Friday, August 5, 2011

The Saga Of Yoga(n)

As expected New York Ranger's 2010 3rd round pick Andrew Yogan was traded from the Erie Otters this aftermoon as Victor Fernandes over at reported

One has to wonder if the Rangers helped out on this one since Yogan was traded to the Peterborough Petes. For those who were not aware Peterborough is coached by former Ranger's assistant Mike Pelino.

The Petes surrendered 3 drafted picks to make the deal but our friend in Hartford Bruce Berlet chimed in with quotes from Ranger Asst. GM Jim Schoenfeld who said:

“Because he missed most of last year with a shoulder injury, we feel another year of juniors might be best for him,” Schoenfeld said via email. “But we will monitor him closely in camp, and you may see him in Hartford.”

Yogan in his brief time with Hartford actually did play well despite losing most of the year. There is no question that Yogan has talent but the concern with Yogan is with his attitude and character.

Back to Victor Fernandes:

Andrew Yogan, who the Erie Otters traded to the Peterborough Petes today, believes his offensive-minded game didn’t mesh well with Otters coach Robbie Ftorek’s coaching philosophy.

“I like to make some fancy moves. I like to take it to the net,” Yogan said. “He wants me to play a little bit more simple. When you’ve played the one way your whole life, that’s the way you’ve got to play.”

Otters GM Sherry Bassin said a clash between Yogan’s style and Ftorek’s philosophy possibly existed. But Bassin said Yogan wasn’t in the team’s plans as an overager. Bassin also plans to trade overage winger Brett Appio, despite praising him for “what he brings to a team. He’s a hard-nosed, hard-skating player.”

And prior to that in a tweet, Yogan was quoted as saying:

OTTERS UPDATE: Andrew Yogan says he was a healthy scratch, and not sick, for the final 4 games of the Windsor series last season.

So we went back to that playoff series and wanted to see what was said then.

March 27th Game 3 preview

F Andrew Yogan had an assist in Game 2 – his first point in seven career playoff games. But he spent most of the third period and both overtimes on the bench after dropping from the No. 1 line to the fourth line. Coach Robbie Ftorek said rookie RW Macaulay McDonnell provided a better matchup on home ice in the game. “We’ll see what happens,” Ftorek said. “We just have to move the lines around.”

March 31st Game 5 Preview

Coach Robbie Ftorek said F Andrew Yogan missed Game 4 because he was ill and banged up. “We’ve got to see how that works its way out,” Ftorek said.

This was a home game

April 1st Recap

Coach Robbie Ftorek said Andrew Yogan didn’t travel with the team to Windsor because he was sick.

April 4th Game 7 preview

F Andrew Yogan (sick) isn’t expected to play tonight after missing the past three games. “I told him the other day that we’re probably going to go with what we’ve got,” coach Robbie Ftorek said Sunday. “He’s fine, but he doesn’t have the hands and the timing that the other players have because he only played nine games (in the regular season because of shoulder surgery).”

April 5th Audio clip

The early part of the clip is garbled and distorted but as it goes on Yogan says he was ill but could have played. It is very clear in this clip that Yogan and Coach Ftorek were having issues with each other.

We are no fans of Ftorek as in the past he would dress Mitch Gaulton and then glue him to the bench never once getting a shift. Anytime a coach embarrasses a player in public is just wrong with us.

Even worse is these kinds of dust ups hurt the player's reputation as he starts getting labels like "uncoachable" or "me first."

Yogan though should consider himself lucky because we see the Ranger's pulling some strings to help Yogan wind up on a team coached by someone who is well known to both Glen Sather and Jim Schoenfeld as Mike Pelino is.

But if we were Yogan's agent would would strong advise him to knock off telling the media:

“I like to make some fancy moves. I like to take it to the net

Friendly advice drop the first part and just say you like to take it to the net. Say something like fancy moves to a John Tortorella and he will eat you alive and send what remains to the minor leagues.

"When you’ve played the one way your whole life, that’s the way you’ve got to play.”

Here Yogan's biggest mistake is he never once says in this or any other quote anything about being a team player. That rep is one we have heard for the last couple of years before he was drafted by the Rangers.

It would have been a smarter move by Yogan to not take a shot at his former coach on the way out the door but rather say something like how excited he is to have a fresh start elsewhere and he looks forward to helping the Petes.

Yogan hurts himself with his own words, his own behaviors and the coaching ranks are a lot closer than people realize. How Yogan has handled this hurts Andrew Yogan more than it ever will Robbie Ftorek.

Ftorek now can point at the quotes from Yogan and say "see what I had to team with here?"

To someone like us, we already know the rep that Ftorek has and if Yogan had behaved like we suggested then it would be easy for us to say Ftorek is the problem (he has a suspect reputation himself) but Yogan spoke first instead of thinking first.

Yogan does not know how lucky he is right now because he is going to play for a coach in Pelino who has a great track record as a teacher in Pelino. But for Yogan's sake he had also remember he will be playing for a coach who is good friends with Jim Schoenfeld.

(Yogan courtesy of OHL Images)

Victor Fernandes covers the Erie Otters for and Bruce Berlet covers the CT Whale for the Whale website. We thank them for contributing to this.


JMase said...

Is this another Ethan Werek situation in the making? Surprised Rangers made picks on guys with me-first attitudes. I know how good Gord Clark and Gorton are regarding the attitude and makeup of the kids they draft but this would disappoint becasue these are two high picks here.

Jess Rubenstein said...

No in this case I think for all his talk that once Yogan meets Tortorella that the kid will learn the error of his ways.

Yogan honestly fell through the cracks as it was his inconsistent play the drove his stock down. He had not shown the me me me attitude until after he was drafted