Saturday, August 16, 2008

Prospect Watch 2008: Petr "Crack Squirrel" Kalus sez:

Petr Kalus -- The 21-year-old is still trying to find his way after being acquired from Boston in the deal that sent goaltender Manny Fernandez to Boston. Kalus scored four times in nine games for the Bruins in 2006-07, but spent the entire 2007-08 season with Houston. He had just 18 points in 58 games for the Aeros after nearly making the Wild's roster in October.

"I think he lost some of his confidence in Houston," Thompson said. "We got him in the Fernandez trade, and he was pretty good in training camp. He was our last cut as a forward. His play was up-and-down in Houston."
Ms. Conduct sez:

That's not much of an opinion from TT as far as Kalus' prospects with the Wild or their expectations of him, is it? Really just a statement of fact there. Howzabout a little insight, Tommy?

Fine. I'll give some. Kalus is a frustrating enigma like Pouliot, but with some of the opposite problems. He's got a lot of talent, a lot of energy, and actually too much willingness to play physically. He's not a small guy, but he's not real big either, yet he plays like he's 6'4", 220 and ends up injured a lot as a result. I'm the last one to criticize a guy for playing physically, but when your body can't hold up to it AND you're offensively gifted, howzabout we leave the crushing blows to the beefier fellas and you just get the puck in the fucking net?

Kalus is talented, no doubt about it, but he's got a wild, undisciplined style, which might work on some teams, but will NOT work for Constantine and Lemaire. I just have visions of Lemaire with his hands around Kalus' neck a la Homer and Bart... though the reality is that he'd just get healthy scratched like Kalus occasionally was in Houston (to his obvious irritation if you talked to him about it).

In fact, when we played Providence this season (Kalus' former team), Shaver interviewed Scott Gordon (now the Islanders' coach) who basically said Kalus was a challenge from day one and when he finally started making strides, injuries set him back. Sounds familiar. Listen to it here. He starts talking about Kalus at about the midway point.

The St. Paul Pio-Press had a good article about Kalus during the Development Camp a few weeks ago, but unfortunately they charge for access to older articles. If anybody out there has Lexis-Nexis or something and can pull the content for me, e-mail it to me and I'll put it here. I believe it was published July 11.

The gist of it was that he had a bad year last year due to Coach Constantine basically breaking his game down in order to re-build it to work in this system. Kalus says he feels like he's matured, but that if he doesn't make the big club this year, when his contract runs out, he's gone. Fair enough, kid. Make it work! Holla atcha boy!

Honestly, I hope he finds his niche this season. He's a funny guy with a ton of crazy, crack squirrel energy and I like that about him, but want him to harness it.

Dr. Conduct sez:

I have a simple solution. Get the boy a Ritalin prescription!


Life_As_A_Redhead  August 16, 2008 at 7:04 PM  

I detest trying to coach this type also. The most frusterating thing is a lot of the time these kind have most of the potential to do great things. Lets hope for the best for this kid.

Ms. Conduct  August 16, 2008 at 9:10 PM  

Exactly. It's like, if he could just focus that energy...

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