June 26 2012 02:43PM
If there's one player that people will trot out to pledge allegiance to Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward and his work with reclamation projects, it's probably Akim Aliu. While the stories regarding Ryan Howse's weight gain (and loss) are fine and dandy, it's with Aliu that Ward delivered some startling results and delivered a habitually under-achieving player to the NHL.
Well, sort of.
June 26 2012 11:05AM
With the draft in the rearview mirror, the fun and horror of the 2012 free agent season awaits. Starting this upcoming Sunday, GM's will fight with each to other to make their teams better (or, in may cases, make terrible errors they will spend the next few years trying to undo).
June 25 2012 04:44PM
In no particular order, here are some thoughts left over from my trip to the draft this weekend.
- A lot is being made about what Feaster and company said about Jankowski after the pick ("best player in this draft in 10 years" etc). It was clear watching the decision makers at the draft that they both believed in the pick, but also knew they were reaching and therefore would need to sell the move pretty hard. Thus the superlatives and hyperbole.
June 25 2012 12:19PM
The single biggest issue with the Mark Jankowsi selection by the Calgary Flames is the challenge of correctly putting his performance at Stanstead college in proper context. Both qualitatively and quantitatively: when viewing a player, his abilities are naturally gauged against those he is competing against - there are many all-star AHLers who are entirely ordinary in the NHL. Many high scoring juniors don't make it as professionals in the AHL, etc. In short, the lesser the league, the easier it is to look like a star.
June 25 2012 11:54AM
It's been a long wait, but the Flames finally announced today they have qualified six players: Mikael Backlund, Leland Irving, Paul Byron, Akim Aliu and Blair Jones. The only player of interest who wasn't qualified was Blake Comeau, which wasn't a suprise given his lackluster output and a contract last year was $2.5M.