Hello my group of readers, how are you doing this week? Honestly, I never say this enough, but thank you so much for taking the time to come and ask me questions. For me, it helps me to improve and to go and review my notes or my experiences and I love it.
More questions this week and unfortunately I can’t answer them all, but I will next week without fail.
The most underrated and the most overrated skill in your opinion?
— Sebastian (@seblev3) 27 January 2023
There are so many skills that it’s hard to have just one. Reading the game is big because it’s not true that you can’t work on it. You can’t be Sidney Crosby, but you can make him better.
But for me, skating is and will always be something that is most important. The skate is evolving and new techniques are going to get the fastest fraction of a second.
There are also new techniques emerging to address the lack of mobility of certain players, e.g. Take, for example, NHL teams that ask the “skills” coaches to work with defensemen so they can’t cross when coming out of the corner.
Many call it the “step back transition”, which is the non-crossing technique when coming out of the corner.
Pat Rice: What do you say to players coming in to replace the injured who know they’re going to fall back, not to discourage them when the injured come back from their injuries?
— Mitch Giguere (@Mitch_Giguere) 28 January 2023
To begin with, it is very difficult to discourage players who have just been recalled. Why? Because they are already aware that it is only of short duration. So there is not really any discouragement on the part of the coaches.
What can also happen, as we saw with Suzuki and the recall of Beck, is that several players will come together to help the player fit in and feel the culture of the organization. The meeting with the coach is usually very simple: try to learn more about the player on a personal level to create a connection, and then try to reassure him as much as possible about his game, given the nervousness, anxiety or even nervousness. He talks a little about the system, but the deputies will do the heavy lifting.
In the end, the coach often mentions the same thing: how important it is to leave your calling card, not only for the game, but for the future! If during a callback the player is invisible, doesn’t create anything, and is almost useless, they will next call someone else.
If, on the contrary, you leave a solid calling card, as the RHP currently is, the player gives himself the maximum ammunition to stay a little longer, and if not, to be the first to be called back next time.
I knew Kuzmenko had a low risk high reward after his amazing season.
I didn’t want that with CH because I wanted Hughes to use capspace for bad deals.
How was he before his last season 21-22 in the KHL?
— ToeBlake151 (@toeblake_151) 27 January 2023
I had already talked about it in one of my columns. I liked him in my time in the KHL and I’m not too surprised by his quick success, especially with Vancouver going a little nowhere.
The advantage he had for his adjustment in NHL vs. KHL: the 2 teams he played for are on an NHL size field and not Finnish so he is used to the same dimensions even though the style of play is different. He finished second in league scoring, two places ahead of star player Zhaf.
A big signing from the Canucks, but they still took a chance with the situation in Russia, especially at that time.
Hi Mitch, with the draft starting to make a lot more noise, besides talent and performance, what qualities does a scout look for in a player to determine who appears to be the “best pick”
— wd | r0ctos 🇺🇦 (@rojirndunmer) 27 January 2023
Every recruiter is different and every organization is different. In the sense that some will prioritize the offensive aspect, others will go for the defensive aspect, others will choose IQ and so on.
Organizations will also choose according to their needs. At some point you look for talent, but also potential. And no, 2 identical players, it does not exist: one wants a little more than another, sometimes just a preference. So when we say equal talent, it’s just no. Look at the odds in NHL23 for 2 similar players and you will see that when you click on them they are not all the same.
Then you also want to pick up players according to the team’s identity. Bob Hartley cited the perfect example this week with the Boston Bruins. When a player is injured, they put a new player in that position and he is one fit automatic. Their culture is important and communicated throughout the organization.
So that’s what the draft is based on as well.
The psychological aspect has a very large effect on the players’ performance.
Do you think that a coach must have a good understanding of the psychology of his players?
Do you like to see more and more sports psychology coaches on the teams?
— Marc-Andre Breault (HH) (@MaBreault) 27 January 2023
A coach must have many, but far too many hats and expertise to be good. He must be able to manage his bench, manage the team, demonstrate skillsbe a psychologist and so on.
In addition, each position is different and so is the situation. Eventually, who knows, maybe hockey will take a turn like soccer with more coaches.
Yes, it is very important because we forget the external aspect of hockey. Players, despite their money, have problems at home or otherwise.
My only downside, but we don’t see it at the professional level, is when we bring in someone who has no knowledge in the sport or even in the specific sport, let’s say it can make a difference with the organization and the success the rate is often not high.
What do you think of Oliver Moore? Do you think he deserves to be in the discussion for the top 6-8 in the 2023 draft (in my opinion, Benson, Smith Yager, Dvorsky, Sale and Barlow will likely be in this lineup).
He has a lot of Dylan Larkin-like qualities.
— Keven Fortier (@FortierKeven) 27 January 2023
I don’t think he’s a top-10 honestly. I am by no means an expert with the prospects and my time in the KHL, it was easy when we were already signing adult players to come and help us right away. It wasn’t a draft, but rather signings.
But all of this I say I’ve seen several games and it’s clear he’s a first round pick. But he will slide outside the top 10 and I think he will come out around the 20e rank.
What I like is that I miss few games from the American schedule. I wouldn’t say it’s not good by any means child, by the way, but I find that it has no dominance in his game. He’s good, he’s complete, but he doesn’t have a big one up at a certain point. That’s why I see him slipping.
Matvei Michkov: impact beyond the rink #TSLH https://t.co/ZfjqLNLWrW
— Toutsurlehockey.com (@Toutsurlehockey) 20 January 2023
I came across this article and I had the chance to talk about it with Pascal from the site as well. I just want to add this, or rather, correct what is happening in the KHL, which could be perceived as abnormal here in North America, but in reality is not at all.
First, the KHL allows teams to loan players. This therefore gives the advantage for a particular team, during a season, to seek out a good player, to attract the media as well as spectators to the arena.
Subsequently, it is obvious that the team that lends its player makes a money pass, because normally the loan is made in exchange for money. So nothing out of the ordinary here, kind of like when a team withholds an amount. Now you must understand that it is common to loan a player in the KHL.
During my 2 years in Nizhny Novgorod, before I decided to come home for the family, we had Pyotr Kochektov, who was loaned to us from Vityaz for the first season. For the 2e season, he had been loaned by the Carolina Hurricanes to Vityaz and then loaned us a 2e straight season.
Last year we had young Ilya Fedotov who played 35 games with us and is a selection of 2e round of Arizona. I worked a lot with Arizona and Ilya for its development.
All this to say that this season there was no room for Ilya with Torpedo. He started the season in the MHL and was later loaned to Neftekhimik in the KHL. He is down to 12 points in 30 games.
As always, a big thank you to you for taking the time and I’ll see you next week. Come and follow me on social media @Mitch_Giguere. And I told you last week about our new baby in the family. Say hello to our little Shiba Inu after the 4 children and the 3 cats. A nice waiting time of just over 2 years.
He’s been my dream dog since I was 16, so I don’t need to tell you that I’m happy. But at the end of the day, the kids and spouse are even happier than me.