Re: Hamilton Rocks McDavid !
posted at 9/27/2012 8:46 PM EDT
In response to dezaruchi's comment:
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
Now, the novel....
I was reminded of this by an Alan Muir piece on SI, but I think it's pretty common practice to welcome high profile rookies into the league like this. You know, take them down a peg and let them know where they are. Cleanly, but with "malice aforethought." It's a practice with a function, too - McDavid now knows that the consequences of not keeping his head up or getting stuck on the tracks aren't trivial in the OHL. He's got the skills to learn that lesson and adapt quickly.
The decision on letting him play has to include this. If you're David Branch or whoever is finally signing off, you have to know there will be people looking to blow him up (or who will have the chance and take it), so you have to look at his physical maturity at 15 and ask if he can take a whollop from Doug Hamilton or a Jamie Oleksiak or any of the other kids in Major Junior who were 6'3" when they were 15 and have added 30lbs of muscle since. Because there will also be a number of kids who have a lot of skill but a lot of growing still to do at 16 who will be drafted into the leagues, and they either will be sent to Jr. A because they aren't strong enough or big enough despite their talent, or they will play 4min/night.
At the far end, you have the Yannick Riendeau factor (how long before that reference and the whole discussion around it is too deep in the archives for the majority of posters to follow?). Guys who look like world-beaters because they have a man's body and strength in a league of teenagers, and add four years of experience to the mix. These differentials will always exist in a league of kids between 16-20. Genetics say so.
So ultimately, you're left with the choice: play hockey, or don't.
You know Book, I think it's a common practice in the NHL too, and not just among opponents. Lots of young players are physically welcomed to the bigs by teammates in training camp. As I stated earlier, Hamilton would be doing McDavid no favours in the long run by easing up on him. Perhaps if Lindros had someone big enough to teach him a lesson in junior then he may have learned to keep his head up by the time he made it to The Show.
I think the only good thing that I seen Lindros do was rock Ulf Samulsson in the 91' Canada Cup. I had no respect & no pity on the guy after what he pulled on the Grey Hounds & the Nords! Sorry off topic I know, but whenever I see this loser's name that's all I can think about. And I wish Brett could've gave his brother some class.