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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#1 Moose
May 15 2009, 01:39PM
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Great picture.

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#2 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 02:03PM
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I get the pursuit of an education. I really do. But an education at Cornell could be shaving MILLIONS off of his potential career earnings if it's hindering his development as a player. You dont need any fancy book-learning to see that much. He can make his millions and go back to finish his degree at Cornell if he wants.

When cases like this come up I wonder if the player in question really wants to play in the NHL or if he's just an idiot. Those are the only two scenarios that make sense in my head.

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#3 Quinn
May 15 2009, 02:08PM
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I think I read somewhere that Nash is still making his decision about where to be for this fall. Is this correct?

Personally, I would tell the guy to stay in school, get his Ag degree and wait to see how the whole Springfield thing shakes out before turning pro. At least that way he has the option of leaving school early to join the team if things start looking up by November or December. I know it is not what the Oil would want, but from a strictly player-centred viewpoint it is maybe the best plan.

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#4 Quinn
May 15 2009, 02:09PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I get the pursuit of an education. I really do. But an education at Cornell could be shaving MILLIONS off of his potential career earnings if it’s hindering his development as a player. You dont need any fancy book-learning to see that much. He can make his millions and go back to finish his degree at Cornell if he wants. When cases like this come up I wonder if the player in question really wants to play in the NHL or if he’s just an idiot. Those are the only two scenarios that make sense in my head.

~Now Arch, are you, the bastion of classical knowledge on the 'Sphere, really arguing against learning for the sake of filthy lucre?~

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#5 Librarian Mike
May 15 2009, 02:11PM
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Cornell's a big-name university in terms of quality of education, so I have to say that I kind of admire him for doing what's best for him. Who knows; maybe someday he'll crack the Oilers' lineup and, unlike 99% of hockey players, will be able to answer a reporter's question with something resembling articulation.

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#6 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 02:19PM
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Quinn wrote:

~Now Arch, are you, the bastion of classical knowledge on the ‘Sphere, really arguing against learning for the sake of filthy lucre?~

I didnt have the opportunity to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS PLAYING A GAME. I loved University. I was good at it and I think a life long pursuit of learning is a noble goal to have. But if I was told that I had a 20 year window of opportunity where I could be a pro athlete and staying in University could dramatically alter my chances of maximizing that opportunity, it wouldnt even be a question. I would be in Springfield. Even if it WAS the worst team in the AHL. This isnt a 7th round pick that might crack the ECHL lineup. This guy has been rated one of the best Oiler prospects out there by many people. Put down the book and pick up the Jersey.

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#7 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 02:20PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

But an education at Cornell could be shaving MILLIONS off of his potential career earnings if it’s hindering his development as a player.

Assuming he makes it as a big-league player. If he turns out to be a Rem Murray/Marty Reasoner type player, the odds are good that he would spend tim in the AHL (where he won't be making a ton of money) rather than jumping to the NHL right away.

It's good to remember that a high-paying NHL career is a question mark for all of these guys; getting an education and hedging your bets is a good idea.

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#8 Ducey
May 15 2009, 02:24PM
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Getting a degree on a sports scholarship from a University in the the US and getting an education are two different things. Most guys in the NFL have a University degree and getting it has more to do with their time in the 40 yd. dash than their time in the library.

The distinction may be less at Cornell, but it sounds like he is enjoying his time at Cornell more than anything.

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#9 topshelf
May 15 2009, 02:26PM
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The million dollar question is why? What is his motive for staying at Cornell? If it is in fact to get his degree than good on him. But if it isn't then he should have his head examined if he thinks waiting out in college will be better development than playing minor professional hockey, no matter how sh*tty the falcons are/were.

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#10 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 02:30PM
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topshelf wrote:

What is his motive for staying at Cornell?

And that's something we don't have the answer to. It could be a Jack Johnson "Joe College" situation, or he could be serious about getting his degree (like, say, Ken Dryden).

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#11 topshelf
May 15 2009, 02:31PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Then I suppose you have to put your trust in him making the right decision and like you said, just put on a happy face about it. Not much else you can do.

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#12 Quinn
May 15 2009, 02:32PM
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@ topshelf: That is the best question to ask. If he is staying there to avoid the fiasco that is the Falcons, and possibly hinder his development, then good on him. If it is the free flowing beer, and lax requirements of Ag-Life Sciences, then perhaps a re-examination of priorities is necessary. But I suspect (from his comments) it is the former.

@Arch This guy has been rated one of the best Oiler prospects out there by many people. Put down the book and pick up the Jersey.

~It is not as though top-rated Oiler prospects have ever withered and died in the system.~ Seriously, maybe the guy just is worried about what he sees over in Springfield.

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#13 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 02:34PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It’s good to remember that a high-paying NHL career is a question mark for all of these guys; getting an education and hedging your bets is a good idea.

Risk and Reward. If this kid makes it to the NHL even for 1 season he can afford to go back and finish his degree at Cornell. If his time at Cornell means that his career potential is limited to that of a Marty Reasoner instead of a David Legwand then he could be missing out on 10 million dollars over the course of a career.

I dont know what his degree is in, but i dont think that he can make up the loss with his post hockey career.

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#14 Librarian Mike
May 15 2009, 02:36PM
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Personally, if I were in his situation and decided to go pro I'd rather go over to Europe, live in a cool city like Prague or Helsinki, drink great beer, and learn a language than toil away in some steelbelt craphole like Springfield.

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#15 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 02:36PM
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Quinn wrote:

~It is not as though top-rated Oiler prospects have ever withered and died in the system.~

I have no response to this as there isnt one that can trump that statement.

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#16 topshelf
May 15 2009, 02:43PM
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Quinn wrote:

That is the best question to ask. If he is staying there to avoid the fiasco that is the Falcons, and possibly hinder his development, then good on him

The problem with that is there is more to being a professional athlete than just the game on the ice. He needs to know what it's like to play more than every weekend, to practice everyday, to work out every day, etc. These are the types of experiences he needs but will not get if he stays at Cornell.

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#17 topshelf
May 15 2009, 02:44PM
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@ topshelf: ..and I understand that college teams practice 3 times a week and work out as well but I think you understand where I'm coming from.

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#18 BigE57
May 15 2009, 03:12PM
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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.

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#19 RossCreek
May 15 2009, 03:46PM
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Shame on Riley Nash for trying to get an education rather than going for the money. A guy goes for the money, he gets condemned. A guy doesn't take the money, he's condemned. Strange world. Oh, and shame on him for not doing what the almighty fan wants him to do. ~ Come on robot... do what I say! We own you. ~

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#20 J-Bird
May 15 2009, 03:50PM
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What's a Cornell degree worth in the real world, especially if your hockey career doesn't pan out? I mean it's Ivy League folks, and if it were my kid, he's finishing school first.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 03:51PM
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J-Bird wrote:

What’s a Cornell degree worth in the real world, especially if your hockey career doesn’t pan out? I mean it’s Ivy League folks, and if it were my kid, he’s finishing school first.

Ditto.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 03:55PM
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Staple's take on this is also worth reading.

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#23 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 03:56PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

That should read "Staples' take"; I don't think he's either a grain or a consumable office supply.

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#24 folding shower chair with back
May 15 2009, 03:56PM
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This is good info for us all. Glad you posted this. I will be subscribing to this blog. Irma

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#25 Chris
May 15 2009, 04:18PM
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My knock on Nash is that he's a FIRST ROUND choice who doesn't seem 100% committed to making the NHL. Trust the Oilers to burn a first round pick on a BCHL player who would rather fart around in the Ivy League with his brother than turn pro...

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#26 Rice
May 15 2009, 04:18PM
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Quinn wrote:

@ topshelf: That is the best question to ask. If he is staying there to avoid the fiasco that is the Falcons, and possibly hinder his development, then good on him. If it is the free flowing beer, and lax requirements of Ag-Life Sciences, then perhaps a re-examination of priorities is necessary. But I suspect (from his comments) it is the former. @Arch This guy has been rated one of the best Oiler prospects out there by many people. Put down the book and pick up the Jersey. ~It is not as though top-rated Oiler prospects have ever withered and died in the system.~ Seriously, maybe the guy just is worried about what he sees over in Springfield.

hey hey ag science can be very demanding and I have my 5.5 year degree to prove it.

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#27 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 04:19PM
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J-Bird wrote:

What’s a Cornell degree worth in the real world, especially if your hockey career doesn’t pan out? I mean it’s Ivy League folks, and if it were my kid, he’s finishing school first.

I'm not saying an Ivy League education is worthless. I support higher education all the way. I guess this all depends on what he wants to be, a hockey player or whatever it is he's getting his degree in. Sure he can do both. It seems to many people though that he will be hurting his career potential as a hockey player by staying in Cornell.

If he chooses life as a hockey player then his degree wont help him at all. Look at Phaneuf, I doubt he could have read the fat contract he signed. I mean some of these guys still read pop-up books. AFTER his life as a hockey player he will want that degree to fall back on, no doubt. But assuming he makes it for even a couple years he can go back and finish his classes.

All I'm saying is that if it was me I would be playing in the AHL. But I would want to be a hockey player, i dont know what Nash wants to be.

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#28 Chris
May 15 2009, 04:23PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

All I’m saying is that if it was me I would be playing in the AHL. But I would want to be a hockey player, i dont know what Nash wants to be.

We agree! Mark it down and time code it... I think a good education is very important for everyone except Oiler first round picks.

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#29 kingsblade
May 15 2009, 04:29PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

J-Bird wrote: What’s a Cornell degree worth in the real world, especially if your hockey career doesn’t pan out? I mean it’s Ivy League folks, and if it were my kid, he’s finishing school first. Ditto.

How can you say something like this without even knowing what he is taking? I know one guy with a Harvard degree who waits tables. I know another guy with a Princeton degree who is a mechanic. I know a girl who also has a Harvard degree and found it so useful that she is taking a new program at the University of Calgary. I'm pretty sure he's not in architecture, medicine, or the MBA program, which are the reasons Cornell rates highly. If he's not in those three then it doesn't matter that he's at Cornell and it's not going to mean that much in terms of a career.

Second, the primary reason for getting an education is to help you get a career afterwards. If you have a realistic shot at an NHL career YOU DO IT. The only real reason not to is if you don't really care about an NHL career. Finishing his degree later is no obstacle. Hell, even in the AHL he can make enough to go back to class in the offseason.

There is no reason for staying there that I can accept as logical when you have a very real chance at an NHL career when doing so will not affect your chances at getting your degree anyways.

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#30 J-Bird
May 15 2009, 04:36PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I’m not saying an Ivy League education is worthless. I support higher education all the way. I guess this all depends on what he wants to be, a hockey player or whatever it is he’s getting his degree in. Sure he can do both. It seems to many people though that he will be hurting his career potential as a hockey player by staying in Cornell. If he chooses life as a hockey player then his degree wont help him at all. Look at Phaneuf, I doubt he could have read the fat contract he signed. I mean some of these guys still read pop-up books. AFTER his life as a hockey player he will want that degree to fall back on, no doubt. But assuming he makes it for even a couple years he can go back and finish his classes. All I’m saying is that if it was me I would be playing in the AHL. But I would want to be a hockey player, i dont know what Nash wants to be.

You gotta have great (not good) marks to even attend a school like Cornell.

If it was me, and I'm a lightweight like he is, attending a school in which a degree from it guarantees a 6 figure salaray when you're done, with a fat entry level contract waiting for you when you do decide to turn pro anyways, I'm getting my degree first.

I don't think he doesn't want to be a hockey player. I think the Oilers should have done their homework on what his and his family's intentions were should he go to school, etc., in interviews prior to drafting him. I think he's got unreal smarts school wise, got a free ride to an Ivy League school due to the hockey/smarts combo, and his family feels, as does he, that's it's important to finish. It's possible that he has been raised in such a way that it isn't all about hockey, hockey, hockey in his household. And there's nothing wrong with that IMO. Especially with good book smarts.

I also wouldn't be in a hurry to join Springfield as an under sized kid who's going to have too much pilled on him (Oilers trademark) playing on a horrendous minor league team, when Cornell (and this is part of it too), is going to be a power next year. Winning is fun.

When it's time, it'll be time. The last thing the Oil need to do is rush somebody else through the gauntlet early.

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#31 Chris
May 15 2009, 05:43PM
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J-Bird wrote:

It’s possible that he has been raised in such a way that it isn’t all about hockey, hockey, hockey in his household. And there’s nothing wrong with that IMO. Especially with good book smarts.

Again I agree. Balance and perspective is important for everyone BUT Oiler first round draft picks.

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#32 Jonathan Willis
May 15 2009, 05:50PM
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@ folding shower chair with back:

Thanks, Irma. I really appreciate your completely non-link motivated support.

Everyone, please be more like Irma.

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#33 topshelf
May 15 2009, 05:51PM
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J-Bird wrote:

You gotta have great (not good) marks to even attend a school like Cornell

These guys take like 6 classes a week it's not like they are brain surgeons. They make up the rest of their classes in the summer. The workload is less which probably has a lot to do with them maintaining the GPA that they need. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they are all as dumb as a sack of bricks but it's not like the have class for 7 hrs a day and then hockey on top of that.

J-Bird wrote:

attending a school in which a degree from it guarantees a 6 figure salaray when you’re done

Is that a fact?

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#34 David S
May 15 2009, 06:12PM
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If I'm Nash, I'm thinking I'd rather NOT play in Springfield and risk the chance of my ranking getting downgraded by playing on a terrible team. It's not like he's just another guy who might make the show because he's definitely going to be there. His future bargaining power depends entirely on what he does on the way up. Seems to me he's betting that knocking the lights out in college will look a helluva lot better on his resume than a fair to middling record on a crap AHL team. Wasn't it Tom Gilbert who also took the college route (could be wrong about that one).

On the other hand, the Oilers desperately need some good talent in Springfield. They want some big names to draw crowds down there. Problem is, what big name prospect would be stupid enough to potentially trash his future with Springfield right now?

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#35 Dennisc
May 15 2009, 06:24PM
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I fully support Riley Nash staying in school, I think it is likely to be better for him in the long run, as both a person and a possible NHL player.

However, I think Nash's statements, and the comments from Chris Vande Velde and Linus Omark, point to a broken development system. All these young men, whether or not they graduate from university first, or play in Russia, are likely going to play in the AHL (they just aren't NHL ready). It is a mean, tough place, not much fun at all for those with a lousy attitude. Positive thinkers tend to thrive their.

I think perhaps Taylor Chorney, Bryan Lerg, Cody Wild, etc. have told Vande Velde and Nash that Springfield isn't exactly paradise. Omark was presumably smart enough to figure it out for himself.

Ironically if you survive Springfield and make it to the NHL you get to play in Edmonton where both the coach (now dearly departed) and management appear to have gone crazy.

I'm guessing all three young men are thinking we'll just hide out and if the Oilers fix this mess well and good. If not, we'll wait thirty days (in the case of the college players) and sign with some other team. In Omark's case he'll just go on playing in Russia.

So could the Oilers still salvage the situation and what would it take?

The Oilers need to appoint a permanent coach for Springfield. Then they need to open up some contract room to sign a couple of veteran AHL scorers. It is also vitally important that they integrate Springfield's corporate culture into their own (Of course first they have to develop a corporate culture here). Next, and most importantly, they need to promote at least one and maybe as many as three AHL players to the NHL, thus proving that two way contracts with the Oilers come with the chance of an NHL spot if you work your butt off. Peckham, Potulny, and possibly Stone need to get jobs in Edmonton.

Of course management needs to sit down with all their prospects, I really hope they already do this, and say these are the things you need to accomplish to be ready to play in the NHL. You want to skip the AHL master these things here in college or in Russia. Be clear, be concise, but make sure they understand the responsibilty is theirs. You earn a spot on the Oilers, it isn't given to you. Not to Omark, not to Nash, not to Vande Velde, not to anybody.

Management needs to make it clear that they want players to stay in school as long as they are learning and developing as both a person and a player. If college life is just one endelss kegger then they want the player in Springfield.

Next, you hope like hell Kytnar (or any of the lower ranked propsects) comes to camp and jumps ahead of all of them as a prospect. I picked Kytnar because every scouting report says he has an amazing attitude, some size, and some high level skill. He is also supper responsible defensively. Nothing like losing your spot in line to get your attention. A job in Springfield (or wherever the Oilers farm team ends up) needs to be a privilege you earn, not a punishment you fear. That is one of the parts of our corporate culture that really needs to be changed. There need to be superb facilities, skilled suport staff, goons to protect you, veterans to lead you, and a great coach to teach you. It needs to be class all the way.

That said, starting right now we need to tell players that spout off about how they are too good to play in the AHL that they should start looking for another team to sign with since we won't be renewing their contracts, or offering them one in the case of college players.

We want to be hard to play against, we need players with commitment, not complainers and whiners. So tough love, all the way, tough love.

Lets start by trading Nash and Vande Velde to New Jersey for Patrice Cormier and Mike Hoeffel. That is meant as roughly a fair exchange of value and entirely an object lesson. You don't want us we don't want you.

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#36 Poo Czar
May 15 2009, 06:45PM
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I think Alexandre Daigle's lucrative film career definitively shows that if you have an alternative to getting burdened with an NHL career, you take it.

And that's one to grow on...

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#37 suction cup grab bars
May 15 2009, 07:44PM
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Hey this is good stuff. So glad you posted. I like reading blogs like this. Sandy

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#38 David S
May 15 2009, 08:02PM
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Jonathan - What's with all the trolls with Ebay websites hooked up to their names? You guys are gonna have to go to posting with those random passwords

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#39 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 08:20PM
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J-Bird wrote:

attending a school in which a degree from it guarantees a 6 figure salaray when you’re done

Is he graduating with a degree in money forging, because that's his best shot. We're in this little thing called a recession and recent graduates from EVERY university are having problems finding work. There is no degree from any University that can be used as a licence to print money.

J-Bird wrote:

You gotta have great (not good) marks to even attend a school like Cornell.

Or you could be offered a place there because you're an elite athlete...

David S wrote:

Wasn’t it Tom Gilbert who also took the college route (could be wrong about that one).

And so did Cogs, but the schools they played at were in a diff division that played more games at a higher competition level. Their Universities were known as Hockey Schools. If Nash was at Michigan there wouldnt be the feeling that he's wasting his development so much.

And yeah Springfield sucks, But Liam Reddox managed to work his way from that crappy team onto the Oilers and he wasnt even their best player. Ask Reddox if he would rather have been in University with 0 chance of reaching the NHL this past season. At the league min Reddox can now afford to spend the next 10 years at an ivy league school without any scholarships.

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#40 yo
May 15 2009, 08:56PM
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Quite frankly I don't care if Riley Nash ever sees the light of day in the NHL. The Oilers goofed when they drafted him so high. A friend who saw him play in BC said he was the second coming of Inge Hammarstrom. What is more concerning is the serial ass-covering by someone who likely had a hand in picking him. Nash seems to have no burning interest in playing in the NHL possibly because he knows he hasn't got the cajones to compete. Prendergast may well be one of the suspects in the Oiler (dis)-organization who should be replaced.

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#41 kingsblade
May 15 2009, 10:28PM
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J-Bird wrote:

You gotta have great (not good) marks to even attend a school like Cornell

Not true in any way for an athlete.J-Bird wrote:

attending a school in which a degree from it guarantees a 6 figure salaray when you’re done

Not true either. Why do some of you people assume this? IF he was in one of their top programs then you could say this, but the truth of the matter is you cannot play hockey and attend a top program at a school like that. Until I am shown evidence otherwise I pretty much have to assume that he is taking some variation of basketweaving.

In fact, Cornell is barely good enough to get you a job at Dunder Mifflin.

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#42 BigE57
May 15 2009, 11:05PM
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@ 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.

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#43 kingsblade
May 16 2009, 12:07AM
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@ BigE57:

BigE57 wrote:

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.

You have no idea what you are talking about. As long as athletes meet the MINIMUM requirements of the school they will be allowed in. They will not get into the top programs but they will get into the school. Minimum requirements will not get normal students in because of the number of applicants, but seats are always reserved for certain circumstances. One of those circumstances is for athletes. If they have 25 seats set aside for hockey players and Nash is a good hockey player who can manage the schools minimum then he will get the seat. The only way he loses it is if someone who is a better player comes along who can still meet the school minimum GPA.

I know personally four people who got into Ivy league schools with C+ averages because they played sports. None of them were as good as Nash is at hockey.

The other thing to consider is the fact that there are different faculties. I'll use Harvard as an example because I know it better than Cornell. If you want to get into Harvard Law then you had better be one of the best applicants. If you want to go to Harvard and study history or Psychology then typical university qualifying grades will almost do.

If Nash was in one of Cornell's top faculties he would not have a hope of playing hockey at the same time. In other words, as far as a real world career goes his Cornell degree won't do him any more good than one from the University of Miami.

BigE57 wrote:

he’s preparing for a life outside of hockey which isn’t a bad plan

Nobody is saying he shouldn't get his degree. We're saying that he can finish in the off season. Some of you people sound like you believe that if you leave school you can never go back.

Where does everyone get these romanticized ideas about these schools? Here's a clue...not everyone who goes to an ivy league school will be rich.

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#44 David S
May 16 2009, 12:11AM
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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.

hxxp://www.studentsreview.com/alumni.php3?SH=CORU&ST=NY

Nash is going to be in the NHL on his own terms, with an Ivy league degree in his back pocket. Not everybody pro athlete wants to sell real estate when he retires.

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#45 GSC
May 16 2009, 12:30AM
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Yeah, shame on the kid for actually using his scholarship to get an education...Imagine that, an athlete who puts the "scholar" back in scholarship.

I must be dreaming, I need to get back to reading about college hoops and football to make myself feel better about this whole staying in college and getting a degree thing...

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#46 GSC
May 16 2009, 12:33AM
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kingsblade wrote:

Where does everyone get these romanticized ideas about these schools? Here’s a clue…not everyone who goes to an ivy league school will be rich.

Not everyone has this romanticized idea, rather some of us have the idea that success should not be determined by the size of one's wallet.

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#47 Archaeologuy
May 16 2009, 12:45AM
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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. hxxp://www.studentsreview.com/alumni.php3?SH=CORU&ST=NY

That is based on a survey of 59 people. Hardly a large enough data pool. It also doesnt specify which programs these people graduated from. Dentistry? Fine Arts? I guarantee there's a difference in average income. I assure you as a double graduate of the Arts program i do not come close to having the same income as the average engineering graduate.

kingsblade wrote:

I know personally four people who got into Ivy league schools with C+ averages because they played sports. None of them were as good as Nash is at hockey. The other thing to consider is the fact that there are different faculties. I’ll use Harvard as an example because I know it better than Cornell. If you want to get into Harvard Law then you had better be one of the best applicants.

Oddly enough I know someone with a Law Degree from Harvard who was flat out denied admittance at the University of Calgary. Not to take anything away from the guy because he's brilliant, but there's a myth about Ivy league schools being SO difficult to get into that just isnt real.

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#48 Archaeologuy
May 16 2009, 12:54AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

there’s a myth about Ivy league schools being SO difficult to get into that just isnt real.

i should have said, the hardest part about getting into those schools is paying for the tuition. That is without a doubt the biggest hurdle. Too bad National Hockey League players dont make good money. Otherwise he could just finish his degree through summer classes or after his career. Alas, that dream will never be realized if he goes on a faster track to the NHL. I'm sure even the signing bonus of 1st round draft pick wouldnt cover some of the tuition.

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#49 David S
May 16 2009, 03:14AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Oddly enough I know someone with a Law Degree from Harvard who was flat out denied admittance at the University of Calgary. Not to take anything away from the guy because he’s brilliant, but there’s a myth about Ivy league schools being SO difficult to get into that just isnt real.

Option 1 Applicant: "I went to U of C" Employer: "Meh. Next."

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

Of course that wouldn't happen because everybody knows that ~ U of C is the Pantheon of academic achievement in Canada~.

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#50 David S
May 16 2009, 03:18AM
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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.

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