“Before the surgery he had certain strength and skating power that he might never have to the same level again; that’s the just reality of having a major injury and it was a major injury,” Blashill said. “Is he at that same strength and power and skating and fluidity? Probably not. He doesn’t have the same level of strength, and I don’t know if he’ll have it again or not. I just don’t know that answer. Is he striving (to regain that strength)? Yes, he works extremely hard off the ice and with our sports-science staff to be the best he can be.
“At the same time, as you get older, it’s harder. Danny has played good hockey and is a real good, smart player and makes good decisions.”
The Zadina stuff is all fluff and Blashill making sure to put a “still needs to work on stuff” qualifier on the praise, so I went with the information about DDK, since a lot of people have been asking about why Blashill continues to use him.
That’s what Blashill had to say. That’s not satisfying, huh?
All this explanation leads to my point that I can’t believe more teams don’t trade their prospects when they feel like things are off, and before other teams know.
That probably sounds heartless, because who among us didn’t need time to mature and grow up and sort our lives out? Who among us didn’t need second chances? We all did, and teams should grant those players that much. But there’s no case to be made here that teams hang on to prospects out of the goodness of their hearts, because they believe these guys need a second chance. Have you seen how pro hockey operates? It’s a ruthless dog-eat-dog business, and teams aren’t shy to remind players of that when it comes time to do said business.
Bourne starts off with the typical reminder that fans tend to latch onto prospects and forget every team has a rough equivalent of the guy they’re certain is destined for superstardom but then gets into the real good meat of the discussion.
I’m reminded of Scotty Bowman’s old quip about how he’d rather trade a kid one year too soon than one year too late.