Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Tale of two prospects

Now, with the World Juniors going on, all eyes are on the stars of tomorrow. With Canada, it's all about Sidney Crosby and what he's been doing and what he could do in the future. On the more low key side, the 2004 Overall First Pick in the NHL Draft, Alexander Ovechkin, hasn't raised many eyebrows, but has created some controversy in his rituals off the ice.

Let's first start with Sidney Crosby. The one they call the next one raised many eyebrows saying that he would come back and play in the NHL with replacement players if that's what he needed to do to get into the NHL. Not 24 hours later, Crosby retracted those comments more than likely because his agent, Pat Brisson, would have been decertified by the NHLPA if that were to happen.

Also, Crosby is creating a stir from the inside by something being revealed that he has a clause in his junior contract that he is, literally, uncoachable. That means that Doris Labonté cannot instruct him to do anything. Crosby carried that over to the World Junior front, much to the shagrin of coach Brent Sutter.

It seems that the ego in the kid is getting built up more and more. While he does have great skill and ability, he'll have to brace for a huge change if he wants to make it in the NHL and not become another Alexandre Daigle. He is getting ahead of himself and everything like that, but he needs to focus on the long-term goal. He can be very easily disposed of and yesterday's news if he cannot be the cash-cow on and off the ice which he portrays himself to be.

Moving over to Russia, Alexander Ovechkin has been very quiet this tournament. As I type this, Ovechkin has 3 goals and 2 assist in 3 games, but is getting little to no coverage from any media outlet. The only attention he has received is the negative one.

TSN has watching the USA/Russia game that was on the 26th. After the warm-ups, the cameras stayed on Ovechkin as he sat on the bench, chirped at fans who were chirping at him, and watch the Zamboni around. The commentators (Gino Reda, Bob McKenzie, and Pierre McGuire) said that was a shot at his teammates and he alienated himself because they said "he feels too good to be with the team." Also, there was a comment made that the Washington Capitals, who were there to scout out Ovechkin and the USA's Chris Bourque, were hoping this wasn't a sign of things to come from the Russian Wunderkind.

Personally, I don't see what Ovechkin could be doing wrong by just trying to focus. When I see a player sit on a bench like that, all by himself trying to focus on the ice, I would actually accept it. Many people don't understand the kind of pressure that the International Stage could put on a player, and maybe someone like Ovechkin cannot focus on the task at hand with the hoopla in the lockerroom. However, many think Russian players are all about themselves and all about one-up-manship. Sadly, many of those people are mislead.

In any case, both these hot propsects have been under some kind of microscope. Some are magnified more, some less. In the end, every player in this tournament will give NHL scouts and coaches an eyeful.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

1 comment:

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