By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Sherwin-Williams CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game is tonight at Quebec City.
There are many in our neighbourhood, and beyond, who are stunned by the process this year which stripped key players away from their junior club teams, in several cases, for a crucial weekend of games.
This may not be the dumbest scenario in Junior Hockey history, but it's got to be close.
Am I lamenting the absence of Markus Phillips and Nick Suzuki from the Attack lineup this past weekend ?
Sure....but, by the same token I'm happy that both of them have worked themselves into this position and wish them well in the game tonight.
Twenty years ago, there was a similar scenario. And while the details are foggy and the Internet was of little help, it seems to me that Jay Doyle of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds went to the Prospects Game while his teammate Ric Jackman skipped it in order to play an important OHL game for the Greyhounds.
Fairly or unfairly, Jackman was lauded for the decision while Doyle's character suddenly was in question.
In the end it turned out to be of little consequence.
Ric Jackman did play more than 200 games in the NHL, but he bounced through 7 teams over 7 seasons.
Jay Doyle meanwhile went off to University Hockey after Junior and never found his way to the NHL.
Should Markus Phillips and Nick Suzuki have considered skipping the Prospects function in order to play key divisional games for the Attack over the weekend ?
Truthfully, had the Prospects people used their heads in the first place, this sequence would never have unfolded.
I'm Fred Wallace