Two seemingly unrelated moves this week could have big implications for the Canes down the road.
Firstly, the Hurricanes moved this past drafts #27 overall pick, Philippe Paradis to Toronto for Jiri Tlusty, a top 15 pick from 2006. On the surface this is a real head scratcher. Well, so was the pick of Paradis to begin with. When a guy isn’t regarded as a possible first rounder by any publication or Bob McKenzie, who usually has a pretty good pulse for what scouts are thinking and has a good relationship with our GM, then odds are the guy simply isn’t first round matterial. Most places had him listed as likely mid to late 2nd… painful. One of the guys drafted only a few picks after Paradis, Klingberg, nearly made the NHL out of the Thrashers camp this year. You know, the same Thrashers that are scorching us in the standings this year. Another, O’Reilly, DID make his NHL team out of camp and is a big reason for the Avs huge turnaround this year.
That’s not to say that credit shouldn’t be given for getting rid of Paradis while he still had value. But I have to question the inner workings of this team at the draft table at times. Sometimes it works nicely (Sutter) but others… I don’t think I need to go over the career of one Igor Knyazev as a refresher on this one, do I?
But I’m getting a bad feeling about Tlusty. He’s a Czech born player that is regarded as being supremely talented but has yet to put it all together at the NHL level, meh it happens. He struggles with the defensive aspects of his game and is seen as more of a parimeter player, not good, but that’s not a career killer. His work ethic has been called into question more then a few times and he developed a reputation for partying it up rather then focusing on hockey in Toronto, wait this is starting to sound familiar but I can’t quite place it… He reported to Leafs camp overweight this past year when it was likely he would win a roster spot out of camp… this can’t be good. Tlusty has also threatened to head over to the KHL after this season if he was not given a full time roster spot in Toronto, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
Yes, the dreaded Pavel Brendl comparison has been made. The scary thing is that the similarities of their stats in the NHL at the point in Brendl’s career that Tlusty is at now is outright frightening. Mind you?Tlusty made the threat and isn’t exactly what would be considered a “Burke Player”, whereas that was the only option for Brendl at this point?in his career. But?truly the biggest difference between the two is skating speed, where your average midget house league player would be able to give Brendl a run for his money. Tlusty has speed to burn and if there is anything that could turn his career around it will be if he learns to properly utilize this to his advantage.
On to the second item of the week:
The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Peter Laviolette and Kevin McCarthy to replace John Stevens and one of their other assistants. All I can say on this is “good, about time Lavi got another shot”. While he’s not the best fit for Philly, personally I was thinking Ted Nolan or even MacTavish, it was obvious to me that John Stevens was the worst coach in the league after Keenan was canned.
How does this effect us? Well, we now no longer have Lavi on the books and?are no longer?hamstrung by that contract should we decide to pursue another coach if we do make a change. Sad to say but personally I think this season is prettymuch a loss and would like to see a real coaching search done in the offseason. About the only short term solution I could live with is putting Tom Rowe in the drivers seat as he’s one of 4 I would really look at for the coaching position. The other three, Kevin Dineen, Willie Desjardins and Scott Arniel, are all under contract at the moment and almost certainly could not be brought in until the season is finished.