Canadiens fans were quick to say that Jarred shouldn't be fighting with AHL goons, but a little digging reveals that he's actually a Canucks farmhand, new to the organization, that GM Jim Benning has a hunch on and traded for recently.
So it's not like Jarred ran into a pure one-note heavyweight pugilist, but rather a former third-rounder who's trying to reach the NHL any way he can, and who has a new team that believes in him.
Another article focuses on Nathan Beaulieu and the positive steps he’s taken since his latest recall from Hamilton. His answers to questions and the frankness with which he addresses some of the issues he faced are arresting. He must have done some work with some sports psychologists or received extra media training, because it takes a big man to own up to mistakes like he does, to face that head on. Compare that to Nail Yakupov for example, another talented youngster who’s had issues with his coaches and under-delivered, who offers up a lot of excuses and explanations.
When in a position of leadership and having a multitude of staff to oversee, it’s great to have people who you can discuss mistakes or misses with, who’ll look you right in the eye and say “Yes sir, won’t happen again,” and they mean it, and excel and the next time you need to take them aside it’s to congratulate them for a job well done. What you don’t want is kids who whine and shirk and avoid and deflect.
I recently had to intercede in a situation where a worker barely out of her teens told me tearfully “My boss doesn’t understand me.” I almost swallowed my tongue. I had to work with her over a few sessions to make her understand that her boss wasn’t ‘being mean to her’ for the heck of it, that he was using discipline to be consistent with everyone else, and to make her understand she was failing the basic expectations. Ultimately, we were successful, she finally understood that the game was simple: show up to work on time, do your job to the minimum standards, then go home and do it again the next day. Seeing her getting along and celebrating with her supervisors and coworkers at the year-end party was one we could chalk up in the ‘Win’ column.
Imagine how great it feels for Marc Bergevin, Sylvain Lefebvre, Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Michel Therrien to hear Nathan say this about why he’s playing so much better now:
“Confidence. The team gave me a great opportunity by giving me more icetime. My first four games back, I approached them thinking I had to play my way. It started going well after that.”
(About a lack of consistency) “I completely agree with what (Michel Therrien) told me last month. I had no excuse. I didn’t always give the best effort, and the lack of consistency is a perfect example; I’d play two good games, then two bad games. It wasn’t good enough. I knew I could do better than that, and when I went back to Hamilton, I concentrated on what would make me a better player.”
“When the Canadiens drafted me, I thought I could play in the NHL immediately. You live and learn. It took longer than I hoped, but I think I can be a regular player in this league and I think management thinks the same way. That’s why they’re giving me this chance.”
About the Nate the Great nickname and his attitude:
“It was my nickname in junior, and my stick supplier made my sticks with that on them. I used them for one season, I thought it was cool, my teammates and I had a good laugh with those. That’s the kind of person I am, I like having fun, joking around. The sticks, the nickname, I don’t regret it, that was me at the time. That side of my personality, I still have it; confidence is necessary. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance, you just have to stay on the right side.
“The Canadiens never spoke to me about that, but I know that there’s the concept of ‘respect’ in the pros. In Junior, I was a veteran, so I could get away with it. Here, it’s different.”
“I had a bit of luck since I got called up, playing with Sergei Gonchar, that helped me a lot. But the big change is consistency. I know that in this league, you can’t take a break, not even one shift off, that can be enough to get you out of the lineup.”