angryjay93 Posted April 5, 2011 Report Share Posted April 5, 2011 Hartford Whalers Team Overview:Is there a team that holds a softer spot in the collective heart of the 94 community? The Whalers are the darlings of the league, mostly because they are the loveable losers. Despite a couple of nice players, they are well deserving of this moniker as they are only dangerous in the hands of the elite. Forwards: Led by the fairly dynamic duo of Geoff Sanderson and Pat Verbeek, the Whalers do have a couple of legitimate options up front. After that though, there is a random mish-mash of meager talent, but at least there are several light weight options to fill out the third forward slot. Brass Bonanza: Verbeek-Sanderson-Yake Pat Verbeek: 7 weight, 3/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R A personal favorite of Kgman and owner of the vaunted and equally as mysterious long stick rating, Verbeek is a very solid if unspectacular player. On his own, Verbeek isnt an extremely dangerous player, something of a middle weight with solid skills; he is best suited as a complimentary player. Verbeek could just as easily be the center of this line, but his superior passing skills and comparable skating and weight ratings to Sanderson make him a better fit as a playmaker that can set up teammates. On defense, Verbeek is fairly standard, but his lack of agility might give him an issue in keeping up the faster players in the league. Geoff Sanderson: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Its really fortunate that Sanderson is on a team as weak as the Whalers because he is best suited as a center, but he is not among the top centers in the league. Blessed with solid ratings across the board, Sanderson is equally as capable of being a one-on-one threat from the middle as he is a one-timing threat. With that said though, he isnt a dominant player in either facet, which limits the offensive upside of the team. While not an elite defensive player, Geoff can certainly hold his own in tight checking games, although he may struggle against the likes of a Roenick or Fleury. Terry Yake: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R As mentioned in the Anaheim article, Yake isnt a good player to center the offense around, but in a supporting role, he can do the job. Hartford, has only two forwards with 4 speed, Yake is the best mix of light weight and skill among the rest of the Hartford front line and he should be able to nicely augment the efforts of Verbeek and Sanderson. Yake will be able to hold his own defensively in many cases, pot some chances and is capable of distributing the puck, what else can we ask for from the 3rd F on a lower tier team? None of the individuals on this line are jaw-dropping, but Sanderson and Verbeek do a fairly good job of feeding off each other and making them rather dangerous if not taken seriously. Yake is a nice role player and if he can click with the other two then Hartford can get rolling. Defensively, this isnt a checking line, but its light enough to where they can trap if necessary to slow the pace of the game. 2 and a half on 3: Verbeek-Sanderson-Nylander/Kron Mikael Nylander: 5 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: L The superior skater of the two, Nylander is the prototypical weight bugger in that he wouldnt get much consideration to start if it werent for the fact that he could crack some skulls. Being that Nylander was still fairly young when the game was made; he doesnt have his sublime puck handling or passing skills that made him a solid 2nd line center in future editions. While he is kind of a black hole on offense due to a sheer lack of shooting acumen, he does bring a true lightweight to the lineup and could aid a back line that isnt exactly blessed in that regard. Robert Kron: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Kron is the more defensive minded of the two, he may be a better fit to play the pure grinder role. The offense though, is still sorely lacking and it will certainly hamper Hartfords ability to keep up in a high scoring game. Every once in a while, Kron will get plugged onto the right wing in GDL to be a guy to cause some havoc. In those situations he is usually paired with a pair of elite talents that can light the lamp more effectively than the Hartford duo. Temper your expectations when icing Kron or Nylander. Hartfords skill level really takes a big hit after Yake, but Kron and Nylander do posses average skating and are capable of providing a helping hand on defense. This is a better trap line in which to play with, but it puts more stress on Verbeek and Sanderson to provide offense. Other options: Here are a couple more options to help fill out the roster in the 9th-11th round of the GDL draft. Andrew Cassels: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/4 shot, 3 sth & 3 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L Suffering from Craig Janney disease, Cassels is a playmaker who just didnt get the blessing from the 94 Gods as his skating and passing ratings dont reflect his real life skills. Combine that with weak shot power and being a middle weight, Cassels is nothing more than emergency option off the bench. Robert Petrovicky: 5 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L Another pesky winger, but the awareness and Hawerchuk like shot make him a liability with or without the puck. But in user control, hes a solid checker and might be able to lead a rush or two and set up a goal in his best of games. Forwards: 5.5/10 Defense: Hartfords defense is really a mixed bag, guys like Zarley Zalapski and Eric Weinrich are true heavyweights, but there skills and skating make them useful. Adam Burt is another solid option off the bench with his middleweight and decent skill set. Again though, the Whalers dont have a stud to rely on, and hopefully a pairing can be made that enhances their attributes. Burt-Zalapski Adam Burt: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/1shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L Burt has a tendency to fly under the radar, but the truth of the matter is he does have some plus skating and a respectable shot in a fairly reasonable weight package for a defender. The goal here is to hope that Burt and Zalapski can feed off each other as both are capable on offense, but the user really has to pick their spots as they both do have their flaws. Zarley Zalapski: 10 weight, 5/4 skating, 4/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/5 aware, Shoots: L What makes Zalapski different from the typical heavyweight defenseman is his supreme skating abilities. He is very adept at using his skating to help him utilize his puck skills and calm the game down or give the offense a jolt. These skills must be used judiciously though as he is a moving target to most any forward in the game. Defensively, Zalapski is pretty solid in his own zone, but he is strictly a poke checker in open ice. Along the boards Zalapski is nimble enough to distribute some big body checks, again though, it is best to use this skill wisely. Staying within Zalapskis abilities is the key here, if that can be done, he can reward the Whalers with some strong play. Despite this not being a top duo in the league, it is still a dangerous one, especially with the puck on their stick. Weinrich-Zalapski Eric Weinrich: 10 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Not too many teams can ice a pair of defenseman with 4 speed, Hartford can, albeit at 10 weight a pop. Sometimes Burt can go a little lame brain on defense, Weinrich can fill the void if need be and be a bit more heady in his own zone. While a bit sluggish in the handling department, Weinrich still has enough straight line speed to chase down some breakaways and his skill set is good enough to keep the Hartford offense going with a nice breakout pass. Hartford doesnt possess a weight bug defenseman, therefore a pairing this heavy can be suggested because there is enough skating and skill here to be effective still. In games against fast, weight bug lines though, this pair might struggle and be pressed into making bad decisions. Other Options: None of the other defenders on the roster are GDL worthy, but its entirely possible to lose a couple of guys to injury or penalty, so lets look at the best of the worst. Allen Pederson: 10 weight, 2/3 speed, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L The only other defender with 2 passing and 3 speed, he should be little better at getting the puck quickly off his stick then the rest of the options. Still, there are reasons as to why he is never drafted in the GDL, namely his weight and entire skill set. Dan Keczmer: 7 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/2 shot, 2 sth, 1 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L So...yeah...just keep your other defenders out of the box ok? Defense: 5/10 Goalie Zone: Fitting right in with the team, Sean Burke is more or less random mish-mash on paper, but not too shabby on the ice. Sean Burke: 10 weight, 4/3 skating, 2/2 aware, 4 puck control, 4/4/4/4 save Catches: L More often than not, a goalies overall rating is inflated by his awareness, a rating that doesnt mean a whole lot. Burke benefits from the opposite, hes actually much better than advertised. Blessed with solid rebound control and pads, if Burke can get to the puck, hes pretty dependable. The weight might prove a little problematic, but his flaws are less numerous than a similar rated Richter, Blue, or Vernon. Goalies: 6.5/10 Bottom Line: No player by himself on the roster is going to scare the opponent, especially an opponent with a top team. As a unit though, the Whalers are very solid and can pull off some major upsets, especially in the hands of a seasoned veteran. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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