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The time has come to trade Cassius Darrow

The time has come to trade Cassius Darrow
Richard York, Staff Writer at
November 24, 2019
After four seasons, 200 regular season, and 63 playoff games, it’s time for @WannabeFinn to trade Cassius Darrow.

This might sound like an extreme take, but hear me out. It’s an idea that’s been on my mind for a bit that really crystalized with the current lockout.
Cassius Darrow is a good player. He’s a smooth skater, rarely makes mistakes, and occasionally is good for a big play. No one should regret taking him fourth overall in the S45 Draft; Buffalo made good on that pick (especially in comparison to the other defenseman they drafted). The stories of his off-ice training and practice intensity are growing to be legend, both here in Buffalo, as well in Denver and back home in Germany. But Cassius Darrow is not a super star, and not the player we need to bring the Stampede another Challenge Cup.

In his first two seasons in the SHL, Darrow was the plucky rookie playing very sheltered minutes. While he put up decent numbers in his minimal role (30 points in 13.82 minutes per game), he rarely showed anything that blew the casual fan away. He was a good soldier that fans wanted to see more of, but coaches clearly didn’t have faith in (thus acquiring expensive rentals like Connor Tanner after trading GOD McZehrl).

When Darrow did get the opportunity to step into a bigger role, he hasn’t excelled how many expected him to. The last two seasons he’s played with Tatu Makela as the de facto top pairing for the Stampede. In S49, despite playing the second most minutes on the team, he played an ultimately passive game all season. He brought no physical edge, even being outhit by 19-year veteran and captain Alexis Metzler @Avakael. He finished fifth on the team in shots blocked, an element that previously was his bread and butter to showcase his intensity as a player.

This past season (S50), Darrow finally looked every inch of a star, spending the first half of the year in the top five for defensive scoring and being on the midseason shortlist for the Scott Stevens award. Then in the last 25 games, Darrow fell apart and went back to the same tired on-ice habits and faded into the background. It was so severe that WannabeFinn again turned to the deadline rental market to bring in The @Dude to stabilize the Stampede blueline. The Dude joined Poopity Scoop @Baelor Swift on the second pairing and lit a spark in Mr. Scoop to the tune of an offensive clinic down the stretch. The team also went 2-8-2 with The Dude. Darrow added a single point, an assist, in those 12 games, and was a nonfactor as the Stampede went out quietly to the Hamilton Steelhawks.

At this point, Buffalo fans (and fantasy hockey players in general) are used to disappointment from Tatu Makela, The Finn is notorious for long, strange stretches where he looks like one of the best defensemen in the league, but never turns that into higher accolades. He had a stretch from S41 to S48 where he broke the 30 point scoring mark in 7 out of 8 seasons (S47 being the only outlier). Since Darrow was promoted to his full time defensive partner, Makela’s gone two seasons without breaking 30 points. The collective of the current Stampede blueline is lesser than the sum of their parts, and a change needs to be made.

In juniors as well as the SHL, Darrow has always been overlooked compared to some of his peers. In juniors, he was in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, but lost out to Sanyi Kocsis’s @”daBenchwarmer” outstanding rookie campaign. The next year, Kocsis dominated his way to the Quilha Agante Trophy as top defenseman (Darrow was a finalist, but really never had a shot). The next year, Darrow faded into the background as Colorado slumped, the young German unable to fully take the reins of leadership.  When the Raptors needed him most, Cassius Darrow fell short. As a rookie SHLer, Darrow was (again) overshadowed by flashier defenseman in (surprise) Sanyi Kocsis and Guy Zheng as finalists for the Jesster Trophy.

Some will argue (and have already argued) that this shows just how underrated Darrow is. Not so fast. I believe Cassius Darrow’s off-ice persona showcases more reasons why the accolades haven’t come and why Buffalo fans haven’t warmed up to the fifth year pro.

Over the last three seasons, the top five jersey sales for Stampede players include Hippo Passamus, Cedric Robinson, Viktor Marius, Alexis Metzler, and Monkey D. Luffy. Darrow was 11th, behind names like Poopity Scoop, Tatu Makela, Oliver Konig, Satoshi Zigzagooney, and Louie Garrett. Usually homegrown talent like Darrow would be beloved, especially in a hockey mad town like Buffalo. The results haven’t followed that theory to date.

This isn’t the only example of how fans struggle to connect with Darrow. Allow me a personal anecdote. Once a season, the Stampede host a fan autograph night after a home game, giving fans a chance to meet their favorite players. I’ve attended the last five years, and have had chances to see where the traffic ebbs and flows. His first season, Darrow was at a station with Brock Becker and Oliver Konig, and it was clear many fans were excited to chat with the young rookie (as well as the star Russian center Konig @Sleepy). I was one of them.

Once I got the chance to meet him, I was shocked at how little of the spotlight Darrow wanted. A small girl and her father were ahead of me that first year. Becker had a toothy grin and chatted effortlessly with the father and child as they moved through the line. Once they got to Darrow however, it was clear how uncomfortable and out of his element the rookie rearguard was. This was exacerbated by the young girl’s excitement to finally meet one of her favorite players. Darrow had a forced smile that almost looked like a grimace, as he forced out a bit of small talk with the fans that passed through. It was clear he wanted to be anywhere else than sitting there, signing autographs and talking to fans. The young girl was noticeably hurt by the frigid treatment she received from the rookie. My interaction wasn’t much better. He quickly signed the poster I asked all the players to sign, and thanked me for coming out, but there was little more to engender love and devotion to the rookie. As the years passed, I noticed Darrow is always paired with a more beloved player—Monkey D. Luffy and GOD McZehrl in S48, Poopity Scoop in S49, and Cedric Robinson in S50—to keep traffic flowing. Last year, I spoke to one fan that waited an hour and half in the line to meet Luffy, Bobby Sharp, and captain Alexis Metzler, and was thrilled to do so. I can’t fathom a fan having the same exuberance for Cassius Darrow.

Off the ice, Darrow is quiet. His postgame interviews are short and serious. Any community event appearances are perfunctory, and feel forced. He works hard to be the best he can on the ice, and during team service events, he’s always a person volunteering for the dirtiest or hardest jobs. In those times, we can see Darrow the man at peace with his labor. As soon as you ask him to attend a fancy event or fun outing, the icy mask is back. The media (and fans) have had chances to meet many of the players’ significant others. We’ve never as much as seen Cassius Darrow bring a date to a team or league function. This enigmatic bachelor has never been in the gossip columns or done a single thing untoward in his personal life. How can we relate to someone we don’t (or can’t) know?

Soon enough Satoshi Zigzagooney and Augustus Wang will be ready for the big time, and they’ve both shown flashes of greatness during their SMJHL days. Management should be ready for this and move Darrow, just as they’ve retooled in the past. The German won’t lead us to a third Challenge Cup during the @WannabeFinn/@Tomen era. Noted as a longtime leader from his tenure with the Colorado Raptors, Darrow was passed over for a chance to wear an A for the Stampede, seeing the younger Monkey D. Luffy @TnlAstatine selected to join the leadership team.

The writing’s on the wall—it’s time to trade Cassius Darrow.

StampedeGermany  GermanyStampede

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Thank you @karey the god, @tweedledunn, @Benson and @sköldpaddor  for sigs! 

A third and Connor Brown, who says no?

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S45 Jesster Trophy Winner

I agree, trade him, old and busted Wink

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Let me check the Chiefs 1st inventory

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Usa [Image: jZtKPwK.png]  [Image: Thz4BYW.png] Usa

keep talkin kid you’ll find yourself playing in the GOMHL in no time!

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And in comes the trade rumours

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Sig Credit: Flappy


First SMJHL Goal: Colorado Raptors, Emeka Valentine-Okoli 1 (Mikelis Ozoliņš 4, Loki Odinsson 3) at 3:12, 2nd Period (GWG) / SMJHL S47 Game 47 Day 12: Colorado Raptors vs Detroit Falcons
First SHL Goal: Texas Renegades, Emeka Valentine-Okoli 1 (Josef Kubinec 5, Ricky Spanish 4) at 16:23, 2nd Period / SHL S51 Game 71 Day 16: Edmonton Blizzard vs Texas Renegades

LARRY FOULKE/International GM

Eternal Raptors, onwards we roll Renegades
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Metzler was in exactly the same situation, right down to the fans hating him. Now he's captain. Stick it out bud o/

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12-06-2019, 08:14 AMAvakael Wrote: Metzler was in exactly the same situation, right down to the fans hating him. Now he's captain. Stick it out bud o/




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