GM Steve Yzerman responded by calling up Slater Koekkoek, his team's 10th overall pick from the 2012 draft. Koekkoek, by all accounts, has performed well in Syracuse by utilizing his swift stride and puck moving abilities. Yzerman undoubtedly viewed him as a player who could/would step in and help to fill the void left by Stralman's massive presence.
Unfortunately the coach had other things in mind:
Slater Koekkoek played 5:57 tonight. Wondering if he even had to shower.— Bolt Prospects (@BoltProspects) March 27, 2016
Maybe Koekkoek hasn't earned it. Maybe he hasn't paid his dues. But, how's he supposed to do either one of those things without being given an opportunity? As the old joke goes, you need experience to get your first job but you need a first job to get experience. And, it's not like his (admittedly limited) time in the NHL has been a colossal failure, either. In fact, the opposite is true:
Here's hoping the coach decides that Koekkoek's skills are better suited for a role on the ice than they are for the role of benchwarmer. If Cooper is legitimately a little chilly behind the bench, I recommend running down to the local hardware stores and picking up one of these:
Koekkoek has more important things to do than warm the bench, things that he is likely more than capable of doing. It's time to give him a chance.
As always, thanks for reading.
(Statistics cited in this blog are courtesy of Puckalytics.com, a premier source for hockey analytics.)