Morning Tweets: We're Developing a Window of Time, Here >
 
 

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by Michael DeNicola


Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 --



I'm not trying to ride anyone's coattails here, but Scott T. (known in the Twitterverse as @NHLFlyera) from the Philadelphia sports blog, Pattison Ave, posted an article this morning titled "Which Prospects Will See NHL Ice Next Season?




Scott went through the list of the usual suspects, and unsurprisingly... he predicted that not one of our futures cracks the NHL lineup; at least not right outta camp. 


Scott's predictions weren't short on lucid reasoning. And I certainly never got the sense that he was after the safe guesses. It's not ridiculous to assume that players like Sanheim and Provorov will look better in camp than a handful of our established veterans. We saw something like that last Fall when Morin looked like he had a strong chance to stick with the Flyers in October. But like Scott says in the article, "Ron Hextall is clearly committed to a long term approach."


That's where I wanna jump in. 


There've been a number of opinionated articles written, emails sent & received, posts made from social networking platforms and forums alike.... And the opinions I'm talking about are the impatient ones. The general opinion that "It's time to see what these kids got! Start them next season!"


Shit typically doesn't work that way. Nor should it..... 


So, I took to Twitter this morning to sorta broadcast my outlook on this crop of defensive talent, and, more particularly, the wait we're "suffering" through before they become NHLers. 




I guess the drawback here is this -- if we're not realistically in contention for the Cup, why not start bleeding these young defenders into the roster now, allow them to develop their game at the NHL level, and evolve through the growing pains? This way, when our window begins, these kids have an edge and experience under their belts, and won't look like newborn giraffes on the frozen pond.


It's a lovely thought, sure. And admittedly, it does make some sense. But this instance is never the same for each strong prospect in any Club's pipeline. 


See, development, for a freshly drafted player, is not about grooming his game's physical features. At this stage, they already harbor the attributes and skill to play in the NHL; it's sort of the reason why they were drafted in the first place. 


Development for an 18-year-old, or 19-year-old, or... you get the picture... Development for these kids is all about the mental game. Since they were age 10, they've been the super star of their teams and leagues. They've been fed the puck like a Pharaoh gets fed grapes. Fast-forward to their professional careers, and now they're thrown into an arena with teammates just as good or better than they are, and that goes double for their competition. At this point, our young players must learn the game from an entirely new perspective...... how to play effective hockey without the puck. 


Playing without the puck on your stick --- It's vital to any player's success at the NHL level. It's why we see an overwhelming majority of kids chosen in the Draft never make it in The Show. And speaking of which, I hope each of you Flyers fans are ready to accept the likely possibility that not all of our blue chip prospects will make it to the National Hockey League. The odds are against each of them, and yes, even Provorov and Sanheim.


Not that I think those two won't make it. I'd bet my mortgage they'll make it. And not only that, those two are gonna fuckin' own it at the NHL level. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 


Anyways! ..... Like I said in a tweet, we're building our window. For the first time in probably forever, the Philadelphia Flyers have a nest egg of true potential futures on defense. 


I'll sign off with this quote from Flyers writer, Jay Greenberg --


"It's not easy developing defensemen. So easy, boy, easy."




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