I am going to expand my last blog a bit and look at some numbers of games/years played by members of the current Avs team under Joe Sacco. I am also going to look at that in relation to number of years that a core has played together.
I will first start with the guys who have played a while in the NHL.
David Jones: 45 Games in 2007-2008 with LEM, 14G-16-A-30P(One full year of work with Sacco, 3 years with Dartmouth).
T.J. Hensick: 50 games in2007-2008 with LEM, 12G-33A-45P(One year played up and down between AHL/NHL, 4 years at University of Michigan, many years growing in the U.S.A. development camps.)
Chris Durno: Full Season in AHL-San Antonio Rampage, 23G-26A-59P.(Several more years in the AHL as well college hockey and time in minor leagues.)
Chris Stewart: 77 games played in AHL with LEM(Sacco), 25G-19A-44P.(Spent time in the OHL as well as part of one more season with the Albany River Rats.)
Matt Hendricks: Last season in Providence in the AHL, 22G-30A-52P.(Spent 4 years at St. Cloud state, and several years working in the minors, acquired from the Bruins for Johnny Boychuck.)
Woijtek Wolski: Has had ups and downs the last 4 seasons in the NHL with the Avs. 64G-95A-159P vs. 253 total games. Spent time with the Brampton Battalion.
Paul Stastny: The most significant thing to note, in a trend that I am seeing with this team is that he spent time in the University of Denver System. Note that his numbers do not reflect several flukes in his careers involving injuries.
Ryan Wilson: Rookie campaign, Sarnia Sting was his post last season. Was noticeable on the ice during Clark/Koci goal.
Brett Clark: What we would label as a journeyman defenseman who has finally stuck in the NHL. I know he has his detractors, but in what I have seen he looks better this season. If you look at all the places he has been, most guys wouldn't have kept playing.
Scott Hannan: When you look at Hannan's numbers, not much sticks out except his number of games played every season. He rarely misses a game and works hard on a regular basis. He was a whipping boy on D for the blogs last year, but if you remember he talked about systems a lot when he first got here. I believe Granato had a leash on him, trying to keep him as close to the post as possible. He didn't play great with Quenneville, but we didn't feel ripped off that season. I think Sacco has told him work hard, cover your lanes, but get involved. He is a +9 this season and already has his goal total from last year met, and is halfway to his assist numbers. He also cut the mullet which might be aiding in his speed to the puck......jk
Kyle Quincey: Another journeyman defenseman who likely would have been a regular on the roster of any other team had he not been drafted by the Red Wings. He worked hard enough to get called up into that organization and was claimed by the Kings last year. Played 72 games last season between the two clubs and was sent to us via the Ryan Smyth trade.
Adam Foote: No real explanation needed other than he is playing with Cumiskey right now, and is balancing his desire to carry the puck. He is a Work Horse and has been for years.
This is a team of hungry guys. If you look at a lot of the ages of some of the guys just breaking into the league you will see that this could be their last legitimate chance at scoring an NHL contract. This team has something to prove, they have all done their time in the minors or in NCAA play(also says a lot about that development program).
Anderson also has something to prove. He is hungry to show that he is a legitimate #1. With all of these factors we have a hard working team.
The next factor to be added to the hard work is Youth/Rookie factor. Duchene and O'Reilly really want to be there, but motivation can come from guys who say "I had to work hard to get here, you better value this shot, you might not get another one."
Sacco is bringing this work to the forefront. Wolski is realizing this season that he can be an upper level player in this league. Svatos needs some work, but Sacco seems to be all about accountability. Hopefully this team will continue to grow into that role.
Last season I saw a lot of youthful potential with some of the call ups. That time was useful for helping the current team gel and now with a hard nosed coach they seem to want it more. We didn't see that want or even a general direction for the club.
The changes that were made during the off season were about changing the culture. Sacco wasn't lieing when he said he wanted to be known as a team that worked hard and was tough to play against. It seems that is true.
Keep it up Avs! We are excited about the future and for the next game!