Very nicely put except for I am hoping we give our top notch euro scouting staff a break and start working our top notch Canadian scouting staff.... we need to get tougher
Canadian youth hockey players tend to be like Texas youth football players, hyped for years, and rarely any surprises come draft time. There is a reason why there are more Europeans that are draft steals than there are Canadians.
I watch a lot/most Griffins games and Callahan is usually a stand out performer. GR coach Jeff Blashill has really raved about Mitch this season.
Although he only scored 11 goals in 70 regular games, he must have hit the pipe about a dozen times or more from the games I saw and was at his best when playing on a skilled line. A real agitator at heart though. When he gets to the NHL he'll be right up there with Maltby. It's not usual to see more than one player go after him after a whistle, just in the last game a few days a go at the buzzer about three Barons players went straight after him.
Didn't fight as much this season, which was probably down to injury. He got beat up pretty bad in two fights early on in the season which seemed to knock his confidence a bit. Still hits everything in sight and down low in battles along the boards there's no one better than Mitch on the team. His defensive game is great, physical game has declined but his offensive game has come leaps and bounds, if still not quite there yet.
I'd expect him to make an impact in preseason with some physical games, but don't see him getting a call up yet with the Wings/Holland quite keen to put skilled prospects on the 4th line when a spot opens up. Call-ups with Holland are never about how well you've played or your role.
I think Callahan will be a Darren McCarty type player. Not a true enforcer, but gritty, can fight, and can score a few goals. I think he will be at the heart of the teams 3rd line for many seasons.
I must admit I don't watch many of the East games but I have seen internet people say that one conference is tougher than the other. Realistically though, what is the majority consensus on the tougher of the two conferences? I always thought other than Boston who plays like a West team, East is more skill-based type hockey with less thuggery/goonery/clutch and grab?
Rhah: The East have a lot of teams that have very skilled top lines with very physical bottom 6 and defensive corps. The West has more of the power forward model, but, all in all the East is much tougher top to bottom.
There will be plenty of room for Bert and Sammy because we always have injuries; namely theirs.
That being said, I do like what Bert brings to the team. Of course I wish you were healthier but I'd take him anyway. Sammy,... that's a tough call. I am afraid that at his age, all this time off will be difficult to come back from.
With his back becoming a liability I don't see Bert being as physical as he was in the past. As for Sammy, the only tough call that anyone should have to make about him is what color the condolence flowers should be to mourn the end of his lackluster career.
A team that scored 5 goals in 3 games that they could have eliminated a team is NOT good enough. Once Chicago figured out the Wing's system they pretty much neutralized the Wing's top two lines, and became only the 25th team in the history of the NHL to battle back from 1-3 and win in game 7. Next season the Wings will find themselves in the East, were they will find themselves playing much tougher teams for 82 games, and doing so without a true #1 goal scorer, a true #1 D-man, and no back up goaltender. If you think that will end well, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Abdelkader doesn't deserve to be on the first or second line, he had 3 points in the playoffs, he was outplayed by the likes of injured Dan Cleary. He was a plug and an experiment, his season totals weren't out of his normal averages, and his playoffs were trash.
Hes their Osgood. Put him on a team that isn't as dominate, I think hes a middle tier goalie, but, with their team in front of him he doesn't really have to steal games, just make a few big saves, and then be solid and they do the rest.
My issue is this: In recent years in all sports the head seems to have become fair game, there have been a lot studies that show such hits can cause permanent damage, even if there is little or no symptom presentation at the time of the injury. The head MUST be made off-limits, and even accidental contact should be punished to keep borderline plays out of the game. A player should do the mental calculus before a hit to make sure there is no way they hit the head, and Abdelkader could have gone an inch lower to make sure his hit was perfectly shoulder to shoulder. He didn't, he sacrificed safety trying to make a big play, even though its clear it wasn't his intent to hit the head. And that's the exact issue I have, if it comes between making a huge play and jeopardizing someone else, everyone should be trained from a young age to let up and adjust point of contact. He didn't and the Wings are suffering now because of it.
PS if you look at most head shot threads on this forum I say the same thing as I am now, I will not be a hypocrite because its a Wings player involved.