18 and Life

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I'm going to ease myself back into the world of blogging* by taking on one of the usual targets around here, the man who's bad name gave us our blog's name, Mr. Damien Cox.

Damien, like the players on the team he so dourly covers, must look forward to the promise of a new hockey season; a chance to start fresh and put those failures of the past behind him. Sure he'll stick to the tired mantras of years gone by (1967, draft schmaft, Quinn Maurice Wilson is useless), but don't be surprised to see some new material entered in to the Cox Canon. Who would have thought at this point last year that Cox would have spent so much time writing about a 19 year-old's junk? No one, I would wager, but look how that turned out. When it comes to Cox we have to expectedly expect to expect the unexpected. Or something like that.

Don't be surprised if one of Cox's major themes this year is one that he tackled this morning in his blog:

Schenn and Filatov, naturally, will be forever linked as their careers unfold. The Leafs, after trading up from the No.7 slot at last June's NHL entry draft, could have grabbed the slick Russian forward, but instead went for the hard rock, stay-at-home Canadian blueliner. Over time, we'll see if the Leafs were bang-on in their assessment, or missed a special player.

You might think that Damien has already made up his mind regarding the Leaf's assessment of Luke Schenn, but don't forget that this is the same man who argued both sides of the Bryan McCabe trade with himself in a span of two days. Sure, Cox thinks that the Leafs are determined to ruin Schenn right now, but just wait until the Leafs send him back to Kelowna and Cox questions the wisdom of not giving a sure fire Calder and Norris winner the chance to shine. Doesn't this team want to win!!!?!??!111!

Now, I don't know what the Leafs should do with Schenn, because I can see an upside and a downside to keeping him. With Cox, of course, it is all downside:

Right now, both look to be promising NHL prospects. Columbus probably won't keep Filatov in the bigs this season, while the Leafs may yet make the wrong decision one more time and force-feed Schenn to the NHL sharks.

Sure, it could be the wrong decision. But even a total fool could point out that an 18 year old defencemen in the NHL isn't necessarily destined for bust-dom. Right, Steve Simmons?

... Why is it assumed by so many that because Jim Benning failed to develop as a teenaged defenceman 26 years ago --yes, we do have long memories -- the same will happen to Luke Schenn if the Maple Leafs keep him around this season? A little history: A similar type defenceman, Scott Stevens, played full time as a teenager for the Washington Capitals and he didn't turn out too badly You can ask Bryan Murray about that: He was the coach ...

Damn! Simmons is the voice of reason. Anything truly can happen. Maybe this is the year. I'm going to call work right now and book of the first week of June for the Stanley Cup parade in Toronto. See you there.

*This is actually the bloggiest blog I have ever written because I am in fact writing it on a computer in my mother's basement.


D¹an D²aoust said:

It's a bit unfair that Schenn is grafted onto Filatov by Cox. The strange thing about his exercise is that even if the Leafs did not trade up and all things remained as they were, Schenn going 5th and Filatov 6th, then the Leafs at 7 would get neither player. I don't see exactly why Filatov and Schenn should 'forever be linked as their careers unfold' by Cox since the Leafs possibly wouldn't have landed Filatov even if they never bothered to trade up. Just by trading up you don't pass on the player immediately drafted after Schenn, you pass on all the players after Schenn. Why doesn't Cox link Schenn with Karlsson, Wilson, Tedenby or any other player that may have the same and equal chance of having an impact in the NHL? Why, because Cox knows shit.

If Cox wanted to demonstrate some kind of hockey knowledge beyond painting by numbers - 'skilled players are impossible to find in the later rounds of the draft!, you don't draft stay at home defenders in the first round!' - why doesn't the capital dunce give an example of why the Leafs should have traded down and possibly received 2 players as a result of moving one pick? He can't because the draft is a crapshoot at the best of times, a large list of empty promises at the worst. Not sure why Cox is using his crystal ball to excoriate the Leafs when he himself alone can't divine the future. Did Cox cry out loud why the Leafs should have drafted Pavel Datsyuk in 1998? No, because he, like most other people, can't predict the future. All this is is yet another exercise for Cox to pave the road to historical revisionism so that he at least has a 50 percent chance of being right, which when you work for the Star Sports section, means alot.

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This page contains a single entry by Kim Jorn published on October 6, 2008 7:17 AM.

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