Saturday, December 22, 2007

Okposo jump blows up -- Snow rips Lucia in press

A couple days ago I mentioned Kyle Okposo leaving the Univ. of Minnesota mid-season to sign with the Islanders (suspicious timing given Chris Simon's 30-game suspension). Well, now the normally quiet Islanders GM Garth Snow has publicly blamed Minnesota's coach Don Lucia for stalling Okposo's development.

"It's well-known in hockey circles that the situation for college players is to develop and get better," Snow said. "And quite frankly, it's a big responsibility for a college coach -- a program -- to handle these kids.

"Whether it was Kyle or another player, until things change in that program we'd probably make the same decision. There should be a coach there that looks in the mirror."

Snow was a standout goalie with the University of Maine, graduating in 1993 before turning pro. He was asked if he thought it was OK for a player to leave midway through a college season.

"I don't think we'd be at this point if he was being coached properly," Snow said.

Ouch. I don't know enough about his play this year to have an opinion one way or another. But I can tell you this much about Lucia -- he's is one of the few people in the world who can pull off a burgundy suit (the team's colors) and look very sharp doing it.

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