FARM WORKERS UPDATE

An article linked to this afternoon in the comments section has me thinking again about the role of an AHL team in today’s NHL. The article is here, and the conclusion is the following:

  • Clarence Paller, for PHPA.com: The AHL is a critical factor for an NHL team’s success. More young players are stepping into key roles with NHL teams and are being heavily relied on. This is made possible by the development model of the AHL. It is no surprise that the Canucks are full of Utica Comets players from last season’s Calder Cup final run team and this season the Maple Leafs heavily relying on players from the Toronto Marlies, who are also poised to make a deep playoff run. Ultimately, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks are re-structuring around young talents and this season offers us a glimpse of an exciting future to come. Source

Is this true? Are the Leafs and Canucks re-structuring around young talents who have spent time in the AHL? At first blush, I think the answer is probably not, unless the Maple Leafs and Canucks plan on having Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Brendan Gaunce, Jordan Subban and Andrey Pedan as stepping into key roles. It depends on your definition of key roles, but for me the idea of finding useful support players in the AHL—while key players are established veterans, high draft picks or free-agent additions—seems to be the modern template. Even with the cap being an issue, NHL teams usually fast track their impact prospects to the NHL. Let’s have a quick look at my Farm Workers list from the offseason to see what we can see.

  1. Men who are over 30 and come out of the minors to establish (0r re-establish) themselves are pretty much a thing of the past. No one 30 or older has been called up to the NHL by the Edmonton Oilers this season.
  2. Pretty much everyone who is in the AHL past (say) 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering (this is universal from 1965 through 2016). It remains so, as is shown by the meandering journey of Anton Slepyshev, Jujhar Khaira and the less famous players in this age group. Darnell Nurse is gone to the NHL, while Slepyshev is pushing from Bakersfield and Bogdan Yakimov is chasing from the KHL.
  3. We shouldn’t expect Rob Schremp to play more career games than Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano. The idea here is that if a young player sidesteps the AHL, a young player—even a high pick, highly touted—will never catch them. The current count has Cogliano at 744, Gagner at 651 and Schremp at 114. This isn’t meant to pick on Schremp, only to reflect that even first-round selections who spend time in the AHL do not have the same bell curve as the guys who skip the minors.
  4. No minor league regular is likely to do anything incredible like play in 1,000 NHL games. Martin Marincin is at 166 NHL and 127 AHL games, but he would have to have a helluva run to make it to 1,000 NHL games. Oscar Klefbom might play 1,000 NHL games (he is at 147 now) but spent only 57 games in the AHL. The bell curve makes its decision early, seems to me.
  5. If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in trouble. Several Leafs cleared the hurdle, Connor Brown made it, Connor Carrick, maybe Fred Gauthier will too. I don’t know Brendan Gaunce’s progression well, but he doesn’t appear to be a top level prospect at this time. Among Oilers, Slepyshev, Khaira and Griffin Reinhart are there, maybe Nick Ellis joins the band at some point too. Lots of kids are 22 in all three organizations and are not strong NHL prospects at this time.
  6. Exceptions are college men. This is an area I think Mr. Paller may have mined a little more, this does seem to be a portion of the cupboard NHL general managers are using now. Troy Stecher in Vancouver, Matt Benning in Edmonton are two examples—although neither man was really an AHL player for any length of time.
  7. A large group of players on the current team could be described in the “tweener” division. This is an interesting spot, and on area Mr. Paller may have a point. Oilers fans have seen Brandon Davidson and Tyler Pitlick emerge from the tweener division and find some traction on the NHL roster over the last two seasons. Is this a reflection of his point? Do we consider Davidson and Pitlick potential key players? Hmm. Maybe a window there.
  8. If we make a list of the minor league RFA’s each summer, we can probably as a group pick the cuts and be fairly close. This remains true, although not especially important to our conversation. You could say that Davidson and Pitlick were signed beyond their entry-level deals due to the importance of the tweener division in the new cap world. Is that a workable theory?
  9. Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera became productive players in the toughest league on the planet. THEY are the stars in this study. Always. Brandon Davidson, Tyler Pitlick, Sven Baertschi, Connor Brown these are (honestly) the success stories of the AHL. How many of these play key roles? That is what Mr. Paller is suggesting, I don’t know my answer yet.
  10. For Rob Schremp fans, there’s exactly ONE pure offensive player who made it: Mike Walton. I am still waiting.
  11. The future NHLERS are……. I chose four men (Slepy, Reinhart, Oesterle, Khaira) in the last Farm Workers edition, and have chosen Tyler Pitlick in the past. It is a crapshoot, bunch of men in the window of opportunity, with luck and need and goodness knows all in there pitching for a chance.

I think Mr. Paller does bring up some good points, and it is certainly true NHL teams need AHL players in complementary roles. I am likely parsing here, but for me the phrase more young players are stepping into key roles with NHL teams and are being heavily relied on from his article is something I cannot agree with at this time.

I think NHL teams look for handy replacements to secondary problems from their AHL group, and hope the player grows into a larger role. If said player is found wanting, the replacement player may come from a waiver claim or possibly a minor deal. Words like key and phrases like heavily relied on seem—to me, anyway—imply these AHL hopefuls are heading for major roles on their respective NHL teams. I think that may be aiming higher than reasonable. Thoughts?

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56 Responses to "FARM WORKERS UPDATE"

  1. oscarmike says:

    Yes

  2. VOR says:

    LT,

    I don’t mean to be a smart ass but how about Correy Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Logan Couture, Duncan Keith, Ryan Suter, and Jonathan Quick. The AHL does occasionally cough up a good player.

  3. Stanley 2018 says:

    Pitlick is a tough example for this. Pitlick gets injured every year. If he had been fully healthy from day one, tough to imagine him spending extended time in the AHL, especially in an organization desperate for talent.
    With Defenseman and Goalies taking so much longer to develop, I wonder if Paller’s statement may be more accurate for these Positions? Easier to shelter Forwards in the NHL than them.
    The Red Wings system would be the ideal place to test his theory, their prospects spend forever riding the bus.

  4. Mustard Tiger says:

    VOR:
    LT,

    I don’t mean to be a smart ass but how about Correy Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Logan Couture, Duncan Keith, Ryan Suter, and Jonathan Quick. The AHL does occasionally cough up a good player.

    This is partly due to the 2005 lockout

  5. MrEd says:

    JJ-Lander-JP.
    An NHL line?
    I’d give it a kick.

  6. VOR says:

    Mustard Tiger,

    Not as much as you might think, Perry and Getzlaf played in the AHL in 2005-2006, after the lock out didn’t they? Quick, Couture, and Keith come from later years of AHL duty. Suter is certainly an example so let’s drop him and replace him with a defenceman who didn’t play in the AHL until 2005-2006, Shea Weber. Still a decent starting lineup.

  7. MrEd says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Leon
    Lucic-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-Letestu-Kassian
    JJ-Lander-JP

  8. MrEd says:

    RE the article: Does Slepyshev have the opportunity to mow Pouliots lawn?

  9. Lowetide says:

    VOR:
    Mustard Tiger,

    Not as much as you might think, Perry and Getzlaf played in the AHL in 2005-2006, after the lock out didn’t they? Quick, Couture, and Keith come from later years of AHL duty. Suter is certainly an example so let’s drop him and replace him with a defenceman who didn’t play in the AHL until 2005-2006, Shea Weber. Still a decent starting lineup.

    Weber, like Klefbom, spent a short period in the AHL before moving up to the NHL. I don’t think we can count that reasonably in the categories above. I don’t think anyone thought Weber was going to take a long time to make it, or that the AHL time was an important step in his development. He was developed.

  10. Lowetide says:

    MrEd:
    RE the article: Does Slepyshev have the opportunity to mow Pouliots lawn?

    I think he is a candidate to be called up when BP is dealt, yes.

  11. jonrmcleod says:

    Jonathan McLeod
    @jonrmcleod
    Nick Kypreos tonight: “Connor McDavid has slowed down a little bit. He does not have the legs or the jump that he had a month ago.”

    He hasn’t been getting as many points lately, but I haven’t seen McDavid himself slowing down.

  12. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Rantanen comes from a tiny town.
    He seems to be turning out just fine after being sent down with 9 games played in his 18 year old season.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Rantanen comes from a tiny town.
    He seems to be turning out just fine after being sent down with 9 games played in his 18 year old season.

    How was Ratanen’s proficiency in English?

    Was he done growing as well?

    These are important things.

  14. Woodguy says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Jonathan McLeod
    @jonrmcleod
    Nick Kypreos tonight: “Connor McDavid has slowed down a little bit. He does not have the legs or the jump that he had a month ago.”

    He hasn’t been getting as many points lately, but I haven’t seen McDavid himself slowing down.

    Nick Kypreos watches 22 games a year and comments on the results of 1000 games a year.

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    Agreed,
    I have no clue as to whether he was still growing and from what I understand his English needed work.
    But I don’t think being from a town of 5000 people played a large factor in the Avs decision.
    I’ll still hope for the best for JP. Somewhere in the Hossa/Lehtinen range would be just dandy.

  16. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Leafs trouncing the Devils. Oilers need to go for the jugular when they roll into the Meadowlands.

  17. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy: Nick Kypreos watches 22 games a year and comments on the results of 1000 games a year.

    60% of the time Kypreos is wrong 100% of the time.

  18. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    LT,

    I don’t mean to be a smart ass but how about Correy Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Logan Couture, Duncan Keith, Ryan Suter, and Jonathan Quick. The AHL does occasionally cough up a good player.

    The whole “Perry and Getzlaf played a year in the AHL during the lockout” is a false narrative.

    The lockout was for the 04-05 season:

    04/05
    Perry 60 OHL games, 0 AHL games.
    Getzlaf 51 WHL games, 10 AHL playoff games

    10 games for Getzlaf, 0 for Perry.

    Perry and Getzlaf played in the AHL in 2005-2006, after the lock out didn’t they?

    19 games for Perry
    17 for Geztlaf.

    Players who go down for less than 2 months then spend the rest of their career in the NHL are not who that piece was talking about.

    Suter – AHL during lock out only

    Keith – The Patron Saint of everyone who says someone who spends more than 100 games in the NHL can be a high end NHLer. If there were so many of these players you’d think that people would pick a player who’s last game in the AHL was more recent than 12 years ago.

    Also, never played a game in the AHL as a 22 year old.

    Couture – 58 total games in the AHL. 16 of those in the same season he played 67 OHL games. Graduated to the NHL when he was 20.

    Quick – 34 games in the AHL is not a long time for a goalie. You could have picked a better one here like Halak or Crawford, but goalies in the AHL are a totally different kettle of fish than forwards and even Dmen.

    Not to be a total dink, but all the examples you picked were not at all what that piece or LT were talking about.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: 60% of the time Kypreos is wrong 100% of the time.

    100% of the time, this comment nails it.

  20. norm_klassen says:

    Finding meaningful insight on sportsnet is like trying to hear a technical masterpiece on the pop radio channels .

  21. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    What are the numbers on the holy grail Red Wings that are notorious for over-marinating their prospects in the AHL?

  22. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy,

    Agreed,
    I have no clue as to whether he was still growing and from what I understand his English needed work.
    But I don’t think being from a town of 5000 people played a large factor in the Avs decision.
    I’ll still hope for the best for JP.Somewhere in the Hossa/Lehtinen range would be just dandy.

    From what I have read geography plays a big role in Finland on whether or not you are fluent in English as a child.

    Nousiainen, where Rantanen is from is in the South and not too far from Helskinki. Apparently many people have a good education in English and use it often growing up when close to Helsinki.

    While Puljujarvi was born in Sweden, from 4 years old and on he grew up in the North near Oulu where English wasn’t spoken often so kids do not get any fluency due to socialization.

    Not to this extreme, but its like expecting a kid from Montreal and a kid from St. Albert to both be equally fluent in French and English.

  23. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy,

    What are the numbers on the holy grail Red Wings that are notorious for over-marinating their prospects in the AHL?

    hockeydb.com

    Have at er!

  24. square_wheels says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Anywhere he lands close to those players would be awesome, the tools are all there.

    I’m still curious who his “billets” are, is it a vet or is he living with Fam ala Nail ?

    Klima’s_Bucket: 60% of the time Kypreos is wrong 100% of the time.

    Kypreos is punchy, he’s just a younger Cherry. The only good thing on Sportsnet is Carly Agro and Evanka.

  25. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    Quick check, most of the guys they over-marinate in the AHL are not what I’d call elite.
    Such as Tatar, Nyqvist, and Smith.
    The elite types like Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom types marinate in Europe.

  26. MrEd says:

    Woodguy,

    He’s a fool. Arden’t anti fan.

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    square_wheels: Kypreos is punchy, he’s just a younger Cherry. The only good thing on Sportsnet is Carly Agro and Evanka.

    Watching Sportsnet with Kypreos et al and then those two comes on reminds me of…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szkgylvDYA4

  28. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Oh good lord, that is the last thing the Oilers need. Like Vancouver on back to back’s ? or buffalo on a skid ?

    I’m not 100% past – “of fucking course they come out flat” expectations. 200 times bitten, still shy.

    If they play this new Tmac – “leave 100 ft of white ice and 10 seconds to make the breakout”, a vet team like NJ will sit back in their trap and sleep us into a 1-0 game.

    Last night continues to confirm Tmac is a very stubborn coach.

  29. Professor Q says:

    I do think the time Eberle spent in the AHL assisted in his success in the NHL, however. It helped him spend time to develop.

  30. Professor Q says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Jonathan McLeod
    @jonrmcleod
    Nick Kypreos tonight: “Connor McDavid has slowed down a little bit. He does not have the legs or the jump that he had a month ago.”

    He hasn’t been getting as many points lately, but I haven’t seen McDavid himself slowing down.

    I definitely have. Others have commented on it on this very blog, as well as others.

    Still has jump and still has speed, but he does have a more timid approach as of late. Does have moments of magic, though.

  31. square_wheels says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Oh man, my kids watched that this fall. LOVED that movie. Smuggled beers into the Peace River theatre but got kicked out half way through when one went clanking down the concrete floor. Who knew glass on concrete was really loud during a movie.

    Carly can bench press me anytime she likes.

  32. Professor Q says:

    VOR,

    Perry did get an extra year as an overager in London, en route to the Memorial Cup victory. Only played 19 games in the AHL, however.

    EDIT: He did play 3 AHL playoff games in 03-04, before returning to the CHL the following season. Similar to Eberle’s path, non?

  33. Professor Q says:

    MrEd:
    RE the article: Does Slepyshev have the opportunity to mow Pouliots lawn?

    It’s Winter, sir…

  34. Yeti says:

    Woodguy: Not to this extreme, but its like expecting a kid from Montreal and a kid from St. Albert to both be equally fluent in French and English.

    That’s really overplaying it. Finns learn English in school, along with Swedish.

  35. kgo says:

    Professor Q,

    Really? I’ve always thought Ebs’ time in the AHL was counterproductive, taught him bad habits. Can one of the stats gurus run a multiple regression model to see if anything other than his shooting % declined after the lockout?

  36. Woodguy says:

    Yeti: That’s really overplaying it. Finns learn English in school, along with Swedish.

    Kids here learn French in school.

    I’ve travelled in Northern Europe and you can get along just fine with only English in most metropolitan spots but venture out off the beaten path (where there are Wood flooring mills) and you can need an interpreter in spots, even with people who learned English in school.

  37. Professor Q says:

    kgo,

    He had AHL time before then (20 games, but two different years and systems), which I was referring to. I’d think it would give extra experience playing against larger, more skilled bodies than in Regina?

    The Lockout AHL time with the Kid Line (34 games?) was counterproductive, though, you’re saying?

  38. spoiler says:

    Pretty comprehensive and thorough argument, LT. All the lawyers round these parts must be rubbing off, lol.

    I think perhaps the author was expressing his idea with some hyperbole but meant complementary as opposed to key. From an extreme point of view I suppose all roles are key.

    That’s the only defense I can think up, since as you show, actual history doesn’t back the author up.

  39. jzed says:

    Watching Anothercrime play the Desertmuts. Corey is one of the dirtiest players I’ve ever seen not to fed his own front teeth. High sticking maybe??????? And the blind mice missing a ‘thrown freaking stick’ on a breakaway, how do you miss it?????? Not that I mind watching these 2 teams kicking the shit out of each other, but how do professional hockey players tolerate the utter incompetence on daily display by the mice. No wonder McDavid has ‘slowed down’ , why freaking even bother?

  40. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy: How was Ratanen’s proficiency in English?

    Was he done growing as well?

    These are important things.

    No offence, but why are these important? He can learn the language there and grow there as well. He’s not a porcelain doll.

  41. jzed says:

    Just watched a forward getting rubbed as he chased after a chipped puck, of course, a penalty, just not if McDavid is blowing by. Disgusting.

  42. spoiler says:

    Yeti: That’s really overplaying it. Finns learn English in school, along with Swedish.

    If you hear Pujo speak you can tell he’s fearless but not fluent in English, whatever the case in Finland may be..

    *****

    I suppose the writing was on the wall once he was here at 10 games. The play would’ve been to send him down then and bring him back for good with 30 games to go.

    If the Oilers are instead doing things in the best interest of the kid, and have told him they’re more concerned about process over results, get comfortable, learn the new environment, your team is your family… I don’t have a problem with it, in fact I think I give the organisation a sticktap.

    There are some things more important than squeezing every advantage out of the CBA, IMO.

    He doesn’t look lost out there. He’s likely a better player than Korpikoski right now.

  43. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy: Kids here learn French in school.

    I’ve travelled in Northern Europe and you can get along just fine with only English in most metropolitan spots but venture out off the beaten path (where there are Wood flooring mills) and you can need an interpreter in spots, even with people who learned English in school.

    As a man from the very North of Sweden, a part of the country which has more in common with the part of Finland where Jesse is from than with the South of Sweden, I’d say the vast majority of people under 40 speak ok english though a lot of us are way worse than we think, city folk tend to be better as you write but even in my tiny hometown way up north, further up north than where Jesse was born most semi young people can get by. Though with a heavy accent.
    Tornio /Haparanda (the swedish side) where Jesse grew up before leaving for Oulo to play hockey is a fairly international town, it’s on the swedish, finnish border and I ‘ve never had any issues speaking english there though I can usually get by on swedish on both sides. Jesse should be better in english than he is tbh. I think he’s just terrible at languages, he doesn’t speak any swedish either, despite being born in Sweden and growing up in a place where the majority of people on both sides are bilingual. Some guys just don’t have a great ear for learning languages, he will eventually but will probably be closer to Esa Tikkanen than Salu Koivu.
    Which is fine. Actually if he’s a second coming of Tikkanen in the accent departement it’s better than fine. I would love it.

  44. Klima's_Bucket says:

    spoiler: He’s likely a better player than Korpikoski right now.

    Is that supposed to be a compliment?

  45. Lowetide says:

    SwedishPoster: As a man from the very North of Sweden, a part of the country which has more in common with the part of Finland where Jesse is from than with the South of Sweden, I’d say the vast majority of people under 40 speak ok english though a lot of us are way worse than we think, city folk tend to be better as you write but even in my tiny hometown way up north, further up north than where Jesse was born most semi young people can get by. Though with a heavy accent.
    Tornio /Haparanda (the swedish side) where Jesse grew up before leaving for Oulo to play hockey is a fairly international town, it’s on the swedish, finnish border and I ‘ve never had any issues speaking english there though I can usually get by on swedish on both sides. Jesse should be better in english than he is tbh. I think he’s just terrible at languages, he doesn’t speak any swedish either, despite being born in Sweden and growing up in a place where the majority of people on both sides are bilingual. Some guys just don’t have a great ear for learning languages, he will eventually but will probably be closer to Esa Tikkanen than Salu Koivu.
    Which is fine. Actually if he’s a second coming of Tikkanen in the accent departement it’s better than fine. I would love it.

    Anything anyone has in common with Tikkanen is a Godsend. I love that guy.

  46. Scungilli says:

    As far as the Red Wings go, I don’t think they had or have some master plan from what I’ve read in Holland interviews. What they did do was respond to their circumstances well back then.

    They were drafting low, so looked to Europe before it was heavily scouted to find better talent than they could draft in NA. Because they got really lucky like the dynasty Oilers in the draft and could land free agents at will their NHL roster became hard for young players to crack, thus the AHL marinating.

    They played a finesse game because that’s the players they had. Holland said if they could have drafted skilled big North American players they would have, and probably would have played a more aggressive physical style. They did have a few ruffians of course.

    It’s been shown they haven’t drafted any better than average overall, they certainly are fading away now IMO so they either lost their mojo or it was as much good fortune as anything. They won’t leave young players down as long because they need help now – Dekeyser went straight to the NHL and was pretty green at first.

    If there is a lesson from Detroit it’s be lucky and maximize what you have based on the circumstances. What I hope to see is Chiarelli making the right decisions based on how players develop and who they can bring in, instead of rushing or delaying players or asking them to play a style that isn’t a good fit.

  47. spoiler says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Is that supposed to be a compliment?

    Maybe you should just re-read it.

  48. dustrock says:

    Guys I’ll make fun of Kypreos as much as the next guy but are you seriously contesting that McDavid hasn’t looked like the same player in the last month? Come on.

    The first month every single shift was a highlight reel. Think teams are petrified of him now and are scouting the crap out of him. He’s a sublime talent but seems pretty obvious he hasn’t been as insanely good as before.

    Man some fans are defensive here. It’s like you can’t even suggest that maybe McDavid still has a lot to learn at age 19 and he’ll have the occasional bad game.

  49. stevezie says:

    Even if he had to grow and learn English, i do not understand the advantage of having him do these things on an NHL roster.
    The team could hire him and English tutor in Finland. Would playing in Europe be that much a risk to his health?

    There is clearly something we don’t know, but I’m not sure a late growth spurt and a tin ear explain it.

  50. jp says:

    stevezie:
    Even if he had to grow and learn English, i do not understand the advantage of having him do these things on an NHL roster.
    The team could hire him and English tutor in Finland. Would playing in Europe be that much a risk to his health?

    There is clearly something we don’t know, but I’m not sure a late growth spurt and a tin ear explain it.

    I think it’s simply that:

    1) They think it’s is best for his development to be around the team and playing NHL games. Even with limited minutes he’s practicing, playing 3/4 of the games, training, learning, etc etc. Maybe getting him comfortable in NA and improving his english is part of it too, but it needn’t be.

    2) They aren’t concerned about the extra year of control. He’ll be eligible for UFA in 6.5 rather than 7.5 years. That’s a long damn time away in the lives of NHL GMs and coaches – they can’t take too long of a view or things or it will jeopardize your job.

  51. kgo says:

    Professor Q,

    Yes exactly, i’d agree that his two tastes of AHL prior to NHL were beneficial…but going back to a lesser league during the lockout wasn’t. I was hockey starved and watched nearly every AHL game online and those boys were unstoppable…but in my opinion Eberle seems to have left something behind in OKC.

  52. Woodguy says:

    SwedishPoster: As a man from the very North of Sweden, a part of the country which has more in common with the part of Finland where Jesse is from than with the South of Sweden, I’d say the vast majority of people under 40 speak ok english though a lot of us are way worse than we think, city folk tend to be better as you write but even in my tiny hometown way up north, further up north than where Jesse was born most semi young people can get by. Though with a heavy accent.
    Tornio /Haparanda (the swedish side) where Jesse grew up before leaving for Oulo to play hockey is a fairly international town, it’s on the swedish, finnish border and I ‘ve never had any issues speaking english there though I can usually get by on swedish on both sides. Jesse should be better in english than he is tbh. I think he’s just terrible at languages, he doesn’t speak any swedish either, despite being born in Sweden and growing up in a place where the majority of people on both sides are bilingual. Some guys just don’t have a great ear for learning languages, he will eventually but will probably be closer to Esa Tikkanen than Salu Koivu.
    Which is fine. Actually if he’s a second coming of Tikkanen in the accent departement it’s better than fine. I would love it.

    Thanks for that SP!

    Lots of people wanted to “try their English on us”, but it was still miles from being able to have a conversation or even be able to get them to translate a restaurant menu.

    We called it Menu Roulette.

    Point at an item because you recognize one word and pray that what came to the table was close to what you were hoping.

  53. Yeti says:

    Woodguy: I’ve travelled in Northern Europe and you can get along just fine with only English in most metropolitan spots but venture out off the beaten path (where there are Wood flooring mills) and you can need an interpreter in spots, even with people who learned English in school.

    All I meant was that the original comparison was really taking things too far. I lived in Finland all of last year and, like SwedishPoster says, it’s unlikely that JP had a markedly different training in English nor opportunity to speak it than other kids. It’s more likely that he’s not a great linguist but he’ll learn quickly here. Hell, my kids were doing ok in Finnish by the time we left (myself, far less).

  54. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Yeti,

    Two things I learned this morning:

    1. The Yeti lived in Finland last year. Current whereabouts TBA.

    2. The Yeti has children.

  55. spoiler says:

    Yeti: It’s more likely that he’s not a great linguist but he’ll learn quickly here.

    This makes a lot of sense, lol.

  56. Yeti says:

    spoiler: This makes a lot of sense, lol.

    It’s hard to learn a language in a classroom setting if you’re not strong linguistically. Whereas almost everyone relatively learns quite rapidly when thrown into speaking a language immersed in a work setting. Not a difficult idea to grasp really, surprised you struggled with it.

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