I think the main reason he will be playing in Austria is because he will be playing under Pierre Page.
For those of you who don't know what Page is doing in Austria right now. Pagé spearheaded the International Ice Hockey Development Model (IIDM) in Salzburg with the Red Bulls. The model aims to develop world class athletes with the help of the training facilities provided at the Thalgau training center. With all the championships they've been winning lately, I say it's going pretty well.
The Canucks specific put him in Austria under Page because it would be best for his development. This is a great move by the Canucks.
Wow, thanks for the insight. Didn't know that was the case.
I was also unaware of Pierre Page, thanks for sharing. This move is starting to make some good sense, I really hope we sign Grenier next offseason.
"Thinking outside the box."
Isn't that what Gillis said impacted him the most about the book Moneyball? This move seems to be exactly that. Everyone knows that Grenier is a "gentle giant" and most teams would be trying to change his entire game by telling a 6'5" 200lbs guy to put on 20-30lbs of muscle in order to hammer guys into the boards instead of realizing he is what he is, a skill guy getting used to gangly arms & legs, and trying to squeeze out his offensive potential. So Gillis send him off to Austria to learn how to use his size to protect the puck
, create space and therefore offense against men rather than use his size to crash and bang against men.
On top of that, people have been saying for years that the bigger ice surface over there helps nurture more "skilled" players. Gillis must be thinking "top-six forward" for Grenier rather than "top-six forward with the ability to become a bottom-six if top-six doesn't pan out" and since Gillis knew there would barely be bottom-six minutes with the Wolves, let alone top-six minutes, it's off to some new innovative program that is showing some tangible results in the "'overachieving'
on a consistent basis" department. I bet you Gillis probably sees a lot of similarities between what he's trying to implement over here (new, innovative ideas) and what Page appears to be doing over there.
I wonder if Gillis & Co see any future Johan Franzen-type upside in Grenier, ie all the size & skating ability in the world but needed years to develop into a late bloomer at age 25.
Edited by Millerdraft, 04 June 2012 - 11:22 PM.