Thursday, September 23, 2010

What if Kadri doesn't make it?

Would it be the end of the world if Nazem Kadri doesn't make the Leafs? Or what if he spends some time split between the AHL and NHL this season? Would that be a huge failure? Check out some other guys who didn't crack the NHL and stick:

Eric Staal
1st NHL season - 11 goals, 31 points
then a year in AHL
then returns for 2nd NHL season - 45 goals, 100 points, Stanley Cup

Jason Spezza
One year split between NHL and AHL
then 1st full NHL year - 55 points
then a full year in AHL
finally 2nd full NHL season - 90 points

Steve Sullivan
Full year in the AHL
followed by 2 seasons split between NHL and AHL
then 1st full NHL season - 28 points
and this is followed by 8 consecutive 20+ goal seasons (including two 30 goal seasons) and a lot of those seasons were shortened due to injury.

Eric Fehr
3 seasons split between AHL and NHL
then his rookie year - 25 points
and last year in his 2nd season - 21 goals, 39 pts and turning out to be a really good player

Patrice Bergeron
rookie season - 16 goals
then a full year in AHL
2nd NHL season - 31 goals, hasn't really looked back except injuries have been a set back

David Backes
spent a season split between NCAA and AHL
then a season split between AHL and NHL
then his first full NHL season - 13 goals, 31 points
2nd full NHL season - 31 goals, 54 points

Andrew Brunette
Spent a full season in the AHL
followed by 3 up and down seasons split between dominating the AHL and struggling in the NHL
950 career games, and 660 career points later he's been one of the most consistant NHL scorers of the last decade.

These are just some of tons of examples of players who spent time in the AHL in some capacity and they all went on to do well in the NHL. If Kadri isn't quite ready, that's not really a big deal. Having said that, I hope he makes it.


Robert said...

This is a very cool article. Certainly a good list of players, but many of them played in the AHL because of the lockout. I wonder if that makes a difference mentally as opposed to being cut from the NHL team. I wish the Bruins had the option to let Seguin play in the AHL for a little.

mojo19 said...

Well ya its true, a lot of these examples are because of the lockout. But there are other examples like Bobby Ryan (to name 1) who benefitted from AHL play, and had nothing to do with the lockout.

But I think in the cases of Bergeron, Staal, Spezza, ya of course the lockout is the main reason they were sent down, but they still benefitted from the development of time in the American league. I see what you're saying about it being different mentally but look at the two model franchises in the NHL: Detroit and New Jersey. They are both known for letting their players develop until they're ready, often leaving high end prospects in the AHL for an extra year longer than others