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Can NHL-ready players really benefit from being sent down?

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Old
11-07-2006, 12:41 PM
  #1
Mateo
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Can NHL-ready players really benefit from being sent down?

Now, I know this topic may be old hat for most of you, but I am really curious about this.

In baseball, I know that players are often shuttled down to the minors to work on certian things: pitchers can work on their control, different pitches, etc. Hitters go to work on their swings, coordination, etc. Very often, the extra work can do a player good.

In hockey, is this the case? I know it help goaltenders more than skaters, since they could work on positioning, puck control, etc. Skaters, for the most part, would get more shots down in the minors, as well as working on playing on different lines (PP, PK, etc.)

Case in point, Patrick O'Sullivan. Now, he dominated last season in Houston. He gets traded to L.A., gets the call, played below expectations and gets sent down. Everyone says the difference between the minors and the majors is speed. Everything is faster, harder, tougher in the NHL.

Wouldn't you want to continue your player's development at that level, rather than send him down, just so he could get his confidence up? Would that mess with the player's psyche? Good players can play, regardless of what level they are on.

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11-07-2006, 12:56 PM
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King Blazer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
Everyone says the difference between the minors and the majors is speed. Everything is faster, harder, tougher in the NHL.
Speed is certainly one of the differences but not the only difference.

When I've asked players about the difference many also comment on the schedule and travel of the NHL. That trying to find time to rest can be difficult. The AHL is basically a weekend league, similar to college, in that they spend the week training and having general practices. In the NHL they travel more frequently, practice less and the practices tend to be more game specific.


Last edited by King Blazer: 11-07-2006 at 01:44 PM.
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11-07-2006, 01:35 PM
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kingsfan25
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Sri Lankan, huh? Cool.


As for your question, being sent down can serve as a kick in the ***...O'Sully has tasted the big league...being sent to the minors could serve as a motivator to get his act together.

And, as KB touched on, the A serves as a place where he can improve his game further without the rigors of the NHL schedule...it's basically the step in between NHL practice and NHL...

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11-07-2006, 01:49 PM
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LOL, I forgot about that flag. I picked it because it had the little lion on it. I'm actually from Long Beach, California. Home of Snoop Dogg, West Coast Choppers and the Queen Mary.

I could see the difference in travel being a plus, but when you're a young kid, wouldn't you want them to "get up to speed" by playing in the NHL, which would include dealing with the fatigue factor of travel?

Also, back on the subject of O'Sullivan, someone had pointed out on another Kings board, Patrick being sent down now actually will be playing more games for Manchester this month. (The Monarchs play 14 games in November, the Kings 13.)

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11-07-2006, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsfan25 View Post
Sri Lankan, huh? Cool.


..
It's Mateo from LGK. . .

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11-07-2006, 02:05 PM
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kingsfan25
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It's Mateo from LGK. . .
LGK, huh? Cool.

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11-07-2006, 02:17 PM
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King Blazer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
I could see the difference in travel being a plus, but when you're a young kid, wouldn't you want them to "get up to speed" by playing in the NHL, which would include dealing with the fatigue factor of travel?

Also, back on the subject of O'Sullivan, someone had pointed out on another Kings board, Patrick being sent down now actually will be playing more games for Manchester this month. (The Monarchs play 14 games in November, the Kings 13.)
O'Sullivan had the opportunity to play in more games by staying with the Kings through October rather than being sent to Manchester out of camp. He played in 12-games for the Kings and could have only played in 7-games with the Monarchs...

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11-07-2006, 02:38 PM
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There are a couple of potential benefits of sending O'Sullivan down:

First, it can act as a kick in the *** to motivate him. The, "I'm gonna show them!" mentality.

Secondly, he'll be playing in an environment he's familiar with and has had success in, which will allow him to get some confidence back. Having just played his first NHL games, its not uncommon for a rookie to play a bit conservatively, playing not to ****** up rather than playing to win. If he can increase his confidence level and take advantage of his first exposure to the NHL, he should be more comfortable when he's called up, leading to him trying things he was probably afraid to do during his first stint.

Finally, O'Sullivan will have a chance to work on the specifics the coach feels he need to improve upon, while doing it against slightly easier opponents. This increases the chances of him succeeding at the things he's been instructed to work on, which will help round his overall game into shape.

I'm not worried about his reassignment in the least.

- Fin

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11-07-2006, 02:48 PM
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Belanger25
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It's better for him to go down and get 20 minutes a night then to stay on LA and get 8 minutes a night. He's going to gain more confidence with playing more minutes getting some goals and the puck to find the back of the net.

On note Nashville just sent Radulov down again probably for the same reasons. Just to make sure he gets more ice time. How many times did Ottawa play around with Spezza sending him up and down?

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11-07-2006, 02:48 PM
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O'Sullivan clearly wasn't ready for the NHL

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11-07-2006, 02:48 PM
  #11
Mateo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingolfin View Post
Finally, O'Sullivan will have a chance to work on the specifics the coach feels he need to improve upon, while doing it against slightly easier opponents. This increases the chances of him succeeding at the things he's been instructed to work on, which will help round his overall game into shape.
Which coach? The one in L.A. or the one in Manchester. When a player gets assigned to the minors, does the pro team dictate what they want that player to work on? Or will the AHL coach just play the player where he needs him? I guess what I'm trying to say is: are both clubs working together to making the pro team better, or do they work independently?

I appreciate all your comments. It helps me have a further understanding/appreciation of the whole picture.

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11-07-2006, 03:10 PM
  #12
King Blazer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
Which coach? The one in L.A. or the one in Manchester.
Crawford and Lombardi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
When a player gets assigned to the minors, does the pro team dictate what they want that player to work on? Or will the AHL coach just play the player where he needs him? I guess what I'm trying to say is: are both clubs working together to making the pro team better, or do they work independently?
Both teams work together. Hubie McDonough, the Monarchs Director of Hockey Operations is required to file a report with the Kings on every player, every day. Hextall has been in Manchester for a while now. He's watching these guys very closely. While in Manchester, the players are used in the roles they project into for the Kings...

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11-07-2006, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Blazer View Post

Both teams work together. Hubie McDonough, the Monarchs Director of Hockey Operations is required to file a report with the Kings on every player, every day. Hextall has been in Manchester for a while now. He's watching these guys very closely. While in Manchester, the players are used in the roles they project into for the Kings...
How has Kanko been used? Moulson?

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11-07-2006, 03:38 PM
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I understand the kick in the pants, and management has to field their best team arguments. Other than that, I don't believe playing at a lower level is ever better for player development. I know many will disagree. In the case of O'Sullivan, it's strictly a message, I think.

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11-07-2006, 03:52 PM
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so the Kings are planning to switch Sully to center?

and Crawford is hellbent on putting O'Sullivan in a 3rd/4th line grinder role. So, where is he playing in Manchester? first or second line?

I think Crawford has already screwed with O'Sullivan and now they'll do it in Manchester too. I don't like anything they've done with/to this kid. I wish they would just trade him before he's ruined forever.

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11-07-2006, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post

and Crawford is hellbent on putting O'Sullivan in a 3rd/4th line grinder role. So, where is he playing in Manchester? first or second line?

I think Crawford has already screwed with O'Sullivan and now they'll do it in Manchester too. I don't like anything they've done with/to this kid. I wish they would just trade him before he's ruined for
ever.
Huh?

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11-07-2006, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebus View Post
I understand the kick in the pants, and management has to field their best team arguments. Other than that, I don't believe playing at a lower level is ever better for player development. I know many will disagree. In the case of O'Sullivan, it's strictly a message, I think.

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11-07-2006, 05:12 PM
  #18
King Blazer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper45 View Post
How has Kanko been used?
They started using him in more of an offense oriented role this season. His previous time with the Monarchs was spent as an agitator and banger...

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Originally Posted by Reaper45 View Post
Moulson?
Mostly an offense oriented role so far...

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11-07-2006, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post
so the Kings are planning to switch Sully to center?
He's played both center and wing in his first two games with the Monarchs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post
and Crawford is hellbent on putting O'Sullivan in a 3rd/4th line grinder role.
Really? I wasn't aware of this...


Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post
So, where is he playing in Manchester? first or second line?
Yes, first or second line. He's been playing on the wing with Clarke as a center and Zeiler on the other wing.

He's also been used as a center on occasion with different players on the wings. The AHL game roster is only 17-skaters and the Monarchs typically dress 6-dmen and 11-forwards.

He was immedeatly placed on the PP and has seen a lot of time there as well. The PP went 0-for-3 on Friday night and 0-for-5 on Saturday night including almost 2-mins of 5-on-3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post
I think Crawford has already screwed with O'Sullivan and now they'll do it in Manchester too. I don't like anything they've done with/to this kid. I wish they would just trade him before he's ruined forever.
OK...

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11-07-2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Blazer View Post

He was immedeatly placed on the PP and has seen a lot of time there as well. The PP went 0-for-3 on Friday night and 0-for-5 on Saturday night including almost 2-mins of 5-on-3.
So they are using the same PP that the Kings use.

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11-07-2006, 06:11 PM
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So they are using the same PP that the Kings use.
Actually, the Monarchs PP was ranked #1 in the league going into last weekend. They were edged out of first (by 0.002) by the WB/S Penguins who went 5-for-15 on the PP in two games over the weekend...

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11-08-2006, 10:53 AM
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LuLuBelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Blazer View Post
Quote:
He's played both center and wing in his first two games with the Monarchs...
yes, I know that.

Quote:
Really? I wasn't aware of this...
Then you must not have been paying attention to the Kings games that O'Sullivan played in where Crawford had him out there most of the time with Armstrong, Willsie, etc., and anyone else without the ability to make a tape to tape pass.


Quote:
He's also been used as a center on occasion with different players on the wings. The AHL game roster is only 17-skaters and the Monarchs typically dress 6-dmen and 11-forwards.
Yes, I understand, my questions were of the sarcastic variety. I know he's been playing both positions, which is what I'm irritated about. How does it help him learn the LW position in the NHL?

Quote:
He was immedeatly placed on the PP and has seen a lot of time there as well. The PP went 0-for-3 on Friday night and 0-for-5 on Saturday night including almost 2-mins of 5-on-3.
Sure, and Kopitar has been on the top power play unit with the Kings for the entire season so far, and look how well that's been going....

---Nevermind, I guess you don't understand what I'm saying....

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11-08-2006, 11:16 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Blazer
He (O'Sullivan) was immedeatly placed on the PP and has seen a lot of time there as well. The PP went 0-for-3 on Friday night and 0-for-5 on Saturday night including almost 2-mins of 5-on-3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Blazer View Post
Actually, the Monarchs PP was ranked #1 in the league going into last weekend.
So, you are saying that the problem with the PP is O'Sullivan?

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11-08-2006, 12:19 PM
  #24
Primakov!
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Originally Posted by LuLuBelle View Post
so the Kings are planning to switch Sully to center?

and Crawford is hellbent on putting O'Sullivan in a 3rd/4th line grinder role. So, where is he playing in Manchester? first or second line?

I think Crawford has already screwed with O'Sullivan and now they'll do it in Manchester too. I don't like anything they've done with/to this kid. I wish they would just trade him before he's ruined forever.


This conspiracy theory that Crawford, and the Kings as a whole, are out to derail O'Sullivan's career is pure bollocks.

What would they gain from MAKING O'Sullivan a bust?

So that the Demitra trade can look like a laughable joke? Because they really, really like rebuilding and denying us one more prospect will keep the fun going? Get a grip. Having O'Sullivan flop serves us no positive and hurts the Kings.

The simple fact of the matter is that while O'Sullivan IS a very, very talented player, there are still deficiencies in his game that you can drive a truck through. It's one that plagues a lot of top offensive prospects -- no defense.

"But we want him to score goals!!!!!" </whining>

At the pro level you have to be able to help the team even when you can't get yourself on the scoring column, and preventing chances by the opponent is a fundamental necessity. If you only help the team when you score, you help us in one manner, but if you can score AND have a hand in stopping scoring opportunities then you've helped in two ways.

If Michael Cammalleri can learn to do it, Patrick O'Sullivan can too.

As I mentioned in the initial O'Sullivan to Manchester thread:

Quote:
Jim Fox had related an observation/criticism -- one that Crawford pointed out to O'Sullivan when he scratched him before his last game -- that the speed he shows in getting to loose pucks for breakaways and scoring opportunities are not utilized in any other facet of his game.

Read: Defense/defensive coverage/backcheck.

Fox showed a replay, as an example, where Michael Cammalleri was shown skating hard on the backcheck to kill a scoring opportunity by taking out the shooter's ability to score with stick locking/checks/interceptions.

It's a noticeable deficiency in his game, which is necessary for the pro game where you have to contribute even if you're not going to show up on the stat sheet. It's not all doom and gloom though. I mean, it's obvious he has some skill -- which is something you can't teach if you don't have it -- so it's something correctable with proper tutelage and enough repetition.

He showed a much improved defensive presence in his last game, which was a good sign, by chipping the puck out of the zone when there was pressure and stuff. It's all positive. He'll be better for it later just like Cammalleri.
Going to a lower level like Manchester in this case would help O'Sullivan because of the more easy speed, so the game isn't instantly on top of him when he tries to apply what he's learning in terms of defense and other fundamentals they want him to practice.

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