Woo hoo! The Ducks signed somebody yesterday, though his name isn't Selanne, Ryan, or Wisniewski. Cam Fowler signed a 3-year entry-level contract, perhaps a sign that the 12th-overall pick is going to be fast-tracked to the big leagues. Anaheim Calling has a more serious post on the subject here.
First off, I should note that I am vaguely optimistic about this kid -- I don't really know that much about Fowler's abilities or the likelihood that he sticks on the big club this season, but I do like that he's being given an opportunity to prove himself early. Lord knows the Anaheim blueline is a pretty weird mess of non-Niedermayers and non-Prongers right now, and it would considerably help if one of Sbisa, Mikkelson, or Fowler made a big leap forward in their development cycle.
But because I'm insensitive and a horrible punster, I've decided to skip out on the traditional Fowler signing story and instead I'm adapting it to the format and style of an already-existing novel. Of course Cam Fowler isn't really mentally challenged (I hope), but you see, it's a pun-based metaphor -- the quality of his writing style represents his progression towards NHL readiness, or something like that.
Here's the first excerpt, before any real treatment from Dr. Niedermayer:
* * *
FOWLERS FOR ALGERNON
A completely non-original story of Cam Fowler’s rapid ascent to the big leagues
progris riport 1 julie 22
Dr Needrmayer says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on. I dont no why but he says its importint so they will see if the ducks can use me on there bloo line. I hope they use me becaus Mr Murry says mabye they can make me into a nhl star. I want to be nhl star.
My name is Cam Fowler I play in Winsor team where I paly defense man. I tolld dr Needermyer and Mr murry I cant rite good but he says it dont matter he says I shud rite just like I talk, so I will try to remembir things that happin to me...yrs truly Cam Fowler.
progris riport 2-jooly 28
I had a test today. I think I faled it and I think mabye now they wont use me. What happind is I went to Mr Murrys office like they said and my ajent took me in a room with onley a desk and chares. And a nice man was in one of the rooms and he had some papers. He sed sit down Cam and make yourself cunfortible and rilax. I dint know what he was gonna do and I was holding on tite to the chare like sometimes when I go to a dentist but he kept telling me to rilax and that gets me skared because it always means its gonna hert.
The ajent says to sine the contrack, so I rite Fowler on the paper, but he gets mad and ses that I did it rong, way to big. He calls the secertary to make a new contrack and shoes me were to put Fowler on a line this time.
I dont think I passd the contrack test.
According to the actual "Flowers for Algernon" story pattern, we should see some amazingly quick improvements in Cam's hockey readiness as this season gets going and he participates more in Dr. Niedermayer's mysterious preparation experiments. We'll get to see him transform into a full-fledged hockey genius at some point, even outperforming Algernon the lab rat (Jason Blake, of course). He'll get too smart for his own good before the rigors of a first full NHL season will cause him to tragically regress back to his original stammering self -- a teenager too inexperienced to play in the big leagues.
Of course it's way too early to tell whether Fowler's upcoming season will follow that path -- will he make the rapid adjustments to become a more-than-9-game player next season? If so, will the grind of the season cause him to falter down the stretch? If so, am I going to continue to chronicle it in this plagiaristic pattern (even for me, this is a pretty terrible pun)? Who knows? But at least I had some silly semi-literary fun today -- feel free to add your own "progris riports" from a pre-ready Fowler in the comments, or just do the proper thing and defend his likely-normal intelligence.
Sorry, Cam, and welcome aboard. :)