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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stamkos should play

I'm not sure that I like the arguments why Steve Stamkos isn't playing at the prospects tournament for Tampa Bay. I've heard things ranging from it's the Lightning trying to protect Stamkos from a tournament where prospects try to prove themselves, including fighting. I've also heard that the Lightning didn't want Stamkos to miss any of their main camp which begins a day after this tournament ends.

First off, don't worry about Stamkos protecting himself. There are more fights in an average OHL game than at this prospects tournament and Stamkos has figured out how to thrive in the OHL. In fact, Stamkos has been a marked man for years now as his reputation has grown, but he's managed to stay healthy despite the potential cheap shots and challenges from fighters.

If the Lightning wanted to make sure Stamkos attended their main camp, then why not the same concern for the other prospects? If the team is sending prospects, then send prospects. Don't separate Stamkos and mark him as special.

The prospects tournament is a clean, hard hitting series of games. I understand not letting Stamkos take any risks that might sideline him for the NHL ... but only for non-hockey risks. Don't let the guy ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Heck, don't let him buy a motorcycle. But this is playing hockey. And playing hockey against pros is something that Stamkos needs to continue his development. Playing hockey isn't risky for Stamkos, he's an expert. So don't baby him.


Blogger James Mirtle said...

The Lightning already seem all but certain Stamkos is going to make the team, so why tack on another week of training camp and travel?

Tampa already has to cram in a host of exhibition games and head over to Europe so it's not like he won't get plenty of playing time.

September 14, 2008 at 8:12 PM 
Blogger Chuck Pleiness said...

Hey James. I'd say this ... if the Lightning is all but certain, then they're not certain. But your point is valid, why add on more to an already busy schedule. I just don't like one player being set apart as special. Filatov was going to play in this tourney. Pietrangelo is here. So is Bogosian. They've all got a good chance to make their teams.
I look at it this way, the prospects camp is a good way to give Stamkos everything he needs to succeed at the main camp. He'll hit the ground running, or is that skating.

September 14, 2008 at 9:44 PM 
Blogger WingsFanMiah said...

I agree Bruce.

If Ovechkin can show up, and other players can show up, he should too. This is a good opportunity to get some action against pro's. Besides, I'm sure some players will use this to bust his chops, so to speak.

I think your best idea is televising these games on the NHL network. What would really be cool, would be if the Wings could pull of something similar to the Yankee's YES Network. An All-Hockeytown channel would be a dream come true, but I know it would never happen.

Just think of all the things you could televise, other than the games themselves:

-The prospects game
-The Red and White game
-Classic games
-Interviews/memories with alumni
-Training Camp reports
-Grand Rapids games (they are on Comcast now, but eh...)

I don't know, I'm just a die hard who can NEVER have enough Wings. If they ever had a channel that was dedicated to the Wings, I'd die a happy man.

Anyways, keep up the great work with your blogging.

September 14, 2008 at 10:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the CHL prospects game last year Stamkos ended up fighting at the end of the game, which was the only fight the whole game.

I am not sure the Bolts would want that to happen again so I don't blame them for keeping him out of it. However, I would be more worried about him once he makes the team than in a prospects game.

September 15, 2008 at 1:54 AM 

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