What is the purpose of the AHL?
This week I’m thinking about the AHL. What is it? Obviously it’s minor league hockey, but to the fan of an NHL team, what is it?
One school of thought is that the team should have the very best possible lineup day in and day out. It means that learning the organizational systems and processes are critical to being prepared for the call up to the big club. The w’s and l’s matter to those people. The notion that creating a winning culture will help with the development of your prospects. Shelter them from the possibility of shattered confidence or being dragged down by malcontents.
The other school of thought would be that the AHL exists for a hodgepodge of reasons. It can be a place where the results in the standings don’t matter quite as much as individual developmental results. This means that a player may be able to focus an isolated set of skills or positions that they need to improve upon in order to become an NHL player. It may mean that the AHL team proves to be a dumping ground for an under performing veteran to make way in the NHL for a more talented youngster. In other words the AHL is an individual developmental league where players happen to play in a team setting.
In a perfect world the two schools of thought would blend together. The team gels, the team excels in the systems, and the players can still focus on their game. When that doesn’t happen though, how do you prefer that your team handles AHL development?
Avalanche Week in Review
- Since we last talked the Rookie Showcase took place. The abbreviated version is that the players you would have expected to perform well, well, they performed well. If you want a full roundup on the Rookie Showcase…we’ve got you covered.
- Players Reported to Denver yesterday for media day. Every player under contract was there. The one player without a contract…you guessed it, was not. Here is Coach Beldar on the state of affairs in Avsland.
- On the elephants in the room (Duchene and Zadorov) I’ll simply say this “3rd verse same as the first” and I will continue to…..
A Penny for My Thoughts
- The Olympics are back in the news. If you haven’t read this piece by Alexander Ovechkin I’d certainly give it a moment of your time. It gives some very interesting insight into how he (and I suspect many players) feel on having the option of going to the Olympics taken away from them. I agree with AO on this issue. The Olympics are fun, international competition is fun. The game is being played for a different reason when you wear the flag of your country. Different emotions are in place. It makes for a fun watch and I am sad that we won’t have NHL’ers participating.
- The media goes a long way into shaping narratives. Some true and need to be perpetuated, some driven by ulterior motives. The hand wringing that has gone into the lack of a trade of Matt Duchene this offseason is well known and wide spread. Anytime something like this goes public it’s going to garner lots of attention. The urge to present hot takes can simply be too great for an industry who lives in a clicks driven world. My only hope on these issues would be for consistency in the reporting. If you are going to make a statement like the one below I can only hope that the follow up report to it reads: Good for you, Joe Sakic, for solving an important organizational issue. What you will probably get iS: HE TRADED MATT DUCHENE, AN ALL STAR AND CANADIAN OLYMPIAN, FOR WHAT?!?!?!?!? And so the world will turn…
If you're the Avs, why do you want this kind of distraction to linger? Make your best trade and move on https://t.co/XvL6VuAg4x
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 14, 2017
Friends of the Blog
- Rampage Nate covers the San Antonio Rampage. He is looking to spice up his game recaps for the upcoming season. Check out his space when the games start rolling in for interesting analysis of Rampage games.
- Friend of the Blog and Friend to all – AJ Haefele could use your help. His mom was impacted greatly by the recent hurricane and flooding in Texas. If you have any spare change and a charitable bone in your body his family would really appreciate the help.
Hero of the Week
For the Avalanche there are very few people who have had more impact on the organization as a player than Milan Hejduk. Finally and rightfully he will take his place in the rafters of the Pepsi Center this season. For that honor he is this weeks Hero of the Week.
Song of the Week
Hockey is Back. Let’s gooooooo!!!!!