Friday, August 31, 2007
Tony Romano in London
"I very definitely looked at that before deciding to come here," he said. "The Knights had a similar style of play to mine. At Cornell, the style of play is very different, a lot of dump and chase, a lot of defence, a lot of systems, maybe too many systems.This is a telling sign. Now, to be fair, he recognizes the need for some systems - but this is telling. The article does go on to state that Romano wants to be in an environment where the main focus is hockey. While that is his preference and playing in a 68 game season for London may help his overall game. Hopefully it will change his perspective since pretty much most, if not all, of the teams in the NHL do focus on defense to a degree and have their own systems. Nobody is running free-wheeling hockey where the players have the creativity. Much less the New Jersey Devils, a team who has used defensive systems to thrive and succeed. Now, it is the off season and there's not much going on, but I wanted to point this out as a reason why Romano is a long-term prospect who is a bit of a risk - as suggested by Jared Ramsden's ratings at Hockey's Future. Yes, he's offensively gifted and he could definitely step it up in the OHL; but he should not be annointed to be a future Devil forward. If he's not interested about playing defense or getting in complex systems, he may not get a chance to get into the NHL much less the Devils unless he's incredibly talented.
"My coach says hockey is still a thinking man's game. It's like chess on ice. You need some structure and some systems, but you still have to be able to think for yourself. You have to be able to make decisions and create plays."
(Hat tip to the Devils message board at Hockey's Future, specifically Belizarius)