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UticaHockey last won the day on June 2 2015

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  1. No, no. no and no. College, college, college and too young.
  2. The disappointing thing to me was how Gaunce finished his season in Utica. When I wrote that quote at the TDL in late February Gaunce was the most noticeable player on the team in all three zones but his play fell off a cliff down the stretch for the Comets. When the team went through a nearly two month period of not winning a game in regulation Gaunce became invisible. I don't know if it was because he didn't get traded at the deadline and quit or if he just fell into a slump but he was not good at all the last 6 or 7 weeks of the seaason.
  3. Most players improve their production in their second season and I expect Lind and Gadjo to be no different. Lind said all of the right things about needing to work on his skating and strength this summer and there is reason to believe that he won't. Gadjo really improved his physical game the last couple months and even though he was also injured during this time period you could see that he figured out how he has to play to make the next level. Neither had the kind of rookie seasons that most expected of them but both know what they need to work on to become better players next year.
  4. I'm going to be Debbie Downer again but Juolevi didn't look NHL ready to me last season. Does anyone know if he was playing through with a knee injury in Utica or was the injury sustained just before he was held out of games and then determined surgery was needed. The reason why I asked is his skating was slow and sluggish looking all season. If he was playing through an injury that would explain it but if not I would be concerned. He was often slow to the puck and not physical enough to do much with it if he didn't get possession quickly before a forechecking forward was on him.
  5. When Cal O'Reilly was the captain of the Comets Travis Green was quoted that Cal was the best captain of any team he had been associated with. That included Green's playing days.
  6. How many games did Lind get scratched when healthy in Utica?
  7. Let's not forget that Lind played 6 games with the Comets in 2018 after his junior season ended and looked like a deer in the headlights. I would have hoped that he would have spent last summer getting better prepared for the league that he got an introduction to. This summer is huge for him and he needs to take it seriously.
  8. Boosh was on a two way contract this year at $300K in the AHL which is the going rate for a high end AHL/NHL tweener. The year before he was on a one way and spent most of the year in the AHL. I don't think it will be about the money the question will be how much does Benning value having a proven goal scorer in the AHL.
  9. I think it is less than 50/50 that Boucher get a qualifying offer. He never got a call up this season which tells me that the Canucks don't see him as a NHL player and Benning hasn't shown an interest in keeping AHL all star caliber players on the Comets. He'd rather keep AHL plumbers like Hamilton, Bancks and Darcy around. I hope I am wrong but I think Boucher has played his last game as a Comet.
  10. Go back and listen to the video of Kole Lind that I posted. His words not mine.... I need to work on my skating, my leg strength and my power. I felt like I was a half step behind much of the season. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that some of the prospects in Utica this season had trouble adjusting to the pro game and struggled when playing against bigger and faster players even when the prospects say it directly? It had nothing to do with the perceived notion of prioritizing winning over development.
  11. The lack of point production brings up another topic of discussion that Comet fans have been talking about for 3 or 4 years now in that there are not enough skilled centers in Utica to enable the prospects on the wing to find offensive success. Rookies like Lind, Gadjovich and Dahlen we not able to drive the offense on their own like they did in juniors or a second tier pro league in Sweden. Pairing them up with centers like Wacey Hamilton, Brendan Wood, Cam Darcy or multiple ECHL plugs on PTOs is not going to bring out their offensive game. Of course there are multiple sides to every debate. Comets fans including myself would like to see more emphasis placed on acquiring proven AHL playmaking centers because not only would it help the skilled wingers find more early on success it would help the Comets be more competitive and hopefully make the playoffs and win a round or two. Others have pointed out that inflating a prospects numbers by placing them on lines with AHL point drivers doesn't necessarily drive development if it covers up other deficiencies in their games. No matter which side of this debate you are on I think there is no question that the lack of centers hinders the offensive production of players like Lind, Gadjovich and Dahlen.
  12. I still have to fall back to what Kole Lind said himself that he felt like he was a half step behind the play much of this season. That half step in the AHL will be a full step in the NHL but probably on pace if not ahead of the competition in juniors. The AHL is full of players that had standout seasons in juniors before turning pro. Heck even Tom Sestito had 42 goals in his final junior year and was a 3rd round draft choice. All three of these players had issues with their skating that need to be worked on in the off season. Since you mentioned MacEwen one of the biggest differences in his game between his first season and his second is that he came into this camp this year a noticeably quicker skater which he worked on hard during the summer. Big Mac still has areas that he needs to improve on before he makes the jump full time butt he has showed that he is willing to do what ever it takes to become a better hockey player.
  13. It's a lot easier to blame the coaches than it is to look at the big picture. A lot has been said about the lack of players being developed in Utica and the ice time the young kids received but not a lot has been mentioned about the fact that non first round picks typically take 2 - 3 years to develop. The coaches in the AHL can work with these kids to get them to be better overall hockey players and to improve their defensive game to the point that they can play in a system that a NHL coach will require them to be competent in. But the AHL coaches are not going to change the physical and skating skills mid season that many non first round draft picks are lacking. And when looking at the big picture the more games played as well as more ice time in the games can be counter intuitive to developing strength and skating skills. Both Ryan Johnson and Trent Cull stated in interviews during the first few months of the season that part of the development plan for some of the first year rookies was to spend more time working on strength and conditioning as opposed to playing in every game. A common theme with Lind, Gadjovich, Dahlen and Palmu was their skating. Listen to the interview with Kole Lind below about the things he identified that he needs to work on this off season. "Skating, leg strength and power" He went on to say that he was often a half step behind the play this season. Those direct quotes from Kole Lind are nearly identical to what the people who watch every Comets game have been saying all season long. Players like Lind, Gadjovich and Dahlen were never going to make the NHL during their first pro season. Palmu probably never will. They all need to work on their deficiencies before they are ready and that is a process that will take 2 - 3 years to complete.
  14. What does Kole Lind think he needs to work on this summer? "Skating, strength in my legs and more power" Exactly what those who have been watching him play all year have been saying.
  15. Why it's important to have veterans in the AHL to mentor the young guys. Yesterday was Jaime Sifers final game before his retirement from professional hockey and every player came back on the ice after the game for an individual hug including the players not dressed for the game. The biggest and longest embrace was with Thatcher Demko who was back in Utica for the weekend.