There’s been a lot of talk about Zherdev and his status in the Flyers line up. I remember thinking he just needed time to get into the swing of things with the team, and that he had a lot to offer the team. Now there’s another new guy, Kris Versteeg. He seems to be making better progress and he hasn’t had nearly as much time as Zherdev has.
On the ice, Versteeg has looked a step or two slow, but teammates cautioned that it’s still early.
“He’s a good player, talented player,” defenseman Andrej Meszaros said. “I know it’s tough when you come to a new team right away. I’m sure he’s gonna be better every game; he just has to learn the system, how we play and stuff.” -Philadelphia Sports Daily
I don’t worry much about him looking a step too slow. He is thinking. He must be thinking, trying to figure out the system that has is second nature now for the rest of the team. That seems to be Lavi’s perspective too. Versteeg will figure it out.
Zherdev’s absence when Richards fell ill in Carolina probably did him in. The Flyers will probably keep him for the rest of the season as a backup forward, but that was really too much. Someone will want him for next season, he is talented. But he did his reputation some serious harm there. Unless he can prove he was having his own episode of violent illness at the same time as Richards was, he looks like a flake.
Compared to either one, I would say the Sharks’ new guys are fitting in a lot faster. That isn’t really fair though. The Flyers have such a seamless system, so many well integrated parts that any new piece is going to look all out of place. The Sharks did have some lumps to smooth out, or gaps to fill in.
Kyle Wellwood: he’s shown a little uncertainty at times, but being juggled around with linemates can’t make the adjustment easier. His skillset requires some time to set, so to speak. He has shown he can be very shifty but he needs to find linemates that are ready for that and know how he thinks. That said, he is producing opportunities and not disappointing.
Ian White: I have little to say. He seemed to fit right in. Make some good passes, don’t throw the puck away, and I am happy. He made me happy in his first game. More importantly, he seems to make his new team happy. Maybe he has good hockey sense or something. He said he would keep things simple in that first game. McLellan told him to keep things simple. Maybe the Sharks’ defensive system is just simple. In any case, White made it look simple. And it was good.
Ben Eager: he hasn’t gotten nearly so many minutes as the other new guys per game. But he mostly gets where he needs to be and he gets there in a hurry. He would seem a little hasty but he hasn’t been wrong. His numbers are fine so far.
So far, so good, Mr. Wilson. The team hasn’t acquired any blockbuster players but I’m not sure the team needs that. The Big Three may not be performing up to expectations but they represent blockbuster players.
Maybe that’s the team’s quota for those. If they need more they are probably doing something wrong.