The Contrarian – Breaking Bad Behavior

Thomas Drance




On bad behavior, chemistry issues, and managing risk with wild cards.

In the week leading up to the draft on Friday there was a lot of speculation. Possible trades, which teams were going to make moves in free agency and of course which teams would pick which players.


There were not many trades and that is possibly because the teams are now able to woo free agents before July 1st so general managers might not be feeling the same pressure that they once did before at the same point in time. There may be more moves in the days to come but the one trade that got my attention was the James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nic Spaling. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal writes, in his article "Penguins say goodbye to James Neal", that "[the] feeling in some quarters is he thinks he's better than he is".


Maybe he is the scapegoat for what occurred in the playoffs. Maybe the Penguins feel they need more of a net front presence, Nashville GM David Poile agrees in the assessment that Hornqvist is a better skating Tomas Holmstrom, or maybe it is because of his attitude and they want to change the atmosphere in the locker room.


The Penguins traded for him in the 2010-11 season. They haven't won the cup since the 2008-09.


Nashville has had their share of troublesome players recently with Alexander Radulov and Sergei Kostitsyn. Maybe they are willing to put up with a bit of attitude to get more goals. It could backfire on them but it is worth the risk.

Then there is Joshua Ho-Sang who was taken 28th overall in the draft by the New York Islanders. An article written by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, called "The curious case of controversial NHL prospect Joshua Ho-Sang", reveals that many teams want to stay away from him because of his perceived attitude issues.


You could say that he is very confident about his abilities while others would argue that he is cocky and self-absorbed. Garth Snow, GM of the Islanders, was quoted saying, "He'll fit right in, they s*** on me too".


For a team that has trouble breaking the stigma that it is a bad place to play they don't have much of a choice but to take him and hope that he will mature into a good, if not great, teammate. The problem of being drafted by the Islanders is that they might not have the self-discipline to keep him in junior or the minors and instead rush him into the NHL.

At worse, he becomes another Rob Schremp. I dug up this article by Jonathan Willis from Copper & Blue on S