The Utica Comets Thread | Part 42

Discussion in 'Vancouver Canucks' started by Ronning On Empty, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    And people wonder why we doubt or second guess anything he says regarding Utica. His quote when asked by a Vancouver reporter why Jake didn't have a play making center was priceless.
     
  2. me2

    me2 Callng out the crap

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    A 20yo small, skill forward at 0.5ppg in the Liiga isn't making a strong case for an AHL contract. I'd leave Palmu in the Liiga, he may need both years, the evaluate whether he's made enough progress to use a contract slot on. Two years buys you enough time to make that evaluation.
     
  3. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    I can accept that.
     
  4. denkiteki

    denkiteki Registered User

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    The more concerning thing is he actually started hot so a downward trend. Still could be worth a look next season depending on how the roster looks like/who gets signed.

    Might be bad news for both nucks and comet fans cause Horvet got hurt in the 3rd. Might mean a forward call up.
     
  5. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    It is official now that a forward and a D-man have been signed to PTOs. (It was already reported yesterday by Canucks Army in Vancouver and posted by UticaHockey, but not officially announced by the Comets until today.)

    Cliff Watson -
    23 yr-old 6'2", 190lbs, LS D-man
    2012 6th round pick of the San Jose Sharks
    4 yrs at Michigan tech before turning pro this season. Was the tech captain in both his jr and sr years. 42 pts in 162 GP
    Turned pro this season and was currently playing for the ECHL Utah Grizzlies where he has put up 14 pts on 6G and 8A in 21 GP.

    Brady Brassart -
    24 yr-old 6'1", 217 lbs, RS C/RW
    Undrafted
    2014-15 - 72 GP with the AHL Iowa Wild. 21 pts
    2015-16 - half year with the Wild, 7pts in 39 GP/ half season with the ECHL Quad City Mallards, 17 pts in 28GP
    2106-17 - Quad City 43pts/65 GP
    2017-18 - ECHL Idaho SteelHeads 23pts/21 GP.

    Both guys have good size.

    Ward is a rookie pro with only 21 games at the pro level in the ECHL. He is putting up decent offensive #s for a rookie at .75 PPG. His defensive skills at this level will immediately be revealed if he even gets to play.

    Watson does have 111 AHL games under his belt but has not played in the AHL since 2015-16. Currently having his best season points wise at 1 PPG, but it's still the ECHL.Would guess with his numbers he may get a shot considering the low point output from the bottom six forwards especially Cassels (0G in 15 GP) at center, Carcone (1G in 14GP) at RW, and Molino (1G in 16 GP). I know I'd at least try it one time. He can't score any lower.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  6. micquarters

    micquarters Registered User

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    I mean, it was official yesterday.
     
  7. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    Do you read? I know it was official, it was posted as such by "UticaHockey" quoting CanucksArmy, and that was my point. It was official yesterday and the Comets never reported it on their site until this morning, yet it was published in Vancouver yesterday. It's about their players and a Vancouver site puts it out first! They are always a day late and a dollar short. Need to hire a guy who stays on top of things and keeps their site up to date. Guys are signed and practicing here and their existence and signing hasn't been posted on their own website. Capisce?

    Zilch is described in the team's front office blurb as the Director of Communications and as such is responsible for website content. If you go to uticacomets.com right now and click on team, those 2 new additions are still not listed as members of the team. Yet, it is "official" and was yesterday that they are signed to PTOs. If you click on "news" and then "transactions" you will find them today. Yesterday, they were not listed in the transactions either, but the signing date is listed accurately today as 12/5/17 which they knew yesterday since they did it!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  8. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    Edit: deleted
    this post is found in the edited version above
     
  9. denkiteki

    denkiteki Registered User

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    Its likely due to him saying something along the lines of "Maybe AHL or pro league in Finland" when he asked where he would play after the draft.

    Of course he already signed with TPS (probably assuming he wouldn't get drafted).

    Side note was looking up NHLe and it looks like SM-Liiiga actually has expected value of .43 vs AHL .47. So in terms of projection, he would actually be scoring like a 3rd line player for Utica this season (assuming he would be given that amount of ice time). Or in another word, the projected competition level of SM-Liiga is actually about the same as the AHL.

    As far as the comments about Benning/Utica... lets be honest do you really expect management to say "who cares about Utica? We only care about winning in Vancouver." Its the same reason the same management team never said anything about rebuild and kept trying (probably still trying) to sell retool because rebuild = less fans in the building. Basically a lot of comments like that is PR. Actions generally speak louder than words... most of what Linden/Benning has to say (and really most GM) has little meaning because their job is to sell hope, is to be positive, is to get fans into the building, get fans to buy merch, etc.

    Quite honestly as a 'nuck fan, if Benning's biggest downfall is just ignoring the AHL... that isn't the end of the world. After all it looks like he's actually have more success with SHL (Pettersson/Dahlen) and NCAA (Hutton, Stecher, Boeser, Gaudette, Lockwood) than he has from the AHL (no not all of these are his draft picks but remember a lot of the same staff that scouted those players and still with the team). The bigger issue with Benning is how he poorly handles the cap with some of the contracts (Sutter, Eriksson, Dorsett, Sbisa, etc). Also losing trades more often than not (tho it has been better recently). At this point i guess he decided to finally full delegate his AHL duty, which is probably a blessing for the Comets for this season (and probably next year).

    The bigger question right now really is do the team need to call up Chaput or Boucher. Horvat has a "small injury" but still no update... probably a chance he can't play tomorrow so if we need to call someone up, it has to be pretty soon... considering it takes about 10-11 hours to get from Utica to Vancouver (at least based on an article i read... something about the closest airport to Utica is 2 hours away and no direct flight to Vancouver). Burmistrov is an extra skater and Biega does have forward experience but it might be a good idea to have an extra forward on hand in case someone else can't go @ game time. If either player doesn't play for Utica tonight, then i guess we know the answer.
     
  10. go comets

    go comets Registered User

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    Chaput called up, so much for the center depth in Utica, exactly why any team with half a brain would stock their ahl team with 2 Playmaking centers. Demko not dressed so I imagine he has been called up too. 1-1 after 1 period. Darcy centering the 1st line, Bancks the 2nd. And useless Cassels the 3rd....
     
  11. go comets

    go comets Registered User

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    6-1 loss to the crunch... The comets ECHL lineup was simply too weak .... The team is simply undermanned right now........
     
  12. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    For all of those saying winning at the AHL level doesn't matter, google AHL.com and read "Bolts Have AHL Pipeline Primed". Philosophy of winning farm is a priority and their trips to the Calder Cup Playoffs and moreso the Calder Cup Finals prove it as well as the number of Crunch now on the Lightning. #1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, forwards Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ondrej Palat, J.T. Brown, Alex Killorn, and Cedric Paquette. Joining those guys this season are D-men Jake Dotchin and Slater Koeoooek and forwards Yanni Gourde and Cory Conacher.

    Currently the Crunch are playing 5 20 yr-0ld rookies, 2 2nd rounders, 2 3rd rounders, and 1 4th rounder. Also carrying a 20 yr-old 3rd round rookie goalie.

    They reached the Calder finals last season, 2013, and before moving to Syracuse the Norfolk team won the Cup in 2102. It's a good read.

    I'll expand upon this tomorrow.

    It's tomorrow.

    Let's look at Syracuse's roster, the level of player they are and are hoped to be and how they got them.

    RW Joseph Mathieu - 20, Rookie, 2015 4th round Tampa Bay Lightning.

    C Mitchell Stevens - 20, Rookie, 2015 2nd round Tampa Lightning.

    C Anthony Cirelli - 20, Rookie, 2015 3rd round Tampa Bay Lightning.
    Yzerman acquired the picks for Stevens and Cirelli by trading the 28th overall to the NY islanders for the 35th (Stevens) and the 72nd Cirelli.

    RW Alexander Volkov - 20, Rookie, 2017 2nd round Tampa Bay Lightning. Yzerman acquired this pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Brian Boyle trade at the 2017 TDL.

    LW Dennis Yan - 20, Rookie, 2015 3rd round Tampa Bay Lightning.

    D Erik Cernak - 20, Rookie, 2015 2nd round La Kings.
    Yzerman acquired this player in the Bishop trade along with a conditional 2017 pick.

    D Matt Spencer - 20, Rookie, 2015 2nd round Tampa Bay Lightning.

    D Ben Thomas - 21, 2nd yr pro, 2014 4th round Tampa Bay Lightning. Acquired in a trade with the Rangers in which they gave the rangers their 140th and 142nd picks for 119 and took Thomas.

    D Dominick Masin - 21, 2nd yr pro, 2014 2nd round Tampa Bay Lightning. Acquired in a trade with the Iaslanders for the 35th (Masin) and 57th (Jonathan MacLeod playing his 4th season at NCAA Boston U) picks.

    LW Carter Verhaeghe - 22, 3rd year pro, 2013 3rd round Toronto Maple leafs. Acquired in trade with the Islanders for goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.

    LW Adam Erne - 22, 3rd yr pro, 2013 2nd round Tampa Bay Lightning.

    D Daniel Walcott - 23, 3rd year pro, 2014 5th round New York Rangers, traded to Tampa for a 7th rd pick that Tampa got in the St. Louis trade while Wolcott was still in Jrs.

    Matthew Peca - 24, 3rd yr pro, 2011 7th round Tampa Bay Lightning. Played 4 years at NCAA Quinnipiac.

    LW Alex Gallant - 24, 4th yr pro, signed by Tampa as a free agent. Non Vet

    D Reid McNeill - 25, 6th yr pro, 2010 r0und 6 Pittsburgh Penguins, only 249 AHL GP, signed as an AHL free agent Non Vet.

    LW Michael Bournival - 25, 6th yr pro, 2010 3rd round Colorado Avalanche, signed as free agent. 108 NHL GP and 162 AHL GP, VE.

    C Kevin Lynch - 26, 5th yr pro, 2009 2nd round Columbus Blue Jackets, signed as an AHL free agent.
    Only 118 AHL GP so still a Non Vet.

    D Matt Bodie - 27, 4th yr pro, Undrafted after 4 yrs at NCAA Union College, Free agent of the Rangers for 2 and 1/2 seasons, then traded to Buffalo for the last 1/2 of the season. Signed to his 4th pro season as a free agent by Tampa Bay. Non Vet.

    D Jamie McBain - 29, 9th yr pro, 2006 2nd round by Carolina Hurricanes. 348 NHL GP and 171 AHL GP. VET Currently on recall to Tampa Bay.

    RW Eric Condra - 31, 9th yr pro, 2006 7th round Ottawa Senators, 366 NHL GP and 192 AHL GP. VET

    3 players that count against the AHL veteran rule, 2 Vets and 1 VE.
    4 experienced non vets 24 (4 yrs), 25 (6 yrs), 26 (5yrs), and 27 (4 yrs).
    7 Rookies 20-21. 6 drafted directly by Tampa Bay, 3-2nds, 2-3rds, and 1-4th and the 7th (a 2nd) acquired from LA in a trade while he was still a JR.
    2 2nd year pros both drafted by Tampa (2nd and 7th).
    4 3rd yr pros 2 Tampa drafts(2nd and 3rd) and 2 acquired in trades (3rd and 5th)
    They are currently carrying 4 players up from Adirondack due to injuries and call-ups.

    This is an AHL team comprised predominantly of Tampa drafted players and they are almost totally from the 2nd-4th rounds and that includes those not drafted by Tampa.

    They are then supported by 4 experienced non vets signed as free agents and 1 top notch veteran D-man .59 PPG and 1 solid vet forwards .70 PPG and a solid VE forward .50 PPG. Beyond a short visit they are not expected to spend much if any time in Tampa.

    As has been stated The Lightning want their AHL franchise to be successful and 1 Calder cup and 2 Finals appearances in the past 6 seasons backs that up. It is a system built strongly from within through the draft, both their own and picks acquired in trades. They bring top picks into the NHL fold as evidenced by the fact that none are on this year's AHL roster, but those that are come from the next 3 rounds with an emphasis on round 2.

    Yzerman is young but had Detroit training in building a strong prospect pool and getting prospects and picks when you make trades. The Lightning are loaded with former system prospects and the well is growing with lots more at the AHL level and in the Jr ranks. He has a plan and it is adhered to unlike Benning who changes his plans as the team goes up and down in the standings year after year. Compare the Crunch roster to the Comets roster and you see one as the part of a consistent philosophy of draft, develop, and win at both levels. Make a trade if you have an obvious weakness and fill in blanks while you wait on a prospect with a free agent. I'll take this plan any day. The Toronto Maple Leafs have developed the same strategy. Interesting that Shanahan and Yzerman came from the same Detroit background, player, trainee in the management field and then on to run their own NHL teams. Shanahan is the President and not the GM, but unlike Linden, he was the architect of the Leafs' current master plan and hired a management team and coaching staff that all had to buy into that master plan if they wanted a job. I like the direction of both franchises. It is a blueprint that will gain more and more followers as the old boys club slowly gets gets fired, retires, or just dies off. The game has been changing under their noses and the means to the promised land just may be changing with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  13. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    Assume this is to fill in for Horvat who has a little injury, nothing serious according to Green last night (12/5). Apparently serious enough. Comets don't play again until Saturday. Vancouver plays a game every other day from now until Dec. 23, 9 games in 17 days. won't be surprised if Horvat will be the only man down in that span.

    If we thought tonight's lineup was weak/bad, this could really get ugly fast.
     
  14. krutovsdonut

    krutovsdonut holy makarov!

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    i feel for you guys. i don't see how any team could cope with this many injuries and callups at once.
     
  15. denkiteki

    denkiteki Registered User

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    Also like to point out the Crunch missed the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years... same number as the Comets. They also had a first round exit... in another word their relative success is similar to the Comets (1x 2nd place, 1x 1st round exit, 2 missed playoffs) in the last 4 seasons.

    Also again we have different scouts and our scouts seem to hit more with ncaa/shl players so it makes sense to draft in that direction. Ill expand on this point tomorrow after you expand your ahl success point....
     
  16. UticaHockey

    UticaHockey Registered User

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    The way that Tampa Bay and Vancouver manage their AHL farm team is the difference between day and night. With Tampa the emphasis is on both winning and player development. With Vancouver the AHL farm exits as a place to store additional depth players until they are needed as injury replacements.

    Winning - The Tampa AHL team has gone to the Calder Cup finals in 3 of the past 6 seasons, winning it all once and losing in the finals twice. Former Crunch coach Rob Zettler was let go after two disappointing seasons even though his teams did develop players for the big club and his replacement Benoit Groulx restored the winning culture by bringing the Crunch back to the Calder Cup finals last season.

    The management structure is what you would expect from a professional organization. The GM Steve Yzerman is one of the best in hockey right now, if not the best, and is heavily involved in the success of the AHL farm. Julien Brisebois is both the Assistant GM in Tampa and the GM of the Syracuse Crunch which was the same structure that Vancouver had until Henning and Gilman were fired for being too successful in Utica. Here is a excerpt from the TB Lightning bio for Brisebois.

    "He reports to Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman and assists him in all aspects of player personnel decisions, analytics, player development, contract preparation and negotiation, as well as salary arbitration for the Lightning and the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, for whom he also serves as general manager. BriseBois also manages interpretation of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the salary cap for Tampa Bay.

    As general manager of the Lightning's top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, BriseBois has been the architect of teams that reached the Calder Cup Finals in two of the previous three seasons, including winning the championship in 2012. With the Lightning's emphasis on drafting and development, the Crunch play an integral role in Tampa Bay's success. During BriseBois' tenure overseeing the Lightning's minor league development program, they have produced two AHL most valuable players, a defenseman of the year and have graduated numerous key players including Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point, Jake Dotchin, Vlad Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Alex Killorn, as well as head coach Jon Cooper.

    During the 2011-2012 season, BriseBois' Norfolk Admirals set a professional sports record with a 28-game winning streak that propelled Norfolk to the AHL's best regular season record. The team's regular season success continued in the playoffs as the Admirals won the organization's first Calder Cup, the first championship by a Lightning AHL affiliate. BriseBois was instrumental in helping build the organization's depth with signings that proved instrumental to the Lightning and the Admirals, demonstrated by nine players being recalled to Tampa Bay during the season. In 2010-2011 the Hockey News recognized BriseBois as the top hockey executive under 40 years of age in their annual "Top 40 Under 40" listing."


    Losing - The Vancouver Canucks put zero emphasis on winning in the AHL outside of the one outlier season in 2014-15 after which they fired the executives that built the team and then dismantled the team itself. Benning had a number of quotes tied to him about the importance of developing in a winning culture that me2 listed in post #347 but that was purely an example of Benning trying to take credit for the work that Henning and Gilman had done for him.

    Player Development - Can anyone demonstrate a team that has done a better job of player development over the past 5 or 6 years than the Tampa Bay Lightning? And with the Lightning the AHL farm team is an instrumental part of that development system. Sure there have been one or two players that have bypassed the farm such as Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachov being the most recent examples but the quality of the list of players that did start their pro careers on the farm is undeniable and highlighted above in the Brisebois quote. In a comparison who exactly has the Vancouver Canucks developed over the same time frame in their AHL system? Brendan Gaunce, Jacob Markstrom, Jake Viirtanen, previous AHL lifer Alex Biega. It's not a very extensive list and the Canucks continue to allow their player development to be "outsourced" instead of taking control of it as seen with the recent example of allowing Dahlen to go back to Sweden instead of playing in the AHL.
     
  17. UticaHockey

    UticaHockey Registered User

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    Until I see a player live it's hard to have a solid opinion on them. My opinion of MacKenzie Stewart had been previously formed by reading online reports of him and watching poor quality AHL Live streams but yesterday was my first time watching him attempt to play defense in an AHL game. I can confidently now say that MacStew doesn't belong anywhere near an AHL rink unless he is there to drive the Zamboni or sell beer in the concession stand.
     
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  18. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    Cheers and echoes! 3 of the Crunch goals were enabled by his ineptitude. He was a turnstile.

    How about the D'Aoust/Cassels/Carcone line. Were consistently chasing the Crunch like the dogs at the greyhound track. On the ice for three goals against and rarely got the puck out of their own end only to get stripped and chase it back again.

    Molino/Brassart/Moynihan a pure ECHL line, but only gave up one goal.

    Really felt for Wiercioch when he was out there with both Cassels' line and Stewart. He didn't know where to try and support next. The answer was nowhere because they all needed a crutch.

    I rarely feel sympathy for a keeper who is in the process of giving up 6 goals on less than 30 shots, but Bachman was the guy sitting on the bench in the dunk tank. Any keeper deserves at least a level playing ground. At times it looked like the Crunch were playing against a high school team. The 70 yr-old+ ex-Clinton Comets sitting in their seats could have laced 'em up and played one shift and been better than the 2 prior listed lines. I may be exaggerating now, but in their prime they blow those lines out of the arena just like the Crunch did. Armstrong centers any Comets line. Kane, Smith, and Bannerman skate with most of the current group and would put the puck in the net. They would be a good line for the Comets today. I could go on, but that's enough.

    The hockey world doesn't realize just how good those guys were in 1967-68. It was the first year of NHL expansion and prior to that there were only 6 NHL teams. That team went 57-5-10. They still hold the record for the least losses by a professional hockey team for a single season. If they were playing in a 31 team NHL era. They would not have been in Clinton. They would have been scattered throughout the NHL. Victims of birth. Usually the line is "born too late." They were 10 years born too soon.
     
  19. denkiteki

    denkiteki Registered User

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    Again last 4 seasons... basically the same time span (Utica expansions), the two teams are quite similar. If you want to go farther back, its NOT a comparison with Utica anymore.

    Yes 3 of those seasons are under Zettler where they missed the playoffs 2 out of 3 seasons.

    Also again AHL development vs drafting. We have had limited/no success with CHL draftees outside Horvat (and maybe Virtanen?). Tampa on the other hand draft a lot of their picks from the CHL so of course in theory they will have a stronger AHL team (while the results haven't been there till last season).

    Take a look at our recent (Benning era) CHL picks...

    #1 Virtanen (looked bad last year, looked better this year despite really not developing in the AHL... big difference due to off-season work tho his AHL time with Green likely did influence this)
    #6 Pettit (gone)
    #7 Stewart (uhhh)
    #3 Brisebios (looks decent right now)
    #5 Neill (gone)
    #7 Olson (gone)
    #1 Juolevi (doing pretty well in TPS, probably AHL bound next season)
    #5 Candella (doing decent, might get a contract)
    #6 Stukel (who knows)
    #7 Abols (gone)
    #7 McKenzie (who knows)

    Basically first 3 seasons, the CHL draftees have NOT been good (outside 1st and maybe Brisebios) but it goes even farther back if you want to look before Benning era (since most of the scouts are the same). 2013, 6 of our 7 picks came from the CHL (Cederholm being the only exception)... Horvat is the only one in the NHL. Shinkaruk played 15 games. 2012... Gaunce (2/5 CHL) and in the same draft we picked up Hutton in the 5th. 2011, we went with 4 CHL picks and none of which have done much of anything in the NHL (actually entire draft was a fail). 2010 another fail draft with 3 CHL drafted.

    You can keep going back and you'll notice a trend... our CHL scouts were bad for a long time. We did make changes this summer and actually looked like we added some decent CHL draftees (3 looking good/might make team Canada and even Palmu has some upside). Basically the complete opposite of the Lightnings and following their model would be horrible for the 'nucks until recently (at least if the last draft continues to develop as expected).

    On the flip side, during these drafts, we also picked up Lockwood in the 3rd (who is looking good), Boeser in the 1st and he's doing great. Gaudette has been tearing up the NCAA. Demko (again NCAA) has been solid for the comets. Tryamkin (KHL) is one of the best Ds in the KHL right now. Forsling (SHL) also looks like a steal in the 5th. The trend here? a lot better prospects drafted outside the CHL. These are players NOT likely to play in the AHL (except Demko due to goalies generally taking longer to develop). So if you want to base on results of your staff, you probably should stay away from the CHL (again not due to CHL talent but due to out CHL scout's lack of talent).
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  20. Askel

    Askel Brock Bowser Jr

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    The biggest problem is not having decent centers for our young wingers to play with. Chaput is the only decent one, since we have basically no good center prospects in the A, Benning and Co should have added veteran depth centers, instead of wingers like Megna. Would have been better if we had signed a lot of depth centers instead.
     
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  21. UticaHockey

    UticaHockey Registered User

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    Bingo!!! With two centers in Vancouver now on IR the available centers in Utica under NHL contracts are just Chaput and Cassels. Not a lot of depth there and something that the Utica posters have been saying since July. Technically Megna and MacEwen can play center but neither has lately.
     
  22. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    And as posted yesterday, Vancouver once again has a press release announcing the recall of Thatcher and Chaput while the Utica site remains blank as to the transaction. Keep on top of things Zilch.
     
  23. Bad Goalie

    Bad Goalie Registered User

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    You win the "GM To Be" award. Brilliant! LOL Amazing how much this is not related to rocket science.
     
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  24. UticaHockey

    UticaHockey Registered User

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    Cull confirmed it last night during his post game interview. But to be fair the Comets aren't allowed to officially mention it until Vancouver announces it and they waited a day so that the waiver exempt clock on Chaput doesn't start ticking until the next day.
     
  25. denkiteki

    denkiteki Registered User

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    I agree the Megna signing wasn't a smart one and i even thought (at the time) it meant no Chaput. Not a fan of that signing despite Megna actually producing more or less as expected.

    As far as C depth, you're right to a degree... it would be great to have more depth there but also remember it takes 2 to sign a contract. We did try to sign Kerfoot (with pretty much everyone else except Vanek signed) but of course he went elsewhere. Its possible we went after other lower profile centers and failed. Part of the lack of C issue is the fact that most of our C (and again our drafting) prospects are playing elsewhere. Pettersson is playing in the SHL and i don't think any 'nucks fan will disagree with that right now. Odds are he won't see much/any AHL action. Gaudette is the same... basically thats 2 of our hopefully 3 top 9 C going forward (with Horvat being the other). That doesn't help the AHL depth chart but it is what it is. Basically it takes 2 to dance and you can't assume every center in the league (even AHL) wants to play in Utica. On top of that, of course contract limit and the amount of money already spent on those players. Basically in a perfect world, you want to have everything you want... in the real world, you have limited amount of resources and some of them was spent elsewhere. Megna/Stewart/etc are not good signings but you can't change the signings. Again i agree some of those signings are horrible and i would take Valk over Megna if given the choice. Of course the main excuse for signing Megna was expansion draft (tho Chaput could've been signed for the same purpose i think). No one actually knows about the thought process there.

    The other thing to consider is we actually had C depth to start the season in the NHL.

    Horvat
    Sedin
    Gagner
    Sutter
    Granlund
    Gaunce
    Burmistrov

    All of them are Cs or have played C this season so we actually do have depth there. The team could've called up Boucher or Chaput but given the player called up (if playing) would likely be playing on the 4th line, Chaput does make some sense. That and if that player plays, we need someone good in the circle. What are the odds that our 2 best centers (in the circle) are both hurt at the same time? Horvat has been taking majority of the draws since Sutter went down and before that both of them were taking majority... that's one reason for Chaput getting the call (other being Chaput/Boucher being the 2 best options in Utica). Again not something you can really prepare for nor expect management to prepare for. The thing i don't get is why Cull refuses to use Megna at C. He was a C a couple years ago in the AHL so its not like he hasn't played C in the AHL... It could be management or it could just be Cull not seeing him @ C... but given his lack of option, you would figure he would its worth a shot.
     

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