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12-19-2008, 10:29 AM
  #106
HamrlikTheStud*
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Jere played first and second line for a long time. And Higgins, despite being a bit less effective on defense, his offensive stats are way better than Jere overall.

Higgins is not a 3rd liner. On most teams in this league, he's at least a 2nd liner. You just don't see 3rd liners with 27 goals, unless your team is jampacked with offensive talent.
Thing is that he played with our best center last year. It helps. Zednik scored 31 goals in 2002-2003 and can't really be considered as a top-6 player. While I agree that he's a top-6 forward, this is exactly where the problem is. Tanguay, Lang, Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn, D'Agostini, Koivu, Higgins, Plekanec are ALL top-6 players, and while some may have a hard year, they all deserve more than bottom-6 minutes. Guys like Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn are also young 21-years-old players who will be top-6 players in a few years, maybe even this year if they keep on the progression (Latendresse seems to have taken his game to another step, I've never seen him play like he did the last two games).

You can't put offensive players who are as young as S. Kostitsyn and Latendresse on the 4th line, and you can't afford to put a guy like D'Agostini (who has been our best player in December in my opinion) on the bottom-6 with the tools he has.

Now, what are you doing? It's not that far-fetched to consider Higgins as being an expendable player, because all factors taken into consideration (age, contribution, talent, potential, salary, trade value), he's one of the first to come to mind. Put the fact that we desperately need another top-4 defenseman to be considered as a perenial contender into the mix, and you've got yourself an answer.

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