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Playing the Kids

I have argued before that this team needs to get young and be willing to play some of their kids more even at the expense of some rookie mistakes (I suspect that Bret Sterling could have produced the nearly same 40 points Slava Kozlov did this year if he were given the same amount of ice time for much less money.) Today I came across the NHL conference call interview with Guy Carboonneau Coach of the Canadians. If you want to read the entire article go here.

I think that with the salary cap there is much more parity in terms of talent. That means on a nightly basis games between two evenly matched teams may be determined by the level of effort of intensity. Young guys are being used on many teams because they are cheaper under the cap system and they have energy. If you look at the Thrashers roster I think it is safe to say that Enstrom never once just mailed it in this season.

Q. The whole league has turned so young now. Does every team have to play their young guys? And every team seems to have six, seven, eight young guys now, and often they’re becoming core players.

GUY CARBONNEAU: Well, it is. Because they have energy and enthusiasm. You know, they want to play. I think the league now is a league that you cannot take a day off. You cannot take a week off. Where in the past a veteran team would start the season and have a good training camp. Maybe take two, three, four weeks to get going.

You can’t do that anymore. You’ve got to start from day one to the last day. They have that energy that maybe the veterans don’t have.

I think the enthusiasm, that’s what I see. The veterans maybe have to adjust more than the youth have to, where the veteran knows that it’s a long season. I’m not saying that they’re pacing themselves, you know. That’s the balance that you have to find.