AFTER THE RAIN

As the days roll by and the verbal becomes more uncooperative on both sides, fans begin to cast about for something to do. If you look really hard, there are some interesting things.

The 04-05 American League was a strong, strong league. The Edmonton Roadrunners were one of the teams blessed with some nice young NHL talent:

  • Raffi Torres, who had scored 20 goals in the 03-04 NHL season. He scored 21 in the AHL in 04-05 and returned to the NHL in 05-06 as a quality value contract. His 27 goals and big hits were a memorable part of the 05-06 team.
  • Jarret Stoll, a young C who scored 10 goals in 03-04 and blossomed in the AHL in the lockout season. When the NHL returned for 05-06, Stoll was a better man and had a quality season.
  • Brad Winchester, who was in his second AHL seaso in 04-05 and had not played in the NHL. Winchester spent the winter playing a complementary role and eventually found NHL footing. He scored a huge goal during the spring 2006 run for the Oilers. Was that lockout season–where he played with skilled men and scored 22 goals–a helping hand for the big man?
  • Kyle Brodziak had just turned pro in 2004, and was in a depth role for much of the season. Still, he made progress and would be in the NHL for good by 2007 fall. Was that season in the very strong AHL a benefit?
  • Toby Petersen had struggled to establish himself in the NHL, but had a good season with the Roadrunners and followed up with another in the AHL before finding his way in the big leagues again under MacT.

The Roadrunners aren’t the best example of the 04-05 push, perhaps champion Philadelphia gives the best testimony for advancement in a very strong minor league.

I do believe there’s something to be gained by placing your best young players in the minors during a lockout year. Maybe Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and the Nuge and Yakupov and Justin Schultz will scatter, but the idea that these kids might go to OKC and spend the season there has some appeal.

Right?

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6 Responses to "AFTER THE RAIN"

  1. SpotTheLoon says:

    I suppose we have to look for potential positives where we can, given the state of CBA negotiations . . .

  2. unca miltie says:

    Just got home and no comments, wow. Two things, We had the Ford box for a number of games for the Roadrunners. Best memory was Mike Morrison vs Ryan miller. Remember cheering hard for Morrison and knowing that Miller had the look of a star in the making.

    Part two, thinking of things to do, last night downloaded Devallano’s book from kindle as well as Steve Simmons book on Mike Jefferson/ Danton. Read all of Simmons book last night..

  3. Dixs35 says:

    Gotta say love that song. One of my all-time favorite live acts. Nothing better then seeing Jim and the boys playing at the Jubelee when they roll through town. It’s a must see for those who have never been.

    I can’t see many of the established young guys playing in the AHL, Yak included(only because he can’t). Guys like Schultz, MPS, Lander will be there.

  4. Gerta Rauss says:

    That video is awesome…the boys are so young-I’ve got that album on cassette, which makes me…well, never mind.

    Robert Tychkowski had this piece up a couple days ago:

    What do they do if it turns into a black winter? Marquee players get to pick and choose their destinations. Shawn Horcoff went to Sweden last time and Ales Hemsky played at home in the Czech Republic.

    This time Taylor Hall says he’ll head to Europe, Sam Gagner is exploring Switzerland, Nail Yakupov is going back to Russia and a player with the drawing power of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins can go wherever he wants.

    For rank-and-file players, finding work isn’t quite so easy.

    “I have no idea,” shrugged Peckham when asked about his lockout plans. “I guess it’s either Europe or the Quebec semi-pro league

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/09/02/nhl-lockout-makes-absolutely-no-sense

  5. PhrankLee says:

    I think them playing in OKC would be such a blessing for all of them. Initially a let down on personal and pro levels it would give them a really good feeling of what it is like to dominate. Could pay big dividends should the sense memory of that carry over to their next NHL season.

  6. tsunami says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    That video is awesome…the boys are so young-I’ve got that album on cassette, which makes me…well, never mind.

    Robert Tychkowski had this piece up a couple days ago:

    What do they do if it turns into a black winter? Marquee players get to pick and choose their destinations. Shawn Horcoff went to Sweden last time and Ales Hemsky played at home in the Czech Republic.


    This time Taylor Hall says he’ll head to Europe, Sam Gagner is exploring Switzerland, Nail Yakupov is going back to Russia and a player with the drawing power of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins can go wherever he wants.

    For rank-and-file players, finding work isn’t quite so easy.

    “I have no idea,” shrugged Peckham when asked about his lockout plans. “I guess it’s either Europe or the Quebec semi-pro league

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/09/02/nhl-lockout-makes-absolutely-no-sense

    Sweden will be difficult… As far as I heard, the players can not just sign a short term contract to play there for a couple of weeks or months, it would have to be a 1 year contract

    Switzerland has not that many open roster spots (each team can only dress 4 “foreigners” and can actually sign a maximum of 7 “foreigners during the season) and only a handful of teams can actually afford to pay quality NHL players…

    Like you said, it’s not going to be that easy for most players

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