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Old
07-18-2011, 12:27 PM
  #1
Rise from the Ashes
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Rafael Diaz

There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..

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07-18-2011, 12:31 PM
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Patty Roy
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Only time will tell....these guys almost always tend to be overhyped this time of year...really what else is there to talk about?

He's an interesting signing for sure...but i wouldn't get too carried away until we at least see what he can do against NHL competition at training camp.

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07-18-2011, 12:33 PM
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One thing is for sure, we've got a lot of question marks that can really help in the long run if they hit their stride early. Emelin and diaz, most notably. I have a feeling atleast one will surprise a lot of people.

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07-18-2011, 12:34 PM
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The legend I heard with respect to Brian Rafalski is that Lamoriello asked his staff to find them the best player (or maybe best dman) in the world not playing in the NHL.

Will Diaz be our Rafalski?

Perhaps.

He could also be the next Mikhail Johansson / Jonas Gustavsson / Fabian Brunnstrom.

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07-18-2011, 12:39 PM
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Yes that is true. But he fared well in the world championships which is a pretty good indication of greatness and poise.

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07-18-2011, 12:49 PM
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I actually have high hopes for him. I think he may start the year in Hamilton, but won't finish the season there.

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07-18-2011, 01:07 PM
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I actually have high hopes for him. I think he may start the year in Hamilton, but won't finish the season there.
That might happen because logically and as for now there's no room for him in the lineup ... unless Weber plays on the 4th line and there's injuries.

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07-18-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..
you forgot david aebischer!

but its not hard to see why swisses would "like" to play in mtl, hockey crazy city and they speak french

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07-18-2011, 01:13 PM
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I don't know. The NHL is a different beast. I really hope you're right but I'm going to wait. If either of the two Emelin or Diaz becomes a regular contributor I will be more than pleasantly surprised. Until then, I think they'll battle for spots. Would be nice though to have someone come out of nowhere like that. Just doesn't really happen is all.

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07-18-2011, 01:40 PM
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I think he'll have a better career statistically than Wayne Gretzky but that's just me

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07-18-2011, 01:45 PM
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Hopefully the arrival of Diaz and Yemelin will mean the departure of Spacek sooner then later via trade!

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07-18-2011, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..
We own his RFA rights after this year as well. We control him for at least two years.

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07-18-2011, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
ts just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary.
Which makes sense for him. If he performs well I am sure Gauthier will gladly pay him a higher salary.

Plus, he is an RFA after this year, he will be MTL property.

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07-18-2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..
You may thanks Pierre Gauthier on this one, he probably worked extremmely hard on that file..

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07-18-2011, 01:52 PM
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I just watched a Canada-Swiss Olympics game on DVD and was quite impressed by his game. What caught my eye right away was his excellent all round skating - forward, backward, lateral - and his defensive positioning/awareness. His reading of the play and ability to close in on an opposing forward very quickly due to his top end mobility made him very effective in the d-zone. Diaz showed a very good active stick. He also did not hesitate to initiate contact, a couple of times damped Eric Staal legally. He jumped in the rush a few times looking very comfortable but only in one instance he actually recieved a pass when he blasted a shot from inside the blue line forcing Marty to make a good save top shelf. It was good execution on his part as he did not have much space and was chased by a Canada player and managed to unlish a quality shot on net while skating at full speed. He had another shot on net though trafic again taking very little time to release it. He played on the first PK unit often with Streit. On a number of shifts he played against the top line featuring Sid, Nash and Staal and looked pretty good.
I would've liked to see more of his offensive skills we saw on the utube video, but in this game his priority was clearly defense and he did a great job at it, playing near flawless game and showing impressive composure, considering it was his first ever exposure to players of that calibre.
His defensive game is a notch above that of Weber, he was better that Sbisa in that game and had the best mobility on swiss d corps, including Weber and Streit, and could challenge pretty much anyone in the mobility department on the Canadian d corps. I am really looking forward to seeing him in camp.
I think he will surprise a lot of people more so than Emelin simply because not many have heard of him and also , by all reports, including one by Bob Hartley, he is quite skilled ofensively.

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07-18-2011, 01:52 PM
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I've only heard good things about him. His overall game is very good and complete, and he can compliment a defensive core, playing on the bottom pair (to start). Time will tell how he turns out, but I have a good feeling about him.

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07-18-2011, 01:55 PM
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He's got a pretty solid frame at 5'11 almost 200 pds. Sorta Wiznewski'ish


edit: Oh and gosh those over advertised euro hockey league uniform are fugly. Almost as bad as a Sens jersey !

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07-18-2011, 02:12 PM
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We have to resign him even if he struggles a bit. Remember Streit? Once he adjusted to the NHL he became good, but before that he wasn't.

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07-18-2011, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..
Since he is 25, doesn't the CBA state that we can only sign him for one year on his ELC?

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07-18-2011, 03:11 PM
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I also have high hopes for him. I really like that we're getting a sort of Swiss-friendly reputation. Detroit has been, for the last decade or so, a great place for Swedes to play, and that has helped them a lot, so having a pro-swiss team can only be good news from us.

I'll admit, I never really saw Switzerland as a hockey country until I started watching them internationally. Without star power they were still able to content against the top teams, and they play a smart defensive game.

Anyway, it would be nice to have the support of a whole country with this team, then maybe in the future the habs could start the season in Switzerland like other teams have done in other countries the past couple seasons.

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07-18-2011, 03:16 PM
  #21
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And now we will have puck-moving abilities on all D pairs.

Quote:
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I also have high hopes for him. I really like that we're getting a sort of Swiss-friendly reputation. Detroit has been, for the last decade or so, a great place for Swedes to play, and that has helped them a lot, so having a pro-swiss team can only be good news from us.

I'll admit, I never really saw Switzerland as a hockey country until I started watching them internationally. Without star power they were still able to content against the top teams, and they play a smart defensive game.

Anyway, it would be nice to have the support of a whole country with this team, then maybe in the future the habs could start the season in Switzerland like other teams have done in other countries the past couple seasons.
Against one of the Ducks or the Islanders... teams with Swiss players.

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07-18-2011, 03:16 PM
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For what it's worth, I think El Nino is going to be the best
player out of Switzerland.

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07-18-2011, 03:35 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
There was an article after Diaz was signed by Marc de Foy which highlighted that many people in Switzerland believe that he will be the best Swiss player ever. Looking at this guys game, whats not to love? I think by the end of the year everyone will be kicking themselves that they did not sign him. Its just unfortunate that we only signed him for one year. Diaz clearly believes he will have success this year and wants to see if he can get a higher salary. Supposedly Anaheim, NYR, Chicago among other wanted him, but he signed here because of our history with Swiss players. So awesome that because of Streit and Weber we are a desired place to play for Swiss players. I believe that for the first third of the year he will have decent stats but nothing other worldy because he will be adjusting, but afterwards, who knows he could end up playing his way onto our second powerplay unit..
My recollection is that Diaz' agent made that remark.

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07-18-2011, 03:39 PM
  #24
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My recollection is that Diaz' agent made that remark.
Him or his mother, I can't remember

She also said he was a good boy with good manners.

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07-18-2011, 03:41 PM
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I'd love to see an exhibition game, Habs-Islanders, in Switzerland ! We should send the NHL a memo.

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