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Coach's Corner #25

with Springfield Falcon's Asst. Coach Phil Russell

Well it certainly has been a busy week for the Pesky Birds of Prey as players have been coming and going right and left. It must be difficult for the fans to tell the players without a program. Gerald Coleman, Doug O'Brien and Timo Helbling in the Show, with Kevin Croxton, P.J. Atherton and Jared Nightingale from college to the Nest. After very positive debuts for Morgan Cey and Doug Andress they have been moved to Johnstown Chiefs. There are certainly some tests going on for players at all the levels, NHL, AHL and ECHL.

Character, that is a good word, and people who don't have it certainly aren't hockey players, we hope not. Tampa Bay will be tested to the max to stay in playoff contention, the Johnstown Chiefs have clinched, and the playoffs seem to be a far reach for the Falcons. Development just goes on and on and at times seems very unfair to the local fans. Would the Springfield Falcons be a better team with Ryan Craig, Evgeny Artukhin, Paul Ranger, Norm Milley for a lot of the year? Absolutely, but this is where it gets a little sticky. The Tampa Bay Lightning wants to develop players as well as have a winning team in Springfield and Johnstown. When these feats are accomplished the hockey world says "man, they have a deep organization." The last organization to do this was the New Jersey Devils in 1994/5 with their development team in Albany, a feat that might be matched by the Grand Rapids Griffins if the Detroit Red Wings win the Cup. Well enough about other teams, our situation will grow positively with proper choices in the draft and proper development in the system.

Patience is a virtue, it has been said, but nowadays we like to see some blood.

Stay tuned the year is not over yet.