Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Karlsson and the "A"!

Ya can't put any weight on playing as a 1-2 pair D-man in the AHL. Too many games...too many miles on the Bus...too many In and Out Burgers...too many bumps and bruises to heal...too many card games (nerveous energy) and finally too many 4th liners trying to squash you on the wall.

You are too lonely, too transient, too little time to relax...this young Viking may still go home yet...it's all about time with this man...time to mature, time to grow, time to make love for days at a time, time to pack on the beef, time to do some serious weight training.

Jason York is the only guy I know who liked playing in the "A" and I played with and knew quite a few!

If "Erik" is not coming right back up and he is not...Alfie and I say send him home!

PS: Minor Pro and the "Show!" are two completely different worlds populated by completely different animals!

PPS: The "A" is like 82 games of training camp...the league is filled with NHL 3rd and 4th liner wannabes, trying to beat you down so that they can get ahead.


  1. Nik, although aspects of what you say are true, let's get real.
    In the absence of a PHL (Prospect Hockey League), where the only players are elite prospects with ELC's, and a no hitting hard rule, what's a team to do?
    Play a prospect in the NHL?
    Using your own logic here, which indicates the AHL is "filled with NHL 3rd and 4th liner wannabes", who exactly do you think Karlsson will be up against in the NHL? 1st and 2nd line NHL'ers? No way.
    So instead of going to the A, you suggest he, play fewer minutes, against actual NHL 3rd & 4th liners, who skate faster, hit harder, and, like their AHL brethren, are not about to hang the balance of their ice-time in favour of going soft on a 170 lb rookie?
    Both are still 82 game schedules, so that's a wash.
    Both have a lot of travel, so that's a wash.
    Sure, travel in the N, is WAYYY better than travel in the A, but he's 19, not 30, and like many 19 yr olds, long bus rides, and some In & Out (of all types) is par for the course.
    He's had his exposure to the NHL, he knows what he needs to work on, both physically, and skill wise, and he'll get the ice-time, and attention he needs in the AHL to progress to the next level, all while knowing, if he does good, he's a limo ride away from the big club.
    Send him back to Sweden and you do nothing to adjust him to the small ice, the 82 game schedule, or the NA style of play.
    I too know the AHL, and no, it is far from perfect, but it is the only viable alternative to playing in the NHL, which, at this juncture, will do little more than frustrate, and potentially harm Eriks development.
    Or at least that's my opinion, and I don't mind agreeing to disagree.

  2. GN:

    It's not all good or bad...I agree with a lot of what you had to say...

    1) "Erik" will have big money the other kids don't. Will not be liked.

    2) Karlsson takes Lee's PP job! And loses the PR War.

    3) Special K goes...reverts...loses to 155 lbs almost immidiately.

    4) The "Pup" is not big enough to play big time pro hockey yet...if he were Canadian he'd be back in Jr.

    5) Heaven forbid he may never be big enough to play DEFENCE in the NHL...remember he's not a 3rd line center, Erik is a #1 D-man.

    6) For a 19 year old in tears showing up on the Binghamton Ball Buster's door step...have you ever been on the ice with this guy...I'd want psychological testing if I was Karlsson...you know the one that says you possess your sanity!

    GN: I just want an uninjured, fat, happy little Viking back at camp next year.

    PS: This regime we put Hockey Players through is over rated!

  3. He did get a peace-offering from Mr. Murray. He will get a chance to play for Team Sweden again in the World Juniors.

    Now doesn't this tickle your fancy...Team Sweden captained by Mr. Karlsson vs. Team Canada captained by the Big Nasty Jared Cowan.

    I'm going to have to find a way to get to Regina....

  4. Hmmm, the way you talk Nik, it seems you're afraid he will become the next John Slaney ...

  5. Canucnik -

    I agree with you, at least in large part. EK's game isn't going to evolve until he feels comfortable being more physical. Let's face it, he has the puck skills but is never going to have a Scott Stevens moment on the ice, because that's just not who he is or what his game is about.

    As he grows though, the physical aspects of the game will come much easier, and he'll be better able to handle things in his own end.

    You made a very good point wrt the difficulty in putting on weight during a long schedule. Unfortunately, I don't think the Sens have a great conditioning program in place, on- or off-season, so I'm not sure what difference any of this makes. So many trainers these days give the players poor off season drills, because they're fearful of being blamed for any injuries incurred. Let's face it, the kid should have been eating like a horse and hitting the weights all summer, but it didn't seem to happen. He could have added a minimum of 10-15 lbs without the PEDs, that we all know have become rather prevalent in the juniors...shhhh.

    Bottom line is that the Sens really need to re-evaluate player development. There has to be a proper plan in place to get each player from point A to point B.

  6. Master:

    It's a fine line for the John Slaneys and the Erik Karlssons, guys their size...have been to pro camp for hockey and football as cannon fodder but watched as the bigger bubble guys got that second look and sometimes another chance...example Matt Carkner.

    I love Erik's game, he's a game changer @ 22 years of age...but you have to get him there in one piece mentally anf physically.

  7. Dutch:

    Regina deserves them both and will support it big time. The Sens (Bryan) will come through.

    Regina the only Western city in Canada where in a lounge, ya tell someone you are from Ottawa and not have to engage in a major bar fight!!

  8. SCSF:

    You have nailed the point again today. WTF were his handlers and guys like Alf letting him show up here at his size and weight (he should have been on the stretch rack and doing one arm chin ups till he was at least 5'11' and a half and he's lucky if he is 5'10" now) and without any additives I could blown him up to 185 lbs, any decent Diabetic Nutritionist coulda done it!

  9. It's a tough call, considering his size. Typically Euro players are smaller framed as juniours, they just don't do the focused training in the off-season that we see here.
    Let's say he goes back to Sweden, as really, apart from the AHL, that's the only other option, at that point he'll not add any bulk, still not get used to a long grind, or the NA game and ice surface.
    Is Bingo perfect? Far from it, but it is the best choice of the available options IF the Sens believe he is close enough to play later this season, or next season. If not, then he should be back in the SEL.
    I wouldn't worry about the money, he ain't seeing it now, and, like Lee and a host of other guys with 2 way deals, he hardly the only paper millionaire.
    But, there are some great points being argued here, nice!