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Villeneuve's Short Bio


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The Short Biography of Phil Villeneuve
In Liverpool, on a damp and dreary Thursday of May 12th, 1994, Phil Villeneuve emerged from the darkness of the womb, and into the darkness of a typical English storm early in the evening. His father always used to say that it was a good thing he decided to pop out on a Thursday as opposed to a Saturday or Sunday, or any day that conflicted with Formula One because as much as he loves his son, he also loves the Grand Prix and, in all fairness, the Grand Prix were there long before Phil. 
Villeneuve was an energetic baby to say the least. He hated staying still and would find a way to let off energy. Whether it was creeping along the floor smacking his stuffed animals away with his hands or bouncing in his crib for a solid 20 minutes, he would not be satisfied until he was exhausted. 
In elementary school during parent-teacher interviews when Phil was 8, his gym teacher, Mr. T, would remark on how Phil was a naturally talented athlete. His hand-eye co-ordination and balance were very well developed, far more so than the average child. It was then that his parents signed him up for a youth football (soccer) league. 
At the time, Villeneuve was small and slight, but with long legs. Because of this, his acceleration and pace were very difficult for his opponents to deal with. He also was very agile and could change direction in a heartbeat, making him a formidable striker. He also had the uncanny ability to pick a pass that apparently only he would see as an opening which always made his coaches go berserk with praise. Although he loved football, something about it didn't feel right to Villeneuve. He was very tactile and need to be doing something with his hands.
The solution to his problem came one morning while he was browsing the sports section of the Telegraph, one of England’s main newspapers.  In the corner of the box-score page, was a tiny little section entitled: 
Hockey – VHL Finals
Davos vs Toronto Game 6
Davos wins 3-1 – Davos is the Season 24 Champions. 
Villeneuve asked his father about hockey and was informed it was a sport played predominantly in North America on ice with sticks. This caught Villneuve's full attention and decided to look into the sport a bit more. He read up on the VHL and started following the league. He quickly decided that the winger, Phil Gerrard, and the defenseman, David Walcott, of Toronto, were  his two favourite players (mainly because of their English background). Once Season 25 of the VHL had started Phil was up extra early every morning to get his update on what was going on around the league, collecting stats and getting to know the players of the VHL. 
Finally when he was 9 years old, he plucked up the courage to ask he father for a pair of skates and some skating lessons. It took him a while to do this because he thought his father would be disappointed that he wanted to play hockey instead of football (for which he showed much promised in). Much to his delight, his father encouraged him to chance hockey and gave him an early birthday present and took him to the only Ice Arena in Liverpool to buy his first pair of skates. He was signed up for a couple of skating lessons and then enrolled in the only hockey league in Liverpool for his age group. 
The quality of play in the Liverpool Ice Hockey League was exactly how you would expect – very poor. Those that could stand up for more than a minute on skates without slipping dramatically and come crashing down on their ass were considered the cream of the crop. Those that could raise the puck were considered god-like. Phil Villeneuve, at nine years of age, only after having 3 skating lessons, could do both of those things. Of course, he had some skills to refine. Every time he tried to quickly change directions, he always seemed to catch an edge and end up gliding across the ice in the wrong direction, but just like a bouncy ball he would spring up to try again. 
As he grew up and started physically developing, he was no longer small and agile. He managed to maintain his agility but by the time he was 14 he had hit 5’11” and weighed about 175lbs.  His skating was improving but his lack of competition seemed to slightly delay his development.  He was bigger than most of the kids on the ice and used it to rush forward and intimidate the defenders. He knew he wanted to become a professional hockey player but in the league he was in he was going nowhere. He had to wait until he was 15 in order to join the nation-wide Junior League which had ages ranging from 15-18 with teams all across England. 
The try-outs were held in London, where the league is based out of, and were during the summer so they did not interfere with his studies. For the entire year before the try-outs he went to the Liverpool Arena 5 days a week to skate and practice movement on the ice. When he stepped off the ice after the try-outs, he was thoroughly pleased with his performance. A couple of weeks later he received the phone call he had been eagerly awaiting – He had made the Liverpool Junior team! 
There were 3 practices a week and one game or two games. It was demanding but Villeneuve's drive to achieve his goal was enough to see him through.  In his rookie season with the team, the Liverpool Lasers, he compiled a record-breaking 61 assists in the 42 game season for a rookie. He also found the back of the net 17 times for an impressive total of 78 points. This was especially impressive due to the fact that half way through the season, he had switched to defense as per the recommendation of the coach. 
In his next two seasons with the Lasers, he continued growing and reached a height of 6'3". He also put on more muscle mass, now weighing in at 195lbs. Now used to being on the defensive side of things, he felt he could see the ice much better and  distribute the puck accordingly, thereby making smarter, better plays overall. His stats for his season and third season with the Lasers are listed below:
Season 2, Liverpool Lasers – Games:  40 Goals:  24 Assists: 70 Points: 94
Season 3, Liverpool Lasers – Games:  42 Goals:  31 Assists: 86 Points: 117
In his second season he was given the assistant captaincy and in his third and final years with the Lasers he was voted captain by the players and his coaches for his leadership on and off the ice. Villeneuve was obviously much more skilled than anyone in the league and trainers flocked around him, everyone wanting to give him different advice.  He didn’t much like the extra attention, and often asked if they could help others on the team that needed more work.  
Then, he got a phone call from the GM of the Bratislava Watchmen, asking if he was interested in playing got them. The time had finally come for him to fulfill his dreams. He was drafted fourth overall (with the top four picks all coming to Bratislava) and went off to establish himself within the confines of the biggest international league in the world. 
The good news continued when, he was drafted by Riga Reign in the first round at pick number 8! Mike Szatkowski, the GM, explained that he would need Villeneuve to improve his games in the minors. He sent a number of the coaching staff to Bratislava to oversee his development. They were extremely helpful and after his first week gave him a run-down on his strengths and weaknesses that they had identified:
“He is, at the moment, way off the pace of the game.  It always takes him a couple of extra seconds to figure out a turn-over has happened, or sometimes he loses sight of where the puck has gone in play. Granted  he comes from a league of much lower quality but in order to be effective and successful in this league he needs to get on pace.”
“He doesn’t seem to look very comfortable in skates. His movements are ridged and look forced. He’s got great balance and always manages to stay on his feet, but when he does crossovers he looks like a gorilla learning to waltz. Graceful is not an adjective I would use to describe him on the ice. He does not stop as sharply as most players which is why he seems slow off the mark. Actually his acceleration is quite quick; he just takes the extra split second to stop.”
“I feel he needs to show more toughness and assertiveness on the ice. He is a big strong guy and he can use his size to his advantage. I can tell he is just trying to get a feel for the game over here but he seems so small and timid on the ice that a chicken could slam him into the boards and knock the wind out of him. Getting physically involved (and I don’t mean dropping the gloves) in the play will help him establish himself more confidence and will allow him to play better and more comfortably.”
“The kid has so much heart and a willingness and hunger to learn that, even at this level, is very difficult to fulfill. Any advice we give him he laps up and immediately tries to implement into his game.  He is usually one of the first players to come into the change room and one of the last to leave. He knows his weaknesses and tries to improve them on a daily basis. He also picks up on things quickly. For example, learning when to determine whether it's a good idea to pinch in the offensive zone or not."
“He has a great sense of the game. He has an uncanny ability to know exactly where his teammates are on the ice and where they will be in a matter of moments. He won’t even need to look up to pass the puck right to the tape of the intended recipient’s stick - not to say that he keeps his head down because he doesn't. It works wonders when bringing the puck out of the zone and gives the forwards more of a licence to roam looking to get open, knowing he'll find them. Good man.”
“Villeneuve, despite being a defenseman, has some fancy stick-work.  His hand-eye co-ordination is extraordinary. He practices juggling in the dressing room and is already actually teaching others to do it. He will juggle 5 pucks at a time and be able to hold a conversation with someone. This skill transfers well on the ice. When he is stationary it seems he have the puck on a string. Once he improves his skating, he will be able to open up tons of space for himself. He’s got some of the quickest hands I’ve ever seen. Expect this guy to pull some great new moves on players throughout his career... I wonder if he'd ever consider switching to the wing? “
The story thus far. 
Edited by ssda911
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Overview- 3/3 - Really great write up. I hate that shaking head gif ha.I'm glad Davos inspired your career :D

Grammar- 2/2 - Works for me!

Presentation- 1/1 - Looks good!

Pros- 2/2 - These are good.

Cons- 2/2 - These are good too!

Overall- 10/10


Final: 10

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