He had a few top signings slip through his fingers, but scored a winner with ECHL All-Star Michael Forney.
Forney has a résumé in excess of any other single player in the history AIHL. Sure, there have been former stars like NHL’er Rob Zamuner but Forney is a rising star, fully-fit, and has just come off a career season.
Should Michael Forney be successful and happy in the AIHL, word will get back to his teammates and even officials in the ECHL that the AIHL is more than a novelty in the middle of an ice hockey desert.
The risk of bringing in such a hyped player, however, we shall call the “Forney effect”.
He arrived on Thursday night, and would have only met his teammates on the Friday night, or possibly Saturday morning, before the game in Newcastle.
No time to skate with his linemates, learn team systems, or recover from the jet lag of playing a game that is at the equivalent time of 3AM in US Mountain Standard Time.
The “Forney effect” is bringing in a player so mesmerising, that his own teammates are captivated and want to follow his lead. Then you have a new player trying to fit in with this team’s systems, while the teammates instead are trying to fit with the new player.
Injecting a new “halo” player into your top line causes a domino effect, displacing a player into your second line, and a second line player into your third. Suddenly you have three new lines, not one.
Much of his success will depend on his teammates – other players reminded me last night that no matter how good an individual player can be, he can only reach that potential with comparable and complementary teammates.
With two imports yet to come, hopefully these guys will be the missing pieces for the Perth Thunder. We fully expect Michael Forney and the Thunder being a force in the AIHL 2013 season.
There will be a new Forney effect – a bunch of points as he hits his groove and develops chemistry with his linemates over the season. Less than 24 hours later, Forney was using himself a bait in order to set up his teammates, successfully helping his team to their first win of 2013.