Poor Boris Valabik of the lowly Atlanta Thrashers. He’s currently playing for a horrible hockey team that is in a non relevant hockey market. If that weren’t bad enough, he’s the only 6-7 white guy living in Atlanta that doesn’t play for the Atlanta Hawks. To top it off it turns out the walking thesaurus Pierre McGuire isn’t a big fan of his. This can’t be what ol’Boris thought he was signing up for when he left his native Slovakia.
You may be asking yourself “Why on earth do you know or care about Boris Valabik?” The answer lies within my quest for the Leafs to drag themselves further down the standings. I have taken an interest to see what some of the teams below them on the table are doing. Ottawa played Atlanta tonight and the game was on TSN. Luckily or me TSN sent their top tandem of Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire to call the action of the 28th and 29th placed teams. I had the privileged to hear McGuire’s assessment of Valabik’s skill set while I was surfing some channels during a break in the Raptors game.
Good Size, Good toughness, horrible processing, he just can’t process quick enough. He just doesn’t get it. He may never get it.
That was McGuire’s top flight analysis of poor ol’Boris (it might be a dead on paraphrase because I can’t find a transcript of tonight’s telecast as of yet. I couldn’t resist using the cool quoting feature that wordpress offers). I heard this nugget of wisdom as turned to the channel, I instantly laughed and The First Lady looked at me and just shook her head. I can’t speak to all of Valabik’s shortcomings as a hockey player or even comment on his year thus far, but I wonder what McGuire’s assessment of this monstrous Slovakian’s abilities would be had Valabik been born on Canadian soil?
I’ve seen many of huge Canadian bred defencemen who seem to plod their way around the ice (Tyler Myers for Team Canada at the WJC comes to mind) only to hear McGuire wax poetic on how it takes a defencemen sometime to learn how to play at the pace of the NHL and that you can’t teach size. I guess that only applies if you are wearing the red and white of Canada eh, Pierre?