Thursday, October 29, 2015

Imports, Trades & Other Stuff

Some of this is old news by now, this was written last week, but made a few changes with the recent trade, callups and injuries. Some of it is still outdated which I will edit later.

Tamas Laday
Tamas Laday has been waived. The Hungarian import was acquired from the Spokane Chief's in the off-season for an 8th round pick. He started out the season in the top 4 but was replaced fairly quickly into the bottom pairing. He was making some mistakes that maybe typical of a young 16-17 yr old defender, but not what you want to see from a veteran 19 yr old. Simple mistakes like rushing forward with an oncoming forward and consistently making the first move that was widely avoidable.

Alexei Platanov
According to Bob Ridley Alexei was sent back home to Russia. Alexei was the Tigers Import Selection last draft. I found from another source that Alexei was having difficulties blending into the Canadian culture with the language barrier and it was a mutual decision to be granted a release.

Jevne Suspended 4 Games
Ryan Jevne was suspended 4 games for a hit on Evan Polei of the Red Deer Rebels. Polei wasn't in the lineup for Red Deer Friday night. An aftergame interview by Sutter suggested he had some initial symptoms and they were following the concussions protocol but thought he would be back soon. Polei was listed day to day on the WHL injury report.

Jevne has served 2 of his 4 game suspension.

I Couldn't get a good replay of the hit. It looked like an open ice hit coming from the blindside where he clipped Polei. A suspension of 2 Games has been the standard for most hits to the head.

David Quenneville
Took a high hit last Saturday against Saskatoon and didn't return to the game. The WHL weekly report lists him out for 1-2 weeks as an "upper body" injury.

James Hamblin
Hamblin is off to the World Under 17's challenge.  The tournament  kicks off Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.

Spokane Wednesday and 15 yr Old Callups
Spokane just got last year's leading scorer Adam Helewka back from San Jose's farm team. The Tigers had 2 15 yr old callups dressed in Josh Mcneil, and Baxter Anderson. They both played a regular 4th line shift alongside Zach Fischer where they received ample playing time. The young guys stepped up big time pulling an even plus/minus.

16-17 Crop
Wedmesday night we saw flashes into the future. Fantillo, Gerlach, Preziuso Shaw, the young guns led the way as they all had 2 and 3 point nights. Schneider was in the net for the first time since the trade acquisition of Austin Lotz. He had a tough start but turned aside 23 of 25 shots.

Trevor  Cox traded to Vancouver
Trevor Cox was traded to the Vancouver Giants. He became expendable after goaltending and defense issues prompted movement and an additional overage player. It is not very often you hear about a 100 pont player becoming expendable. The Tigers got a veteran defenceman who most likely will be here as a 20 to help out the inexperienced group.

The Tigers received a 2nd round pick in 2018, as well as 19 yr old defenceman Clayton Kirichenko.

Vancouver article on the trade:

Thoughts on the future.(This was written before the trade)

Breaking down the Roster 

The older the age group the more critical the criteria for skill. The 17's and below are judge more on skill and reachable potential, while the older players are more judge on current skill.

Josh Mcneil (15)
Ryan Chyzowski (15)
Baxter Anderson(15)

Too early to say the strength of this group. If these players can turn into core players, this age-group has the making for something above average, but judging strictly on potential is dangerous.

1999 (16's)
James Hamblin, Tyler Preziuso,  Rylan Rommelaere
This class is on par for average, but has potential to become above average and excellent with future additions. It is too early to judge.

1998 (17's)
 (Quenneville, Shaw, Gerlach, Fantillo, Jevne)

I would say this group right now sits at a half notch above average,. This group looks to be the best age group on the tigers in terms of skill\depth\reachable potential but their is still a lot of development needed.  I'm hoping that while they are young everyone shows marked improvement in the second half of this season.

1997 (18's)
Bradley, Fischer,. Rassall, Forrest, Heid, Schultz, Schneider

Right now the group is average calibre.  Their is some development here needed to bounce that into above average territory which can be reached.

Fischer is falling behind on the depth charts.

Rassall, Bradley, Schultz - I'm putting them all at a slight notch below core status. Rassall with his inspired play is  tracking to be there by mid-season if he can keep playing well consistently. Bradley I think needs to be pushed a little. He had a tough start to the season with his surgery. I am hoping that with the loss of Cox, and Sanford he steps his game up and takes over the leadership role in terms of scoring. Schultz is getting a ton of ice-time he will be leaned upon next season to be the Shutdown guy.

1996 (19's)
Owre, Butcher, Mowbray, Clouston

I'd say this group is average, perhaps a slight notch below just because they have less depth than most teams.

Sanford, Cox, Stanton, Lotz

This group is in the excellent category, even with the deletion of one overage.

Next Season
Forwards )
Owre(20) Bradley(19) Butcher(20)
 Rassal(19)  Shaw(18)  Max Gerlach(18)
Jevne(18) James Hamblin(17) Fantillo(18) 
Fischer(19) Tyler Preziuso(17) Ryan Chyzowski(16)
Josh Mcneil(16)

*This is pretty much the roster they are playing with right now with the injuries they had to cox/sanford. What we have seen over the past week and the next is what we will see next season.

Ty Schultz(19)   David Quenneville(18)
Brad Forrest(19) Connor Clouston(20)

Nick Schneider(19)
Rylan Rommelaere(17)

Season After
 Rassal(20)  Shaw(19)  Max Gerlach(19) 
Jevne(19) James Hamblin(18) Fantillo(19) 
 Josh Mcneil (17)Tyler Preziuso(18) Ryan Chyzowski(17)
Prospect Prospect Prospect

Ty Schultz(20)   David Quenneville(19)
Rylan Rommelaere(18)

Typical Championship team
They have a very strong ( at least 5 core/key guys) in each 18,19 year old age group supplemented by good quality 20's, which are generally found cheaper on the trade market. 

The Tigers generally like a consistent approach to all of their age groups, where eventually a couple above average crops comes along and they have an above average year. They really strive for balance so the down years are never terrible. 

Next " Peak Up Cycle"
The next "up cycle" appears to be in 2 seasons when the young forward/defensive core "matures" to the 18/19 yr old age group.  I should say that a lot can happen between now and then and this cycle may shift depending on the development of these players and the moves that are made.  I think it's a blessing in disguise with the injuries to Cox/Sanford as these young guys are forced into ice-time.

The Tigers also have room to add 2 imports, which could easily change the dynamic of the team depending on their skill.  It might be beneficial next season to look for 2 18 yr old imports( or 1-17, 1-18) so they both have a year to develop before the " up cycle"

The Tigers also have an extra 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2018 draft, which could be used to bolster this group as well. The defense is potentially looking a bit lean in 2 years but their is potential for a strong base. In my opinion they need to add to this.

Schneider is debatable. He is signed so I'm unsure if he will be here as a 20, but with how his development is going it maybe wise for the flames to keep him in Junior for his 20yr old season. You could say he is tracking on a similar path to Langhamer of last season.

The weaknesses are size up front, defensive depth, perhaps goaltending depending on Schneider's status. Always wonder about scoring, but that is difficult to judge young players on.
 I really hope by the end of the season we have 3 or 4 of these young forwards starting to become semi-dangerous where they are winning the majority of battles regardless of if they are getting points or not. We are starting to see that with the young 17 yr old line of gerlach, shaw, fantillo.

What direction to go
The off-season defensive acquisitions fell flat which obviously didn't help the tigers.  Perhaps it's a good thing but the Central Division appears weaker than normal this year.

If I'm the Tigers I'm looking at bolstering the 15,16,17 year old age group as much as possible, with maintaining the ability still be a playoff team. The young guys will have good games and poor games

Bolstering the 18/19 yr age group is a short-term fix in a down year, which in the long-term strips value away from the team, however if they could look at getting a cheap solution if they do indeed trade one of their overage forwards as long as it is not the main piece in the deal and more of a throw-in.

Playoff Question
 I see a situation down the road where the Tigers are in the thick of making the playoffs, yet also have teams knocking on their door about players like sanford/Cox/Owre/Butcher. I could also see players such as Fischer, Mowbray, Forrest available but that would warrant young players in return. Still their could be another move made if a whl team is looking to add to their 18yr old group, and it could benefit the Tigers to add to their 17 or 16 group.

Best case scenario they make the playoffs and add to the young core. Next season they should be better than this year.   Mark down 2017/2018 as their talent projects to be at a "peak up cycle" barring massive unforeseen circumstances which no-one can predict.


Shane said...

Great write up! Any speculation on whether Sanford might be moved to boost that rebuilding process? Prior to the year I was of the opinion we should move Cox and Sanford while they are still fetching a high price and it seems like they still hold value in the league. and how did they manage to trade an injured player?

on a side note, I know Cox/Sanford have had some injuries but Hunt has more points then them combined.

TigerTurf said...

I think that is a question that will be evaluated on a weekly basis. I think it could depend on where the Tigers are in the standings come deadline time, the development of the younger players, as well as the demand/price for an overager.

The quicker the development of the young guys, the higher they are in the standings and the higher price for an overager, the more probable he is to be moved.

It would be a difficult decision to move him if the asking price was average and the Tigers were neck and neck fighting for a playoff spot

Anonymous said...

The hard work ethic of the rookies is awesome it is all about hard work and determination, players coasting and worried about being hit or hurt is lame, I like the fast skating cant catch me players if our young players keep playing hard and as a team we will be strong and gain experience, players must go hard every shift instead of coasting and being stick slammers.I am enjoying watching the hard working rookies come together if we play hard we can grind out wins.

CatFan said...

What a gritty effort by the team tonight against a much bigger Rebels team! To come back the way they did was amazing and they should hold their heads high after that game. Defence needs work but that should come in time. We had some great chances to win the game in overtime and then hit the crossbar in the shootout. Still an awesome point earned and hopefully some bodies returning next weekend!

TigerTurf said...

I agree that was a pretty amazing comeback, and a point well earned.

Shane said...

It's only been one game but I like the looks of that new kid. Looks like that trade could work out. Some of our guys looked pretty tired in that 3v3 they definitely gave it everything they had that game.

TigerTurf said...

James Hamblin was named captain of Team White at the Under 17's. He Picked 2 goals and 1 assist in their first game against Canada Black

Anonymous said...

I thought it was worth another look on that crossbar. Sit behind net and it looked like it might have been a goal. Good character win. To all the complainers talking about Clouston shortening his bench. Had he not shortened his bench in third, team would have not even had a chance of getting that point. Rebels would have eaten those young kids up. They are a big tough team with lots of speed and they force turnovers everywhere. rebs sure use their size as an advantage
Great character point by the boys.

Anonymous said...

As for "all the complainers" on the topic of shortened bench topic....yes to shorten the bench as to not play rookies for the win is ok, as to not shorten the bench with not enough players is not ok J.A!

Anonymous said...

Did i read it right the tigers are giving away a pink jersey nov 7th? Does that mean they have special pink jerseys to wear for this game like the other teams? That might draw a crowd??

Anonymous said...

In our barn we have last change and match lines to our advantage. When the visiting team throws out its number 1 line the Tigers throw out our matching line. Hence the home ice. Look at the Rebel game and see how many minutes their top lines get and it matches the same as our top lines. I would bet that our younger players get more ice time than other teams for sure. Especially due to the injuries. If we were winning fans wouldnt be complaining about ice times. We were missing our top 2 scorers and guys that logged many minutes. We traded one away and with these 2 guys that got 25 minutes a game, Clouston has to disperse these minutes to guys that aren't used to these minutes as well as carrying the scoring burden on their shoulders. These guys have yet to fit into these roles but they are showing signs. Owre and Butcher have picked up their game as well as some of the younger guys, but Bradley has yet to get into game shape. Before lotz came goaltending sucked. The D is still a work in progress. Looks like the new guy is a keeper. Still lots of season to go. Let the complainer complain. We are a young team and it will take time for them to gel and find their roles.

Anonymous said...

Down 4-0 and I bet you were screaming to play the young guys. Had we played the young guys more we would have never come back and got the tie. Mark this point down in your memory bank and wait till the end of the season and see if this point mattered. I will remind this bog about this point at seasons end. Nov 1/15 Red Deer.

9:51 JA said...

Looks like your the complainer 9:51 so much that you had to post twice.....silly :(

TigerTurf said...

I don't understand where all this hate about playing young guys vs veterans is coming from.
In a tight game against a good team it was a great example of when to shorten your bench. I don't see anybody arguing against that.

This is why its important to play everybody with appropriate ice-times in the first half so that your veteran players still have some extra juice at the end. (unless of course your using a strategy to drain the opponents top lines or another alternate strategy or have lots of special teams play)

In hockey anytime you make a decision to go for short-term gains, your long term gain will suffer if the risk doesn't pan out. Calculated risks with high chances of success (like shortening your bench in the third) can be beneficial in the long-term.

If your 4th line plays 4-5 shifts in the entire first 2 periods every single game they would gain better development time playing at a lower level and getting more icetime.

The Tigers used one of their "5 games" on the 15 yr old" who didn't get a whole lot of ice-time but that is something you can't really measure depending in the flow of the game. You could have a very tight game/special team filled game against a kootenay, which could also warrant shortening the bench.

Anderson and McNeil received a ton of ice-time in previous games against spokane, but they were in a position to keep playing a regular shift as the game was in favor of the Tigers.

I agree with anon @ November 2, 2015 at 4:47 PM

Anonymous said...

Shocked and sad to hear that Bunz has moved on from hockey. Never thought this guy would only play 3 years as a back up in the ECHL and then be selling used cars. The Oilers pulled him up too early, should have played his 20 year old year in junior. All the best to him outside of hockey.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wearing Lotz is out and requires surgery could be season ending