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01-22-2009, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lou4gehrig View Post
Enough, but maybe not enough. When he sits and D'Ago and Stewart play it tells you something. Alot of guys drafted after him have already passed him buy. I'd even say the Habs management values Maxwell above Chipchura at the moment.
Fair. But sitting a centre might have less to do with long term consideration by the organization, and more to do with where bodies are needed.

Chipchura did not have a strong couple of games, that was obvious to everyone including a homer like me. Three years ago, half this board was calling little Andrei Kostitsyn the draft bust of the decade. Lapierre was pegged as a career fringe player last season. Lats would never start living up to his promise. etc. etc. blah. blah. blah. Same tiresome crap over and over again. No sense of what it takes to develop a player and no time to waste before we're on to the next big thing. Greg Stewart? Matt D'Agostini? Maybe. Stewart looks like a Begin with less speed, better fighter, but only slighly better skills. D'Ago with the 1st line shot and one dimensional play might have 2nd line upside.No matter, they're fresh so they have to be better. Until other guys start knocking.

Back to Chip, it's not obvious as to what could happen at centre next year with the club. Management might even have expected he'd slot in last year but it didn't happen, with consensus being that his faceoff work killed him. Otherwise he'd have had a full year of development in the NHL. He didn't and it hurt him playing a defensive role on a terrible team in Hamilton.

There's lots of time. Some think he has to find a fit sooner rather than later and maybe management thinks the same, we have no way of knowing. On the other hand he may not be going anywhere. He's closing in on 23, in a big body. No one I know ever claimed he'd be the next incarnation of Cam Neely, but at the same age, Neely was traded to the Bruins for essentially a bag of pucks.

We also don't have to keep every pick and prospect and it may very well turn out that it works out better for him elsewhere. My sense of it is that it'll be our loss and that comes from watching his progression in Hamilton over the past two and a half seasons. I could be wrong, but I'm hoping the early write off crew is instead.

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