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Thread: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with the choice for best D, especially based on a number of the things I saw both on video and live. Of course, I'm not sure who else you would have picked... Reilly maybe? He was quite solid for most of his time out there.
    I would have picked Reno, but there are faults with all the D.
    Last edited by Ralph Baer; 04-22-2017 at 09:36 PM.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    For the records, the winners:

    Freshman Hayhurst
    Student Athlete Prapavessis
    Best Defensive Player Wilson
    Most Inspirational Wood
    Most Improved Marrello
    Community Service Reno
    MVP Bourbonnais

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    A great leader.......

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Imagine the career point total sans Bourbs

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Thanks to all for the welcome back. I know I didn't actually need permission, but I've been such a fair-weather fan here on the boards (not in person, I promise!) that I wouldn't blame you if I'd worn out my welcome. So thanks. Here's the hockey banquet report I promised (threatened?). You know my middle name is long-winded (my mom was prescient, I guess), so I'm going to break it into several parts. Here's the first.

    I wondered who would take Coach Appert's place as emcee this year. I was surprised at the answer - it was Al Shibley, the PA announcer for games at Houston Field House. He gave a brief welcome address, commenting on the five terrific young men we were there to honor, then introduced Athletic Director Lee McElroy.

    Dr. McElroy too spoke about how much the seniors have done for the program, but then went on to talk about the program as a whole and the search for a new head coach. He said that RPI fans are unquestionably "the best college hockey fans in the country" and that the fans and alumni have "unparalleled dedication and commitment" to the hockey program. He acknowledged how important it was to get the right coach for the program and assured us that "we looked far and deep for our next coach and without a doubt found the right one."

    He then introduced the new coach, Dave Smith, who took the podium to make a few remarks. Some quotes from Coach Smith:
    "16 days into a whirlwind, I've been very, very impressed with the team."
    "The passion of the alumni - Lee alluded to it, the media and this and that - the passion of the alumni is RABID about their hockey program."
    "As a player you can complain all you want now and it doesn't affect anything but (as an alumnus) your voice is heard. I've got a stack of letters from Dr. McElroy (that are from alumni) - a lot good, because there's a lot good happening here at RPI hockey."
    "I've said this numerous times in media interviews or just conversations: RPI hockey is not broken. We are not broken - and it feels good to say "we" - we are not broken. The commitment that's been made by the players, well before we got here and well into the future will extend beyond any of the people in this room. RPI hockey is strong."

    Coach Smith went on to thank assistant coaches Nolan Graham and Bryan Vines profusely, saying how much adversity there has been from the end of the season till now and how well they managed the team in a very tough spot. This was followed by a long round of applause.

    Coach Smith also commented that he'll be moving to this area permanently in August. He then introduced Nolan Graham. The program indicated that this spot was "Season Highlights" but it mostly consisted of Nolan thanking everyone in any way connected with the program, another task that had fallen to Coach Appert in the past.

    Up next: the awards. (See what I mean - you'll get tired of me!)
    Last edited by cmmarkham; 04-23-2017 at 12:27 AM.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    More from the hockey banquet:

    In a departure from previous years, the awards were given out before dinner and were all announced by Al Shibley. In the past, they alternated awards and senior speeches and had a different presenter for each award - sometimes former players like Matt Murley and Scott Basiuk, sometimes RPI vice presidents and other distinguished admins. This year Al Shibley just announced each award and the assistant coaches handed them out.

    The Freshman of the Year was Jacob Hayhurst, which was not a surprise since he was the leading freshman scorer and third-highest scorer on the team with seven goals and 13 assists. Jacob was on crutches tonight, which is hopefully a very temporary situation.

    The Erick James '99 Student-Athlete of the Year is always the player with the highest GPA. This year it was Mike Prapavessis, who has a cumulative GPA of 3.85 and had a perfect 4.0 last semester. Mike is a Business & Management major.

    The Best Defensive Player award went to Jared Wilson. In announcing this award, Al Shibley said "as much as opposing goalies feared his shots, opposing forwards also feared his hits." Since Jared was the highest-scoring defenseman on the team and the second-highest goal-scorer overall with 11 goals and 6 assists, the first part of that definitely rings true. Then again, the award was for best defensive player, not best defenseman so I'm not sure that really should have factored in. But whatever - I like Jared.

    The Ben Mayo Most Inspirational Player was Jake Wood. Unfortunately, the whole announcement of this award was about Ben Mayo and they never really said why Jake was chosen to receive it. He certainly has had a lot of injuries to deal with (he's currently recovering from shoulder surgery) and, well, there may have been a few times that he got himself in a bit of hot water for the penalties he took. Maybe he was inspirational in how he dealt with all that. That's just a guess but either way I'm good with the choice. I like Jake too.

    The Most Improved Player was Jake Marrello. They referred to him as having to "jump in with both feet as a late addition to the 16-17 team" but I'm not sure what that meant since he was on the roster and played sporadically all year. Was he a late commit maybe? At any rate, I guess they felt he improved a lot as the year went on. He did do his scoring late in the season, with two goals and an assist from the end of January on. I haven't talked to Jake much yet, but I bet I'd like him if I knew him.

    The Community Service Award went to Parker Reno. The whole team has been very involved in community service, volunteering at the Early Childhood Education Center, working with Habitat for Humanity and reading to school children among other things. I don't know how the awards were decided this year, but this one at least must have been voted on by the team since Al Shibley said that "in the eyes of his teammates" Parker went above and beyond what the rest of the team was doing.

    And finally, the Most Valuable Player this year was, no surprise, Riley Bourbonnais. Riley was co-captain of the team, has a 3.3 GPA in Industrial & Management Engineering, and was the team's leading scorer with 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points. What a slouch. But I like Riley too, even if he is allergic to my cats.

    And just to be thorough - yes, I also like Jacob and Mike and Parker. I'll let you know if an RPI hockey player comes along who I don't like. It's never happened yet.

    I don't know about you, but I'm tired of me now. I'll cover speeches some other time soon.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Today is 23 April 2017. There are 161 days (23 weeks) until RPI's next game.


    This is based upon 1 October 2017 for the start of next season.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    More from the hockey banquet:

    In a departure from previous years, the awards were given out before dinner and were all announced by Al Shibley. In the past, they alternated awards and senior speeches and had a different presenter for each award - sometimes former players like Matt Murley and Scott Basiuk, sometimes RPI vice presidents and other distinguished admins. This year Al Shibley just announced each award and the assistant coaches handed them out.
    Charlene, thanks.

    Were the posts here about Vines having left incorrect?

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Baer View Post
    Charlene, thanks.

    Were the posts here about Vines having left incorrect?
    Sorry, Ralph - which posts do you mean? The only one I recall seeing is your recent post pointing out that Vines is no longer in the Staff Directory, which we know to be true. Did I miss something?

    Actually, when I last looked I thought Bryan was listed. but not linked to any information. Now he's not listed at all although Nolan Graham still is.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    Sorry, Ralph - which posts do you mean? The only one I recall seeing is your recent post pointing out that Vines is no longer in the Staff Directory, which we know to be true. Did I miss something?

    Actually, when I last looked I thought Bryan was listed. but not linked to any information. Now he's not listed at all although Nolan Graham still is.
    Yes, that post by me and some replies. At least I think that there were replies.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    I'm still not finding any replies - just your initial post. Are you sure you're not thinking of the listserv? There was a similar discussion there.

    At any rate, I don't have any insights into what's going on with Bryan Vines and why he and Nolan Graham are being treated differently in the directory. I can only think of two possibilities: either Bryan has indicated he's not interested in staying on even if asked (maybe he's already found another position?) or Nolan has been asked to stay on and Bryan has not. As I mentioned, they were both at the banquet and, while Nolan had more to say, giving the season highlights (or more accurately, lowlights), they did both take turns introducing the seniors for their speeches.

    Personally, I'd love to see Nolan stay on, but I know a lot of people feel it's better if the new broom sweeps clean, and most coaches probably agree.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Hi Charlene - glad to have you back and thanks for the updates!
    Class of '93

    16 years at Section 9, Row D, Seats 1-4

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    I'm still not finding any replies - just your initial post. Are you sure you're not thinking of the listserv? There was a similar discussion there.

    At any rate, I don't have any insights into what's going on with Bryan Vines and why he and Nolan Graham are being treated differently in the directory. I can only think of two possibilities: either Bryan has indicated he's not interested in staying on even if asked (maybe he's already found another position?) or Nolan has been asked to stay on and Bryan has not. As I mentioned, they were both at the banquet and, while Nolan had more to say, giving the season highlights (or more accurately, lowlights), they did both take turns introducing the seniors for their speeches.

    Personally, I'd love to see Nolan stay on, but I know a lot of people feel it's better if the new broom sweeps clean, and most coaches probably agree.
    When I look at our power play when both Monty and Graham were coaching, I notice they both looked eerily similar. Obviously this is going to happen when you are part of a head coach's general strategy. Perhaps Graham was quite hampered by the Appert strategy, and was able to convince Coach Smith that he could definitely do better with a change in general strategy? Perhaps being an alumnus helped in terms of keeping a position? Maybe this is all speculation and Smith is going to bring in his own people?

    Whatever happens happens. The one thing I really hope to see is that the systems adapt to the players, not the other way around. Too many times these kids were square pegs being thrown into round holes left by a previous round hole that the previous coach used to use as a crutch in some of the press conferences (don't want to name names, but the round peg wore #21). Hockey is a game of creativity, not just some set patterns like you'd see in American football. It is also a team sport, and although players will want to emerge as individuals (whether for scouting reasons or something else), showcasing the individual talents as part of the team will advance both the individual players and the team.
    It was an honor to present your colors, RPI. Let's Go 'TUTE!
    May 14th, 2011, 11:00 PM ET: 2147483647

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I'm not happy about it either, but Flag is correct (cue the Twilight Zone music!).
    Quote Originally Posted by French Rage View Post
    Ahh crap I agree exactly with what FlagDude said.
    Quote Originally Posted by jericho on rpitv's chat
    I never thought I would say this, but you are right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman View Post
    And yet, even if Flaggy is complete tinfoil hat, every day it looks closer and closer to the truth.
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    So flaggy: you win.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    When I look at our power play when both Monty and Graham were coaching, I notice they both looked eerily similar. Obviously this is going to happen when you are part of a head coach's general strategy. Perhaps Graham was quite hampered by the Appert strategy, and was able to convince Coach Smith that he could definitely do better with a change in general strategy? Perhaps being an alumnus helped in terms of keeping a position? Maybe this is all speculation and Smith is going to bring in his own people?

    Whatever happens happens. The one thing I really hope to see is that the systems adapt to the players, not the other way around. Too many times these kids were square pegs being thrown into round holes left by a previous round hole that the previous coach used to use as a crutch in some of the press conferences (don't want to name names, but the round peg wore #21). Hockey is a game of creativity, not just some set patterns like you'd see in American football. It is also a team sport, and although players will want to emerge as individuals (whether for scouting reasons or something else), showcasing the individual talents as part of the team will advance both the individual players and the team.
    I did some calculations for a discussion on the listserv earlier this year and just spent a few minutes updating them to take this season's final stats into account. You're right that Nolan's and Monty's numbers are similar, but Nolan actually shows up a little better in every category I looked at. In the case of the power play, Monty's four-year average was 12.3% while Nolan's seven-year average was 16.3%. In goals per game, Nolan's average was 2.45, Monty's was 2.32. And the team's winning percentage was .382 with Monty, .439 with Nolan (even with this dismal last season added in!). None of these numbers are impressive, but it seems noteworthy to me that Nolan Graham managed to get better results under Seth Appert than the current NCAA Coach of the Year and Frozen Four winner did. Just sayin'.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    I'm still not finding any replies - just your initial post. Are you sure you're not thinking of the listserv? There was a similar discussion there.

    At any rate, I don't have any insights into what's going on with Bryan Vines and why he and Nolan Graham are being treated differently in the directory. I can only think of two possibilities: either Bryan has indicated he's not interested in staying on even if asked (maybe he's already found another position?) or Nolan has been asked to stay on and Bryan has not. As I mentioned, they were both at the banquet and, while Nolan had more to say, giving the season highlights (or more accurately, lowlights), they did both take turns introducing the seniors for their speeches.

    Personally, I'd love to see Nolan stay on, but I know a lot of people feel it's better if the new broom sweeps clean, and most coaches probably agree.
    You could be correct that I am mixing this thread with your list server.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Today is 24 April 2017. There are 160 days until RPI's next game.


    This is based upon 1 October 2017 for the start of next season.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    I did some calculations for a discussion on the listserv earlier this year and just spent a few minutes updating them to take this season's final stats into account. You're right that Nolan's and Monty's numbers are similar, but Nolan actually shows up a little better in every category I looked at. In the case of the power play, Monty's four-year average was 12.3% while Nolan's seven-year average was 16.3%. In goals per game, Nolan's average was 2.45, Monty's was 2.32. And the team's winning percentage was .382 with Monty, .439 with Nolan (even with this dismal last season added in!). None of these numbers are impressive, but it seems noteworthy to me that Nolan Graham managed to get better results under Seth Appert than the current NCAA Coach of the Year and Frozen Four winner did. Just sayin'.
    There are plenty of other factors that could also play into it, such as the "his kids" excuse (hence why Smith was given a five year contract; it's not morally right to judge a coach of a juniors league solely on a hand he/she is dealt when the coaching staff does recruit; remember how PP% skyrocketed after Pirri's (or was it D'Amigo's) "guarantee"), and we're also just assuming Monty was responsible for getting the power play to work; Appert could have wanted to control it all when he started. I was actually surprised to see we were 21.3% on the power play this past year, which is a very solid number even for a tournament bound team; the national champions had the exact same pecentage. If Graham was "hampered" by the general strategy, and he could get the kids to pull those sorts of numbers on the power play, imagine what he could do 5v5... it wouldn't surprise me if, should he not take a HC job in juniors, he stays.
    It was an honor to present your colors, RPI. Let's Go 'TUTE!
    May 14th, 2011, 11:00 PM ET: 2147483647

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I'm not happy about it either, but Flag is correct (cue the Twilight Zone music!).
    Quote Originally Posted by French Rage View Post
    Ahh crap I agree exactly with what FlagDude said.
    Quote Originally Posted by jericho on rpitv's chat
    I never thought I would say this, but you are right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman View Post
    And yet, even if Flaggy is complete tinfoil hat, every day it looks closer and closer to the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    So flaggy: you win.

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Thanks. It's nice to be back. And you're welcome - thanks for reading!
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    There are plenty of other factors that could also play into it, such as the "his kids" excuse (hence why Smith was given a five year contract; it's not morally right to judge a coach of a juniors league solely on a hand he/she is dealt when the coaching staff does recruit; remember how PP% skyrocketed after Pirri's (or was it D'Amigo's) "guarantee"), and we're also just assuming Monty was responsible for getting the power play to work; Appert could have wanted to control it all when he started. I was actually surprised to see we were 21.3% on the power play this past year, which is a very solid number even for a tournament bound team; the national champions had the exact same pecentage. If Graham was "hampered" by the general strategy, and he could get the kids to pull those sorts of numbers on the power play, imagine what he could do 5v5... it wouldn't surprise me if, should he not take a HC job in juniors, he stays.
    I agree in most respects. The five-years to judge is maybe a discussion for another time. I wasn't assuming, though, that Monty was responsible for getting the power play to work in any real sense. I certainly believe Coach Appert's strategies were overriding what his assistants did. I remember Jim Montgomery saying publicly during one of the seasons of truly dismal pp numbers that "I'm in charge of the power play, so I take full responsibility for its lack of success." I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now. That's why I'm suggesting Nolan Graham may be a more capable coach than the numbers suggest.

    I haven't paid close attention to Jim Montgomery's head coaching methods, except for watching this year's Frozen Four, but I'm gonna take a guess that he hasn't been running too many five-forward power plays.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2017 Off-Season (Part II): Mr. Smith Goes to Troy

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post
    I agree in most respects. The five-years to judge is maybe a discussion for another time. I wasn't assuming, though, that Monty was responsible for getting the power play to work in any real sense. I certainly believe Coach Appert's strategies were overriding what his assistants did. I remember Jim Montgomery saying publicly during one of the seasons of truly dismal pp numbers that "I'm in charge of the power play, so I take full responsibility for its lack of success." I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now. That's why I'm suggesting Nolan Graham may be a more capable coach than the numbers suggest.

    I haven't paid close attention to Jim Montgomery's head coaching methods, except for watching this year's Frozen Four, but I'm gonna take a guess that he hasn't been running too many five-forward power plays.
    The five forward PP isn't all that unheard of as I've seen it referenced a few times at the pro level (albeit usually with a 5x3; no specific examples sadly; obviously we only see PoI when goals are scored); the biggest key is that you need to control the puck and have a forward or two defensively minded enough to not leave yourself exposed to where the opposition gets 2 SHG.

    It's been a very long time since I've seen a game Monty head coached (whether with Denver or Dubuque), so I don't recall.
    It was an honor to present your colors, RPI. Let's Go 'TUTE!
    May 14th, 2011, 11:00 PM ET: 2147483647

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I'm not happy about it either, but Flag is correct (cue the Twilight Zone music!).
    Quote Originally Posted by French Rage View Post
    Ahh crap I agree exactly with what FlagDude said.
    Quote Originally Posted by jericho on rpitv's chat
    I never thought I would say this, but you are right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman View Post
    And yet, even if Flaggy is complete tinfoil hat, every day it looks closer and closer to the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    So flaggy: you win.

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