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  1. #1

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    Canadian Men for 2011-2012

    Who is left for next season?

    For the GP I would guess Patrick Chan, Kevin Reynolds, Andrei Rogozine, and maybe Liam Firus (or would he go back to JGP?)

    Will we see any of Elladj Balde, Ian Martinez, Samuel Morais, Maxime-Billy Fortin, Marc Andre Craig, Ronald Lam on the Grand Prix? I'd hope at least one spot for one of them at Skate Canada...

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    Liam Firus will be 19 on July 2nd so he has one more season of ISU Junior eligibility. Samuel Morais turned 19 in May.

    Shawn Sawyer hasn't officially stated his plans for next season yet, AFAIK.

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    Chan, Reynolds and Rogozine as locks for 2 events in the GP.

    Balde as host pick for Skate Canada .

    Morais and Martinez could battle it at Nebelhorn for a 2nd host pick if SC politiks smarlty the invitations for their top skaters.

    Firus should go back to JGP.

    I think its a shame that besides Nebelhorn, SC never sends anyone to Senior Bs. At least now they have that summer competions counting for international points.

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    Balde was 5th in the 2011 Nats and was on the national team. Now he has moved up to third. Wouldn't that give him two spots on the GP circuit?

    I though Shawn's retirement was pretty much confirmed when he dropped out of Worlds to do CSOI.

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    In the past, GP spots primarily were based on ISU World Standings rankings and Season Best scores (plus JW/JGPF medals), while Nationals results were used for Nebelhorn assignments and host pick(s) for Skate Canada.

    Chan #2 in World Standings, #1 in 2010-11 Season Best total score
    Reynolds 19 WS, 14 SB (S4)
    Sawyer 21 WS, 37 SB (S2)
    Rogozine 23 WS, 30 SB (S13, JW1)
    Firus 61 WS, 63 SB (S6; JGP age-eligible)
    Morais 76 WS, 69 SB (S12)
    Lam 97 WS, no SB (S7)
    J Ten 109 WS, 39 SB (but sounds like his comeback may be delayed )
    S Davis no WS, 102 SB (J2; JGP age-eligible)
    Balde (S5), Martinez (S8), Craig (S9), Fortin (S10), Ferland (S11) - no WS, no SB

    Nam Nguyen (J1) just turned 13 in May and is JGP age-eligible this season.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-01-2011 at 11:12 PM.

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    IMO it's a shame SC didn't "spread out the love" a bit more with regards to mens assignments to Nebelhorn and SC over the last several seasons. I believe that Joey Russell was sent to Nebelhorn something like 4 or 5 years in a row. Plus he got the 3rd SC spot at least once or twice. If these assignments had been spread around a bit more, maybe certain skaters like Balde would have some sort of world ranking now. Thankfully Russell retired so skaters other than him will get the opportunity to compete at Nebelhorn.

    I hope that Reynolds and Rogozine have high enough WR/SB to get two assignments other than SC so Balde and Martinez can get the second and third spots to SC (along with Chan). I hope Balde is working hard on his 3A. He has a ton of charisma and could be become a real crowd favourite if he could get some more exposure.

    Hope Firus goes back to the JGP for another year and works on his mental toughness.

    There's not a lot of depth in Canada in the mens event right now.

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    Chan is a lock for two assignments.

    Reynolds SB at SC was good enough that he should get two after everything.

    Rogozine's likely to get one

    I expect Thornhill will see Balde, Martinez AND Morais, or two of them and one going to Nebelhorn (probably Balde)

    Firus should stay junior, get the 3A and nerves (what Rafter said).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafter View Post
    If these assignments had been spread around a bit more, maybe certain skaters like Balde would have some sort of world ranking now.
    ...I hope Balde is working hard on his 3A. He has a ton of charisma and could be become a real crowd favourite if he could get some more exposure.
    Remember that Elladj Baldé missed the entire 2009-10 season due to injury after having a promising 2008-09 season in which he competed in the JGP Final, was 10th in his senior debut at Canadians, and placed 8th at Jr. Worlds. He already was attempting 3A that season -- here's an article about him before 2009 Junior Worlds and his injury: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news

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    I'd be quite happy with only Chan, Reynolds and Rogozine getting Senior Grand Prix events (and Sawyer, if he really hasn't retired). IMO the other men are not ready for Senior Grand Prix assignments, although Baldé may be by the time the season starts.

    Morais, Martinez and Lam are prime candidates for senior B's. All three of them should be going to two Senior B's, since all of them occasionally struggle with nerves. Baldé should also get two Senior B's IMO, although for me if he has continued to improve he would be an obvious choice for Skate Canada as well.

    Given the numbers of JGP spots Canada has, Firus will certainly get two JGP spots and Shaquille will get at least one, probably two. Other candidates for JGP assignments (based only on this past season, and a lot can change in the next few months) - Nam Nguyen, as mentioned (1st in juniors at Canadians), Raphael Yacobi-Harris (14th in senior at Canadians), Charles Dion (16th in senior at Canadians), Samuel Angers (8th at Canadians in junior but 1st at Challenge), Garrett Gosselin (4th at Canadians in junior, 2nd at Challenge) and Peter O'Brien (3rd at Canadians in junior). I haven't checked if all these skaters are age-eligible for the JGP.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Remember that Elladj Baldé missed the entire 2009-10 season due to injury after having a promising 2008-09 season in which he competed in the JGP Final, was 10th in his senior debut at Canadians, and placed 8th at Jr. Worlds. He already was attempting 3A that season -- here's an article about him before 2009 Junior Worlds and his injury: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    Balde wasn't just attempting 3A's. At Nationals in 09 he landed a number of amazing 3A's. The height on his 3A was huge - think Vaughn Chipeur kind of height. I think his problem now is related to time off for his injury and growth.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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    Yes, Balde was off for a season with injuries. Too bad the rankings don't take that into account. It was a bad time for Elladj to miss a season, right on the transition from junior to senior.

    I am sure he will do very well at SC and be awarded a second spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasperBoy View Post
    Yes, Balde was off for a season with injuries. Too bad the rankings don't take that into account. It was a bad time for Elladj to miss a season, right on the transition from junior to senior.

    I am sure he will do very well at SC and be awarded a second spot.
    We also have to remember that GP spots in singles are down to 10 per event. This means 12 less men's spots over the course of the series. It will be harder for the lesser known and/or ranked skaters to get SGP opportunities from now on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Remember that Elladj Baldé missed the entire 2009-10 season due to injury after having a promising 2008-09 season in which he competed in the JGP Final, was 10th in his senior debut at Canadians, and placed 8th at Jr. Worlds. He already was attempting 3A that season -- here's an article about him before 2009 Junior Worlds and his injury: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    Yes I know this. But in the 2010-2011, Balde received zero assignments. It would have been in his best interest to be sent out somewhere for the experience. Especially after making the JGPF the year before the injury. But Skate Canada chose to send Russell to Nebelhorn AGAIN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafter View Post
    But Skate Canada chose to send Russell to Nebelhorn AGAIN.
    I understand you wanted Balde to gain experience and international exposure, but do you think it really was so unreasonable for Russell to be sent to Nebelhorn? After all, he achieved a fairly respectable score and placement there for someone of his level and he had no grand prix assignments.

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    I think the "AGAIN" is rather key to Rafter's post. If there was no history of previous assignments associated with Joey, it would have been a completely reasonable thing to send him to Nebelhorn.

    However, his history on assignments is the following:

    1. He was sent to Nebelhorn in 2007, where he placed 11th. His short program score was 46.08, and his long program score was 102.27, for an overall score of 148.35. Not good, but he was new to the senior scene, so it was understandable.

    2. He was sent to Nebelhorn in 2008 (again), where his score in the short program was 56.78 and in the long program was 91.94, for an overall score of 148.72. Still not good, but I would perhaps excuse him because he was still fairly new at senior.

    3. In 2009 has was sent yet again to Nebelhorn, where he placed 9th. His short program score that year was 67.80 (good) and his long program score was 107.11. By this time I don't think there should be any excuses given, but at least his short program had improved.

    4. He followed this up, unfortunately, with a botched 2009 Skate Canada assignment (based on the Nebelhorn assignment), with a 10th place finish, a short program score of 61.82 (fair) and a long program score of 106.89 (poor). This was his opportunity to earn his way on to the Senior Grand Prix with a reasonable score, but he ended up at something like 60th or 70th on the season's best list and had no hope of a SGP assignment in the 2010-2011 season. Which led to . . .

    5. His FOURTH assignment to Nebelhorn in 2010, where he did finally skate respectably (6th overall, short program score of 60.49 and long program score of 125.88).

    If Nebelhorn is thought of as a reward for a reasonably good skater who may not get anything else, then his assignment in 2010 made sense. If it is being used strategically to help develop skaters for the Senior Grand Prix series, though, then I agree with Rafter that a more logical assignment would have been Balde.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    Balde wasn't just attempting 3A's. At Nationals in 09 he landed a number of amazing 3A's. The height on his 3A was huge - think Vaughn Chipeur kind of height. I think his problem now is related to time off for his injury and growth.
    Recently I saw him landing 4T. Hope he'll have a great season!

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    THe problem is not that Joey was the one always sent to Nebelhorn, the problem is Nebelhorn is the only Senior B that SC bothers to send skaters..

    Rogozine and Reynolds although not guaranteed are almost virtual locks for 2 events thanks to his great results and still high reputation respectively. Because of this, I do think Skate Canada should use 2 host picks (any of Balde, Martinez, Moran or Lam) but I can't see them not assigning the reigning Jr. world champion to its roster.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    Balde wasn't just attempting 3A's. At Nationals in 09 he landed a number of amazing 3A's. The height on his 3A was huge - think Vaughn Chipeur kind of height. I think his problem now is related to time off for his injury and growth.
    Oh I wasn't doubting he could land the 3A in 2008-09. I was checking some protocols from that season and noticed that Balde's percentage of landing 3A in competition with 0 or + GOE wasn't that high. He did have a +1 GOE opening 3A in his 2009 Canadians FS, but consistency on this jump in competition didn't seem to be there yet before his injury. Did Balde have strong enough summer competition results in the summer of 2010 to have convinced Skate Canada to consider him for 2010 Nebelhorn despite missing Nationals?

    Sarah and Drew's latest IN blog (June 3) has an interview with Liam Firus durung his recent visit to Colorado Springs:
    Firus told us he has trained with the same coach, Lorna Bauer, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, since he started skating at the age of eight. He also trains with Rod Mackie three times a week and works with Scott Davis each year.
    ...
    [On why he came to Colorado:] "Mostly for motivation, and getting that triple Axel. It's fun skating with lots of boys every day. I'm working with Damon Allen, Eric Schultz, Christy Krall, Kathy Casey and Janet Champion."
    ...
    Firus has been working with choreographer Mark Pillay for five years, since he was an intermediate. He said that next season he'll be keeping his long program, to the Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack. He has a new short program, to a cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-04-2011 at 05:01 PM.

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    And this will come to no surprise to anyone, but he's staying junior as well

    (Golden Skate article)

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    THe problem is not that Joey was the one always sent to Nebelhorn, the problem is Nebelhorn is the only Senior B that SC bothers to send skaters..
    That's a better way of looking at it than what I posted.

    William Thompson from Skate Canada keeps saying in interviews that they are happy with the people at the top (obviously) but they want more depth. They do very little to promote depth in seniors, though, IMO. The skaters that are in the second tier (Ian Martinez, Eladj Baldé, Ronald Lam, Jeremy Ten if he ever is healthy, Joey Russell before he announced his retirement ETA and Samuel Morais) need the Senior Bs for competitive experience and for additional motivation to continue training, IMO. That's where the depth could come from.

    They may never be world champions, but all of them have enough talent that they might be able to eventually break into the Grand Prix circuit and finish in the top half of their fields at the competitions. The only way to find out which of them have the necessary competitive spark is to give them the opportunity to compete at high-level competitions beyond just Canadians.
    Last edited by geoskate; 06-06-2011 at 01:47 PM. Reason: ETA Samuel Morais, who should also be on the list.

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