Tidbits: Your Houston Aeros Edition
Posted by Dan Shrader on Sunday, February 13, 2011
I'll let you guys in on a little secret.
At the genesis of First Round Bust, there were a few pithy and clever names bandied about- "Risebrough's Folly" being one- but the consensus was that the current title was appropriate, considering the dubious stretch of 2004-2006 where the 1st round pick, arguably the crown jewel of the Tommy Thompson-run Drafts, well, went *pop*. It's kind of a running joke, a sweeping generalization really, but a tragic comedy of sorts; the fact that our first pick in those drafts, really the only prospects who would be given a fighting chance to be NHLers, just plain didn't work out whether it be one reason or another while the other picks (usually 3-4 more because Doug Risebrough tended to trade them away on whims) were made more out of duty than anything else.
While the jury is still out on Colton Gillies (more on that later, even though he can be seen in the banner,) we drafted Tyler Cuma in 2008. Cuma was highly thought of- at one point I saw a scout remarked that his NHL team had him in their top 10- and we traded up to grab him. At the time we were looking at a kid, who was very mobile, played with sandpaper, and while there was some talk of untouched offensive upside, Cuma liked to shut the opposition down. I even remember a time where the fanbase had illusions and delusions that the kid would be able to step into the lineup at 19, considering the poise he had.
I watched Tyler Cuma get stretchered off the ice today at The X during the Houston/Peoria tilt. I cannot help but feel terrible for the kid, who has done nothing but battle injuries since the second he stepped up on the stage at the 2008 Draft with the previous regime. Cuma has suffered a litany of maladies, which have hampered his development, and caused an unfortunate slide down the depth chart- there is a tragic element when a guy with so much promise is passed up by players with lower ceilings. I'm sure he's feeling terrible, another "why me" moment; as we are too, as fans, and as human beings.
So then there is Me, Nate, and the boys. The group of guys who use the term First Round Bust as a snarky soapbox, a way of using a professional failure of a young man as a clever way to express our uninformed insight, misguided snark, and pithy nonsense. This is different though, a possible outcome that isn't worth jest; a First Round Bust of the wrong kind.
- I don't know what the hell it was, maybe Ms. Conduct knows if its the regular Aeros goal song, but after Cody Almond scored today, the X played the most ridiculous techno version of "Seven Nation Army". It made me laugh it was so ridiculous.
- There wasn't any way that today's game was an indicator of the AHL level, or of the Houston Aeros, but it was an ugly game today. Not a lot of good things happening on the ice. In fact the most emotion I felt all afternoon was when I kicked over my full beer in the second period.
- Chad Rau needs to work on his stride.
- Just me, but I like Carson MacMillan as a pro better than Colton Gillies, despite Gillies tossing pucks into the crowd during warm ups. MacMillan reminds me of Eric Nystrom. In a good way folks, not the snake bitten one goal-on-an-empty-net way. I do like Gillies speed, but I was wondering what he's thinking when he gets the puck.
- Max Noreau has an absolute cannon from the point. There has to be some sort of extenuating circumstance because when Marek Zidlicky went out- arguably our PP triggerman- Noreau didn't get a sniff. I hope his 7 minutes of NHL time didn't entirely remove him from the picture because he can do some nice things.
- The Aeros PP ran through Patrick O'Sullivan, for better or for worse. For better in that you put the puck on arguably the most talented offensive player's stick, for worse in that there were too many times where the other four Aeros stood (literally STOOD) in the offensive zone waiting for O'Sullivan to do something with the biscuit.
- Man...what the hell happened to Justin Falk?
- Finally...regardless of the quality of the game, it is nice for a Wild fan like myself and others to be able to see the Aeros from the comfort of our home arena. Thanks to all involved to made it happen.