the injuries or did he never really have it to begin with, a one hit wonder who got lucky playing with Big Joe?

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03-25-2013, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
That was my thought. From pylon that can't skate to Norris winner?

Who would have guessed it?
Here's an example of Chara being beaten easily with speed. He had no chance of stopping Lemieux; Mario just cruised by him. While it's already incredibly difficult to contain him, I think Chara would have handled the situation a lot differently now, and the improvements in his skating would have certainly helped him. Here, we see a very raw, inexperienced Chara get caught:



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03-25-2013, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I don't recall Ryan Getzlaf being all that great of a skater in junior...
Geezus, somebody better tell Dave Nonis that. Lastnight a wireless mic on HNIC caught Randy Carlyle yelling "Getzlaf,
get out there, yer up; and Louie?,
loosen up, goin in"... entire Leaf bench just sat there in stunned silence Mr.Farkas.

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03-25-2013, 11:22 AM
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Ed Wood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
Jason Spezza made massive improvements to his skating over the years.
Skating was never an issue for Spezza.

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03-25-2013, 12:02 PM
  #15
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Brian Boyle, with his career hanging on a thread, worked with former Olympic figure skater Barbara Underhill in Toronto during the summer of 2010.

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Mr. Boyle, a former first- round pick who had spent his career as 6-feet-7 inches of unrealized potential, saved his career this year through an unlikely path, the mentoring of Ms. Underhill, a figure skater who represented Canada in the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics.

She estimates that Mr. Boyle was using about half the power in his legs, and that he needed better balance and explosiveness in his feet. Mr. Boyle said his biggest improvement is turning and operating on the edges of his skates—something that had held him back during his four-year career.
Before working with Underhill, Boyle had 12 goals and 16 points in 107 games. In 2010/11, he had 21 goals and 35 points.

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03-25-2013, 12:46 PM
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Bexlyspeed
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Bobby Nystrom worked very hard to improve his skating, i also think he was one of the first hockey players to train with Laura Stramm

interesting read

http://www.laurastamm.net/History-of...r-Skating.aspx

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03-25-2013, 12:55 PM
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gifted88
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John Tavares has improved his skating. He's still not the fastest but he's gotten better.

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03-25-2013, 01:09 PM
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Ducks fans would know better than me, but...

As I recall, Corey Perry was pretty awkward on his skates in junior and this was one of the biggest knocks against him as a prospect.

He's still not the world's smoothest skater but this obviously isn't an issue now.

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03-25-2013, 01:24 PM
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I thought Datsyuk's skating improved dramatically over years...

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03-25-2013, 01:27 PM
  #20
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A name you would not think...

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But when Sakic was first invited to play for Canada at the 1991 world championships, he saw his skating was not up to par on the larger European ice. When he became an early cut at Canada Cup training camp the same year, he dedicated himself to improve his speed, strength and stamina. He certainly impressed a newcomer to the Nords named Mats Sundin.
http://www.lfpress.com/2012/11/08/sa...pushed-himself

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03-25-2013, 03:59 PM
  #21
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The Sedins.

Their improvement in skating made them dangerous off the rush. This transformed them into elite superstar forwards, as opposed to 70 pt players.

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03-25-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
Brian Boyle, with his career hanging on a thread, worked with former Olympic figure skater Barbara Underhill in Toronto during the summer of 2010.



Before working with Underhill, Boyle had 12 goals and 16 points in 107 games. In 2010/11, he had 21 goals and 35 points.
That is pretty impressive on his part. I think taller players early on are just thrown into the immobile pylon category. Because of that their physical potential is never truly realized. The style or habits you develop in your teens are significantly tougher to get past than the ones you develop later on. There does seem to be a shift in mentality these days, what with your Brent Burns or Victor Hedmans.


Despite the San Jose Sharks still being one of the slower teams in the league, guys like Pavelski, Couture, Clowe, and Douglas Murray have made significant improvements since they first wore teal. You can see similar skating strides amongst some of the slower Shark players, which leads me to believe that the team has set-up some sort of program for these guys coming in with skating issues.

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03-25-2013, 05:31 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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I remember reading about how Marty McSorley worked hard to become a better player and that he spent a lot of time in trying to improve his skating, which helped him before a considerably better player. His skating was so bad that he couldn't be trusted as a defenseman and was primarily playing as a right wing early in his career. He eventually made the switch back to defense permanently as he improved as a player when he reached his prime years in his mid-late 20s.

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03-25-2013, 06:16 PM
  #24
Killion
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Eddie Shore had some interesting theories about power skating along with training techniques & accessories that were all rather interesting. He believed the hands should be exactly 24"'s apart on ones stick, the legs exactly 11"'s apart when measured from blade to blade and the elbows, thrust back behind the back in a piston like movement. Close in to the body & never getting forward of the rib cage, stomach. All in a semi squat position with back rigid & upright, not bent forward by much if at all. Almost like sitting on a toilet rigid backed.... He had rope's cut to measure, tying players skates together, tying their elbows behind their backs to one another with those 11" cords, heavy duty rope also secured around the waste running up to moving block & tackle, tracks North-South above the ice-surface in the girders of the old Springfield Arena. We've all heard or read the stories I suppose as to what happened next... Eddie hoisting anyone off their feet who stumbled or fell, started straying from the lane. Absolute sado masochist. Even after goals scored in regular season play players berated for having their feet to far apart, body posture all wrong.... then again, this was a guy once told a player who was struggling to start parting his hair on the other side of his head as it would give him something else to think about, and he was absolutely serious about it. Fined him $50 when he showed up next day with the part on the usual side.

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Old
03-26-2013, 01:21 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I thought Datsyuk's skating improved dramatically over years...
His edge control was great his entire career. I think he came into the league an above average skater.

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