Solid Coaching Often Not Sexy Enough for Young NHL Players

November 19th, 2009 by Steven Ovadia Leave a reply »
Columbus forward Nikita Filatov left the Blue Jackets, choosing to finish the season playing in Russia.

According to Puck Daddy , a huge part of the issue was coach Ken Hitchcock's defensive system, which apparently felt too constricting to the free-skating, offense-minded Filatov.

Meanwhile, under Hitchcock, the Blue Jackets are off to their best start ever.

Over in New York, coach John Tortorella, who gives his players free reign to take as many offensive risks as they want. The Rangers are 4-6 in their last 10, with the only real offense coming from Marian Gaborik. Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who started the season brilliantly, has just three points in November and is -5 for the month.

It raises an interesting point: Offensive-minded players like offensive-minded coaches, but it doesn't always translate into wins and/or success. Especially with younger players.

Scott Gordon is pushing a high-risk offensive system on a very young Islanders team, and so far, it's only translated into a lot of ties. It could be years before we see the impact his system is having on the development of his players. He could be produ ...

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