Friday, June 22, 2007

Angelo = Alexandre?

OK, OK before the hate mail flows in, I'm not saying that Angelo Esposito is going to be a bust of the magnitude of Alexandre "Do my legs look sexy in this nurse's outfit" Daigle. Most importantly, I've only ever seen A.E. play in last year's Memorial Cup final, where he was good - but he also had Alex Radulov on his wing. You know, the guy who ripped it up in limited ice time with Nashville, skill to burn, nose for the net, obviously some edge to his game (playoff suspensions??!!??).

But I'm seeing scary parallels here. They both dominated junior basically on talent alone, but the knock on both was/is their heart. A.E. is 6'1 180; Daigle was 6' 185 in his last year of junior (although he played at 200 wussy pounds). They have both been in the spotlight (at least in Quebec) since they were 15-16 - and yes, I understand that scouts have been looking at A.E. for so long they are looking for weaknesses. Maybe this works for players like Kyle Turris who was playing in a relatively obscure league, but have they not been scouting other players for years? Pat Kane plays in the OHL and is almost one year older than all the other players in the draft, so scouts had plenty of time to scout him, and his value has skyrocketed this season - cause he stepped up when it mattered.

But here's the kicker for me: how can a player on a team coached but the obsessively competitive Patrick Roy not be competitive himself? And if you look at the history of highly-rated players who dropped at the last minute, for every Zach Parise there is a Patrick Stefan or a (ugh) Brent Bilodeau. And Habs fans shouldn't forget that Sergei Samsonov was thought to be a #1 overall at one point.

That being said, Trevor Timmons is the best evaluator of talent for the Habs since Sam Pollock. Just compare our pre-Timmons drafts (David Wilke, Terry Ryan etc) to our more recent (Chipchura, Price). So if Gainey can swing the right deal and Timmons wants A.E., remember the FHF mantra: Trust in Gainey (and Timmins).

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