Kevin Prendergast on Riley Nash: The Prevailing Wind Happens To Be From Cornell

Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009 01:33PM

prendergast

On Wednesday, Lowetide ran a piece (Disconnect?) which took a look at Kevin Prendergast’s public comments on Oilers’ prospect Riley Nash.

I’d strongly recommend taking a look at it, as Lowetide did a nice job of highlighting the Oilers’ displeasure with the fact that Nash is playing at Cornell (due to quality of competition, number of games, etc.). The timing could be coincidental, but today there was a very different message coming out at the Oilers’ website, courtesy of Jen Sharpe. These sort of pieces at the official site generally are as upbeat as possible, and this one is no different, but for the fun of it let’s contrast what Prendergast says here with some of the quotes that Lowetide grabbed.

Prendergast, from December:

“Riley had a good second day of camp, but was ordinary in the other ones and you can't have that at a short camp. Not playing enough games at Cornell hurts him."

Prendergast, from today:

“He’s only 175 pounds, so we’ve got to get him bigger. He’s tall enough at 6’1” but he’s got to get bigger and the time at Cornell isn’t going to hurt him.”

I like the contrast of those two quotes, and it’s a nice example of why I rarely take Prendergast’s public statements on a prospect as gospel. When he’s being critical I tend to pay more attention, since he’s so chipper about each and every player most of the time (although he has been uncharacteristically negative on a number of prospects this summer, which tells me that the debacle in Springfield has adjusted his thinking somewhat).

There were two more key quotes (for me) in the Sharpe article, one on talent evaluation and one on when Nash should turn professional. First, on what Nash brings to the table:

“He does a lot of things really well at both ends of the ice – he’s a good face-off guy, he’s a good powerplay guy, he’s a good penalty killer. He’s the type of player that’s going to play anywhere from your second to your fourth line when he gets here because he understands the game so well.”

This fits with what we’ve been hearing since Nash was drafted (from sources both inside and outside of the organization): smart, two-way play is a hallmark of this player, and he comes with a wide range of skills. These are important attributes for a prospect, since (as Prendergast alludes to) it generally means they can start in the NHL in a checking role and work their way up (or as so often happens, not) rather than needing a soft place to land (see Schremp, Rob, as an example).

The second quote is more interesting, since it gives us an idea of when the Oilers see Nash as a professional, when Nash sees Nash as a professional, and which of the two is more likely to pan out:

“We don’t want to turn him pro when he’s not ready to turn pro. We’ll have our prospect camp in July and we’ll have a pretty good idea of where he is at that point. If we feel he’s getting stronger, that’s great and we’ll think about it at the end of next hockey season, and if not, then we’ll wait the four years.”

Here’s what Nash said at the start of this season (again, courtesy of Lowetide):

"I'm not going to go just when they (the Oilers) ask me to go. I don't feel I need to go and bounce around in the minors for a few years. Cornell is a nice place to be."

The Oilers brass seem to have pegged 2010-11 as the season when they expect Nash to leave college, although Nash may decide to go to Cornell for the full four years, which would knock the date back to 2011-12. I tend to agree with what Prendergast has been saying all along that Cornell isn’t an ideal place for Nash to develop (although from Nash’s perspective I’m guessing it’s easier to get a degree at Cornell than in Springfield) but it might help encourage him to jump into the pros if the Oilers can get their farm team back to a competitive level.

Despite what Prendergast says now, based on previous comments (and self-interest) it seems highly probable that the Oilers are pressuring Nash to leave college as soon as possible; it seems equally probable that Nash has decided he’ll leave college when he feels ready to leave college. Ultimately, Nash has all the power in this particular decision, so the best the Oilers can do if he decides to stay is put a happy face on it and say things like ‘we want him to turn pro when he’s ready to turn pro’.

Nash is a good prospect, and from in his shoes I probably would want to hedge my bets by getting a degree before jumping into professional hockey, but his current development course is probably not in the best interest of the Edmonton Oilers.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Chris
May 16 2009, 04:27AM
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David S wrote:

Good on the guy for doing things on his own terms.

And good for the Oilers drafting a guy in the FIRST round who is determined to do things "on his own terms"

*we usually get several first round picks a year right?...It's okay to use first round picks to draft dreamers and academics ahead of hockey focused prospects who will do what ever it takes to make the NHL right?...*

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#52 Illuminated Magnifying Glass
May 16 2009, 05:23AM
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Cool blog, like what I read. Will be back to read more. Adding to RSS feeder. Bob

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#53 topshelf
May 16 2009, 09:29AM
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"I don’t feel I need to go and bounce around in the minors for a few years. Cornell is a nice place to be.”

Does that sound like a guy who is concerned with finishing his degree? Has he stated anywhere that the degree is the reason he doesn't want to turn pro?

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#54 David S
May 16 2009, 10:53AM
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topshelf wrote:

Does that sound like a guy who is concerned with finishing his degree? Has he stated anywhere that the degree is the reason he doesn’t want to turn pro?

Maybe he's in a tough spot. How can he come out and say that the NHL team that drafted him has a farm team that's so bad that he'd rather stay in college?

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#55 Archaeologuy
May 16 2009, 11:07AM
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David S wrote:

How can he come out and say that the NHL team that drafted him has a farm team that’s so bad that he’d rather stay in college?

I agree that the Oilers put themselves in this position by not bending over backwards to have their own AHL team for so long. There were some things that happened to get in the way of getting it done, but the blame falls on the Oilers. However, how is the club supposed to get better if prospects refuse to go there? No Omark, No Nash, No success. He can stay in college and have 0 chance of making the club or he can go to the AHL and get paid to have a real chance at making the club. He's a 2 way centre who's good at faceoffs. I'm sorry but doesnt that sound like one of the holes on the Oilers' lineup?

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#56 RossCreek
May 16 2009, 11:17AM
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Not sure if there's a lot of wiggle room within the rookie cap, but could this all be a negotiating ploy to maximize on bonus'?

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#57 David S
May 16 2009, 12:55PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

He’s a 2 way centre who’s good at faceoffs. I’m sorry but doesnt that sound like one of the holes on the Oilers’ lineup?

You're probably right. But he may be thinking that his high draft position will keep him in consideration while he finishes his degree. Maybe he thinks he's got the power, I dunno. I bet he knows that no matter what, the liklihood of him making the big team right off the hop is low. Same with Omark. So they go for their best alternative option because the Oilers farm team is a black hole right now.

Mike Morrison had some good thoughts about Omark on Gregor's show the other day. He couldn't blame the kid one bit for not jumping on the NHL farm system bandwagon.

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#58 kingsblade
May 16 2009, 02:35PM
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David S wrote:

Option 2 Applicant: “I went to Cornell” Employer: “Tell me more”

This is only true if the guy is in the right program.David S wrote:

The biggest thing is that I think Nash knows that going back to school after being a professional athlete for 8-10 years is MEGA difficult, if not impossible. Good on the guy for doing things on his own terms.

1. I believe the suggestion was to go to school in the off-season. A lot of guys in sports do it.

2. Why is it more difficult after 8-10 years of pro sports than it would be after 8-10 years at any job? Universities everywhere are full of guys who have spent 8-10 years in the work force.

David S wrote:

I don’t think there’s much basket weaving at Cornell. And the 10 year average wage for a graduate is close to $200,000 US.

This quote essentially proves you have no idea what you are talking about.

1. Every university has lightweight programs. Including Ivy league schools.

2. Did you even look at the data you linked to? Only 59 responded and there were multiple respondents made huge amounts that didn't even register on their chart. Just over half were even working in the field they studied, and almost 30% said that Cornell had a less than 50% contribution to their career.

Don't get carried away by meaningless numbers. We aren't saying it's a bad school. It's a very good school. All I'm saying is that if you are not in one of their top programs then it really is no different than anywhere else. Just ask someone who went to one of these schools and they can tell you the same thing.

Nash could very easily finish school if he left Cornell this year. If his degree means more to him than the NHL then he will NEVER make the NHL. It takes a serious commitment and a deep love of the game to make it to the top levels.

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#59 BigE57
May 16 2009, 02:52PM
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@ kingsblade: Ya, I suppose I wouldn't know anything about all that after attending University for 4 years and then working in the admissions department for another year. kingsblade wrote:

If you want to go to Harvard and study history or Psychology then typical university qualifying grades will almost do.

Almost, so which is it? Are the requirements for Harverd and other Ivy League schools more stringent or not?

My point, and maybe I wasn't clear enough, was that these schools don't just offer scholarships to every guy that can shoot the puck or dangle, they look for athletes who can maintain their grades as student athletes.

The other thing is entrance to an American University regardless of where it is doesn't just depend on your grades and if you are an athlete. You also have to take the SAT and that has huge weight on a students acceptance.

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#60 BigE57
May 16 2009, 02:58PM
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Yes I know I spelled Harvard wrong in my last post. kingsblade wrote:

All I’m saying is that if you are not in one of their top programs then it really is no different than anywhere else. Just ask someone who went to one of these schools and they can tell you the same thing

Yes, I'm almost certain that someone who spent 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars at univeristy is going to tell you that they wasted there time and should have just went to NAIT

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#61 Rob
May 16 2009, 03:02PM
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Re-reading the blog seems to say to me that Riley Nash likes the US college 'good-life' too much to apply himself to build himself up for a pro hockey career. He sounds to me like someone who is the antithesis of what Tambellini wants Oilers players to think and play like in the coming seasons. Another draft pick poorly assessed and probably wasted.

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#62 Archaeologuy
May 16 2009, 04:30PM
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BigE57 wrote:

Yes, I’m almost certain that someone who spent 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars at univeristy is going to tell you that they wasted there time and should have just went to NAIT

I know all kinds of people who feel that way. I know many people who couldnt find work after they spent tens of thousands of dollars on University and HAD to go to NAIT just to get a job. As someone said on this site before, there is no Sociology Factory waiting for graduates.

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#63 kingsblade
May 16 2009, 05:22PM
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BigE57 wrote:

Yes, I’m almost certain that someone who spent 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars at univeristy is going to tell you that they wasted there time and should have just went to NAIT

If you're not going to argue the points actually made then I'm not going to address it.

BigE57 wrote:

My point, and maybe I wasn’t clear enough, was that these schools don’t just offer scholarships to every guy that can shoot the puck or dangle, they look for athletes who can maintain their grades as student athletes.

They will take any athlete good enough to meet minimum school requirements. These are not difficult to maintain, and for Ivy League schools the minimum is not actually that high. It can be hard to get inot certain programs, but not that hard to just get in. Minimum standards at any Canadian University are equal to minimum Cornell standards.

Look - Cornell has a certain number of scholarships they can give out for hockey. Lets say the number is 10 because I'm not sure. They will take the 10 best hockey players who will come that can pass minimum standards. That's it. The will not give the scholarship to a lesser player because his grades are better.

BigE57 wrote:

Ya, I suppose I wouldn’t know anything about all that after attending University for 4 years and then working in the admissions department for another year.

This is your evidence for knowing how Ivy league schools work? I don't even want to tell you how much time I've spent in University.

BigE57 wrote:

Yes, I’m almost certain that someone who spent 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars at univeristy is going to tell you that they wasted there time and should have just went to NAIT...after attending University for 4 years and then working in the admissions department for another year

lol - good thing your degree got you that sweet admissions job.

BigE57 wrote:

Almost, so which is it? Are the requirements for Harverd and other Ivy League schools more stringent or not?

Look if you need a C+ to get into one school and a B- to get into another it's a pretty small difference. Plus it's besides the point because hockey players will only be judged against other hockey players, not the general populace, so a C- will get them in if they are good enough hockey players.

You are merely nitpicking and wasting my time since you do not seem to even be reading before you respond. Why don't you just go back to whatever sweet job your degree got you and keep believing that Ivy league schools are heaven on earth. We'll both be happier that way.

Here's a fun tidbit for everyone btw....for the past 10-15 years all Ivy league law schools have been padding grades and it has now gotten to the point where many prominent law firms are looking elsewhere for recruits because they cannot count on the grades being given at those schools as indicators. (they have been grading using a B+ or A- median when most other schools grade using a B median) What pillars of education they must be.

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#64 BigE57
May 16 2009, 07:21PM
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kingsblade wrote:

This is your evidence for knowing how Ivy league schools work? I don’t even want to tell you how much time I’ve spent in University.

To qoute one of the all time Chris Farley movies. TOMMY BOY, " Yeah alot of people go to college for 7 years, they're called doctors."

And I'm wasting your time...........

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#65 BigE57
May 16 2009, 07:30PM
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@ Archaeologuy: I guess you could look at it that way. Unless you are going to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer most other degrees are merely stepping stones and you are going to need to go back for more education. If show up at university hoping to become a sociologist along with the other 200 students in that faculty well that is chance a person has to be willing to take.

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#66 kingsblade
May 16 2009, 11:40PM
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BigE57 wrote:

To qoute one of the all time Chris Farley movies. TOMMY BOY, ” Yeah alot of people go to college for 7 years, they’re called doctors.” And I’m wasting your time………..

You don't even know what my education is and you're going to take that shot? Good one admissions boy.

BigE57 wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: I guess you could look at it that way. Unless you are going to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer most other degrees are merely stepping stones and you are going to need to go back for more education. If show up at university hoping to become a sociologist along with the other 200 students in that faculty well that is chance a person has to be willing to take.

ummm...you just made our point for us. This is what we've been saying all along. Cornell is great if you are in a top program but it means nothing if you are not, as you so eloquently stated above. Nash is not in a top program or he would not be playing hockey.

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#67 BigE57
May 17 2009, 12:32AM
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kingsblade wrote:

You don’t even know what my education is and you’re going to take that shot? Good one admissions boy.

I don't need to know what your education is. You chose to excercise your mental accumen on a sports blog website. It's all fair game.

And ya the admissions job WAS great, got paid to travel around and do some recruiting, nice gig fresh off of graduation.

Now don't you have to make your rounds there Doc.

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#68 Archaeologuy
May 17 2009, 03:23AM
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BigE57 wrote:

” Yeah alot of people go to college for 7 years, they’re called doctors.”

Oh man, I wish it would only take 7 years for me to become a Doctor in my program. Nope. 4 year BA, Min 2 year MA, Min 4 year PhD. Total Min time = 10 years. On Average though it takes 2.5 for the MA and 6 for the PhD. Ugh. And that is not including any time it takes for you to make the language requirements of Latin, Ancient Greek, French, Italian, and German. Bah Humbug. It added an entire year after my BA to learn enough Latin for my MA. Now I know enough Latin to understand that JK Rowling used a substandard Latin Dictionary when writing spells for Harry Potter, too bad about it not helping me get a job.

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#69 Archaeologuy
May 17 2009, 03:27AM
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Wow, some guy just drove his car into my room mate's Del Sol and onto my lawn. Gotta deal with this now.

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#70 BigE57
May 17 2009, 09:36AM
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@ Archaeologuy: Did you at least curse at him in Latin.

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#71 Archaeologuy
May 17 2009, 11:55AM
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@ BigE57: No, he was too drunk to understand english, nevermind Latin.

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#72 BigE57
May 17 2009, 01:12PM
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@ Archaeologuy: Good news is free education where he's going. If there's any justice.

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#73 kingsblade
May 17 2009, 04:04PM
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BigE57 wrote:

I don’t need to know what your education is. You chose to excercise your mental accumen on a sports blog website. It’s all fair game.

I didn't say it wasn't fair game. I commented on the fact that you are making an impossible assumption.

BigE57 wrote:

And ya the admissions job WAS great, got paid to travel around and do some recruiting, nice gig fresh off of graduation.

Didn't have a lot to do with your degree though did it. That was the point. You keep making my points for me, it's very helpful. Thank you.

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#74 kingsblade
May 17 2009, 04:06PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Total Min time = 10 years.

I feel your pain.

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#75 Archaeologuy
May 17 2009, 04:34PM
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@ kingsblade: Yup. I've plugged in 8 years and might need 2 more to get an Ed Degree (puke) or go back to Academia and need 4 more in order to live a life of reading and writing papers until I die of old age or go demented. I would bet on the later happening first. Especially considering I think most of the people from my department are blowhard clowns stuck in the 19th century.

Decisions decisions.

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#76 BigE57
May 17 2009, 04:50PM
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kingsblade wrote:

Didn’t have a lot to do with your degree though did it. That was the point. You keep making my points for me, it’s very helpful. Thank you.

Dude, we get it there are more undergrad students than there are jobs. I took the admissions job to garner some work experience, make some cash and do some travelling. In the end my degree was more about what I was interested in. I had no allusions about it getting me a job, on the contrary I got a degree and developed skills that would allow me to make a decent living long term. Of course my chosen profession requires continuing education but what profession doesn't? If I'm making your point...fine, then I'm not sure why were arguing anymore and I'm obviously taking precious time away from a dying patient here.

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#77 kingsblade
May 17 2009, 09:03PM
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BigE57 wrote:

I’m obviously taking precious time away from a dying patient here.

What is the point of the doctor references? Do you just think you're funny?

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#78 BigE57
May 17 2009, 11:36PM
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BigE57 wrote:

kingsblade wrote: This is your evidence for knowing how Ivy league schools work? I don’t even want to tell you how much time I’ve spent in University. To quote one of the all time Chris Farley movies. TOMMY BOY, ” Yeah alot of people go to college for 7 years, they’re called doctors.” And I’m wasting your time………..

kingsblade wrote:

BigE57 wrote: I’m obviously taking precious time away from a dying patient here. What is the point of the doctor references? Do you just think you’re funny?

I manage to amuse myself and when it comes to anonymous online blogs that's pretty much all that matters. What's wrong? Is it getting to you?

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#79 kingsblade
May 17 2009, 11:47PM
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@ BigE57:

Yeah I read the earlier post. Why would it get to me? I just hoped you knew the references weren't funny and had some other purpose.

As long as you're amused I guess.

Look the whole point of the entire conversation had to do with the possibility of Nash staying in school because he wanted to graduate.

I say he is not in a top program in school and thus cannot really benefit in terms of a career from staying any more than finishing his degree in the off-season.

You are saying that since he goes to Cornell it doesn't matter what he's taking because his degree is equal to a magic wand and that you know this to be true because you went to school for four years and then didn't even work in your field afterward.

Have I summed this up well enough?

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#80 BigE57
May 18 2009, 01:18AM
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Um, no that doesn't sum it up at all.

BigE57 wrote:

If the guy isn’t committed there’s no sense pushing him to be with the organization. At least he’s still playing somewhere and not quitting to deliver pizza like Stephan Leigein.

BigE57 wrote:

@ kingsblade: you make it sound like any player with an ounce of talent automatically gets a scholarship and a degree at University. That might be true for your run of the mill North Carolina’s, Dukes and Minnesota-Duluths and Michigans but to get into the Ivy League even the athletes have to qualify with good to great grades, these schools pride themselves on scholastic achievement and guys like Dion Phanuef couldn’t work in the parking lot at an Ivy League school. Whatever degree Nash is taking is good on him, he’s preparing for a life outside of hockey which isn’t a bad plan in case he doesn’t make it or sustains a permanent injury.

BigE57 wrote:

@ kingsblade: Ya, I suppose I wouldn’t know anything about all that after attending University for 4 years and then working in the admissions department for another year. kingsblade wrote: If you want to go to Harvard and study history or Psychology then typical university qualifying grades will almost do. Almost, so which is it? Are the requirements for Harvard and other Ivy League schools more stringent or not? My point, and maybe I wasn’t clear enough, was that these schools don’t just offer scholarships to every guy that can shoot the puck or dangle, they look for athletes who can maintain their grades as student athletes. The other thing is entrance to an American University regardless of where it is doesn’t just depend on your grades and if you are an athlete. You also have to take the SAT and that has huge weight on a students acceptance.

Those are the posts that I made with regard to the subject minus the ones with the name calling or idle banter. Nothing in there about a magic wand, you've mistaken mine for someone elses post in the discussion.

I have respect for the fact that he wants to play another year at Cornell and I really do believe that he is not that committed to the Oilers (not necessarily the NHL). It doesn't matter to me that I didn't work in my field of study immediatley after graduating, my job now and my field of study are only moderatley linked, but my university studies still remain as a point of interest in my life.

You seem to look at this whole university thing as a means to an end. kingsblade wrote:

I say he is not in a top program in school and thus cannot really benefit in terms of a career from staying any more than finishing his degree in the off-season

When perhaps Nash is more interested in the journey than the destination. I'm sure he knows he could finish his degree during the summers but looking at it from the other side he gets a free ride through college, spends four years playing hockey, hanging out with people mostly his own age and when he's done, if he's still good enough and has the desire the NHL is there.

I never presumed that he was going to graduate and work in his field, nor that an Ivy League education was the equivalant to a magic wand.

You on the other hand can't seem to accept the fact that this kid has chosen a different path. Rather than living the dream of playing in the NHL, he's wasting his time at school. I'm sure if it was your opportunity you would be signing the contract and heading to training camp. I would probably do the same thing. But this obviously isn't about you or I and this kid has different set of desires and values. Or he really is trying to avoid the Oilers like the plague.

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#81 kingsblade
May 18 2009, 09:48AM
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BigE57 wrote:

You on the other hand can’t seem to accept the fact that this kid has chosen a different path. Rather than living the dream of playing in the NHL, he’s wasting his time at school. I’m sure if it was your opportunity you would be signing the contract and heading to training camp. I would probably do the same thing. But this obviously isn’t about you or I and this kid has different set of desires and values

There is the rub. He is demonstrating that hockey is not a priority over staying at Cornell. Would you care to take a guess at how many people have good NHL careers when putting something like that before hockey? I stated somewhere earlier that to reach the top level at any sport you need a strong love and passion for the game. He is not showing it.

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#82 kingsblade
May 18 2009, 09:50AM
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By the way...I agree 100% that Phaneuf is a complete idiot. However Cornell would have taken him in a snap. You would not believe how dumb some of the guys who have played Ivy league hockey are.

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#83 BigE57
May 18 2009, 10:04AM
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@ kingsblade: nuff said

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#84 J-Bird
May 19 2009, 09:25AM
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I simply shake my head at anybody saying a kid should drop out of college to play minor league hockey. Who's got their priorities straight? Come on!

Riley Nash doesn't owe Edmonton a damn thing right now. They haven't paid one cent to develop him yet. If he wants to finish school, it's his right. As a parent, I'd hope most kids would have that resolve.

As for the basket weaving commentary. Does anybody know what Nash is taking in school? Anybody? Some cite extreem examples of what a Cornell or Harvard or Princeton degree gets you by some loser who didn't use the schooling properly. I'm sorry, if you go from Harvard, to the U of C, you screwed it up. Not Harvard. About as lame as I've ever read in my life to be honest.

Oil fans. Riley Nash doesn't owe you anything. The fact he doesn't want to play for the worst team in the AHL is not a bad thing. The "quality" of play arguement is BS too. Cornell is heading into 2009-2010 with a really strong club, expecting to take a run at the final four. That's enticing. Winning is fun. Springfield won't be. And that's an all out guarantee.

I've also read comments from other college guys about the "team" aspect that goes away in the pro leagues. Every man for himself. It's not that way at college or junior.

If he comes out at 22 years of age, with some more weight on him, winning some stuff, etc., big deal. And if he comes out with a degree from Cornell in his back pocket, bonus.

I don't think he's not "passionate" enough like some have elluded here. He's obviously from a family who values some things higher than hockey. Thank god for that. All I see outt these comments here is Dollar signs and greed. For yourself. For your Oilers. For a perceived slight agianst the team because a kid wants to finish school. In Edmonton it's been too much too soon for too many guys.

Shame on anybody pressuring a kid to drop out of school for something that isn't guaranteed other than getting your ass handed to you night after night.

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#85 kingsblade
May 19 2009, 10:56AM
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J-Bird wrote:

As for the basket weaving commentary. Does anybody know what Nash is taking in school? Anybody?

It is IMPOSSIBLE to take a serious program at a school like that and play sports at the same time. This is a fact. Many school teams do not even allow athletes to take a full course load.

J-Bird wrote:

Cornell is heading into 2009-2010 with a really strong club,

Irrelevant when considering quality of competition.

J-Bird wrote:

if you go from Harvard, to the U of C, you screwed it up. Not Harvard. About as lame as I’ve ever read in my life to be honest

Or you studied philosophy at Harvard. Not only was she not a failure but finished as the gold medal winner for her class and left with a phd. PRetty lame alright.

J-Bird wrote:

Some cite extreem examples of what a Cornell or Harvard or Princeton degree gets you by some loser who didn’t use the schooling properly

Extreme? Hardly. Typical would be more accurate. You seem to think that the name at the top of the paper is what counts but it isn't. What counts is the PROGRAM you were in. If you have an MBA from Cornell you are in great shape. If you have a degree in History then please share with us what phenomenal career is going to come from it? It's not like he's going to go on to grad school since his plan is supposedly to get into the NHL.

J-Bird wrote:

I don’t think he’s not “passionate” enough like some have elluded here. He’s obviously from a family who values some things higher than hockey.

This quote shows that you simply do not understand the makeup of most professional athletes. There are some rare exceptions, but for the most part to make a league like the NHL you have to love hockey more than just about anything but your family.

J-Bird wrote:

All I see outt these comments here is Dollar signs and greed.

How so? Just because we think that if a persons primary goal is to make the NHL he might want to consider making it his top priority? If that's not his main goal then it hardly matters.

J-Bird wrote:

As a parent, I’d hope most kids would have that resolve.

I'd hope that my child would take whatever career path makes him happiest. If making the NHL is not his priority then no, he shouldn't go, but he will not make it if it is not a priority.

IF getting his degree is the issue, (I actually doubt that it is) then there is no reason whatsoever for him not to finish it in the offseason, especially since it is a fallback.

If what he wants is to play NHL hockey then he should pursue it until he fails.

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#86 Archaeologuy
May 19 2009, 01:16PM
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@ J-Bird: Hey, if his goal in life is to be an Academic then stay in school. Let him devote his time to research and learning. Forget the hours of practice and travel that are taking him away from his life's pursuit. Let him focus on keeping a GPA around 3.7 or higher so he can make it into Graduate school and continue on his path towards whatever it is that he's taking.

If he values staying in Cornell over playing in the NHL then he doesnt deserve the opportunity to play here. He doesnt owe the Oilers or Edmonton anything. Maybe he told them at the draft that he wasnt interested in being an Oiler, i dont know. But it sure is a shame that the Oil wasted a pick on him when they could have had someone like David Perron or any other 1st rounder who actually wants to play hockey for a living.

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#87 BigE57
May 19 2009, 04:28PM
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FYI to all concerned. Nash's brother Brendon is a defenceman at Cornell. All other possibilities aside playing with his brother probably has a lot to do with why he is staying in school for another year.

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#88 J-Bird
May 20 2009, 08:58AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ J-Bird: If he values staying in Cornell over playing in the NHL then he doesnt deserve the opportunity to play here.

Exactly. It's for selfish reasons as a fan of the Oilers that you're slinging mud at a kid for staying in school. Nothing more. "Doesn't diserve"? Get off your high horse man. His brother also plays there, that's enticing for anybody. There's a freeking reason kids go the college route. If they want to get to the NHL at all costs, they go CHL. Obviously he has other things that he values as much as hockey.

Blade, what program is he in? You only play games on weekends in the NCAA, practices are based around classes. You don't know, I don't know. But to say it's basket weaving isn't right at all man.

Anybody slagging the kid for staying in school is doing so for selfish reasons because you're a fan of the team.

You can be mad at the Oil for taking the pic. I can't fault anybody for that. I mean this guy wasn't going to UND, Wisconsin, Denver, Michigan, Michigan State, etc. He was going to Cornell and they knew that.

Staying in school didn't hurt Gilbert. Didn't hurt a lot of guys. WTF has Chorney gained by leaving early? Not a damn thing playing on that team.

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#89 Archaeologuy
May 20 2009, 09:45AM
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@ J-Bird: The guy is a 1st round pick who doesnt want to play professional hockey. Yeah, he doesnt deserve the opportunity to play here. It seems from my perspective that he doesnt deserve the opportunities that most 1st round picks get. It appears that he has avoided playing hockey at the highest levels his whole career and that trend is continuing. I'm not slinging mud here. I just posted that if he doesnt want to be a hockey player that he should devote his life to Academia and move on. That's pretty supportive.

Gilbert's hockey program was completely different. He played at the highest level of competition in the College system. WTF did Chorney learn this year? Probably that the easier College game wont translate to the NHL directly and that he needs to be prepared better for life as a pro hockey player. Probably a lesson that Nash needs to learn that isnt taught at Cornell, or maybe it just conflicts with Basket Weaving 400.

As far as being mad at the Oilers for the picks, when those picks were made I was saying WTF, and now those concerns are proving to have been justified. Plante doesnt look like a lock and Nash doesnt want to play hockey.

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#90 BigE57
May 20 2009, 10:21AM
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He is enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with approximatley two thirds of the rest of his team. Programs range from applied economics and management to plant biology to landscape architecture. Basket weaving may very well be offered.

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#91 Archaeologuy
May 20 2009, 10:31AM
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@ BigE57: So what your saying is that he is essentially taking what amounts to golf course management. He can learn what grass to plant under which conditions (plant biology), how to properly mow said grass (landscape architecture), and how to make money operating said golf course (applied econ). Wicked. Well I hope he has a winter career lined up, because the two thirds of his class that dont have the chance to play in the NHL will probably occupy all those permanent positions with their elite degrees from Cornell before Nash.

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#92 J-Bird
May 20 2009, 10:39AM
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BigE57 wrote:

He is enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with approximatley two thirds of the rest of his team. Programs range from applied economics and management to plant biology to landscape architecture. Basket weaving may very well be offered.

Got a link, or are you making this crap up?

Arch, how is Gilbert any different that Chorney? Chorney was at a flagship UND NCAA school, every bit what Gilbert attended, if not more so. Gilbert stuck it out and excelled when he turned pro. Chorney not so much.

As for the pic, I hate it. I hate the Nash pic, and I hate the Plante pic. Things like this will have long term effect on the team. But that's not Nash's fault. It's the Oilers fault for not doing their homework, trading up to take this guy. If they want warm bodies for the farm team, don't take college guys in the first round.

Nash can stay in school and I won't hold that against a guy ever.

Kevin Lowe f&*^&*(d this team up for years going forward. Good luck Tambo cleaning this crap up.

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#93 Archaeologuy
May 20 2009, 10:51AM
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@ J-Bird: At least we agree that those pics are questionable at best. To be fair though, i probably would have picked Cherapanov, and that wouldnt have turned out all that well. It just amazes me that every single year the Oilers make a selection in the 1st 2 rounds that completely dumbfounds the guys covering the draft. It always sounds like, "And the Oilers have selected...uh...let me find my notes for him....well we werent expecting him to be taken SO HIGH so we didnt have anything prepared for him, but he played in the C league of Denmark..." *sigh*

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#94 BigE57
May 20 2009, 11:09AM
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J-Bird wrote:

Got a link, or are you making this crap up?

http://www.cornellbigred.com/roster.aspx?path=mhockey&

Here's the link. I suspect that there's been enough unfounded rhetoric spouted on this topic already so I simply googled Cornell University.

Archaeologuy wrote:

So what your saying is that he is essentially taking what amounts to golf course management. He can learn what grass to plant under which conditions (plant biology), how to properly mow said grass (landscape architecture), and how to make money operating said golf course (applied econ). Wicked. Well I hope he has a winter career lined up, because the two thirds of his class that dont have the chance to play in the NHL will probably occupy all those permanent positions with their elite degrees from Cornell before Nash.

There is also animal science, plant breeding and genetics and horticulture among others so he can learn about using animals for fertilizer for breeding flowers for his golf course.

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#95 J-Bird
May 20 2009, 11:13AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ J-Bird: At least we agree that those pics are questionable at best. To be fair though, i probably would have picked Cherapanov, and that wouldnt have turned out all that well. It just amazes me that every single year the Oilers make a selection in the 1st 2 rounds that completely dumbfounds the guys covering the draft. It always sounds like, “And the Oilers have selected…uh…let me find my notes for him….well we werent expecting him to be taken SO HIGH so we didnt have anything prepared for him, but he played in the C league of Denmark…” *sigh*

I hear ya on the drafting. It seems they're trying to be "smarter" than everybody else going off the map on a hunch or something. Like Lowetide would say, Nobody batts 1000% at the draft, but Keving Lowe et al are awefully close to the Mendoza line.

Kevin Lowe made huge mistakes over his tenure. Looking back is easy, I get that. But man oh man it's gonna be a while. The team is still a couple years away from the playoffs, let alone anywhere near the division crown.

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#96 kingsblade
May 20 2009, 10:50PM
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BigE57 wrote:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Awesome. It's amazing how many of their athletes from all sports are in that program. Who knew that athletes had such an affinity for "life sciences."

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