Wednesday, August 19, 2009

“It was a team effort throughout the year’’ - Colten Teubert

A very good article by Rob Vanstone in today's Leader-Post. It is worth a read if I say so myself. I can honestly say that I have mixed feelings about some of Vanstone's columns/stories but there are times that I agree with everything he has to say and today I believe he hit the nail on the head.

Article: Regina Pats' Colten Teubert looking to move foward as a team


Regina Pats' Colten Teubert looking to move foward as a team

By Rob Vanstone, Leader-Post August 18, 2009

REGINA — Colten Teubert is the first person many disgruntled Regina Pats fans blamed for the team’s woes last season.

But he won’t talk in the first person when asked about the 2008-09 WHL campaign.

“It was a team effort throughout the year,’’ the 19-year-old defenceman said. “We lost as a team. We’re just going to continue to stick together and work on it. We learn from all our mistakes. We’re just going to have to use that this upcoming year. If we do get in a little bit of a skid, we’ll know how to dig ourselves out.’’

After challenging for first place early in the season, the Pats hit the skids and ended up missing the playoffs with a 27-39-1-5 record. Along the way, Teubert heard the boos and catcalls from some of the Pats’ faithful.

“It was a disappointment last year, so to start fresh this year is good,’’ he said, referring to the team in general as it prepares to open training camp Thursday in Lumsden.

Evidently, “we’’ is the operative word for Teubert. There is little evidence of the word “I’’ in his vocabulary, at least in interview situations.

While Teubert is guarded in his comments about last season, Pats general manager Brent Parker does not mince words when asked about the rangy rearguard.

“I hope he can start fresh,’’ Parker said. “Colten seemed to be the lightning rod for our year last year and I thought it was really unfair. He took some stuff in the media. He took some stuff from the fans. Yeah, he said some things he probably wishes he could take back. I’ve done that once or twice in my life, too.

“He’s a young guy who cares deeply and wants to succeed and he’s going to be a real big part of where we’re going forward. I’m not worried about Colten. Colten’s a good kid. Anybody who spends any time with him really would recognize that. He’s a good kid who sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him. I’d rather have that than have to rein somebody in and have to kick him in the backside.’’

Parker draws a parallel with former Pats captain Barret Jackman, whom the St. Louis Blues selected in the first round (17th overall) of the 1999 NHL entry draft. Jackman had some struggles as an 18-year-old after being drafted, much like Teubert — the Los Angeles Kings’ first-rounder (13th overall) in 2008.

“(Jackman) wanted to do everything — be the tough guy, marry the prom queen, be the first overall pick, and do everything all at once instead of just settling back, keeping your game simple and playing his game,’’ Parker recalled. “I think Colten got caught up a little bit in that last year, too, where he just tried to do too much.

“When he keeps his game simple and makes that good first pass and is a mean SOB in his own end, that’s what he is and that’s what he’ll always be. But when he tries to do too much — and it’s generally done out of caring and wanting to throw the team on his back — that sometimes gets you into trouble.’’

Ideally, Teubert would like to display his skills with the Kings, who signed him to an NHL contract a year ago.

“I haven’t heard much from the Kings,’’ he said. “They’ve just told me to come into camp prepared. I’ve trained hard all summer. I just hope I can do my best and show what I’ve got.’’

If that isn’t sufficient to secure a roster spot with Los Angeles, Teubert will return for a fourth season with the Pats. As a bonus, there is the prospect of playing in the Saskatoon-based 2010 world junior hockey championship after helping Canada win the 2009 gold medal in Ottawa.

“The opportunity to play in Canada again at the world juniors would be unbelievable,’’ Teubert said. “We’ve got a pretty cool-looking squad. We just had the (summer) camp in Saskatoon and it was fun. If I don’t make the NHL this year, there’s always the chance I can next year.’’

rvanstone@leaderpost.canwest.com

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