Saturday, 20 September 2014

P.A. Parenteau's fitness level, journalistic access, and 'inside' knowledge.

The Max Pacioretty-David Desharnais-P.A. Parenteau line did some damage again during the Blanc-Rouge scrimmage, with the newcomer getting two goals and an assist.  The NHL website has a story on him by Arpon Basu, which discusses on which line he might play, and how he came in camp in great shape according to the testing done two days ago.

I'll get on my hobby horse again, but this is a few mentions of Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau's fitness level.  Marc Bergevin on l'Antichambre explained that they expected good things from him, that he and Michel Therrien had asked him to report to camp in great shape.

Which kind of makes you ask "Don't you ask that of everybody?"  And it starts to dawn on you that P.A.'s difficult season last year, the two MCL strains, and being in Patrick Roy's doghouse, maybe it wasn't arbitrary, or just a function of two people who don't mesh well.  Maybe this all started when the player reported at camp out of condition, and the coach disapproved.

We're not getting any quotes about coaches asking Brendan Gallagher or Max Pacioretty or Andrei Markov to report in great shape.  Presumably, nobody had to ask, that was understood and not a concern for anyone.

René Bourque had a difficult season last year, but we can't attribute it to fitness or lack thereof.  He passed, in Paul Maurice's words, the 'shirt-off test', last season and this one.  But there have been allusions to focus and state of mind.  Was he having girlfriend problems?  Money issues?  A lawsuit weighing on his mind?

Again, these are things that reporters know, but won't share with us, to not blow their access with the team and their sources, so this knowledge remains 'inside knowledge', to be doled out when the conditions are right.

We saw how Dave Feschuk got hold of the Steve Spott "Phil Kessel is 15 pounds overweight and won't listen" story, did impeccable work, and was assailed by some as stirring up trouble, that these issues with Phil Kessel are well-known, why even bring them up?  Well, these issues are well-known to you Darren, but not to us, since you act as an employee of the Leafs, instead of a journalist, and you never told us.

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