Miami Herald photo
Guy Flaming co-host of the Pipeline show 1260 A.M. out of Edmonton, Alberta interviewed Brian Skrudland the Director of Player Development for the Florida Panthers. Guy asked Skrudland if Bjudstad staying in Minnesota for another year would hurt his development as a hockey player. Here is what Skrudland had to say about the matter.
I'm not sure so I asked Brian Skrudland the question to see if the Panthers organization shared the same concern.
"Well... that is a concern," Skrudland admitted, "But when you've got such a quality organization as [the University of] Minnesota has provided there... the off ice strength and conditioning coach, Cal Dietz, has done a fabulous job with Nick. There are a lot of positive things about him going back. The only negative is that he won't be wearing a Panthers jersey and helping us score some goals next year."
"It's an opportunity for him to finish something that he started and we love that as far as the character of the person," continued Skrudland, "And it's an opportunity to go back and maybe win the Hobey Baker and hopefully a national championship as well."
It would appear that the Florida Panther don’t have the same concerns about Minnesota like Garth Snow of the New York Islanders had. That being said, it would appear that the Panthers wanted Nick Bjudstad to sign a professional contract.
Just for the record Guy Flaming and Dean Millard are very fair hosts and are by no shape of the imagination anti-NCAA hockey but in this case I also think that Guy might have a point…
Flaming posed this question Bjugstad… “Could his progress stagnate, or even regress, playing at a level that in many ways, he is already a dominant player?”
I think that is a good question and only time will tell – I think the Gophers will definitely benefit from another season of having Nick Bjugstad on their roster and his presence will make them one of the top teams to beat in the WCHA this season if the Gophers can figure out who is going to be the man between the pipes for the Gophers.