Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)
I remember when Barry Trotz coached the Predators. Year after year the prognosticators, myself included, would put the Preds near the bottom of a playoff spot, or just missing. Nashville always had a solid enough team, but not enough in the way of eye-popping stars that dazzled on paper. And yet almost every year they made the playoffs, often easily (they just didn’t go very deep, but that’s a different conversation). Is anyone truly surprised that the Isles are doing what they’re doing? Truly? I see lots of discussion on here about the tough schedule, and the PDO (luck) numbers so I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But I think it’s wrong to count out a Barry Trotz-coached team.
We’re down to Robert Thomas and Brady Tkachuk when it comes to “slide” candidates who can be sent down before they play their 10th game thereby delaying when the entry-level deal kicks in. We all know Tkachuk is safe (he’s back soon). I mean…six points in four games? So that leaves Thomas, who I had in the Guide as playing nine games (initially) and later adjusted to 39 games (the second contract-related deadline) as he had a strong preseason. In the last week or so we’ve seen Alex Formenton, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Evan Bouchard and Kristian Vesalainen get sent down before their 10-game cutoff. Jordan Kyrou was also sent down at the nine-game mark, but he wasn’t a slide candidate and the decision was unrelated to that.
I would have said that Thomas was for sure getting sent down, but two games ago when he played with Robby Fabbri the Blues had a bonus scoring threat they could throw out there and it really worked. But then Saturday Fabbri bounced around on the scoring lines and Thomas was left as a spare part. Thomas has nothing left to learn at the OHL level, but I’m 50-50 on what happens to him.
Qualified prospects who got through that barrier? Max Comtois, Kailer Yamamoto, Henri Jokiharju,