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Author Topic: 2019 Flyers - new coach  (Read 4931 times)

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ice grillin you

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #315 on: September 04, 2020, 08:59:16 AM »

I fell asleep.  Woke up and they had won.   I’m definitely the problem.

a fifth and a bottle of zannies 7pm tomorrow please
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Rome

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #316 on: September 05, 2020, 08:59:15 PM »

Embarrassing.
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Geowhizzer

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #317 on: September 05, 2020, 09:24:50 PM »

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"A great many of those who 'debunk' traditional...values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process."

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PhillyPhreak54

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #318 on: September 05, 2020, 11:07:21 PM »

Brutal. Like they didn’t even show up.
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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #319 on: September 06, 2020, 12:09:48 AM »

awful no show performance by a team that hasnt won a cup a year after nixon resigned

stars-knights and lightning-islanders is about as bad as it gets for the nhl. might as well not even finish the season
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Zero hour, Michael. It's the end of the line. I'm the firstborn. I'm sick of playing second fiddle. I'm always third in line for everything. I'm tired of finishing fourth. Being the fifth wheel. There are six things I'm mad about, and I'm taking over.

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #320 on: September 06, 2020, 01:15:49 AM »

Go Vegas
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phillycrew

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #321 on: September 06, 2020, 01:17:04 PM »

Go Vegas

No way I can root for that organization when the Flyers haven’t won it since ‘75.  Hockey season ended for me.
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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #322 on: October 07, 2020, 08:44:52 PM »

Took RW Tyson Foerster with their 1st round pick (23). Had no idea the draft was happening but saw it on my program guide.

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/201934/tyson-foerster
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ice grillin you

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #323 on: October 08, 2020, 08:36:08 AM »

not the most encouraging draft ive ever seen...flyers went with the not highly recommended hockey draft strategy of picking guys who cant skate...if he ever makes the team tho zayde wisdom will automatically have the coolest ever name for a flyer....farging great story on him below...ill definitely be following and rooting for him

NHL scout on Foerster: “He’s a very smart player with a world-class shot and a lot of skill, but it’s so hard to get past his skating. He’s behind the pace of the OHL.”

NHL scout on Andrae: “He’s very talented and steady. He can play at both ends. He’s very skilled, he has guts. The skating for that size will be the question.”

NHL scout on Wisdom: His skill and compete levels are very high. He wins a lot of battles and makes plays in the tough areas. He’s an undersized player who is an average skater, though, and I don’t think he sees the ice at a high level.

NHL scout on Desnoyers: He is a very intelligent forward, but he’s small and lacks great footspeed.

NHL scout on Mclennon: The tools don’t pop, and as a 5-foot-8 forward, that is highly concerning. His tool grades don’t line up at all with the other players in this range.

Quote
Zayde Wisdom’s earliest memory is of one of the many times his grandmother, who he calls Kitty, picked him up from school. He can’t remember exactly how old he was. He was young. Maybe kindergarten. But he remembers the rest like it was yesterday.

He remembers Kitty handing him his after-school lunch. He remembers turning his nose up at it and demanding McDonald’s. He remembers her answer, one he’d heard before: “No, we don’t have money for that.”

And he remembers the two things that came next: a drive to the food bank and a return to a home without electricity.

At the time, he understood the food bank as the place he sometimes went to pick up meals for the week. But he never really understood why the lights would go out. His mom, Mairri, would tell him that people were working on the power lines.

“Oh, it went down in the whole neighbourhood,” she would lie.

Roughly a decade later, he knows that wasn’t true. He knows they were late on their payments. And he recognizes that Mairri and Kitty were protecting him, that they didn’t want him to feel left behind.

Today, he uses that experience, just one in a lifetime’s worth of them, as fuel for his pursuit of a brighter future. It’s a pursuit that has carried him, against all odds, to the brink of the NHL draft — and a better life for him and his family.

Wisdom was born in Weston, a small, diverse neighbourhood in northwest Toronto, to multiracial parents. His dad, Anies, is a Jamaican immigrant and long-haul truck driver. Mairri never met her own father, and was raised by Kitty, who belongs to the Metis Nation.

Mairri, like her mom before her, also raised Wisdom and his younger brother Zaccarya as a single mother. After moving to the city at 16 and later meeting Anies, the two separated when the boys were young. Among Wisdom’s other early memories, he admits, is the day his dad walked out.

Before that, though, he fell in love with hockey, almost by chance. Though Anies and Mairri had never laced up skates themselves, Wisdom would throw fits from their laps as a toddler whenever they would change the channel from the hockey game.

Early on, instead of enrolling him in hockey, Mairri had Wisdom in skates at local outdoor rinks. Eventually, through an after-school program, he was able to get on the ice indoors. When it was clear he wanted to pursue it further, Mairri worked three or four jobs so that Wisdom could play house league hockey. While she worked, Kitty did everything else, shuttling Wisdom to and from the rink in a beat-up car with bald tires while he ate his meals in the back seat.

When coaches realized he was one of the best players on the ice, they encouraged Wisdom to try out for the local select team. In the years that followed, as winter hockey also became spring, summer and fall hockey, and then eventually AAA, Mairri relied on the generosity of other parents to afford it all.

“It was all on me,” Mairri said. “Their dad wasn’t around for the first part of it really. My mom was taking them everywhere and I just worked and paid bills and worked.”

In a sport dominated by the wealthy, Wisdom quickly learned that he was different. While he was sharing a bed with his brother and his mom, or while Mairri couldn’t afford to go to the grocery store, his teammates showed up to the rink with new clothes and equipment.

“I knew I couldn’t afford it so it’s not like I went home and cried to my mom about it,” Wisdom said. “I would just say ‘I’m going to get there one day and I’m going to help my mom get what she wants when she’s older and make money off of the sport that I love to play.'”

For a long time, he tried to blend in.

“I’ve always grown up with a lot of white friends around me, white kids around me, and I’ve learned to kind of act like that,” Wisdom said.

It wasn’t until he was introduced to trainer Derrell Levy in minor peewee, minor hockey coach Jason Payne (who now coaches the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones), and later NHLer Wayne Simmonds (Wisdom became a staple at Simmonds’ annual Road Hockey Warriors charity ball hockey tournament for underprivileged children), that Wisdom began to see people at the rink who looked like him.

Levy is a former junior and college hockey player who started In-Tech High Performance Training. In the gym and on the ice, Levy works with several clients who are visible minorities, including Los Angeles Kings prospect Akil Thomas, as well as brothers Givanni and Gemel Smith, who’ve both bounced between the AHL and the NHL.

Mairri admits that it has taken her years to come to terms with hockey’s place in their lives. Though she recognizes that without the support of other parents that Wisdom never would have been able to stick with the sport, she struggles with moral dilemmas about hockey’s accessibility for families like hers.

“The same people that kind of hold the sport itself down are the same people who helped us financially to enable him to get to where he is,” she said. “It’s a sport that requires a lot of money. There’s a lot of kind, generous people out there. Zayde always served a purpose, don’t get it wrong, but there are people that helped along the way.”

Even with that help, she had to ask Zaccarya to make sacrifices for Wisdom’s pursuit. It was “impossible” for Mairri to afford both boys in AAA, so Zaccarya grew up playing AA.

And she couldn’t have done any of it without Levy. It was Levy who convinced agents Eustace King and Matt Federico — whose O2K Management Group doesn’t normally do business in Toronto due to the mega agencies that monopolize the area — to go watch him play at a tournament in Port Huron, Ont.

In the years since, Levy’s role in Wisdom’s life has evolved from trainer, to mentor, to brother.

“He’s been there. He understands the struggle. Not just in a black way, in a financial way. In order to give back he has had to give all of himself,” Mairri said of Levy, who started his training business out of his car.

“That gentleman deserves the best in life. He really does. I’m 47 and that man has taught me how to be a better person. The connection is deep, really deep. He has made my son a better human being, a better athlete, a better brother, a better person all around.”

Wisdom credits Levy for teaching him how to act like himself, instead of like everyone else.

“(Levy) probably had it worse. If he’s been through that then I can get through it too,” Wisdom said. “I can call Derrell any time of the day or night and he would pick up for me. If I need advice about anything, he’s one phone call away. He was my first trainer and he’s going to be my last trainer. He has been there all my life and I’m going to be there for him.”

In Wisdom, Levy sees a kid who has always had a chip on his shoulder but has learned to use it in the right ways.

“It’s not always pleasant. I push him hard. But it’s all love,” Levy said. “He’s very protective of his mom and his brother. He has always been a father figure for most of the years. But he’s got a lot internally that he bottles up.”

There were times when Wisdom would feel like everyone was out to get him and Levy would be the one to reign him in. Today, Wisdom tells things to Levy that he feels he can’t tell to anyone else.

“Being of ethnic background, being a minority, he has dealt with some things early in his career. Being in an environment here where there’s a bunch of hockey players that have gone on to play high-level hockey, being able to see what these guys go through and how to conduct yourself and harness things the right way  — not just from me but his peers — makes him feel safe and feel at home and be who he wants to be,” Levy said. “It’s one place where he can let down his guard.”

When Wisdom once had a problem with a coach and his ice time, Levy would ask him what he was doing with the shifts that he was getting?

“I always speak of life lessons. If he can’t deal with it now, he might as well pack it in. Think about yourself and what you want and how you’re going to change your life,” Levy said.

“Instead of thinking big picture all the time, let’s take each small picture and go from there. He’s got to take it day by day and step by step and make those small goals and go for them one at a time. He has had success doing that so it motivates him to keep staying on that path.”

There have been some bumps in the road, though. People in Wisdom’s inner circle tell stories of nights spent in the car after it ran out of gas on the way to a tournament.

In his OHL draft year as a 15-year-old on the minor midget Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Wisdom was 5-foot-9 and 225 pounds. Despite finishing second on one of the country’s top AAA teams in scoring, concerns about his weight contributed to a fall to the Kingston Frontenacs in the fourth round.

“People didn’t really know what to do with him. And so much of it was just baby fat. But then you see his weight and it’s like ‘Holy shtein,’” Federico said.

“I’m not saying it’s their fault at all because they don’t know which way it was going to go. If they’re looking at him as a first- or second-round draft pick and he’s going to be 250 pounds, if it goes the wrong way, he’s not going to be able to play. We knew how driven he was and his commitment and it wasn’t like he was eating pizza and candy all the time. It’s an easy bias for people to say ‘He’s big and it’s not going to work.’”

It took a push from Levy to help Wisdom turn the corner.

“He had a lot of built-up anger and felt like everybody was against him. It shocked him when he was picked and I would be like ‘what gives you the right to think like that?’ and I think he felt like I was picking on him. He would push the sled and he would have tears in his eyes and I would say ‘Keep pushing, take it out on the weights’ and he found that stress relief and I was like ‘Are you good now? Are we OK now?’ and he would be like ‘I’m good, let’s get it,'” Levy said.

“That’s all part of it, is mentally adapting and compartmentalizing what’s going on … to focus on what he really wants to do, which is to be a pro hockey player. Always come back to that.”

In the summer after the OHL draft and before his rookie season, Levy helped Wisdom lose 15 pounds.

“It sucked. It was hard going into the OHL draft and dropping and having to grind my way back up. But I always told myself, ‘Sleep on it. Sleep on me. I want you to doubt me,’” said Wisdom. “I’ve been doubted my whole life and it didn’t stop me then, so why would I let it stop me now?”

The Frontenacs selected Wisdom in part because of his size. After contending the year before, they were entering a rebuild without their second- and third-round picks, so he was their second choice in the draft. They picked him because they knew, physically, that he could step right in against bigger competition. Darren Keily, now the team’s general manager, who’d watched him closely, was surprised that he was still around in the fourth round.

“He could fly around the ice. That was the key for us, was this is a young man who was engaged physically, he’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas and he could skate so well for a stocky player,” Keily said.

Though the Frontenacs didn’t know what to expect from Wisdom in his first training camp, he sold head coach Kurtis Foster from the very beginning. While the production didn’t follow, Wisdom became the player Foster turned to whenever he needed a hole plugged in the lineup.

“We need a guy to play on the penalty kill? Let’s give Wis a chance. We need a guy in front of the net on the power play? Let’s give Wis a chance,” Foster said.

The Frontenacs picked Wisdom 73rd overall in the 2018 OHL draft. (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
At the end of his first season in the OHL, though, as Wisdom prepared for his NHL draft year, he’d posted just 10 points in 60 games and wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

When the 2019-20 season began, Wisdom wasn’t one of 374 names on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list.

But after losing another seven pounds in the summer, and after a training camp push from Frontenacs staff when he wasn’t at his best, everything began to change. The Frontenacs decided to pair him with exceptional status rookie sensation Shane Wright and he never looked back.

“When Shane went to Kingston, I talked to Zayde and I was like ‘This is perfect, this is it, man,'” Federico said. “He was going to have every person in the hockey world coming through that building in the next few years. It was like ‘if you’re ever going to do it, this is it.’ For all the talk in the hockey world about how accepting it has become, Zayde’s old school. He’s playing to feed his family in the future. That’s what his mentality is. He carries that with him.”

By the time NHL Central Scouting released its midseason ranking, Wisdom ranked 90th among North American skaters. And as the points started racking up, so did interest from NHL clubs.

Keily and Foster weren’t surprised. They knew that his production in his rookie season had more to do with their teardown than his play.

Whenever someone questions the 59 points in 62 games that followed for Wisdom this season, his coach and general manager fight for him. When NHL teams ask whether his success was a product of playing with Wright, and later star import Martin Chromiak, they insist the opposite. Foster calls Wisdom his most consistent player. And the rest of the OHL seemed to agree. When the league released its year-end coaches poll, Wisdom ranked third in the Eastern Conference’s most improved player voting.

Keily argues the Wisdom-Wright partnership was a mutually beneficial one.

It was Wisdom who, when Wright took a high stick in Erie or a hit from behind against Mississauga, grabbed players who were four inches taller than him to defend his teammate. And it was Wisdom who got the puck to Wright so that he could make all of those plays.

“It’s an interesting dynamic. I think they mesh really well together. Zayde’s lucky to play with Shane but I think Shane’s game took off when he started playing with Zayde too,” Foster said. “And the way he sticks up for his teammates is second to none. Everyone knows he’s got your back. Regardless of his size, he’s got a lot of jam and he’s going to make sure whoever he plays against is going to have a tough night. He’s the straw that stirs our drink. Everybody else follows suit.”

According to Foster and Keily, you’d never know where Wisdom came from.

“I know it wasn’t the easiest childhood. But he never shows it, he never talks about it, he never complains about it,” Foster said. “It must be motivation for him. It just shows the character that’s in the kid when you get to know him and where he came from.”

Wisdom believes that character has everything to do with where he came from, though.

“I grew up seeing a lot of bad stuff. Just seeing everyone around me having to fight for what they have, seeing that growing up and my mom and my grandma having to do that, and even random strangers on the street having to do that, it just stuck with me,” Wisdom said. “When I go on the ice, I have to fight for it. I have to earn everything I have. I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

As Wisdom’s life began to change directions on the ice, it slowly turned a corner away from it, too.

In recent years, Anies has re-entered Wisdom and Zaccarya’s life in a big way.

“Me and my dad have a really close relationship right now,” Wisdom said. “Growing up he wasn’t there that much because my parents were going through it but now he comes to most of my games and he’ll come see me in Kingston and I can call him anytime and he’ll come pick me up. Growing up it was tough but now we’re on good terms and even him and my mom are on good terms.”

Family means everything to Wisdom. He calls Kitty, who still lives with them, a “massive, massive help.”

“I don’t give her enough credit and I should,” he said.

Levy is included in that family, too. Wisdom and Mairri have agreed that whether he makes it in hockey or not, they will someday help another child go through programs with Levy.

“(Zayde’s) circle is tight. It’s very tight, it’s small and it’s loyal. Neither of (Zayde and Zaccarya) will forget where they came from,” Mairri said. “Regardless of all of the struggle, what people gave us has outweighed what people tried to take. But the struggle was real. It was really real. We did without a lot, a whole lot, in order to get Zayde to where he is.

Wisdom tries to be for Zaccarya what Levy has been to him. “Anything you have a problem with, you come to me,” Wisdom often tells his little brother.

“We’ve fought and battled a lot but we always knew that we were the only ones who were for sure going to be there for each other so we would never turn our backs on each other. And our mom and grandmother were always there too to help guide us and teach us along the way,” Wisdom said. “We’re probably the closest you can get as a family. The closest ever.”

“I feel like I’ve always known he had this in him,” Derrell Levy said. (Jessica Silveira Photography)
These days, Wisdom and Mairri say they have a lot to be thankful for.

“It’s not always going to be this difficult,” Mairri said. “It’s starting to get better.”

Mairri believes things couldn’t have turned out any better for Wisdom than they did with the Frontenacs.

Life in Weston is starting to take a turn, too.

“It’s a great little community,” Mairri said. “When Zayde was younger it was a tough, scary spot but we’ve always lived here and it’s starting to look up.”

Though their circumstances have improved, Mairri is still working four different part-time jobs for merchandising companies. When Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day come around, she has to work seven days a week.

The last two years have been filled with a lot of late-night drives between Weston and Kingston.

“Emotionally, they still need support. Zayde still needs family,” she said.

Wisdom is spending his offseason training privately with Levy and preparing for the draft. Wisdom and Wright are also in constant communication about what they can do to be better for next year and he says they have big plans to be the best line in the OHL.

Everyone else is just happy that he’s happy.

“I feel like I’ve always known he had this in him,” Levy said. “I always tell a story about teaching people how to starve. If you don’t eat for a week and you put a piece of meat in the middle of the room, what will you do to have that piece, to have another day on this earth? He’s got that eye of the tiger, that fight, and once I saw that I was like ‘OK, he can take this pretty far.’ We just like to feed the wolf, as we say.”

Asked to describe her son, Mairri took a deep breath before answering.

“He is a success,” she said.

If race or wealth or anything else ever stood in his way, she says it never stopped him. And she doesn’t see any reason why it ever will.

The next barrier he plans on knocking down is the draft, which he says means something different to him than to all of the other kids.

“It would mean a future to me. I look it as a need, not a want. I need to get drafted. That’s what I need to do. This isn’t an option for me. It needs to happen because I need to be able to help my mom out and get through this with my family. It’s one word to sum it up. Need,” Wisdom said.

“I’m going to make it one day and I’m going to make sure our power never gets shut off again.”
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i can take a phrase thats rarely heard...flip it....now its a daily word

igy gettin it done like warrick

im the board pharmacist....always one step above yous

Geowhizzer

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"A great many of those who 'debunk' traditional...values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process."

--C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

ice grillin you

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Re: 2019 Flyers - new coach
« Reply #325 on: October 12, 2020, 08:50:07 PM »

Defensemen who can’t play defense is not good
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i can take a phrase thats rarely heard...flip it....now its a daily word

igy gettin it done like warrick

im the board pharmacist....always one step above yous
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