August 17, 2004

Corey Locke

Well, it only seems fitting that our first post should be about Corey Locke. He's been the dominant player on the team for the past two years. Unfortunately, it looks like he won't be back this year. He would be an overager this year, and with the impending NHL strike/lockout, he could come back if he wanted to. But, he's probably proven everything he can at the junior level, what with being the leading OHL scorer two years in a row. There's other better opportunities out there. In decreasing order of preference, he could get signed with the Habs' AHL franchise (unlikely), join the WHA's Hamilton team (if the League gets off the ground), or go to Europe. Any of these options would bring him up to the next level of competition - something he needs at this point.

I'd hate to see Locke end his career as just a junior superstar, and never move up in the sport. But, Locke has always been only average when you take away his time and space. I think this is why he has been left off of World Junior teams and wasn't selected higher in the draft. It will be interesting to see if he can adapt as he plays against higher calibre opponents. There's no question that in junior hockey he was one of the most dangerous players on the ice. If you forget he's there for just a minute, he'll find the back of the net, or find a team mate who's wide open.

He gave us some exciting hockey here in Ottawa. I'm sad to see him moving on, but I wish him all the best. This year's team seems to have a lot of depth, so hopefully others can take over some of the offence we'll be losing.

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