Atherton Up, Kvapil Down

The Springfield Falcons have announced the promotion of defenseman PJ Atherton from Johnstown of the ECHL. In addition, the Falcons demoted right winger Marek Kvapil to Johnstown. Kvapil had been considered a potential NHL callup heading into the 2006-2007 season, but a disasterous year in the AHL has seen Kvapil busted down to Springfield's checking lines. After failing to score in some weeks, Kvapil's demotion is the final thud in an unremarkable campaign.

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Huge missed opportunity

With the news yesterday of Tampa cutting back on payroll and Feaster saying they're going to have to find complimentary players at the NHL level on the cheap - this was a perfect scenario for Kvapil to make a lot of money.

If he returned this year and picked up where he left off, he could indeed be penciled in for a spot next to Richards or Lecavalier next year. It'd help him, it'd certainly help the team's financial picture... but that sophomore slump or developmental wall or whatever he hit has hurt him. Hopefully only temporarily.

Also....

I wonder if Kvapil was one of the ones Stirling talked about wanting to weed off the team.

There's no doubt in my mind

There's no doubt in my mind he was.

I don't think Stirling is terribly fond of Marek because of his not being terribly responsible in his own end of the rink. I think Stirling has been trying to use tough love on Marek most of the season, and it hasn't really worked.

Next year is huge for Marek. It'll be the final year of his entry level deal. He could blow up and go right back to the top of the depth chart (because, honestly, none of these forwards are beating down the door right now) or he could go straight in the crapper and maybe even get bounced out of the organization altogether (although I think dead weight like Hrdel would probably go two summers from now before Kvapil does).

Stirling said...

He's going down for a confidence boost and that he needs to start scoring.

This was preceded in the Republican article by his comments about weeding out those that don't want to be here. (3/28 article)

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