Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fronts: Why Werek came is purely academic, but....

Ethan Werek shed some light, sort of, on what prompted him to report to the Kingston Frontenacs.

It's mostly worth pointing out only for the fact Werek's arrival was heralded as a great affirmation of the Kingston franchise, GM-for-life Larry Mavety and by extension the enabler of the general mangler (not a typo), owner Doug Springer. Others of sound mind, if not body (join a gym, Sagert) believed Werek reported to help his status for the 2009 NHL draft (he's now rated 24th by the International Scouting Service and is getting some OHL rookie-of-the-year buzz). The interview he did with The Team 1260 in Edmonton wouldn't disabuse anyone of that notion.

On the events that summer which caused him to de-commit from Boston University and join the Frontenacs:
"In the end, I have no regrets about what happened. The thing was with that, I finished high school a year early and I wanted to finish off at my high school. I've been going there since Grace 3 and I wanted to finish off there. In the off-season, I approached my options. I was thinking of maybe going to BU a year early, but their team was a pretty skilled team this year and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get the ice time in my (NHL) draft year to maybe get shown, so... Kingston's been a great fit. I'm going to Queen's here, which is a top school. I'm just getting my education and playing in the OHL and I couldn't be happier."
One of the hosts followed up with a question about whether coming to Kingston was "simply an exposure aspect" with Werek doing into his draft season:
"I think that was a big part of it. Going to college, as a freshman, you kind of have to start near the bottom and work your way up. College, you only play 30-35 games. In the OHL you're playing 67, so it's more pro development ... it was a tough decision and something I'll always think back to, but in the end I'm happy with my decision."
He could have played that many games in the USHL, though. Later, he was asked, "Would you have gone to BU this year?"
"I would have rather to gone BU this year, start my university, I was just kind of laying out my decision until I was done high school."
The odd part about that is Mavety kept saying in 2007-08 that Werek would play for Kingston. The player says that all along, he wanted to give it a year to make his choice. The bottom line, it more less worked out. Werek has showcased himself for the draft, Mavety is somehow still in Springer's employ and that continues to provide much mirth for this blog and for The Kinger.

There is a semi-serious point that it is really ridiculous how early hockey players have to make a choice to pursue the major junior or NCAA stream. Perhaps Werek is just a different dude for bucking the system. There is little reason to doubt Werek's sincerity, since the alternative is to believe Larry Mavety.

It has been 485 days since Doug Springer has promised he would do "whatever it takes" to bring a winner to Kingston.


kinger said...

A while back the best stat ever was that in Gilmour's then-five wins as coach, three had been by one goal, and Werek had scored or set up all three of them.

All the hooplah surrounding his decision aside, is it not a godsend that he ended up showing up and becoming the best player on the team? How many wins would they have had if he hadn't?

Big V said...

I was strolling around the Krock pot last night and peered into mav's office and saw employee of the month plaques plastered all over the walls...
he must be doing something right.

sager said...

The World of Junior Hockey has the OHL draft rankings.

Hockey Prospects rankings are:
1) Justin Sefton, the defenceman from Kitcher-Waterloo; 2) Daniel Catenacci; 3) Alan Quine from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens 4) Matt Puempel from the Windsor area; 5) Scott Harrington from Kingston

1. Harrington; 2. Puemple; 3. Catenacci; 4. Sefton; 5. Colin Suellentrop from the Detroit area (non-factor, no high-end American player is coming to Kingston).

The Frontenacs, just guessing, want Catenacci because Gilmour will want a crafty forward. That might have been why Whig article today about Kingston looking ahead to the draft didn't mention Harrington, the hometown player.

Duane Rollins said...

RE: Werek

It's not shocking that Mavety picked a guy that was not supposed to come. It's been his M.O. since his Belleville days. It isn't widely remembered that Mav wasted a high pick (I want to say a first rounder) on Pat Lafontaine in 1982 even though he was clear he was going to play in the Q. He did. Al Iafrate was also a Bulls pick even though he had committed to playing for the U.S. Olympic program. Ten games he played in the OHL...

Meanwhile here is a fun game for Kingston fans. Combined the Fronts have 87 points in the last two seasons. Can Kingston's total points for the last two seasons surpass rival Belleville's total points for this season?

How does the man still have a job?

Dennis Prouse said...

I can only assume that the owner is mesmerized by Mavety's impressive "brag wall", which is no doubt replete with photos of Mav with all kinds of hockey royalty. He has plenty of war stories to share, and "knows the league". Some guys are just blessed with the self-preservation gene, and are able to ingratiate themselves with the boss really well. It must kill Kingston fans to see, because there are any number of young guys out there who want to make a name for themselves in hockey management who would kill for a shot at that job.

Big V said...

I think the worst thing is...
If springer finally gets rid of the mavness, and the fronts program sudden starts winning, springer will be hailed as a genious becasue he finally amde the move...
when in reality he doesn't know how to run an OHL franchise and has issues with confrentation.