Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Farm Team Shuffle

Do you think Pouliot's snickering to himself a little today, knowing that hot shot Krys Kolanos, who took his job just a couple of weeks ago up in Minnesota, is headed back to the minors with him?

But maybe not so much, knowing on the flip side that Peter Olvecky got the call to replace Kolanos.

All in all, it's a shifting of minor leaguers that I can't argue with. Olvecky has had a good season and really found his niche as a gritty playmaker supporting Locke, Rosa, Schultz, and Kolanos. He's hustled his buns off and done what was asked of him and didn't home to Europe in a snit when he was sent down after camp, unlike SOME people. He's earned this cuppa and I couldn't be more delighted for him.

And I couldn't be more delighted to get Krys back. The ice seems little bigger when he's on it and it will be VERY interesting to see if he and Pouliot could possibly get some chemistry. I know... I'm reaching, but if you've seen them both play in person, in the AHL, you understand what I'm talking about. What AHL defensemen pairing is going to shut BOTH of those guys down if they're out together? And it's not like doing that would put all our scorers on one line. There's still Locke, Schultz, and Rosa.

It will be interesting to see if those guys miss Olvecky though.

Some folks have said, "Why not Locke?" Russo sheds some light on that:

Speaking of unlocked, Corey Locke isn’t. He’s having a great offensive season down in Houston and just starred in the All-Star Game, yet he’s not getting a sniff yet. From what I’ve heard from people inside the organization at times, Locke, who once starred in junior with a fella named Matt Foy, is super-skilled but has a tendency to score goals at both ends of the rink if you catch my drift. His size is also a bit of an issue.
I actually haven't had an issue with Locker's defensive play, considering his skill set and size. I'd love for him to get a shot, just to yay or nay the questions about whether he's got the skill to overcome his size limitations. He's clearly got a special nose for the net.

But he is a whispy little thing, for sure. Still, he can take abuse and keep going without a flinch, and he's adapted pretty well to find ways to deal with his size and even make it an asset. He can carve through defensemen pretty handily and is so quick, they don't have a chance. But those are AHL d-men... and quality of defense is the biggest difference between the NHL and AHL.

Anyway, always good to have a little mid-week excitement and pot stirring to make sure everyone is awake.

Of course, the thing I didn't mention is that Kolanos is actually having to go through waivers to get sent to Houston. Someone COULD pick him up. If I'm a GM with an offensively challenged team that plays with less emphasis on the center being a third d-man, maybe I look at that. He really is instant offense... just add ice.

7 comments:

John Royal  January 28, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

You are more impressed with Olvecky than I am. Sure, he's better this year than he was last year, but he couldn't help but be an improvement.

I just don't see what he can bring to the big club.

Ms. Conduct  January 28, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

I dunno. I just have a good feeling. You know how I watch hockey... all prayers and intuition. Maybe I should go to that faith night thing after all...

I don't agree that he couldn't help but improve. Look at Irmen.

Here's what I think: You know how everyone said that Pouliot would play better with better players around him? And you know how I think that's total bullshit? Well, I actually think it's true for Olvecky. You see how much better he's gotten when surrounded by better offensive talent this year.

I dunno. Maybe I'm full of shit. That's usually a good bet. But I actually think he might be at the right time, right place to do a little thriving. I'm not saying he'll light it up or anything, but I see him fitting the system well.

Or, you know, whatever Andrew says. Because he's always right. ;)

Rob  January 28, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

I really thought it would be Locke but frankly I'm glad it's Olvecky. And from my vantage point last Saturday, Locke (and Schultz) took some pretty good shots that our muscle let slide. I think our chances for the playoffs just went up a notch if the greek god wears Aeros colors again. And count me fit to be tied if he gets picked up by the enemy.

Nathan Eide  January 28, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

I have a major issue bringing up a guy with only 17 points in 41 AHL games. Unfortunately, as far as guys who can step in at the NHL level, the cupboard has been pretty bare in Houston. Hell, it's been bare in Minnesota too. We're not exactly stockpiling young talent. Pouliot, Sheppard, Kolanos. None of these guys have been able to shoulder the load with the big club. Now, is it possible than Irmen, Olvecky or Locke would be able to, if given the chance? I guess it's possible, but they'd have to show that they were going to be more valuable to the team than Weller (not hard), Clutterbuck, Veilleux or Gillies (though he's still really young, so he gets a pass this season).

Either way, seeing what isn't coming up out of Houston doesn't make me think that this move is anything more than polishing the rails on the Titanic. There needs to be a major change in personnel.

buddhafisch  January 28, 2009 at 3:08 PM  

It is what it is, folks. Kolanos, in my opinion, played well the role he was expected to play. Centering the fourth line with Boogey and Gilles isn't exactly going to light the lamp. He did however, win face offs, control the puck, and create a few chances all on his own.

I don't know as much as Royal and Ms. C about Olvecky, but the thing here is.... the Wild had an open roster spot, so why send Kolanos down? Or, why not put Weller on IR and bring up Olvecky for a look?

They need to be looking at these guys, Olvecky, Kolanos, Irmen, Locke... they need to bring them up, stir the pot (as Ms. C. said) and find out what they really have.

Maybe they are looking to showcase a few guys for a trade deadline package...

Ms. Conduct  January 28, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

Fellas, this is what makes it so much fun. You just don't really know exactly what's going to happen. I'm looking forward to watching this particular shake-up unfold over the next couple of weeks.

I'll tell you one thing: If I'm having to choose between Weller or Olvecky to sit in the press box on game night, it's Weller, hands down, unless there's a potential middle-weight fighter need for a particular opponent.

Ms. Conduct  January 29, 2009 at 8:16 AM  

BTW, Russo talks about this quite a bit in his radio gig yesterday, which you can listen to here. Pretty good insight that gives a little more detail into what the thinking is.

http://www.am1500.com/ondemand/od_mattthomas.shtml

Go to the Russo Radio link from 1/28.

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