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Mully: Boucher making fluid transition to pro hockey

Derek Seguin's new club's playoff run has ended, but his excellent season could open doors

Last week I told you about Derek Seguin moving up to the top division in the Netherlands and his stellar play there. Unfortunately, his new club dropped the deciding game in the playoffs and their season has ended. But an excellent season with his regular club, in addition to his new club, could lead to some exciting new opportunities coming Derek's way.

Evan Boucher is fluidly making the transition to pro hockey in the East Coast Hockey League.

Evan is currently with the Iowa Heartlanders after being obtained from Florida. In 13 games in the league, Evan has two goals and three assists.

Something I have never been able to fully comprehend is how some professional teams continually linger near the bottom of their leagues or just never truly seem able to contend for a playoff spot. Of course, for me, I focus more on hockey teams than most sports.

At varying times all teams will have down periods, but most retool or rebuild to get back into a competitive state. This isn't minor hockey where levels of competitiveness are very cyclic. You deal with what is available to you in your area and do the best you can with what you are given.

Larger centres are less prone to the cycle as the numbers usually allow them a competitive edge. But at the pro levels, you have access to players on a global scale. It seems to me that at some point the rebuilding process stops and at worst you are fighting for a playoff spot in most years. You don't have to be a hardcore hockey fan to notice that a number of teams seem to struggle through a season year after year.

I have always thought that too many teams give players no trade or a limited trade list to players. I feel much less so nowadays. That's because I now know that a large number of players do not want to go to a team that struggles annually to compete. It is true that a lot of players just want to play and will play anywhere. But for some players, certain destinations are off limits for the simple reason they are not competitive or make little attempt to be so. Who wants to go to a team that is better known as a seller in early March than contending for a playoff spot?

There are teams that we constantly hear have a great number of draft picks available year after year. And while multiple picks give you a chance to improve a team's fortunes it takes more than just that. Draft picks can be a lot like lottery tickets. Very few turn into big winners. Smart trades and free-agent signings need to be just as important as draft picks. If you start to show that you are doing all you can as an organization to take the steps to become a winner, players who might not have wanted to play there will be far more open to doing so knowing you are committed.

Later skater.

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