Author Topic: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?  (Read 8849 times)

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Offline WAYNEINIONA

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2011, 08:14:23 PM »
I'm not the biggest Phaneuf fan but I have watched him since he came into the league. The way he played in his first two years in Calgary he looked to be Inginla's eventual replacement as team leader. During the later part of the season I started to see some of that coming back. Maybe it was the leg injury or maybe he is becoming comfortable in his new surroundings or even the movement of Kabs but don't be surprised if you see a tougher and more dominant Phaneuf this season.

Offline L K

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2011, 08:58:50 PM »
Boston won without one, but they kind of had a #1 point producing centre on the shelf with injury, so it isn't like they didn't have one, he just wasn't available in the postseason.

Jalili

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2011, 09:47:01 PM »

It is damn near impossible for this team to take the next step without this sort of player.  It just doesn't happen.

Completely agreed. We'll continue to just barely miss or make the playoffs until we get that guy. Which is guy I was willing to pretty much do whatever was necessary to sign Brad Richards. A player of his caliber might not be available again for another 5 years.

Agreed.  Exactly why I would have exceeded my limits to sign Brad.

I guess we have to pray that somehow, someway, Ryan Getzlaf makes it to free agency in 2 years.  He is exactly what this team needs.  He is developing into that guy, he's an elite player, exactly the type of center this team needs.  If he comes here I have no doubt the Toronto Maple Leafs become Ryan Getzlaf's team.

This is speculation on my part that some may question or disagree with, but I really don't see Getzlaf as the type who will opt to play in an environment like Toronto while giving up his laid back lifestyle in California.

...man, I don't think so...

lol... I guess I picked the wrong handle.

Offline Britishbulldog

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2011, 09:52:02 PM »

It's why I'm somewhat less enthused than some about the roster turnover we've seen. Yes there was a lot of dead wood but there's now, near as I can tell, nobody on this Leafs team who played with Sundin. I think that's a loss for the club and one of the reasons I'd like to see some veteran leadership signed.

I really haven't seen many here point to the gross mismanagement of assets that got the Leafs in this mess.  Not only is there not any veteran leadership signed, how the team was dismantled after Quinn and before Burke got here was idiotic at best.
All The Best
Dan

Jalili

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2011, 09:52:58 PM »
Boston won without one, but they kind of had a #1 point producing centre on the shelf with injury, so it isn't like they didn't have one, he just wasn't available in the postseason.

On top of that, they may not have had a prototypical 1st line center in their lineup, but Bergeron is IMO a 1st line caliber player based on his terrific all-around abilities... and Krejci is a pretty high 2nd line center too. Even without Savard they were pretty strong down the middle.

Offline cw

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2011, 10:02:47 PM »
Ern, just look at your hockey cards.

The ones with the most value, well, generally are go to guys.

I think we won't see one here, until, as said previously, one falls in our laps, and two, stop with the drafting of US college players that probably won't last more then two years at most.

So much hope is being heaped on the likes of Joe Colborne for example. Why did Boston just give him away if he supposed to be the shit?

It's sickening how many US college players Burke has brought in. Is it really supposed to help the Leafs or is it for the betterment of the US Hockey program to have a US national team play year round with it coach and GM around as well?

I have to ask, and if you guys want to label me as a caveman, go ahead. I have nothing against Americans at all. If these guys played at a higher level then US college, then, I wouldn't be so against it. This team is the professional ranks, not the developmental level for the national team of the USA. 

/rant

NHL Nationality Breakdown from 1917-18 to 2010-11
http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_PlayerNationalities.php

For 2010-11
Canada  54.2%
USA      24.1%
Europe  21.7%

Leafs (as of end of season - based upon appearances - source NHL.com)
Canada  57.6%
USA      21.2%
Europe  21.2%

Guys like Colborne, Bozak, Frattin or Scrivens got some experience in the NCAA but were born in Canada. Before college, Frattin, Scrivens & Colborne played in the AJHL in Alberta and Bozak played in the BCHL in BC.

Other NCAA college/USHL players from the NHL top 30 scorers include Marty St. Louis, Jonathan Toews, Thomas Vanek, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp & Ryan Kesler = 20%

ExLeafs for example like Nieuwendyk, Cujo and Belfour, all Canadians, had some NCAA roots.

Up to 1976, Canada provided 90% or more of the NHL players. That's changed forever.

In this year's draft:
Canada 39.5%
USA     28.1%
Europe 32.4%

When you hear GMs talk about drafting by position, they most often say that they overlook that and take the best player available. The same goes for nationalities. In spite of the media claims, I really don't think Burke is terribly far off that. The game in terms of nationalities playing it at a top level has changed forever - which is good for the game.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 10:05:54 PM by cw »

Offline moon111

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2011, 08:27:22 PM »
What we're really asking is the lack of an All-star right?  Just having an Alpha-male on the club doesn't guarantee a thing.
R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.

Online hockeyfan1

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2011, 11:23:37 AM »
The Maple Leafs have always been a team whose captains throughout the decades not only became fan favourites, but also team favourites.  It is no coincidence that the Leafs were at their most successful when they always had a supreme leader (captain) plus a good 'supporting cast' to add to the mix.  Bear in mind that Leafian captains, from '60's leader George Armstrong to '70's leader Darryl Sittler, from the later years of Wendal Clark, Doug Gilmoir, and on to Mats Sundin, all of these men harboured traits and characteristics that formed a personality of leadership, likeability, diligency, at times opinionated, multi-talented, respectability, and the ability to not only exude and instill a sense of pride in wearing the Maple Leaf uniform, but also an exuberance and dedication for the betterment of the team, as a whole.

The Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup champions of 2011, may seem not to have had a "go-to guy" in the singular form if you will, but then, Zdeno Chara was Boston's captain AND their leader, while it may
not have been presented that Chara acted as one who takes the bull by the horns and effectively
shakes it so to speak, he still contributed enormously to Boston's Cup win, more so perhaps off the ice, in his own unique ways of extending his hand of leadership.  Sure the Bruins were led by a pack of eager linemates in Marchant, Lucic, Bergeron, et al., but Chara, it is said, had the "calming influence" of persuading and leading his mates in the belief that the task at hand (of winning the Cup) could get done.

So, one can say that Boston did have a  primary leader, it's captain, and everythng else somehow
evolved from that standpoint (the instilling of confidence and inspiration) in the 'can do' attitude.

Kessel, Grabovski, Kulemin, MacArthur & co., do form a good supporting cast, but ultimately, the missing piece here belongs to the one and only Dion Phaneuf, their captain.   It still remains to be
seen if Phaneuf's personality can shine, so to speak.  While Dion is not gregarious, nor particularly
talkative, or even an adequate public speaker, he may very well be termed the 'quiet' captain, one
who gives advice, motivation, etc., and exudes all the properties that will bring the Leafs success in
more than one way.

  Is Dion Phaneuf capable of being the Leafs'version of Chara, or Armstrong, or a Clark?  That, remains to be seen.

 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 11:30:16 AM by hockeyfan1 »

Offline cw

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2011, 09:54:40 AM »
It's interesting to see that in other threads posters are, to a degree, writing off the Rangers this year even with Richards. What does that tell you about his importance in relation to the team's success when the Rags are arguably on top of us in terms of talent?

Not much. It tells me that a lot of people are still acting like jilted lovers when it comes to Richards though.

Agreed. Writing off a team that added a top-line centre to a roster that is virtually the same as the one that recorded 93 points the previous year seems like wishful thinking to me. I'm not saying that they're a lock to make the playoffs, but they'll definitely be very much in the mix.

With that said, I don't think very many people are actually writing off the Rangers. A couple of comments said that Lundqvist needs to be healthy and play like he can for them to succeed. And considering that Lundqvist has arguably been the most consistent goalie since entering the league, I think it's a safe bet he'll meet expectations.

I think the Rangers roster was arguably better than they showed last season. They had a terrible stretch of injuries to their forwards and their scoring dropped with that causing them a fall in the standings.

The Rangers were 5th in team defence and 16th in team offence. The addition of Richards has the effect of pushing an otherwise good group of centers down in the depth chart. In theory, it's truly an addition of impact to address their biggest need.

I looked over their dmen and they have quite a good collection of young ones.

As for cap space, they can very likely sign Callahan, add Del Zotto and a cheap 7th and be under the cap.

Again, I think judgement of their roster might be premature as Wolski's $3.8 mil might be moved to upgrade their D.

Barring injuries, I'll be surprised if they don't make the playoffs.

Offline cw

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2011, 10:46:16 AM »
When you hear GMs talk about drafting by position, they most often say that they overlook that and take the best player available. The same goes for nationalities. In spite of the media claims, I really don't think Burke is terribly far off that. The game in terms of nationalities playing it at a top level has changed forever - which is good for the game.

It was a rant cw. You have probably named off about a 4 sets of hands worth of 'decent' NCAA players over the history of the NHL. If you recall, we were talking about Alpha-male players. I bet the list of NCAA players shrinks considerably.

Rant, opinion, doctrine, post ... whatever. It's something posted. I don't think the type of post excuses it from a response to the message the so-called rant delivered.

The NCAA tournament didn't start until the late 40s so the first half of NHL history couldn't very well include them. Very few Americans played the NHL game until the expansion of the late 60s/early 70s. In the last ten years is where we're seeing a real growth spurt of Americans playing in the NHL - where they've climbed from 15 to 25%. Trying to smack the NCAA with NHL history might work in hindsight but if we're looking to the future of the game and it's stars, I think NCAA players have to be taken considerably more seriously than the history of the NHL suggests.

The fact that US players make up roughly 25% of the NHL and the last three drafts suggests that the NHL GMs are in general agreement on that. I would suggest that it's only a matter of time before we see more stars from the NCAA/US. 20% of NCAA/USHL experienced players are in the top 30 of NHL scoring. Only 60% of the top 30 scorers are Canadian. I think the NCAA is likely to deliver close to their proportional share of stars in the future.

If we look at the Best-on-Best tournaments, Team USA has done pretty well since 1991. They won the World Cup in 1996. They were second in the '91 Canada Cup, two silvers in the '02 and '10 Olympics and only lost to runner-up Finland by a goal in the '04 World Cup. Their U20 juniors picked up two golds in '04 and '10 and their U18 team has won five of the last seven gold medals handed out - beating the best young stars in the world.

We are starting to see guys like Belfour, Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, Chelios, Leetch & Mullen who played in the NCAA completing HHoF careers in the wake of guys like Dryden & Langway who broke that ground so this isn't an entirely new thing. It's developed and grown over some time. The NCAA/USA hockey is becoming such a decent talent stream, it's impossible for any NHL GM to ignore.

As the Team USA GM, along with the Team USA coach, Burke has been uniquely positioned. He gets additional scouting input or perspective on USA players and he probably attracts some USA players to the Leafs if they have ambition to play on the national team because of that role. Even if Burke gave up that role, he'll continue to be involved with USA hockey and some of the synergy from his involvement will probably help him do his NHL job. So if Burke were to be a little heavier with USA talent on the Leafs, it may well be because he's taken advantage of his role with Team USA - and I see little downside for him doing that.

In my opinion, it's a real mistake to rely heavily upon the Don Cherry stereotyping of hockey talent or blow off the talent coming up via the NCAA. Some of these guys have been proving for some time they're world class and they're very likely to continue that trend into the foreseable future - including the production of more NHL stars.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 10:54:03 AM by cw »

Offline moon111

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2011, 01:12:57 PM »
Snips from Wilkipedia:
In junior hockey, Phaneuf was known .... for his calm demeanour...  compared to Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens... praised for his the poise... Praised for his leadership abilities, Phaneuf was named the captain of team WHL....was counted upon to take a leadership role with the Canadian junior team at the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Championships....Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award...Leafs coach Ron Wilson credited him with creating a positive change in the mood in the Toronto dressing room. 

Fans are use to a scorer being the leader, otherwise there's no question who's the leader of the club. 

R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.


Offline TheMightyOdin

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2011, 08:24:49 AM »
Sundin was definitely the Alpha male when he was the Leafs the Captain. Did we look at him that way when Gilmour was here? I didn't.
The Catalyst?

Offline Bullfrog

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2011, 09:29:53 AM »
In my opinion, it's a real mistake to rely heavily upon the Don Cherry stereotyping of hockey talent or blow off the talent coming up via the NCAA. Some of these guys have been proving for some time they're world class and they're very likely to continue that trend into the foreseable future - including the production of more NHL stars.

Due to expansion from 6 to the 30 teams we have now, of course there are more opportunities for NCAA players to come through. I think Burke has done a wonderful job in covering up holes with mediocre NCAA players because he didn't have anything left in the cupboard. This is his way of keeping the wolves at bay.Christian Hanson will be the first of many here that served a purpose, then get cut or not re-signed, as soon as the Leafs get better players signed or drafted. Tyler Bozak has already been demoted without having training camp started. Leaf fans hoping against all hope that Joe Colborne will be the next Joe Thornton need to have their heads examined.

I will ignore your little Don Cherry shot at me.

What does any of that have to do with where they're drafted/signed from?

Offline Erndog

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2011, 10:58:31 AM »
What we're really asking is the lack of an All-star right?  Just having an Alpha-male on the club doesn't guarantee a thing.

It's not that simple.  We had Tomas Kaberle, he was an 'All-Star' and he didn't improve out fortunes.  Guys like Dany Heatley, Martin Havlat, Daniel Briere, Mike Cammalleri are 'All'stars' but none of them are what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about a guy who owns the team (not literally).  A guy who is the face of the franchise, a guy who people can easily identify the Toronto Maple Leafs as being HIS team.

It could be Phaneuf sure, but it's not yet.  Not right now anyways.

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Re: Something lacking... an Alpha-male perhaps?
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2011, 10:58:31 AM »