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JR Ewing

8/27/19 - EDIT: Jesse Puljujarvi signs with Finnish League

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Posted (edited)

Kurt Leavins, Edmonton Journal

 

.If you missed Jesse Puljujarvi on Friday re-stating his demand to be traded, the Cult of Hockey’s David Staples recounts it

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. While I have written and still think it’s possible Puljujarvi will be in camp this Fall, the bigger question has really become: How did we get to this point? There’s no question the organization has made its share of mistakes in developing the player. But the examples of the stubbornness that Puljujarvi and his agent have displayed through these “negotiations”? Multiple observations and insider comments suggest to me that the same stubbornness has showed up all-too frequently on the ice and in the dressing room as well. Examples:

 

-It has been described to me by multiple sources close to the team how Todd McLellan invested hours upon hours into trying to un-lock Puljujarvi when he first arrived in Edmonton. One of Todd’s frustrations was Jesse’s inconsistency in getting to the net. There, the player’s size & skill combination could be a real factor. When Puljujarvi would do this and was successful Todd would not miss the opportunity to praise him. He would point out how positioning on the play was critical. But then the next shift Puljujarvi would stubbornly appear back on the perimeter again. Todd got frustrated.

 

-Part of McLellan’s struggle was that he was often in the position of being “the bad cop” on the staff. Perhaps a good complimentary step would be to assign a coach to him whose job would be to “catch Jesse doing things right”? So this past fall Manny Viveiros was brought in. One of his key assignments was to attach himself to the young Finn which he did. But Manny didn’t even make as much progress as McLellan had. And remember: Viveiros has a reputation of being able to connect with today’s player. Observers say it was if advice would go in one ear…and right out the other.

-New head coach Ken Hitchcock was so confident that he had the answer he reversed a decision to have Puljujarvi spend the rest of the season in Bakersfield. Much to the consternation and confusion of the Puljujarvi camp, the Oilers recalled him yet again. Hitchcock is the very personification of stubborn when it comes to insisting that players play for him a certain way, especially without the puck. But as it turned out Hitch (the 2nd winningest coach in NHL history) didn’t have the keys to the car, either. The winger’s TOI over his last 10 games topped 10 minutes only 3 times. 3 other times it fell into the single digits. Yes, the bad hip also contributed to that.

 

-Meanwhile, though all of the above, his teammates struggled to connect with him on the ice. Often, especially on the power play, Puljujarvi would repeatedly head to the wrong spot. He would literally bump into them. When they would try to explain it to him their words of advice seemed to fall flat. Was he not listening…or not agreeing? Eventually, although none of these players would ever dream of saying this in public…I am made to understand that they quietly asked just not to play with him anymore. There’s no suggestion they disliked him as a guy. Just that he was just hard to play with.

Did Jesse perhaps just not understand? I think we’d all have time for that issue, right? Well…there has been a lot of ink spilled on Puljujarvi’s perceived language barrier. However, one particular person who was in that dressing room last season was asked about that very factor, and he answered:

 

No, he knows way more that he lets on”.

 

That same person (who shall remain anonymous) was then asked, “So what’s the problem with Jesse, really”?

 

The answer, shrugged back, was once again: “He’s just stubborn”.

 

Huh. You don’t say…

 

So…if you’re a prospect for whom things have just not gone your way (and again, not all his doing by any means) at some point…don’t you figure out that “stubborn” isn’t a trait that is going to do you any favors?

 

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Edited by pilldoc
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Hmmm....Yakupov 2.0?
Or was Yakupov not so much stubborn, but more, errr, shall we say...dense?

 

If Pulju really is that mule'ish however, I doubt even a change of scenery to another NHL team would do him good.
I've seen stories crop up here and there as to where might be a good fit, etc, etc.

I would think playing on a team with three of the better NHL players and some other up n coming ones would be ideal for him.
And hey, if it's living in Edmonton that he doesn't like, then just put in the work, raise your value, insist on your trade again THEN, and maybe on your way out that could help your team get a big haul for you.

Yea, scratch that....makes too much sense.... :rolleyes:
This saga sounds a bit like the Jonathan Drouin/Steve Yzerman one back in Tampa with regards to Pulju playing in Bakersfield and the player not happy with that decision.

Will be interesting to see how new GM Ken Holland handles this.

Holland may have fallen out of favor in Detroit due to his insistence of continuing a Wings playoff streak alive when he should have been looking towards the future, but he still is an intelligent man and basically has a clean slate with the Oilers.

 

I bet if Holland sees that Pulju isn't going to pan out in the long run or that he may end up more trouble than he or his coaching staff have time for (we all know Edm has LOTS of other things that require serious attention), he will advise the coaching staff to try and build as much value and confidence in him so he can accommodate Mr. Pulju's request to be sent elsewhere.

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Interesting, good job JR!

 

Some crazy trade suggestions fans are throwing. Some see very little value in him.

 

So much negative about him... nothing going for him? What would a JP apologist say to this?

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Hmmm....Yakupov 2.0?
Or was Yakupov not so much stubborn, but more, errr, shall we say...dense?

 

 

Let me dig up my Yakupov post and look for the similarities:

 

"

Nail Yakupov is quick, elusive and has a cannon shot. But, if you watch him, one thing is crystal clear: he doesn't really know how to play hockey, and his lack of ability to process the game punishes player and team at every turn. He skates the puck into coverage, doesn't know who/how to backcheck, and even though he has a great shot, he doesn't know how to get himself into position to receive a one-time pass so that he can let it go.

 

When he was with the Oilers, there was a sequence where Darnell Nurse spent around 20 seconds battling with David Backes for the puck, won it and passed it Yakupov outside the line. Yak promptly turned and skated back into the defensive zone and passed it back to Nurse, who once again had Backes all over him in a New York minute. Another time, Patrick Maroon was working like a demon to keep possession along the boards, deep in the Jets zone, and was double-teamed by two players. Yakupov stood 5 feet away, watching the entire thing, not really knowing what he should do. Maroon lost the puck and the Jets cleared. Things like these are constant issues with him, and whether it's an issue of having too many coaches in his head or an inability to process the game at the NHL level, they are a real problem. He's not a player with 5 years of experience, but rather a player with 1 year of experience 5 times.

 

TSN's Ryan Rishaug was told by an Oilers source that Yakupov is very willing to put in hard work, but only in the areas which he's already good at or enjoys doing. Thus, last summer, he spent the bulk of his time working on his shot, especially the one-timer, even though shooting the puck is one of the things he can already do. There has been a steadfast refusal to work on the parts of his game which are not at an NHL level. When Rishaug asked him, this week, what he needs to do to improve his game, Yakupov replied "Nothing new. I just need to keep doing the same things I've always done."

 

He seems like a nice kid, but I don't know how being patient can work with somebody who has repeatedly said that he won't change his approach for anybody. Not any one of Ralph Krueger, Dallas Eakins, Todd Nelson, Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock or Mike Yeo could impress upon Yakupov the need to work within the team structure. Oleg Znarok, coach of the 2014 Russian Olympic team said that they simply couldn't take him on, regardless of how talented he is, because he refuses to work on his game. During the past World Hockey Championships, he was sent home early by Znarok, for the very same reasons, and when asked, Yakupov said that he fully intends to play hockey just like he did when he was 10 years old. You can't play successfully at the NHL level when you play the game like you did as a little boy."

 

Yup... Stubborn.

 

 

1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:


Will be interesting to see how new GM Ken Holland handles this.

Holland may have fallen out of favor in Detroit due to his insistence of continuing a Wings playoff streak alive when he should have been looking towards the future, but he still is an intelligent man and basically has a clean slate with the Oilers.

 

 

So far, Holland seems to be handling in about the best way that he can. He has no interest in simply giving away Puljujarvi, and so things are in a bit of a holding pattern. I agree with you 100% that the place for Puljujarvi is probably Edmonton, but it just seems to be a bad fit now on a bunch of levels. His agent had spent the last month walking back the tough talk, and then a couple of days ago, Jesse was quoted as saying that he was only leaving Europe if he could play for another NHL team.

 

He's not doing a damned thing to help his cause. I think he may learn the lessons which people have tried to teach, and common sense will prevail in the end. I'm pretty convinced that it won't happen for him in Edmonton, though.

 

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1 hour ago, Hockey-78 said:

Interesting, good job JR!

 

Some crazy trade suggestions fans are throwing. Some see very little value in him.

 

It is what it is. The sales pitch that you can say in Jesse's favour are all from his days as a junior, and that get further and further in the rear view every year.

 

1 hour ago, Hockey-78 said:

So much negative about him... nothing going for him? What would a JP apologist say to this?

 

-He's still young.

-He has some natural abilities that you just can't teach.

-The things that don't come naturally to him CAN be taught....... He just has to listen.

 

 

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19 hours ago, JR Ewing said:

He's not doing a damned thing to help his cause. I think he may learn the lessons which people have tried to teach, and common sense will prevail in the end. I'm pretty convinced that it won't happen for him in Edmonton, though.

 

It's interesting to me, because the Finns tend to be solid positional hockey players because of the way they are brought up in the national system.

 

Except as you now look at players like Laine and Puljujarvi, the "natural talent" kids seem to be given a bit more leeway to "just do what they do" - i.e. score goals. Which works fine on a Junior level - and maybe internationally - but not so much at the NHL level.

 

I'm wondering if that can be "fixed."

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42 minutes ago, radoran said:

I'm wondering if that can be "fixed."

 

If Puljujarvi is willing to listen, I think those issues can be fixed, and he can be a very good NHL player. If not, he'll stay in Europe and have a so-so career in which he makes a lot less money. He's doing so much to hurt his own cause here.

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The Finnish junior coaching system has made a major change during this decade. The Finnish Ice Hockey Association was worried about the lack of individual skills and especially the lack of goal scorers. They made a change emphasizing scoring and individual skills, and de-emphasizing the previous everyone plays, and everyone plays for the team -approach. We Finns have been happy with the changes made and have felt that the individual skills have improved immensely without losing the capability to play for the team. Puljujärvi and Laine might be examples of a lacking team first mentality, though. Maybe our junior coaching system is not as perfect as we have been thinking for the last couple of years.

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1 hour ago, lynxrattle said:

We Finns have been happy with the changes made and have felt that the individual skills have improved immensely without losing the capability to play for the team. Puljujärvi and Laine might be examples of a lacking team first mentality, though. Maybe our junior coaching system is not as perfect as we have been thinking for the last couple of years.

 

I thought I had noticed some different things coming out of Finland. And certainly the IIHF Championship bore that out.

 

Hoping they can bring some balance into the equation with skilled players and responsible hockey.

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From a Swedish article about Puljujarvi (language oddities courtesy of google translate...)

 

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Ice hockey player Jesse Puljujärvi is still without NHL contract. He wants to change teams, but the Finnish club's former club Edmonton has not got a player deal. Agent Markus Lehto tells Helsingin Sanomat that the situation is complicated. The situation that we are in now is a disappointment to everyone, Lehto notes and emphasizes that wages do not play a major role.

With six weeks left for the NHL premiere, Jesse Puljujärvi is still without a contract. He, together with his agent Markus Lehto, has set a prominent and public ultimatum to his club Edmonton Oilers: send me to a competing NHL club in a swap deal or my career in North America is put on ice.

- I want a team where I get a place in one of the first two chains and where I get to play for 15 minutes per game. Then I could show what I'm going for. That is my main goal, says Puljujärvi to the TV program Lääri, which can be viewed on Youtube.

Edmonton's club manager Ken Holland has been trying to get a player deal during the summer, but without results. Speculation has suggested that Puljujärvi might still be able to rethink and contemplate continuing in Edmonton. Lehto chooses to postpone these speculations in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat and emphasizes that Puljujärvi is looking for a new start in the NHL.

- This is not a scam attempt. Puljujärvi is and has been convinced that he needs a change. He is an NHL player.

 

Problem with English
To Lääri, the 21-year-old Puljujärvi admits that he has had trouble with the English during his time in North America. He moved to Edmonton in the fall of 2016 when he had just turned 18.

- Language has been a challenge for me. I've always been successful, but it would be fun if things went better.

Agent Lehto is in the same line.

- Of course, it was a challenge for an 18-year-old to understand and speak English better. The linguistic skills were not really at the level they could have been, he tells Helsingin Sanomat.

    Puljujärvi showed no greater interest.

Edmonton Journal journalist Kurt Leavins writes that Puljujärvi has reason to see himself in the mirror.

- Probably he regrets how he related to the language teaching offered by the club. It has been reported that the club would not have offered language lessons, but according to my information it is not true.

- I have understood that Puljujärvi was aware of the possibility but that he showed no greater interest.
The salary is secondary

To be able to play in the NHL season 2019-20, Puljujärvi needs to sign an NHL contract by December 1st. The contractless players are still aiming to agree before training camps begin in mid-September.

- The situation we are in now is a disappointment for everyone. But a lot of players have found themselves in the same situation, says Lehto.

He states that Puljujärvi does not make any major demands on the contract.

- This is about getting an opportunity for a new start. The salary can be almost anything.

If Puljujärvi continues in North America, this means in practice that play in the AHL farmer league is a closed chapter. In order to be sent down to the farm, Puljujärvi needs to pass the waivers list where he risks being lost to competing clubs for free.

If there is no continuation in the NHL, FM league club Kärpät has been speculated to be Puljujärvi's club address in Europe. Lehto believes that interest in Finnish services is great.

- A player at this level gets 30 contract offers in one hour. This is not about Puljujärvi not finding a club in Europe. It's about other things.

Although Puljujärvi does not extend with Edmonton, he is in the NHL linked to the club for several years to come. A season in Europe can therefore mean that the parties sit in the same seat in a year.


 

Yikes. This isn't just a stubborn players, but also one with a sense of entitlement to go along with it. By his own agent's words, Puljujarvi refused to avail himself of the English tutors the Oilers provided, but after seasons of 8, 20 and 9 points, he demands a trade to a team where he can play in the top 6.

 

He doesn't ask for much.

 

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15 hours ago, JR Ewing said:

From a Swedish article about Puljujarvi (language oddities courtesy of google translate...)

 

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Yikes. This isn't just a stubborn players, but also one with a sense of entitlement to go along with it. By his own agent's words, Puljujarvi refused to avail himself of the English tutors the Oilers provided, but after seasons of 8, 20 and 9 points, he demands a trade to a team where he can play in the top 6.

 

He doesn't ask for much.

 

 

Hey just gauging what would you accept from the Flyers for Jesse?

 

Not sure I am totally sold on wanting him but thinking of the 3rd line RW spot just kicking the tires on him.

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47 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Hey just gauging what would you accept from the Flyers for Jesse?

 

Not sure I am totally sold on wanting him but thinking of the 3rd line RW spot just kicking the tires on him.

 

At this stage of the game, I would probably be most likely to just let him play in Europe, get a lot of minutes, hopefully post some offense. Anything that an NHL team would pay right now just wouldn't be worth it.

 

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Pulju sure doesn't sound bright enough to ever play in a 1st or 2nd line role... the fact that he doesn't learn the language, tutoring or not... just listen to Esa Tikkanen mongering. He still doesn't speak anything that would be called English but there was no problem in his ability to communicate.

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image.png.076db62941e12bbe065fa773a545f9d4.png

 

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I remember when Jarkko caught hell for drafting PLD over this guy.....looks like the right move now.

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34 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

I remember when Jarkko caught hell for drafting PLD over this guy.....looks like the right move now.

 

The day of that draft, I thought that he would surely pick Puljujarvi, and then he didn't. I was pretty shocked actually, as I thought it would be a perfect match. As ever, what we don't know about these things greatly outweighs what we do know, but it would seem that he saw things pretty well. I don't know if this is fan talk or what, but my understanding is that school did not come very easily to Puljujarvi, and that he effectively quit attending at 16, to "concentrate on hockey".

 

We have a player with a visibly not-so-great hockey IQ, who failed to learn English in Finland and, by his own words, didn't bother in Edmonton either. Certainly, his actions this summer haven't painted a picture of a young man who can see what would be better for his long term future in the NHL, as he insists on calling the shots despite holding none of the leverage.

 

Yeah... Columbus came out of this very well. Good call by Jarkko.

 

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16 minutes ago, JR Ewing said:

 

The day of that draft, I thought that he would surely pick Puljujarvi, and then he didn't. I was pretty shocked actually, as I thought it would be a perfect match. As ever, what we don't know about these things greatly outweighs what we do know, but it would seem that he saw things pretty well. I don't know if this is fan talk or what, but my understanding is that school did not come very easily to Puljujarvi, and that he effectively quit attending at 16, to "concentrate on hockey".

 

We have a player with a visibly not-so-great hockey IQ, who failed to learn English in Finland and, by his own words, didn't bother in Edmonton either. Certainly, his actions this summer haven't painted a picture of a young man who can see what would be better for his long term future in the NHL, as he insists on calling the shots despite holding none of the leverage.

 

Yeah... Columbus came out of this very well. Good call by Jarkko.

 

 

Yet another quality post by one of the most quality posters on this quality site. 

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23 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

 

Yet another quality post by one of the most quality posters on this quality site. 

 

I told you: not in front of the kids.

 

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 If he plays well under Sebastian Aho's dad, who coaches Kärpät, maybe the Hurricanes would be interested.  It's 'prove it' -time for him, even to get a chance of a stint in the NHL.

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Maybe Pullsy should take up Fortnite or some other video game. Seems to b e working for his countryman in Winnipeg. :NinjaLookLeftRight1:

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On 8/20/2019 at 7:43 PM, JR Ewing said:

- I want a team where I get a place in one of the first two chains and where I get to play for 15 minutes per game. Then I could show what I'm going for. That is my main goal, says Puljujärvi to the TV program Lääri, which can be viewed on Youtube.

 

I think that's the best summary of a person with a sense of entitlement.

 

"Give me everything FIRST, and then I'll show you I can do it."

 

Didn't he also pout when he was sent to Bakersfield? 

 

The truth is not very many hockey players in this world are cut out to have successful NHL careers. I'd guess 0.1% - 1 out of every 1000, and even that might be generous. 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, brelic said:

 

I think that's the best summary of a person with a sense of entitlement.

 

"Give me everything FIRST, and then I'll show you I can do it."

 

Didn't he also pout when he was sent to Bakersfield? 

 

The truth is not very many hockey players in this world are cut out to have successful NHL careers. I'd guess 0.1% - 1 out of every 1000, and even that might be generous. 

 

 

 

 

The word (and that's all that it really is for all we know) is that Puljujarvi, through this agent, instructed the Oilers that he wouldn't report to Edmonton unless he was assured that he would be in the NHL rather than the American League. I don't know if that's true. It's true that Todd McLellan, a few different times, signaled to the front office that he didn't think JP was ready, because he sat for him long periods at a time, which isn't what you want to do with a developing player. Chiarelli took a long time to send him down.

 

Then, at the beginning of last season, McLellan once again sat Puljujarvi and (from what we're told in reports) told Chiarelli he wouldn't put him back in the lineup because the kid just refused to listen or adapt (not to mention he could barely understand a word the coach said), so Chia sent the kid down and about two weeks later, fired Todd McLellan. JP had 4 points in 4 games, and when Ken Hitchcock was hired, declared that he knew how to unlock the kid and told Chiarelli to bring him back up.

 

Within two weeks, Hitch was parking him on the bench for much of the game, and another couple of weeks after that was sitting him as well.

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46 minutes ago, JR Ewing said:

 

The word (and that's all that it really is for all we know) is that Puljujarvi, through this agent, instructed the Oilers that he wouldn't report to Edmonton unless he was assured that he would be in the NHL rather than the American League. I don't know if that's true. It's true that Todd McLellan, a few different times, signaled to the front office that he didn't think JP was ready, because he sat for him long periods at a time, which isn't what you want to do with a developing player. Chiarelli took a long time to send him down.

 

Then, at the beginning of last season, McLellan once again sat Puljujarvi and (from what we're told in reports) told Chiarelli he wouldn't put him back in the lineup because the kid just refused to listen or adapt (not to mention he could barely understand a word the coach said), so Chia sent the kid down and about two weeks later, fired Todd McLellan. JP had 4 points in 4 games, and when Ken Hitchcock was hired, declared that he knew how to unlock the kid and told Chiarelli to bring him back up.

 

Within two weeks, Hitch was parking him on the bench for much of the game, and another couple of weeks after that was sitting him as well.

 

Hmmm...

 

Now this is just a hunch, but it occurs to me that Pullsy is just not a very good hockey player. 

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59 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

 

Hmmm...

 

Now this is just a hunch, but it occurs to me that Pullsy is just not a very good hockey player. 

 

That could be the case, but he was a really good junior, and was definitely not a passenger on that great line with him, Laine and Aho. He was a consensus lottery pick at 18, though that never assures success. It's become extremely evident that Aho has the wheels and brains, and Laine has the frame and elite shot but not the brains. Puljujarvi also has the frame and the wheels, but I think his best qualities are as a disrupter and possession-helper (if that makes sense).

 

Some of this is made much worse because the Oilers (whether at the insistence of Puljujarvi or their own idiocy) brought him into the NHL far too soon, and then vaccillated between playing him with Milan Lucic and Jujhar Khaira (and wondering where the offense was),  not playing him at all, and also yo-yo'ing him back and forth between the AHL and pressbox.

 

Jesse Puljujarivi is emotionally immature and was very unprepared to play hockey at the NHL level, but the talent level is there. The problem is that he should have been left in Europe to develop, but the Oilers have, for a very long time, insisted on using the NHL as a development league when the number of players that can do and thrive is very small.

 

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      The day of that draft, I thought that he would surely pick Puljujarvi, and then he didn't. I was pretty shocked actually, as I thought it would be a perfect match. As ever, what we don't know about these things greatly outweighs what we do know, but it would seem that he saw things pretty well. I don't know if this is fan talk or what, but my understanding is that school did not come very easily to Puljujarvi, and that he effectively quit attending at 16, to "concentrate on hockey".  
    • 2
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      Kurt Leavins, Edmonton Journal   .If you missed Jesse Puljujarvi on Friday re-stating his demand to be traded, the Cult of Hockey’s David Staples recounts it Hidden Content Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content. . While I have written and still think it’s possible Puljujarvi will be in camp this Fall, the bigger question has really become: How did we get to this point? There’s no question the organizati
    • 2
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      I remember when Jarkko caught hell for drafting PLD over this guy.....looks like the right move now.
    • 2
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      And mature. Yup to all that. But he bares responsibility for being an uncoachable and disinterested (e.g., in learning English) player.
    • 2
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      In the good old days the Finns typically didn't leave the Finnish league until they had played there for a couple of seasons. Selänne was 22, Saku Koivu 21, Jere Lehtinen 22 when they made the transition. Olli Jokinen was 19, played a  few games, came back to Finland, and returned to the NHL for the next season. In hindsight Puljujärvi and IMO Laine as well should have stayed in Finland and matured at least for a season, possibly two, before making the transition.
    • 1
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      Maybe Pullsy should take up Fortnite or some other video game. Seems to b e working for his countryman in Winnipeg. 
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