Now that September is well and truly upon us, it won’t be long before the pre-season kicks into high gear.
- Craig Medaglia had a nice feature interview with Troy Mann, coach of the Belleville Senators, ahead of the prospect mini-tournament set to kick off this weekend. This quote in particular jumped out at me:
“Being here in Ottawa gives us a chance to see how D.J. is going to play. It’s going to be very similar to how we play in Belleville,” Mann said. “Quite frankly, last year we just played different from how Ottawa did but this season we’ll be using a lot more of the same concepts.”
It’s not exactly breaking news that Guy Boucher’s tactics were not beloved by the time he was let go, but an organization-wide commitment to a certain style of play could ease the transition for some of the young players that might be expected to spend time going back and forth between the AHL and NHL teams this upcoming season.
- Speaking of the prospect mini-tournament, TSN will be streaming every game. Full details can be found here. I’ll also take this opportunity to put forward an informal poll: would there be interest in an open thread to talk Sens prospects for the week-end? Let me know in the comments if that would be of interest.
- Craig Custance had a cool piece about several of the best men and women’s hockey players in the world gathering to train together, and to share tips and tactics with each other. The piece also serves as something of a profile of Darryl Belfry, whose name you might recognize from his work training several of the top players. I particularly enjoyed this section where Belfry explains how he can help NHLers even if he never played pro hockey himself:
“I feel like when you don’t have an accomplished playing career at any high level, you have to assume that there is just a ton you don’t know. So there is an endless search for meaning that you’re going to try and check and recheck,” Belfry said. “The league evolves, people are getting better. I took that on myself. I’m responsible for providing new ideas or teaching them something new, then I have to take that on as a challenge for myself. I have to get better. I have to find faster, more efficient, more effective ways.”
- Lastly, the Arizona Coyotes signed Clayton Keller to a eight year extension with an AAV of $7.15 million. It’s very difficult for me to find a way to rationalize this from Arizona’s perspective: Keller had a stellar first year in the league from a scoring perspective, but he regressed to a 47 points last season and his shot metrics have not been good in either season. Even if all you care is points, which you shouldn’t, this doesn’t make sense. Keller was slated to become a restricted free agent after this season. Good for Keller, I guess, get your money, man.