Monday, February 11, 2008

Closure on Trotter/Quick

It seems like there are still a lot of issues to address with the Brock Trotter and Kevin Quick situations, so I thought I'd try to cram them all into one post, so we could all just be done with it and move on.

More is starting to come out on how each player earned their ticket out of town. The Buffalo News ran a story on Quick. From the article:
Sources said the defenseman stole a credit card, used it as a personal piggy bank and spent thousands of dollars.
There has also been pretty strong rumors that the owner of that credit card was teammate/roommate Carl Hagelin.

Quick is now with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL on an amateur tryout contract, though he said in the article that he will likely be returning to Michigan soon to deal with legal consequences.

Meanwhile, there hasn't been much said about what caused Brock Trotter to leave school in Denver. Though in an article from TSN, Trotter's agent confirms that he was suspended by Denver.
Agent Wade Arnott said only that it was ''a private matter'' and that Trotter was suspended for the rest of the term and would not have been allowed to play for the Pioneers.
''He was forced to make a decision,'' said Arnott. ''He didn't walk away from the team or the university.''
Both players' situations have drawn quite a bit of criticism in that they were given an opportunity at professional hockey.

With Quick, more than a few people have been bothered by the fact that someone facing such serious legal issues was given an opportunity at pro hockey. All indications are that what Quick did was pretty terrible, but he'll be feeling the consequences of it for a long time. He has already lost out on an opportunity to play hockey and get a free education at Michigan, and he will likely be facing serious legal issues. What else should be done to him? He made a terrible mistake, but Tampa Bay probably feels that if they can get him in the right environment, he can learn and mature, and hopefully it will be a one-time thing.

Meanwhile in Colorado, they aren't pleased about Brock Trotter leaving and the NHL is feeling the brunt of their wrath. Terry Frei wrote a piece saying the NHL needs to stop signing college players mid-season, while Mike Chambers agrees that a change needs to be made.

They bring up some good points, though I'm not sure that I'm in full agreement. Trotter wasn't going to play another game for DU this season, regardless of any NHL rule. So how is Montreal the bad guy in this situation?

One of the more humorous things to come out of the Kyle Okposo situation was hearing people in the Twin Cities talk about the MAJOR CHANGE going on in college hockey with Okposo signing with the Islanders during the season, and that same refrain is getting repeated here. There's no major change. Players have always gotten frustrated on teams and wanted to leave, or have gotten into trouble and were asked to leave. The only difference now is that some players have more, and better options to choose from.

Brock Trotter was going to play somewhere this year, even if he couldn't sign a pro contract. Trotter had a fairly long list of suitors besides just the NHL. Kelowna in the WHL was extremely interested in him, even if the timing didn't work out. And good luck getting the CHL to sign an agreement saying they won't take NCAA players. There were rumors about Lincoln in the USHL, and if the Stars couldn't have found a roster spot for him, I'm sure some other team would have been more than willing to juggle things around to find a space for him. Again, you're not going to see a rule against that because it's quite common for players to leave teams mid-year and head back to the USHL. I even heard from people in Manitoba saying his old junior team, Dauphin, wouldn't mind having him back.

So why selectively limit a player's options? There would be no benefit to anyone. If Kyle Okposo hadn't signed with New York, he would have either left for the WHL, or stayed at Minnesota and been miserable and likely a cancer to the team. If Brock Trotter hadn't signed with Montreal, he would have either gone somewhere else and played, or sat around doing nothing until the end of the season. A rule barring them from the NHL wouldn't have changed either situation.

Nobody likes to see players leave mid-season, but ultimately, it is on the player's themselves, and it's going to happen whether the NHL is involved or not.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=132051

All these kids have learned from the mentors around them!!! The article doesn't even touch on hockey which may be one of the most "lawless" in regard to recruiting etc. at this time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's have a "press conference". What a joke!

Anonymous said...

These are two isolated cases and do not suggest a trend in college hockey. While I wouldn't necessarily be against some type of rule preventing college players from leaving mid season, Trotter and Okposo are exceptions, not the norm.

I think there has been a lot of overreaction because this happened twice in one year in the same conference.

Mulletman said...

Does this ever happen in football or basketball....no. While isolated, it does happen and will continue to happen until it is addressed. This is not good for college hockey, which is now the major feeder program to the NHL.

Anonymous said...

NCAA hockey is now the major feeder program to the NHL???? What did I miss? Aren't most NHLers still coming from Major Junior and the European leagues?

Anonymous said...

I am a Sioux in Denver and I was at the Saturday's contest between MN and DU. MN played like they want this year over. They were so slow out there. Maybe KO could not take it anymore with whatever is going on in Gopher land. I think Lucia just had one of those recruiting classes that he would rather soon forget. I also listened to coach Gwoz and he seemed emotional on the air. I think the past fews weeks have been tough on him, and his team responded. This weekend, go Sioux!

Anonymous said...

The upcoming NHL Draft will remind everyone who is the Major Supplier to the NHL...

gmf1a said...

Ability to jump to pros mid season blunts he effectiveness of suspensions. Players were suspended for a reason.

NHL should stop this practice.