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2021 Forwards


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Back in the day it was usually said that power forwards take longer to develop than skill forwards.  They have to grow in to their bodies and develop man strength to really fit into their game.  

Thompson has a power forward body.  It makes sense that he needed more time to cook, to develop his body.  Casey may have needed physical development too, but his game isn’t predicated on using power.  His longer development curve should be concerning.  And is for most.  He’s on the verge of busting.  Given how little development he’s shown through the last we’ve seen him play, optimism should be highly guarded.

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2 hours ago, Weave said:

Back in the day it was usually said that power forwards take longer to develop than skill forwards.  They have to grow in to their bodies and develop man strength to really fit into their game.  

Thompson has a power forward body.  It makes sense that he needed more time to cook, to develop his body.  Casey may have needed physical development too, but his game isn’t predicated on using power.  His longer development curve should be concerning.  And is for most.  He’s on the verge of busting.  Given how little development he’s shown through the last we’ve seen him play, optimism should be highly guarded.

In general I agree with your tepid assessment of Casey's prospects. But that's the point. He has in my opinion little value on the trade market. So what is the harm in giving him more time and allowing his career to play out. As I said in prior posts I think that it would be more beneficial for him to return to the AHL and allow him to play his way either on to or out of our system. But the problem is because of the Covid world we are living in there is a chance that the AHL will start very late or not at all for the upcoming 2021 season. If Casey comes into camp more physically developed and he competes in camp to the extent that he jumps ahead of some of the other players to earn a roster spot I will pleasantly be surprised. It might not be probable but it certainly can be possible.  

Edited by JohnC
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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

In general I agree with your tepid assessment of Casey's prospects. But that's the point. He has in my opinion little value on the trade market. So what is the harm in giving him more time and allowing his career to play out. As I said in prior posts I think that it would be more beneficial for him to return to the AHL and allow him to play his way either on to or out of our system. But the problem is because of the Covid world we are living in there is a chance that the AHL will start very late or not at all for the upcoming 2021 season. If Casey comes into camp more physically developed and he competes in camp to the extent that he jumps ahead of some of the other players to earn a roster spot I will pleasantly be surprised. It might not be probable but it certainly can be possible.  

I’m not advocating walking away from Casey.  Things still may work out and like you said, he probably had little market value anyway. It’s the, he’s young and these other players took this long to develop, optimism that GA in particular keeps referring to that I am responding to: 
 

Ok, Olofsson took as long or longer to develop.  I don’t see the comparison.  Ologsson showed consistent development in a men’s league before coming here.  We all have hopes for Routsahoweveryouspellhisname because he is doing eye openings things in a mens league.  What had Mitts shown in men’s leagues to date?  Very little that is promising.

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1 hour ago, Weave said:

I’m not advocating walking away from Casey.  Things still may work out and like you said, he probably had little market value anyway. It’s the, he’s young and these other players took this long to develop, optimism that GA in particular keeps referring to that I am responding to: 
 

Ok, Olofsson took as long or longer to develop.  I don’t see the comparison.  Ologsson showed consistent development in a men’s league before coming here.  We all have hopes for Routsahoweveryouspellhisname because he is doing eye openings things in a mens league.  What had Mitts shown in men’s leagues to date?  Very little that is promising.

Arttu is a player in the organization's stable that I'm hoping will make an impression in training camp and make it difficult to keep off the roster. I was hoping that he would have started the season in Rochester to acclimate himself to the smaller north American rinks but that avenue has temporarily been closed. The advantage he has over the sidelined NHL players is that he has been playing a lot of hockey while the other players weren't able to get that game experience. This team is starting to add depth to the point that players will be battling with one another to make the roster. That's a signature change from the gloomy past. 

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5 hours ago, Weave said:

Back in the day it was usually said that power forwards take longer to develop than skill forwards.  They have to grow in to their bodies and develop man strength to really fit into their game.  

Thompson has a power forward body.  It makes sense that he needed more time to cook, to develop his body.  Casey may have needed physical development too, but his game isn’t predicated on using power.  His longer development curve should be concerning.  And is for most.  He’s on the verge of busting.  Given how little development he’s shown through the last we’ve seen him play, optimism should be highly guarded.

People who are naturally tall, long, lanky often take longer to fill out and reach their full mature strength than people who are naturally shorter, stocky, compact.  I think this is true of NHL players in addition to everyone else.

Just my personal experience and observations.

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3 hours ago, Curt said:

People who are naturally tall, long, lanky often take longer to fill out and reach their full mature strength than people who are naturally shorter, stocky, compact.  I think this is true of NHL players in addition to everyone else.

Just my personal experience and observations.

Chara is an example of what you are pointing out that it takes a few years for tall and lanky players to physically mature enough in order for their talent to be more fully exhibited. 

Zdeno Chara Stats | Hockey-Reference.com (hockey-reference.com)

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8 hours ago, Weave said:

I’m not advocating walking away from Casey.  Things still may work out and like you said, he probably had little market value anyway. It’s the, he’s young and these other players took this long to develop, optimism that GA in particular keeps referring to that I am responding to: 
 

Ok, Olofsson took as long or longer to develop.  I don’t see the comparison.  Ologsson showed consistent development in a men’s league before coming here.  We all have hopes for Routsahoweveryouspellhisname because he is doing eye openings things in a mens league.  What had Mitts shown in men’s leagues to date?  Very little that is promising.

Casey gets so much flack because he stagnated. His development literally stopped and that's on him. He had x talent and it took him to y. He never worked his way to z.

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22 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Casey gets so much flack because he stagnated. His development literally stopped and that's on him. He had x talent and it took him to y. He never worked his way to z.

There is a near unanimity in opinion that he hasn't lived up to his potential and expectation. The issue now isn't how he has played up to this point (there is an agreement on that issue) as it is can he progress, and if he can will it be good enough? Will he come into training camp more physically prepared and earn a roster spot? I'm not sure? I'm not disagreeing with your take on him.  What I am not going to do at this point is close my mind on him as a prospect. Let's allow him to compete at camp and then make a more conclusive judgment about him. Sometimes when I player is stagnating in an organization the best thing that can happen to the player is to give the player a fresh start somewhere else. I'm not yet advocating for that to happen.  

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10 hours ago, JohnC said:

There is a near unanimity in opinion that he hasn't lived up to his potential and expectation. The issue now isn't how he has played up to this point (there is an agreement on that issue) as it is can he progress, and if he can will it be good enough? Will he come into training camp more physically prepared and earn a roster spot? I'm not sure? I'm not disagreeing with your take on him.  What I am not going to do at this point is close my mind on him as a prospect. Let's allow him to compete at camp and then make a more conclusive judgment about him. Sometimes when I player is stagnating in an organization the best thing that can happen to the player is to give the player a fresh start somewhere else. I'm not yet advocating for that to happen.  

I'm not closing my mind on him. I just don't have to really think about him much at all. 

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^ Even in practice Jeff can't pass for shite haha

As for the lines, unless Cozens is lights out from go, expecting Old Staal to carry around a rookie and VO at ES on line 2 would to me be ill-advised. I like how that 3rd line looks but in that scenario I'd bump Reinhart up to line 2.

- - - 

The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to load up the top 6 as much as possible in the coming season. Without upgrading in net and on the back-end, I think our only chance to make the playoffs is to play a more run-and-gun style and lean heavily on our excellent top 2 lines in a shortened season. 

Edited by Thorny
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On 11/27/2020 at 9:56 PM, LGR4GM said:

Casey gets so much flack because he stagnated. His development literally stopped and that's on him. He had x talent and it took him to y. He never worked his way to z.

by the way, so did Olofsson.  He went from 14g-15a (2015/16) to 9g-18a (2016/17) in the SHL.  The next season at age 23 he exploded. 

Mitt's development kind of reminds me of JP Dumont.  JP, 3rd overall in 1996, spent the next two seasons back in the Q, then spent parts of the next two seasons in the AHL and NHL, regressing from year 1 (15 pts in 25 NHL games) to year 2 (18 pts in 47 NHL games) and then got traded to the Sabres.  Here at age 22 he made the Sabres and blossomed in good player with 54 pts.  He took the next leap in his development with Nashville at age 28 to 30 with seasons of 66, then 72 and 65 pts.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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14 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

by the way, so did Olofsson.  He went from 14g-15a (2015/16) to 9g-18a (2016/17) in the SHL.  The next season at age 23 he exploded. 

Mitt's development kind of reminds me of JP Dumont.  JP, 3rd overall in 1996, spent the next two seasons back in the Q, then spent parts of the next two seasons in the AHL and NHL, regressing from year 1 (15 pts in 25 NHL games) to year 2 (18 pts in 47 NHL games) and then got traded to the Sabres.  Here at age 22 he made the Sabres and blossomed in good player with 54 pts.  He took the next leap in his development with Nashville at age 28 to 30 with seasons of 66, then 72 and 65 pts.

Yea and when he did that we assumed he wouldn't be an NHL player. Until Casey Mittelstadt shows me he's more than what he has, I am not holding out hope for some magical top 6 forward. 

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4 hours ago, nfreeman said:

With Mitts not signed yet, it doesn't seem like the Sabres are banking on him becoming a major contributor this season either.

FTFY.

Have said before, with not knowing whether/when an AHL season will take place nor what form it will take there is no reason to force a deal with him at present.  It's mid-August & Mittelstadt is an exclusive rights unsigned player.

Without knowing how the AHL will operate this year and there being a good likelihood Mittelstadt starts the year in Ra-cha-cha, there seems to be a case from both parties to hold off on negotiations.

It's not like he's been threatening to head overseas and there's really no reason to assume the sides are at loggerheads.  There simply is no substantial reason, other than the possibility of him receiving some of his compensation as a signing bonus, for either side to move on this until training camp is setting open.

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3 hours ago, Ducky said:

Interesting. At least half-a-dozen there I'd rate behind Hall, but given the season he had last year it's not unfair. And, like Eichel, playing for bad teams hurt him.

Bet good money he's back on the list this year.

Edited by dudacek
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We've taken it for granted that Eichel and Hall will be together because that's about the only think Krueger has committed to.

I would split them up. Hall will be good not matter who he plays with, but the thing that has the most potential for boosting our offence is a return to form from Jeff Skinner

Skinner Eichel Reinhart

Hall Staal Cozens/Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Okposo/Thompson/Cozens

Girgensons Lazar Reider/Okposo

Thompson and Cozens would be slotted based on what they show in terms of chemistry and ability

Edited by dudacek
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9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

We've taken it for granted that Eichel and Hall will be together because that's about the only think Krueger has committed to.

 

I believe part of the reason Hall signed here was to play with Jack and the only way it doesn't happen is if one of them are injured. 

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

We've taken it for granted that Eichel and Hall will be together because that's about the only think Krueger has committed to.

I would split them up. Hall will be good not matter who he plays with, but the thing that has the most potential for boosting our offence is a return to form from Jeff Skinner

Skinner Eichel Reinhart

Hall Staal Cozens/Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Okposo/Thompson/Cozens

Girgensons Lazar Reider/Okposo

Thompson and Cozens would be slotted based on what they show in terms of chemistry and ability

 

1 hour ago, Hank said:

I believe part of the reason Hall signed here was to play with Jack and the only way it doesn't happen is if one of them are injured. 

I think playing with Jack was unquestionably a major element of the sales pitch to Hall and will be similarly important in the pitch to sign him to an extension.

I sure would like to see duda's lines though, at least for a few games.  VO should be in the mix for 2RW in that situation too.

 

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11 hours ago, nfreeman said:

 

I think playing with Jack was unquestionably a major element of the sales pitch to Hall and will be similarly important in the pitch to sign him to an extension.

I sure would like to see duda's lines though, at least for a few games.  VO should be in the mix for 2RW in that situation too.

 

I agree with all of this and @Hank is also correct on the Hall sales pitch.

It is too bad, cus I think @dudacek has the best idea for line combos to maximize the offence.  I really would like to see those combos at times during most games.

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16 hours ago, dudacek said:

We've taken it for granted that Eichel and Hall will be together because that's about the only think Krueger has committed to.

I would split them up. Hall will be good not matter who he plays with, but the thing that has the most potential for boosting our offence is a return to form from Jeff Skinner

Skinner Eichel Reinhart

Hall Staal Cozens/Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Okposo/Thompson/Cozens

Girgensons Lazar Reider/Okposo

Thompson and Cozens would be slotted based on what they show in terms of chemistry and ability

And my expectation is that because of where Skinner needs to be to be scoring and his lack of defensive zone reliability, that Eichel will take a small step backwards to accommodate his play.  Eichel doesn't get many goals when playing with Skinner; even at the end of last season after thetrade deadline when they were back together he didn't.  Don't believe it is strictly a Pominville w/ the 2 of them effect; expect it is due to Jack staying higher in the zone more so.

Totally understand that it's frustrating to have the $9MM (who should be a $7.5MM) player slumping.  But don't want to fix him by messing up the $10MM (who plays like a $12MM) player.

And, it isn't like giving Skinner Staal & Reinhart as linemates is forcing him to go slumming.  Skinner started the year well with Johansson & friggin' Sobotka who are both less skilled than Skinner will get this year.  4 goals in his 1st 6 games & 6 in the 1st 10 is not indicative of a guy pining to be on Eichel's line.  He doesn't NEED Eichel to produce.  He just needs to be healthy & have his head on straight.  Playing w/ Staal & Sam should help with the 2nd part.

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19 hours ago, dudacek said:

We've taken it for granted that Eichel and Hall will be together because that's about the only think Krueger has committed to.

I would split them up. Hall will be good not matter who he plays with, but the thing that has the most potential for boosting our offence is a return to form from Jeff Skinner

Skinner Eichel Reinhart

Hall Staal Cozens/Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Okposo/Thompson/Cozens

Girgensons Lazar Reider/Okposo

Thompson and Cozens would be slotted based on what they show in terms of chemistry and ability

I think Hall away from Jack is an interesting possibility too, not sure how much of it we'll see, though. Krueger to me is a bit on the stubborn side when it comes to lines. 

I'm not sure I see Thompson or Cozens in the top 6, and I especially don't want to see Olofsson and Cozens paired together with Eakin on line 3. So even in this scenario where you switch Hall and Skinner, I agree with @nfreemanthat VO should be given a shot at 2RW. 

I like the idea of Thompson as a big body presence with the not un-physical Eakin, probably with Cozens on the right. With a matchups eating Top 6 I could see this line doing reasonably with some more cushy stuff, where they may gain some traction with their straight-ahead game. 

Edit - Actually, even with Hall on line 2 I'd stick VO at 1RW. VO can pass ok even if he'll mostly be getting fed by Jack, Skinner gets lots of his goals off rebounds so Jack still has to shoot. 

If anything Hall-Reinhart is better as a combo than Skinner-Reinhart. If Jack is in MVP form with Skinner and VO, I'd be ridiculously excited for a second line consisting of Hall and Reinhart centred by  Staal.

It could very well be that our "best" lines are found through a Hall-Eichel pairing, but:

Skinner - Eichel - Olofsson

Hall - Staal - Reinhart

Thompson - Eakin - Cozens

Girgensons - Lazar - Okposo

..*may* look the best to my eye, on paper. 

Edited by Thorny
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