2009 Archives http://www.jibblescribbits.com/table/2009-articles-blogspot/july/ Wed, 24 May 2017 09:50:49 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Profilile: Ryan "Snook" O'Reilly http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/profilile-ryan-snook-oreilly.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/profilile-ryan-snook-oreilly.html I was doing some research for what I do best, which is argue on the internet, on Ryan O'Reilly, the Avs 2nd round draft choice. I came across quite a few stories about O'Reilly, and since nearly all Avs fans have heard a lot about Matt Duchene, I thought it might be a good idea to take an in-depth look at the Avs second round pick, and his path to the NHL. So here's the links to the interesting stories I found.

The first is a profile from Sept 2008 by Patrick King of Sportsnet.CA, (via Matchsticks and Gasoline) which explains Ryan O'Reilly's nickname, "Snook".
"I think he heard it a lot when he was younger; he has Irish background. It's some sort of Irish word for a mischievous kid."
(Personally when I think of "Snook"I think of Olive Snook (right), and that makes me happy on multiple levels. R.I.P. Pushing Daisies!)

King's profile is probably my favorite, because it features quotes like this one from Erie Otters coach Robbie Ftorek:
"He pushes himself too much sometimes but it's all for good reasoning," Ftorek said. "One of my hardest things with him is to get him to relax a little bit and to realize it takes 20 people to win and also 20 people to lose.
And this one:
"He takes things quite hard. He's very driven and he doesn't like to lose."
And this one from teammate Shane Owen:
"I've never seen someone so dedicated to the sport before," Owen said. "He does everything he can just to make himself better."
The Avs really need someone like that, and with both Duchene and O'Reilly they have it.

The next profile I found was an interview he did with hockey's future in February. There's not a lot of scouting in it, but it's a normal interview of an 18 year old, which is to say not very in-depth. But it's interesting enough to take a gander at.

On June 4th the OHL Prospect Blog did a little write-up about the top-20 OHL prospects, and "Snook" O'Reilly ranked #9.
There is little O’Reilly is not able or at least willing to do on the ice. He can score, hit, play defence, win faceoffs, kill penalties and in general play in almost any situation. At the next level, I do not see big offensive potential, but would be surprised if he does not make the NHL in some capacity. The limiting factor with O’Reilly is his skating. Not only is he not that quick, but his stride is technically weak, leaving him without much room to improve his power, acceleration, balance or agility.
So the Avs drafted a player with all the skills, but lacking in the skating department. Hey that sounds familiar. In fact here's what Inside College Hockey said about one of the Avs recent 2nd round draft picks in their draft review:
“He’s a very smart player and he’s solid physically. He sees the ice so well, and that’s what jumps out at you when you watch him. He’s always in the right place and reads the play so well that he’s able to drop back defensively if needed. His skating needs to improve, but that’s not going to prevent him from playing at a higher level.”
Sound familiar?... That's their take on a certain Paul Stastny in 2005.

Matchsticks and Gasoline, a very good Calgary Flames blog, had a scouting report before the draft this season as well:
O'Reilly played for a lousy Eerie Otters last year and his results were "good" but not great. He managed a second best 66 points on the back of a team high 50 assists. His +1 rating wasn't significantly out of line with the team average, although there were much better (+24) and much worse (-21) players on the club by this metric.
The Nashville Predators website also had this nice blurb on him (at the very bottom):
Ryan’s very reliable defensively, almost to a fault, almost to a point where his statistics belie his skills. If he was almost more selfish, more of a go-get-it offensive player – and he has that type of raw talent – I think he’d be putting up bigger numbers and we scouts tend to fall in love with goals and assists and use them as a crutch when justifying our rankings. Well with Ryan O’Reilly, he’s an all-around good player, who the more you watch him, the more you appreciate how much he contributes in all facets of the game – faceoff, penalty killing, defensive play, the ability to check the John Tavares’s of the league in a match-up role.
Why do the Preds have a blurb on Ryan O'Reilly, because his older brother Cal is a member of their system. What matters is that I really like what the Preds scouts had to say about him, because that's exactly the type of player the Avs need.

You can also take a look at the "hometown"-boy-does-good" article from The Huron Expositor.

NHL.com did a 5 questions with Ryan O'Reilly:
Finally, if you are of the Hockey jersey collecting variety you can get yourself a customized Ryan O'Reilly Lake Erie Otters customized sweater. Stick with their 3rd's because their normal ones are hideous.

In fact that's probably also an advantage for O'Reilly, he's probably so used to playing in a atrocious sweater (left, if you dare look directly at it) that the transition to the unipron shouldn't affect him at all.

All-in-all I like what I hear about O'Reilly more and more every day. The only knock anyone had on him was his skating (which was echoed by the doctor on his development camp report). I'm not too worried about the poor skating, because the Avs actually have a pretty good history at working with shaky skaters (like Stastny and Chris Stewart). I look at O'Reilly being the Avs version of Jordan Staal, a talented hard-working 3rd line center who has the skills to penalty kill, contribute offensively, and win face-offs.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:57:00 +0000
Retirement http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/retirement.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/retirement.html something to talk about, even if all everyone said was god I wish he's just make up his mind already. Right now... I gots nothing.

So here's the deal: Anyone with creativity and photoshop that wants to do some concept art for the Avs 3rd uni is more than welcome, and I'll post it here.

Also if you're really bored Cycle Like Sedins is holding a league-wide re-drafting where bloggers for each various team is re-drafting the league. I am representing the Avs, and we (Me and Avs fans) drew the absolute last pick in the entire draft... which puts a slight damper on things. After I finally get to pick I'll go through my thought process (I don't want to give away any secrets until then). The best part will be making fun of people for bad picks... So let's start that off. Go make fun of Scotty Hockey(NYR) for taking Mikka Kiprsoff at pick #20.

If you're looking for anything ro read, even if it's non-hockey, I recommend heading over to ESPN.com and checking out the archives of page 2's LZ Granderson. For my money he's the best sports columnist in the country today outside of Dan Wetzel at Yahoo, and he has a really unique point of view since he could classify as a minority 3 different ways; Racially (Black), Sexually (Gay), and Mentally Disabled (Raised in Detroit).

Anyways, back to monotony.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Mon, 27 Jul 2009 13:49:00 +0000
Final Parshin Update http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/final-parshin-update.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/final-parshin-update.html Supreme Prime Ministerfor life Vladimir Putin. A giant fan that's advocating the KHL expansion into Eastern Europe and Scandanavia.

Maybe I'm being a bit cynical. It's not like Vladimir Putin runs a pseudo-dictatorship where dissenters and government officials who oppose him are brutally assassinated or blackballed from running against Putin backed politicians. I mean really there's no substantial reason to fear opposing Vladimir Putin's wishes.

So really there was no need for me to think that Dennis Parshin coming to America was a longshot.

Oh wait.. Dmitry Chesnokov has reported on his Twitter account that, in the most shocking turn of events since the world learned that the CIA keeps secrets, the Russian Courts denied Dennis Parshin's request to become an unrestricted free agent.

Dennis Parshin is appealing the decision and has decided he'd rather sit out an entire season, thus becoming a free agent, rather than play in the KHL.

I think this is actually pretty significant, and will write-up some broad-picture thoughts later this evening.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Tue, 21 Jul 2009 14:55:00 +0000
Good Deals still avaialable http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/good-deals-still-avaialable.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/good-deals-still-avaialable.html this post brought to you by jibblescribbits

Note to Avs management:

With the retirement of Joe Sakic, the Avs are still quite soft up the middle. Stastny's solid, Duchene is going to be good, but are we really ready to give up on Wojtek Wolski and make him a 3rd line center?

Dominik Moore and Manny Malhotra are still available, and they can both win face-offs, are both relatively young, and probably will be fairly cheap for now.

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

And on that note, that's all I got for now. It's late July, there's really not much going on, and my attention has been diverted squarely onto buying a new house. I could always pull out the old standby, and bash ± as an utterly ridiculous statistic, but my heart's not in it at the moment.

Anyways I think the doctor has something cooking, in the meantime enjoy a summer day.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Mon, 20 Jul 2009 13:42:00 +0000
The Precarious Parshin Predicament http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/the-precarious-parshin-predicament.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/the-precarious-parshin-predicament.html So Adrian Dater is now reporting that an Avs informant told him Dennis Parshin would not be coming to the Avs this year. Normally I would be able to take that at face value and move on. AD is a good reporter and is usually right about this kind of thing, you know the kind of situation where you have to do some actual reporting and talk to sources and not just baselessly speculate based on circumstantial evidence and all that good stuff.


In this particular situation, however, I’m not sure everything is cleared up, so I’m going to do what good bloggers do and baselessly speculate even though I haven’t talked to anyone who could be considered a “credible source”, unless you count my imagination. If you do consider my imagination a credible source, then I would strongly consider putting $100 on Jibblescribbits to win the Conn Smythe next season as playoff MVP in the Avs ’09-’10 Cup win. The 3 SC Finals hat tricks I have will put me in contention, but what will put me over the top is my work in concurrently thwarting a KHL/former KGB plot to sabotage the NHL finals while also rescuing an eternally grateful Scarlett Johansson from certain peril.


I’m digressing, which is what happens when I let my credible source run amok, but I am still am perplexed. It seems to me that the issue here is whether a Russian court will allow Parshin the ability to buyout his own contract and make himself an unrestricted free agent.


And with that being the case it seems like the Avs would be as in the dark about Parshin’s status for the NHL next season as the common fan, unless Pierre Lacroix is a former KGB/CIA/ Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agent with contacts inside the Russian judicial system. (Considering the way Pierre handles himself and his business this seems well within the realm of possibilities. In fact it would explain a hell of a whole lot).


Now it’s possible the Avs don’t think he’s ready, and would tell him he’d be in the AHL if he came to NA. Maybe they don’t want him. Maybe they aren’t going to sign him even if he wins his UFA status because they don’t want to further antagonize the KHL. Maybe he made googly eyes at PL’s wife. The Avs may have their own legitimate reasons for being certain Parshin won’t be in Burgundy and Frostbite blue next season.


I would have sent an e-mail to Dater asking for clarification but: I needed a topic to write about today and he may have cleared this up to the point where I wouldn’t be able to speculate about it. More relevantly I had a family function and didn’t get the opportunity to e-mail him, so I will tonight, and then post after he answers. (See how I can squeeze an extra post out of something that’s only marginally interesting. That’s why I consider myself a talented blogger folks. If you e-mail me I can share my tricks for getting 3 posts out of a topic that isn’t all that interesting to begin with).


Anyways I’ve always viewed Parshin playing in a Unipron next season a long-shot, and that still seem to be the case.

]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:44:00 +0000
The grades intro post and NHL re-draft notes http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/the-grades-intro-post-and-nhl-re-draft-notes.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/the-grades-intro-post-and-nhl-re-draft-notes.html
Let me preface this with yet another homage to David Driscoll-Carignan and his grades. I found them on a whim when I decided to look for some good online Avalanche commentary, and I was hooked. "Who has time for this?" was my first thought, followed closely by, "Wow, this is insightful." I honestly hadn't ever really thought about trying to evaluate players individually beyond anything but simple stats, and it really spurred me to become an involved hockey fan.

So a big thanks to David from me. And my wife hates you, btw.

As I've watched his grades and educated myself more, I've noticed that my own grades of players didn't always match David's. That's not to say either of us are wrong, we just have different criteria. So this is my first try at a more formal criteria for judging players.

I want to do it specifically versus their role, and versus their cost. Is Ryan Smyth a better player than Cody McLeod? I think we'd all agree on Smyth. But what if I asked which one had the better season for the team -- McLeod or Smyth? For me, that's not such an easy determination to make. McLeod only scored 15 goals to Smyth's 26, but McLeod did it with far less ice time and playing with inferior linemates, and for far, far less cap hit. To me, that says that McLeod had the better year.

That's basically the crux of how I look at grading hockey players -- how did they do a) in their role and b) versus what they're paid. DDC does players more abstractly, just in terms of absolute contribution, and that's of course valid and interesting, but I think looking at how our guys performed in their roles may give us a unique perspective on why exactly we sucked as a team last year.

One final thing on grades: I'll keep the same grading system (A, B+, F, etc), centered around C+. C+ is perfectly average in my opinion, and handily enough perfectly in the center of the scale of letter grades.

NHL Re-draft

If you haven't heard or noticed, Cycle like the Sedins is running a NHL re-draft during these dark offseason times and has apparently asked Jibble to be the Avalanche rep. Of course, this blog being associated with the Avs, we had rotten luck and got dead last in the draft lottery. Super.

Jibble did the first 2 picks, selected Mike Ribiero and Simon Gagne, and then promptly left me in charge for this week. I'll be honest, I hadn't paid much attention to this whole exercise until I was put in the GM slot. Now, I'm pretty engaged.

So with my 2 picks (again nearly back to back, as Jibble's were) I selected Carey Price and Victor Hedman. Both are young bonafide #1s at their respective positions, and come fairly cheap against the cap for this next year too, something we have to keep in mind. The team we're building still needs another top 6 center, but I'm pretty happy with these 4 cornerstones. I would have taken Stastny and Price, as much as I like having Hedman as a foundational piece, but he went the pick before ours. Thanks, Montreal GM. :(

But what say you? Do you like my picks? How about Jibble's? I encourage you to go check out the draft at Cycle like the Sedins -- tell me and Jibble who you'd have rather taken. Am I way off on my grading system? Tell me now, before I actually start doing the grades! Sound off in the comments, and I promise I'll respond. :)]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Wed, 15 Jul 2009 20:42:00 +0000
(updated.. for real!) Dennis Parshin maybe, possibly could come to the Avs. http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/updated-for-real-dennis-parshin-maybe-possibly-could-come-to-the-avs.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/updated-for-real-dennis-parshin-maybe-possibly-could-come-to-the-avs.html
Dennis Parshin, the Russian Prospect and Avalanche 3rd round prospect from 2004, has declined to sign his Russian RFA contract and is trying to compensate his Russian club in order to become a Russian UFA, via Dimitry Chesnokov's twitter. (Mr. Chesnokov, for those who don't know, is Puck Daddy's Russian Correspondent and Guru. He does some really awesome work over there, crowned by his interviews with Russian NHLers. )

If he succeeds this would make him eligible to sign with the Avs, who I believe still have his rights.

More as it develops (although I suggest just following Mr. Chesnokov's twitter, which is what I'm doing.)

Non-update update: Still waiting on the word.

Update: Tweet'd by Mr. Chesnokov:
The court in Russia postponed the announcement of the ruling re Parshin and Shirokov until a later date. No one knows when that will be
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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:37:00 +0000
Dev Camp Pics http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/dev-camp-pics.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/dev-camp-pics.html
Duchene Shooting -- The Avs 2008-09 defense guarding him




Ryan Stoa tipping the puck on wide on Trevor Cann (I think). I don't remember if Stoa made the shot or not, but I'm sure the next photo is Cann looking behind him (if it is him).


Avs fans may not recognize this, it's a Defenseman shooting from the point. (Shattenkirk)


Damnit Ensign Shattenkirk, I'm a hockey stick, not an archer's bow. (Seriously look at that bend, that's a wrist shot folks! From a defenseman. I think I just pee'd my pants a little.)

O'Reilly trying to force a rebound in on Cann (again, I think it's Cann)



I don't remember who #74 was... Tyson Barrie but he's Kelsey Tessier shooting, so that's something the Avs need.




O'Reilly is the future Avs 3rd line center. He was solid on faceoffs, and here he is with his second shot of the blog post. 2 shots, That's what the previous Avs 3rd line center would call "A full work week"



Duchene... he's so dreamy! (I think the goalie is Maxwell, who I think actually deflected Duchene's shot wide. )

Edit: Eternal thanks to Jori, who has the dev camp roster numbers and allowed me to lookup Barrie's Tessier's name (very poorly apparently!).

I also regret not being able to get a decent picture of #71 Cedric McNicholl, because his skill was the biggest surprise to me of camp.
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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Mon, 13 Jul 2009 04:13:00 +0000
Development Camp '09 Report http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/development-camp-09-report.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/development-camp-09-report.html Avs fans with the Smyth trade and Sakic's retirement, so I'm more than glad to kind of turn the page a little bit with a report on the future of the franchise. We could use some good news, and I'm here to tell you it looks good. Let me preface this little report with a couple things about me: I don't play hockey, never have, and I am very far from a scout. Don't take what I say as hockey gospel. That said, I do watch a lot of hockey and I'm pretty analytical, so hopefully those things will help.

I did not remember my camera, but Jibble did, so I expect him to edit this post with his thoughts and some pictures.

General thoughts

The very first thing that was apparent when you walked in was the increased talent level on the ice. Last year, a very large percentage of the drills and such ended in failure -- missed passes, fanned shots, etc. Many players looked slow and unready. Not this year. Passes were by and large crisp, skating was faster, and everyone was simply better overall. It was pretty stunning and encouraging.

The turnout was surprising -- I was there on Saturdays the last 2 years, and there were maybe 20 people there between the 2 practice rinks at the most. This year, there had to be 3 or 4 times that just watching the one rink of players -- on a work day! Everyone was there to see Duchene, for sure.

Sacco, Lefebvre, and Kono ran things pretty close to the other times I've gone. Sacco was way more vocal than Granato though, and Kono had some fun with the players too, something I'd never seen from past regimes. He unexpectedly jumped in and cleaned up some rebounds in some drills and teased the goalies after with some big celebrations.

I was really, really bummed not to see Justin Mercier there. Last year him and Hensick really jumped out at you in terms of skills and speed, and I wouldn't have loved to have seen either of them compared to this field. It's also a bit concerning for Mercier not to be there for other reasons, with his negotiations apparently being difficult.

EDIT: Mercier has signed, as has Cumiskey. Whew! :)

Duchene

I'll be honest, I didn't watch everyone else combined as much as I watched Matt Duchene, our top pick in this year's draft. In short, he appeared to be everything I hoped for and more. He was better than all the other prospects without a doubt. His skating was faster than just about everyone, and he performed every drill at the fastest pace he could. His burst of acceleration was amazing in and of itself. His puckhandling was without par, and probably is only matched on the big club by Hejduk and Wolski. His shot was sudden, faster than anyone else's, and accurate.

I'm struggling a bit with how to communicate this, but I'll try -- the more you saw him in game style drills, the better he seemed. As good as his skills were individually, everything flowed together even better. Perfect passes to high speed carries and receipts of the passes fluidly into hard and fast shots. Best of all, he was very clearly having fun every second he was on the ice and yet still was upset every small failure he had. He reminded me of Deader's on-ice personality -- always grinning, always loving everything, and always working hard.

He's a showman for sure, he was always making sure to draw oohs and aahs from the crowd with his puck tricks while he wasn't drilling. He had one he flipped from multiple in-air hits, to his back, to his helmet, back to his stick that was really amazing. Jibble missed it with the camera. :(

It wasn't all roses -- he struggled quite a bit on a drill where players had to come out of a corner and attempt to beat a goalie. He didn't seem nearly as comfortable with the angles and moves from there as other angles of attack. In the faceoff drills, he didn't look too great. He was muscled around by the coaches, and Tessier (his primary combatant) won more often than him.

Those are nitpicks though. If he made the team tomorrow, he'd be the most explosive and talented player on it without a doubt. He'll of course need to grow his game and adjust to the speed of the NHL game, but I just can't see how you could hold him back on the basis of talent now. As my wife said, "he's just got it. I don't know what else to say."

EDIT: This is a great video from the day I was there, though I though it missed some of the longer drills later in the day that I really based the glowing reviews on. It did catch his insane goal of the day, it's the last highlight:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-V82AUiQMc&hl=en&fs=1&]

Forwards

Cedric McNicoll, the undrafted free agent center we signed from QMJHL last year, actually was the biggest surprise of the forwards to me -- he's good! Great shot, great on-puck skills, fast -- sniper. But, not a good passer at all and he's pretty small. I looked him up for his height and it says 5'11"...yeah, my ass. He looked slightly bigger than Tessier. I'm still very curious what he does for Lake Erie next year. If he has or adds a complete game to go with the skills I saw, who knows what might happen?

Ryan Stoa, the LW from Minnesota taken before Stastny, was easily the biggest guy there. I'd seen him play a few times on TV, and was pleasantly surprised to see his skating in person -- it's quite good, especially for such a big dude. He looked very comfortable taking faceoffs, and had a number of nice backhand shots. He does lack finishing ability and really high level skills with the puck, as opposed to Chris Stewart. It's all about if he continues to grow his offensive skills -- if so, I'd guess he slots as a nice 2nd line LW eventually. If not, he's probably a good 3rd liner still. Sort of like Jones that way, if that makes sense, though Jones is faster and has better puck skills at this point. It would be nice if he could spend a year in Lake Erie before coming up.

Ryan O'Reilly, the C taken with the 33rd pick this year, is quite an interesting player. On one hand, he's got a really nice shot, and seemed very natural and skilled with the puck. On the other hand, his skating is subpar to a pretty large degree. I'd say it's much better than Stewart's the first time I saw him though, and the comparison to the other forwards, all brilliant skaters, was pretty unflattering too. The Avs have had a lot of success with players knocked for their skating (Stastny and Stewart jump to mind). I think they need to treat this guy the same way as Stewart -- a little longer curve before making the jump, lots of work on his skating. I think they've got another gem here though, a really solid and skilled 3rd line center in a couple years. He is an absolute wizard at faceoffs, he was well over 75% in the drills against all opponents and won 7 in a row on Stoa, the next best guy, at one point.

Kelsey Tessier, Patrick Roy's top line center in the QMJHL taken by us a year ago in the 4th round, has superb skills. He drew nearly as many oohs and aahs as Duchene, to be honest. He's still tiny though (5'9"...yeah, my ass), so it's hard to project where he'll top out. You've gotta love his motor though, he just never quits and always went hard. Him and Duchene had some good moments competing, including one where they locked up on a faceoff and they finally just started wrestling (Duchene ended up on top with Tessier in a headlock).

Defensemen

I didn't spend as much time watching these guys, preferring to focus on Duchene and the forwards. It's also harder to really get a feel for them outside of games, in my opinion. I did catch some impressions though, so I'll relate what I remember.

Kevin Shattenkirk, the first rounder of the Avs in 2007, is of course the class of camp defense-wise. Other defensemen would settle the puck on drills before shooting, he always went for one-timers. Great hands, smooth skater, accurate and moderately hard shot. He showed some really nice dekes in the offensive drills (and I'd forgotten he's a right hander too, boy do we need that). Stud.

( Jibbles ed note: I think the only thing I can contribute to this entire report that doc didn't cover better than I would is that Shattenkirk is a tremendous passer. I didn't see one pass he made all day that wasn't right on the stick of the guy he was passing to. My favorite drill today ended up where he was behind the net and passed to Duchene for a shot. I was transfixed by the 1-2 punch coming in the near future.)

Joel Chouinard, well, I think I see what the Avs' scouts saw last year when they took him out of the blue in the 6th round last year. Very hard slapper, good size, decent skater. He consistently beat the goalies in offensive drills, and handled the defensive drills quite well. He really caught my attention repeatedly. I'll be keeping an eye on him.

Cameron Gaunce
, our first 2nd rounder last year, I didn't see much of, sadly. He's bigger than I remembered, and was solid in every drill. I think he's going to make the team with Shattenkirk next year, just from what I read.

Didn't catch my eye much...
Tyson Barrie, our 3rd round pick this year. Good shot, and a good skater. Pretty small and fumbled the puck a couple times though.
Stefan Elliot, our second 2nd rounder this year. Decent size, but probably on a longer course of development.
Kevin Montgomery, probably a pretty long shot for the NHL. Could be a good pure defender though, hard to say based on drills.

Goalies

I felt bad for these guys, there was no real coaching for them at all, especially compared to last year with Hackett. They just got pucks fired at them repeatedly.

Trevor Cann, our 2nd rounder in 2005, has improved again. He was definitely the best goalie at camp, and I'm almost starting to wonder if he's got a legit shot at the NHL. He flat robbed Stoa a couple times, and Duchene too. I love the lightning bolt pads still.

Peter Delmas, our second 2nd rounder last year, reeeaaaally struggled today. He let in a lot of stoppable shots. I'm not going to say he's a bust by any means, but he's got a lot of work to do and I think it's mostly mental. I saw none of the quickness I saw last year in drills, he was really fighting the puck and always looking behind himself after shots.

Brandon Maxwell, our 6th rounder this year, looked good. He outplayed Delmas by quite a bit at the end I was at. Made a flashy glove save on Duchene to applause from the crowd at one point, and never gave up on a play. Definitely some promise here.

I didn't see Kent Patterson, somehow. But he's never impressed me in the past.

That's it folks! Please, ask me ANY questions you might have in the comments and I will reply as best I can -- I really want to help out the fans that aren't as lucky as I to attend.

- thedoctor]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Fri, 10 Jul 2009 19:19:00 +0000
Godspeed, Super Joe http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/godspeed-super-joe.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2009-articles-blogspot/july/godspeed-super-joe.html This post brought to you by Jibblescribbits

In 1995 a hockey team came out to one of the epicenters of the old frontier. There are two types of heroes that are typical of stories told in frontier towns. One western hero is the the brash, cocky son-of-a-bitch who takes on the establishment and all that get in his/her way, like Billy the Kid or Molly Brown (the Avs would fill this hero role later with Patrick Roy). Then there's the noble lawman, the Teddy Rooseveltian hero who speaks softly and carries a big stick. No one speaks more softly than Joe Sakic, and no one carried a bigger stick.

And that was Joe Sakic. He let his stick do the talking. And the damn thing never shut up. His wrist shot is now the measuring stick for a generation, my generation, the way our fathers compare every offensive defenseman to Bobby Orr, or every tough guy scorer to Gordie Howe. Every young sniper with a wrist shot is going to be "The next Joe Sakic", except none of them ever will be. His 18 goals in the '96 playoffs is one of the truly legendary performances of all time, in any sport.

Only talking about the wrist shot is almost insulting, because he was so much more than that. He was a superb 2-way center, who never got nearly enough credit for his defensive adeptness. He was a great teammate who could pass nearly as well as he could shoot. His steady hand guided the Avs to multiple Cups and a plethora of successful seasons. And he was the classiest athlete I have ever seen.

In the same way a calm breeze can transform a fire into an inferno, Joe Sakic's steady, classy excellence amplified the Avs-Red Wings clash and kept it a rivalry. Fans of Les Ailes de Rouge could easily dismiss and hate Roy because of his brash ego, or Forsberg because of his occasional dive, but they could do nothing but envy Joe Sakic. They envy'd his class, his greatness, and they hated him because they never got to enjoy all that greatness, but just be burned by it. He never gave Les Ailes fans a reason to hate him, and they hated him for it. And they hated him even more because he made them envious of Avs fans, something that was infuriating. Avs fans had the privilege of experiencing the joy from Joe Sakic's hockey, whereas his greatness only caused them disappointment and frustration. And this joy that we Avs fans felt was salt in the wound to Les Ailes fans whenever we won. That envy, that helplessness of trying, and failing, to hate the person causing you so much pain is what drove the greatest rivalry in sports for years (And I'll admit it went the other way with Steve Yzerman). Without that envy the rivalry would have fizzled out long before it did. But Sakic (and his counterpart #19) kept that rivalry alive with the envy of opposing fans.

Now it's time to say goodbye and every time I try I search my memory for one of the countless joyous memories Joe Sakic has created in my life, I'm hit with the melancholy realization that there will be no more Sakic themed happy memories to file into my brain. That's why saying goodbye is so hard, that no matter how much I try to celebrate the career, no matter how much I smile, laugh and get excited at all the magic Joe Sakic created, I know it will never be anything more than a memory from now on, and that makes me sad. Every good memory I have just reminds me that he will create no more.

So with that melancholy sobering epiphany that Joe Sakic will no longer be a part of my hockey-loving life I think this quote from the musical Annie sums it up the best:
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Goodbye Joe Sakic, I will miss you.

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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Tue, 07 Jul 2009 23:03:00 +0000