This was not supposed to be how the season would unfold for the Guelph Storm.
Sitting second last in the entire OHL with the possibility of being dead last after Friday night is, quite frankly, a bit shocking.
Let’s not sugar coat it, Guelph has been blown out in four of its seven games, has allowed the most goals in the OHL, has the third most penalty minutes and its special teams have been nothing short of abysmal.
But panicking is not the answer. It rarely is.
Worry? Sure. They're playing really, really badly most nights. Concern? Sure. They shouldn't be playing like this, so why are they?
But start making trades based on the first three weeks, benching players or sitting them out? No, that would likely do more harm than good. That time may come, but it isn't now.
I may sound like a broken record, because I’ve shared this before. Former Storm GM Mike Kelly once told me it takes 15 games into a season before you really know what you have.
It takes that long to learn systems, get everyone’s heads in focus after NHL camps, for rookies to figure out the league a little bit, and for coaches to figure out line combinations.
It should be November before you start re-evaluating your personnel. Before you start wondering if you have the right pieces, if players are going to develop the way you anticipated or if you overestimated their ceiling. Before you figure out if the chemistry is right.
Not that fans should be happy. If I paid $29 to watch some of the performances so far, I’d be pissed too.
But already determining that Player A and Player B need to be replaced just isn’t fair. You don’t judge players at their best or their worst, because those peaks and valleys aren’t the real barometer. Those are the exceptions.
If you were to decide on a player’s fate based on how they have performed in this 1-5-1-0 start, then you would have to say that about 15 guys should be traded, because with the odd exception, the entire team has underperformed.
But nobody forgot how to play the game over the summer.
They are in a slump. They are underperforming. This is not who this team is.
Come Nov. 5, after that 15 game mark, we may have to change that perception. But while improvement is obviously needed, significantly changing personnel to any significant degree at this point would be the wrong move.
Drastic moves based on emotion is not the way to go.