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Players who changed styles after coming into the league

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01-27-2004, 09:05 PM
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Darth Milbury
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Players who changed styles after coming into the league

This is sort of a strange topic for a thread, but I was thinking the other day about a few players who made dramatic changes in their styles of play after breaking into the league. The sort of players I am dicussing here include guys like Keith Carney and Brett Hedican. Both were, as I understand it, offensive dmen before coming to the NHL. When they turned pro, neither emerged as a big point producer but both wound up using their finese skills in a more defensive role. Gonachar, in contrast, was seen as being a more defensive dman when drafted but his probably the most dominant offensive dman in the league. Similarly, there are a few forward in tne NHL (like Craig Conroy and Mike Peca) who showed more offensive flair in their earlier days, but then became defensive specialists after being drafted. And, there are also a handful of guys who made fairly dramatic position switches (like Wendel Clark going from being a dman to a high level forward). Can you guys think of any other examples?

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01-27-2004, 09:07 PM
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Tom Fitzgerald was once a prolific scorer in college.

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01-27-2004, 09:08 PM
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PanthersRule96
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Byron Ritchie, and other 3/4th line checkers. Some were great scorers in junior.

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01-27-2004, 09:08 PM
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Marty Reasoner...offensive player....career going down the tubes, put on waivers decides to become defensive gem. One of the reasons the Oilers have had a poor year is his injury.

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01-27-2004, 09:10 PM
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Mattias Norstrom entered the league touted as an offensive defenseman

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01-27-2004, 09:11 PM
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Guy Carbonneau was an offensive dynamo in Junior and couldn't backcheck worth a bean. One of the reasons the Habs didn't draft Denis Savard was because they thought Carbo was going to be an offensive force. Instead they went with the bigger and more well rounded Wickenheiser hoping he and Carbo would be a wicked top two for the next 10-15 years who's different skill sets would compliment one another. So much for Ron Caron's scouting

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01-27-2004, 09:11 PM
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Anyone who played for Minnesota.

 
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01-27-2004, 09:12 PM
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Andrei Markov was a centre for a while before the NHL, if that counts. He did become a defenseman before coming to the pros, however.

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01-27-2004, 09:14 PM
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John Madden was a pure offensive player coming out of college ... couldnt play a lick of D from what I hear. Gets to Albany and asks the coach what he has to do to get called up. Coach says that the Devils are only looking for a fourth line center who can play some good defence, so Madden starts to try to turn his 100 point AHL into a more defensive game. Next season, Madden makes the Devils and the rest as they say is history.

Just as a side note: Madden claims that he could be a 40 goal scorer in todays NHL if he put his mind to it, but getting 20 and playing great defence is much more important to the team. Take that for what it is worth.

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01-27-2004, 09:14 PM
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also Doug Gilmour played defense until he was 17 or so.

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Joe
Guy Carbonneau was an offensive dynamo in Junior and couldn't backcheck worth a bean. One of the reasons the Habs didn't draft Denis Savard was because they thought Carbo was going to be an offensive force. Instead they went with the bigger and more well rounded Wickenheiser hoping he and Carbo would be a wicked top two for the next 10-15 years who's different skill sets would compliment one another. So much for Ron Caron's scouting
And everyone else's too. By all accounts virtually every team had Wickenheiser #1.

The list of players who lit it up in Juniors then settled into checking roles is probably about a mile long. Particularly anyone coming out of the Q. Many, many players have changed their styles coming into the league, then changed over time as their game evolved. Scott Stevens is a perfect example. Comes into the league as an offensive defenceman, becomes a tough guy and regular scrapper, the involves into a pure defensive defenceman.

I suspect a lot of that is to a degree attributable to coaching as coaches tend to stress defence first or you don't get icetime.

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildan
Just as a side note: Madden claims that he could be a 40 goal scorer in todays NHL if he put his mind to it, but getting 20 and playing great defence is much more important to the team. Take that for what it is worth.

Madden's a good player, but he unless he's playing RW for Wayne Gretzky, he's not going to be a 40 goal scorer.

If that makes him sleep better at night though ....

-----------------------------------------------------------

The recently retired Paul Ranheim. He was a goal scorer in college, and then in his final year in the minors he scored 68 goals in the IHL.

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01-27-2004, 09:32 PM
  #13
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Oleg Saprykin was a finesse forward (or Euro forward, doesn't really matter) in junior who couldn't hit at all. He still can't hit all that great, but he's definitely playing a gung ho style with very little finesse.

He's a smaller example though.

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01-27-2004, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
The recently retired Paul Ranheim. He was a goal scorer in college, and then in his final year in the minors he scored 68 goals in the IHL.
Ranheim was a decent scorer early in his career. 26 goals his first season, two more of 20 goals. A couple of years ago Theo Fleury said that Ranheim could have been a constant 25/30 goal scorer, but the Flames insisted he be a checking line winger and that it killed his offense. Take that for what it's worth. Madden 40 goal scorer my ass, he's scored 30 goals once in his career, as a minor leaguer.

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:35 PM
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Oh, and at one time, Georges Laraque was a tough guy.

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01-27-2004, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
Oh, and at one time, Georges Laraque was a tough guy.
Link?

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:39 PM
  #17
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Mike Modano was an offisive minded player only through juniors. Wasn't till Hitchcock got a hold of him that he actually knew what a backcheck was.

Now he is counted as one of the better two way players of the game (this year excluded :p )

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:43 PM
  #18
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Joe
Link?
http://www.geocities.com/huard20/NHLFight/Laraque.html

http://www.laraque27.com/photogallery.htm

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:48 PM
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Pandolfo and Gionta were both scorers.

Anyone see a trend? [I hope they don't fully convert Parise... ]

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Old
01-27-2004, 09:54 PM
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Darren Langdon used to rip it up offensively in his younger days. Now he's the enforcer for the Habs.

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Old
01-27-2004, 10:02 PM
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Ian Laperriere went from O to D/with a case of nose-in-ear syndrome.

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Old
01-27-2004, 10:03 PM
  #22
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Nazarov is probably one of the most obvious examples, a skill styler forward who doesn't have enough skill so he becomes a fighter to stay in the league.

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Old
01-27-2004, 11:02 PM
  #23
Psycho Papa Joe
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Those photos are obvious paintshop forgeries

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Old
01-27-2004, 11:14 PM
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Jo Juneau scored 101 points as a rookie with Boston. If he can score 30 points, i'll be happy..

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Old
01-28-2004, 12:04 AM
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Wright.. Laperierre...

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