Providence Baby Busts

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    Providence Baby Busts

    Amid a very good first half in Boston, there is hardly anything to be excited about in terms of prospects in Providence.  Many of us looked to the farm with optimism at what appeared to be, at least, a decent AHL team this year.  Setting aside the part-time NHL guys in Hamill, Caron, and Kampfer, most of the other "prospects" have had dreadful seasons so far in Providence.

    The worst:
    1. Jamie Arniel, for a guy who looked like a borderline NHLer and got to skate with the Cup in Vancouver last year, this season has been horrible.  10 points in 44 games and a team worst minus-14.

    2. Max Sauve, touted by many (including yours truly) as one of the best skaters in the organization, it looked like he might be one of the first call-ups this year.  Once again he can't stay healthy at all, and in the 20 games he has played, he has 5 points and is minus-7.  Looking like a bust.

    3. Ryan Button, amid the knocks on the many NCAA defensmen in this organization, Button was a four-year junior player (WHL) and the captain of his junior team.  We heard a lot about what a smooth skater and complete player he was in junior.  This year in Providence he had 1 assist (one), was minus-10, and has been demoted to Reading of the ECHL.

    4. Tyler Randell, he got drafted a little later but there was still talk about him taking over for Shawn Thornton some day and possibly being a rugged force in Providence.  He had 2 points and was minus-11 in 30 games, and has also been demoted to Reading.  A poor man's Lane McDermid...

    5. Zach McKelvie, the mystery military man who's skating ability was raved about.  He looked pretty sharp in camp too.  But, 2 points this year and minus-8 so far.  He's barely clinging to the 6th defensmen spot in Providence.

    Honorable mention to Riendeau (back in Prov.), Cohen (ho-hum), Bartkowski (-10), and Whitfield (used to be a very good AHL player, 5 points this year).

    The few bright spots appear to be Carter Camper (team-leading 31 points), Josh Hennessy (27 points) and David Warsofsky (20 points and the best +/- among d-men.).  It stills seem doubtful that any of these three are NHL caliber.  Camper and Warsofsky are small NCAA types, and Hennessy has been a AHL/European player for too long to view him as much of a prospect.  Maybe Camper gets a quick NHL audition when injuries/suspensions strike again.

    Let's hope that Spooner, Knight, and Hamilton are the real deal...

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from red75. Show red75's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Fletch, you think it would be worthwhile trading for some veteran AHLers? Maybe give the team and the younguns some veteran leadership to help with development? Not someone for the big club, but someone who could have a positive impact on the Baby B's.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from bogie6. Show bogie6's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Interesting analysis. What has happened to Sauve, Arneil, and Bartkowski? With this many poor performances it is usually a question mark for the coaching. BUT, these coaches were hand picked to" develop "a very young , and inexperienced, AHL squad. Does anyone see a difference between October and January? Are there too many young and inexperienced players?  Will Providence be a viable "next step" for Spooner, Knight, KoKo or Hamilton. Arneil certainly looked good in training camp, and Bartkowski looked good enough two years ago to start the year in the NHL. Just reading the Providence press releases there seems to be more close[ one goal] games lately. Is it part of the Bruins overall plan to grow these young players until there are actual or potential openings in Boston? Signing Pouliot does indicate that potential. Interesting to have so many questions.
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]Fletch, you think it would be worthwhile trading for some veteran AHLers? Maybe give the team and the younguns some veteran leadership to help with development? Not someone for the big club, but someone who could have a positive impact on the Baby B's.
    Posted by red75[/QUOTE]

    I thought the same thing at the beginning of the season, and then thought that Hennessy, Tardif, and Whitfield (and possibly Chris Clark) would be adequate.  I was wrong. McIver is a minor league vet too, but he hasn't played much at all.  They need a Reg Dunlop type...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from OatesCam. Show OatesCam's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Some of those guys looked half-decent a year ago.  Maybe the team is so bad it's bringing all of their performance down?
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]Some of those guys looked half-decent a year ago.  Maybe the team is so bad it's bringing all of their performance down?
    Posted by OatesCam[/QUOTE]

    I think thats it.  Hamil hasn't put up any numbers to truly dictate his slew of call-ups, and while he still is looking for that first nhl goal, I've been fairly impressed with what he's shown. Maybe some of these guys just need to be surrounded by better players to play up to their full potential?
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from OrrEspoCash. Show OrrEspoCash's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    If the last couple of years crop (aside from Dougie and Tyler who are no brainers) don't pan out it's time to rethink our scouting staff. I believe it's the prior regime that found us Looch and MARCHMANT.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    I think my first novel on this site was asking if people trusted PC's drafting and scouting.  I think it was right after they picked Colborne - and everything you read about him was that he was a big, soft, rich kid with a bucket of talent but not enough grit. 

    I go "there" periodically.  Hamill's in Boston at least. Colborne was a tradeable asset - whatever else he was or will be, he was attractive enough that PC didn't have to give up someone else to get Kaberle.  Caron hasn't broken through - remember when he was on Bergeron's line?  With the exception of the kids from the last two years, the news on every other non 1st round PC pick gets worse and worse.  Button is getting bounced back and forth to Reading so they can sign NRTOs with a bunch of guys.  Randell?  He went back to Kitchener...not to the ECHL to play pro, to Junior.  Back.  To.  Junior.  MacDermid is a third liner in the AHL.  7th rounder Ben Sexton is the good news story - better than a p/g at Clarkson, but out for some reason.  Sauve's a diminishing asset, Arniel's a diminishing asset, Hutchinson is only a serviceable AHL backup, and Cross keeps dropping down every ranking of Bs prospects...below the guys I've already mentioned!

    PC needs a draft win beyond the windfall from the Leafs to prove he is managing that aspect of the organization well.  Otherwise, I will continue to think that that's his achilles heel and it will hurt when the organization starts losing some of the current core.

     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]I think my first novel on this site was asking if people trusted PC's drafting and scouting.  I think it was right after they picked Colborne - and everything you read about him was that he was a big, soft, rich kid with a bucket of talent but not enough grit.  I go "there" periodically.  Hamill's in Boston at least. Colborne was a tradeable asset - whatever else he was or will be, he was attractive enough that PC didn't have to give up someone else to get Kaberle.  Caron hasn't broken through - remember when he was on Bergeron's line?  With the exception of the kids from the last two years, the news on every other non 1st round PC pick gets worse and worse.  Button is getting bounced back and forth to Reading so they can sign NRTOs with a bunch of guys.  Randell?  He went back to Kitchener...not to the ECHL to play pro, to Junior.  Back.  To.  Junior.  MacDermid is a third liner in the AHL.  7th rounder Ben Sexton is the good news story - better than a p/g at Clarkson, but out for some reason.  Sauve's a diminishing asset, Arniel's a diminishing asset, Hutchinson is only a serviceable AHL backup, and Cross keeps dropping down every ranking of Bs prospects...below the guys I've already mentioned! PC needs a draft win beyond the windfall from the Leafs to prove he is managing that aspect of the organization well.  Otherwise, I will continue to think that that's his achilles heel and it will hurt when the organization starts losing some of the current core.
    Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]

    Book, a very close friend of my family was Jimmy Skinner, the Cup winning coach and longtime scout with the Red Wings. He helped institute the draft and pioneered the scouting of Europe for the NHL (for a long time he'd spend 5 months of the year overseas - I almost became a Red Wings fan because of him). I remember him telling my Dad "doesn't matter if you're the best damn scout on the planet if the brass won't listen to you." Maybe it's not the scouts, in other words, that are the problem.
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Interesting Book.  Thanks for the correction on Randell, although I'm not sure if it makes me feel any better.

    I wonder if it is more about drafting the wrong guys, or an issue with getting them to develop (you could certainly argue that guys who don't develop, shouldn't have been drafted).  Was it a mistake to draft Sauve?  I think given the odds of becoming a good NHLer at that spot, taking a chance on someone with Sauve's skills was smart.  Same for Button.  Do you think you can chalk it up to bad scouting and drafting, or just a cold run on the roullette wheel.  Sauve can't stay healthy, Button just stopped getting better -- who could have known?

    Others guys seem like they had a lot of questions right off the bat.  Smallish centers with character flaws like Arniel, likely KHLers in Alexandrov (not Chia), or the issues you mentioned about Colborne (which I think are valid).

    I'm hopeful that we get a surprise from the NCAA crop that is flying under the radar.  Sexton is playing well, Florek is playing well, Ferlin is playing very well, and Trotman looks solid too.  Fallstrom, Cross, Trembley...give us a nice surprise.

    Otherwise, I agree you probably have to question this aspect of Chiarelli's work.  Seguin and Hamilton were easy, obvious picks.  He needs one of his tougher picks to come through.  Someone that this organization saw something from to deliberately draft them before anyone else.  Like a Marchand. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Outside of a trouncing they put on Worcester earlier this year, every time I've seen this team they've been terrible.  I think I've been to nine or ten games so far.  They're awful.  I did my book report on Cunningham, so I've been dying to talk about how great he's been.  Nope.

    Hennessey has played well, but he's no prospect.  Camper puts up points, but never does anything that makes you think he'll bring it to the NHL.  I've been going to AHL games for almost 20 years.  I've seen an incredible amount of awesome players.  More often than not, it's not all that hard to see which player is going to keep moving up in hockey and which player is at his peak.  Presently, no one in Providence does anything to make me think he' be an NHLer.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    "2. Max Sauve, touted by many (including yours truly) as one of the best skaters in the organization, it looked like he might be one of the first call-ups this year.  Once again he can't stay healthy at all, and in the 20 games he has played, he has 5 points and is minus-7.  Looking like a bust."

    Disastrous year after being last cut in camp this past fall. Now he has one spot to grab over KoKo, Spooner and Knight if Chiarelli does indeed resign Kelly. His height and speed might be the only thing that gets him chances with teams like the Islanders, Predators and Stars who need to take chances on cusp AHL players. I say he's got two more seasons in the states before he heads to Sweden or Russia.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Orrthebest. Show Orrthebest's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    When you look at the fact that none of the players in Providence are developing, I think you have to look at the coaching. 

    The other thing I would like to point out, when the Bruins worst drafts occured Bradley was being used to scout NHL players.  Bradley was promoted and now has more influence on the drafting and I think the Bruins have done much better in the last 2 drafts.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    I guess the two mitigating factors are that it's a small sample so far and the picks in Providence are mostly lower rounders.  Really, the last two years don't count yet, and over the first three PC run drafts, only one 2nd rounder has made it to Providence - Sauve.  So that team is really a bunch of mid to late picks and AHL vets.  Hamill and Caron are the exceptions of course, but as someone else has pointed out, maybe it's hard for guys with NHL talent - especially a Hamill whose game is about using his teammates - to develop when surrounded by guys who don't have the talent to keep up.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]I guess the two mitigating factors are that it's a small sample so far and the picks in Providence are mostly lower rounders.  Really, the last two years don't count yet, and over the first three PC run drafts, only one 2nd rounder has made it to Providence - Sauve.  So that team is really a bunch of mid to late picks and AHL vets.  Hamill and Caron are the exceptions of course, but as someone else has pointed out, maybe it's hard for guys with NHL talent - especially a Hamill whose game is about using his teammates - to develop when surrounded by guys who don't have the talent to keep up.
    Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]

    I fully disagree with the notion that a Providence Bruin isn't getting better because the other Providence Bruins stink.  They are people.  It's not like they are plants that need sun and without it, they wilt.  A hockey player skilled enough to get taken in the first round shouldn't need star linemates to progress. 

    My guess:  Like most other draft picks from every year, they just aren't very good.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from bogie6. Show bogie6's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    This is good commentary. Certainly appear to be problems. Benning is touted as the top guy for identifying good players. He did well on Kelly and Peverly, but what about all these kids?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from asmaha. Show asmaha's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    It's hard with Boston as a system, though. When the message from top-to-bottom is to play your role, play within the system and contribute in all facets of the game, it's much harder to stand out. I imagine the Grand Rapids fans feel the same.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    NAS - okay, follow up question for double points: I see the idea that a player needs to play with sufficiently talented linemates/teammates as generally accepted thinking.  We hear all the time that the reason nominal superstar X is producing like a plumber is that he doesn't have anyone to play with.  We heard after Joe Thornton was dealt that he would have won a Hart and Art Ross is Boston if they'd only given him someone as good as Cheechoo to play with!

    Maybe that example alone shows the error of the thinking, but the question is is that thinking fundamentally flawed or is there something to the idea that hockey is a team game, and even the best players are limited by the abilities of their teammates?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:[QUOTE] but as someone else has pointed out, maybe it's hard for guys with NHL talent - especially a Hamill whose game is about using his teammates - to develop when surrounded by guys who don't have the talent to keep up. Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]

    And why I haven't made a final "he's a bust" judgment on Sauve until I see him around NHL talent full time.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chowdahkid-. Show Chowdahkid-'s posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]NAS - okay, follow up question for double points: I see the idea that a player needs to play with sufficiently talented linemates/teammates as generally accepted thinking.  We hear all the time that the reason nominal superstar X is producing like a plumber is that he doesn't have anyone to play with.  We heard after Joe Thornton was dealt that he would have won a Hart and Art Ross is Boston if they'd only given him someone as good as Cheechoo to play with! Maybe that example alone shows the error of the thinking, but the question is is that thinking fundamentally flawed or is there something to the idea that hockey is a team game, and even the best players are limited by the abilities of their teammates?
    Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]

    I like this thought ( as in team game ). For those who have played the game on any level the game is much simpler when surrounded by better teammates. You can concentrate on what you do best. If surrounded by lesser talent then it makes the game harder in trying to do things outside of your abilities to make up for the lack of skills of others.
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts : And why I haven't made a final "he's a bust" judgment on Sauve until I see him around NHL talent full time.
    Posted by SanDogBrewin[/QUOTE]

    And nor should you until this happens or if it does at all.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from bogie6. Show bogie6's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    Prior to the last two years, Bergeron was constantly covering for his linemates moreso than seeking offense. However, and this comes from reading the Providence news releases, other AHL teams seem to have more expeienced players than the current crop in Providence. Most of the Providence players are under 24, and most of the defensemen have come from the college ranks. Does this mean that they probably need additional years because the College teams play less games than Juniors; does it also mean that while Juniors are being prepared for the NHL, most college hockey players are dual purposed, education[ finance, marketing] skills vs. pure hockey skills. The draft only provides a few choices, with lower perfected skills, as the rounds progress.  AHL clubs do need to be filled from the College ranks as Chiarelli seems to be doing, with guidance from Benning, Sweeney, Cam etc. Another source, Europe, was mentioned By Red in commenting on a Detroit scout. The bruins have never been successful in finding, or atracting European skilled players. Might even say they are gunshy.
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]
    Camper puts up points, but never does anything that makes you think he'll bring it to the NHL.  I've been going to AHL games for almost 20 years.  I've seen an incredible amount of awesome players.  More often than not, it's not all that hard to see which player is going to keep moving up in hockey and which player is at his peak.  Presently, no one in Providence does anything to make me think he' be an NHLer.
    Posted by Not-A-Shot[/QUOTE]

    I would love to get to see Camper play again.  I watched him a lot in college and did my 'book report' on him.  I am a fan, but at the same time I have agreed that he seems very unlikely to ever succeed in the NHL.  He doesn't have NHL size or speed and seemed to have a great college career beating up on lesser opponents that couldn't expose his weaknesses.  He and Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele played on a line together and killed people on the powerplay.  Some gaudy but soft point totals there, kind of like Riendeau in the Q.

    But I never imagined he would be on the top line in Providence this year and be their top point guy.  I thought he'd be buried on the 3rd line and spend a year just adjusting to the pros.  In a best case scenario, perhaps he could be like Andy McDonald, but more likely, he'll play three years in Providence and then head to Europe to be Carl Soderberg's linemate...
     
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    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts : And why I haven't made a final "he's a bust" judgment on Sauve until I see him around NHL talent full time.
    Posted by SanDogBrewin[/QUOTE]

    A fourth round pick in 2008, this third year player has four goals and six assists in 44 games.  He'll be lucky to be surrounded by AHL talent full time next season.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: Providence Baby Busts

    In Response to Re: Providence Baby Busts:
    [QUOTE] Maybe that example alone shows the error of the thinking, but the question is is that thinking fundamentally flawed or is there something to the idea that hockey is a team game, and even the best players are limited by the abilities of their teammates?
    Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]

    Yes, a good player will have to cover for his lesser skilled linemates/teammates, but at the same time, we are talking about playing against AHL talent.  If you check the stats of many AHLers that became NHLers, you'll see that they tore it up in the AHL.

    As for the need to be surrounded by NHL talent, or even high quality AHL talent, I offer JP Dumont.  Playing on a team with a still unpolished Dan Cleary and a massive slew of junk, Dumont put up 32-14-56 in only 50 games.  The team finished the '98-99 season with 23 wins and 48 losses.  Awful everything didn't hold Dumont back.

    Look at Marchand from a couple of years ago.  He's an NHL goal scorer, right?  Providence was terrible in '09-10.  34 games, 13-19-32.  In 34 games, he finished a mere 18 points out of the top of the scoring race.  Folks, that is what NHL players do in the AHL.

    It's so silly to look at a player with dead miserable stats in the AHL and think that, for some completely unknown reason, he'll make it to the NHL and stay there.
     
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