Article from Behind the Net with my comments:
Kyle Quincey has been front-and-center in the Colorado Avalanche’s quick start to the season. The off-season pickup from the Los Angeles Kings has had all the hallmarks of a top defenseman – he’s at the top of the depth chart at even-strength, on the power-play and on the penalty-kill.
While the Kings sheltered him last year and kept him away from the penalty-kill and defensive zone faceoffs, Colorado has thrown him in the middle of everything, with great results – they lost just one of their first 13 games in regulation, and Quincey led their defensemen in ice time and points. I certainly didn’t see this coming: if you’d asked me six months ago if Kyle Quincey could be the #1 defenseman on a good team, I’d have given you 10-1 odds against.
So was this something we should have expected?
Only if you’re me. Here’s my self-stroking cut-and-paste from the Inside the Kings comments section:
My dad and brothers are all wings fans, and they say Quincey is defensive-minded, big but quick, and they’re pissed that he’s gone. The Johnson injury is a bad, bad thing, but Quincey is a good, good pick-up.
He’s not on waivers because he sucks. He’s on waivers because the Wings have too many defensemen, they have cap issues, and have to make moves they wouldn’t ordinarily want to make.
Of his 26 total NHL games, 13 are playoff games, which makes him simultaneously one of our least experienced players and one of our most experienced in playoffs (behind, I’m going to guess, Handzus, Stoll, Greene, O’Donnell, Calder and Preissing).
November 8, 2008 11:18 AM
I actually think Quincey is going to prove himself to be better than Bouwmeester, as well. But I’ll grant you I might be wrong about that.
[much mockery ensues from other commenters, after which I said:]
Let me put it this way about Quincey: he’s played, I believe between 20 and 25 regular season NHL games. Right out of the gate he led the Kings in ATOI. He leads all Kings D in points. He is responsible defensively and can play offense. He is smart, aggressive and he’s a leader. I did not mean to say that as a pure talent, in terms of raw skills, that he is superior to Bouwmeester, who has always been regarded, as you say, as elite. As you know, I was singing Quincey’s praises back in September when it looked like Detroit was going to have to unload a defenseman, and it probably makes me look a little unstable to be canvassing to retire his number after his first week in a Kings uniform. But I’m going to stick by my hope that picking Quincey up on waivers turns out to be the single greatest achievement of DL as Kings GM. Wishful thinking? I suppose that’s likely at this point. But let’s wait and see.
p.s. Bouwmeester in his first season: 4 goals, 12 assists, plus/minus -29. Quincey, at his current pace, projects to: 7 goals, 27 assists, plus/minus +7.
Again, in many ways they are apples and oranges. But, as crazy as the comparison is, it’s not that crazy.
April 20, 2009 5:20 PM
Quincey: retire his jersey. If he had played one fewer game in either of his two seasons with Detroit, he would have been a rookie this year, and as such would have led all defensemen (rookies) in points, by a long shot.
Now, back to the Behind the Net blog:
Quincey had one only pre-draft season in the OHL, with the London Knights. He found himself fairly far down on the depth chart, and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 draft by the Detroit Red Wings, 132nd overall. He worked his way up to the #1 spot in his Age 20 season, and made the jump to the bottom of the depth chart in Grand Rapids the following season. After three years in the AHL, Detroit still couldn’t commit and tried to sneak him through waivers. They ended up losing him to the LA Kings, where he finally cracked the NHL roster
The Kings’ big move was to give him a big chunk of the power-play minutes. The net result, as you can see above, was 25 points at 5-on-4, more than he had in three seasons in the AHL. The Kings then traded him to Colorado in the Ryan Smyth deal – it seemed like they were selling high, but now Quincey’s a new player.
I miss KQ. I’m not at all surprised he’s blowing people away in Colorado. Also, let’s not forget he did what he did last year with an injured back. He was injured when he arrived in LA. He played the whole season hobbled. Now healthy, I expect great things. I think people are fooled because he looks kinda dorky.