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09-19-2004, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephen
I don't understand how anybody could even consider picking Gagne over Lecavalier.

Lecavalier is a Stanley Cup champion at the age of 24. He was the MVP of the World Cup and was selected to the All-Star team. He was a big part of those victories: the Lightning and Richards, St. Louis, Modin, etc only started succeeding when Vinny bought into the system and became a responsible team guy. Lecavalier is also more durable. He's bigger, more talented and has more potential.

Simon Gagne is a good young player, but he's had the luxury of playing on a contender for all of his career. He's been surrounded by experienced talent in guys like Roenick, Recchi, Primeau, Leclair and Lindros etc from day one, so he's never had to deal with pressure. Even then, his greatest offensive output in any one season has been 66 points. His playoff outputs have always been mediocre. He was pretty invisible in the World Cup. He's missed a lot of time to injury as well, which doesn't say much about his durability.
I don't understand how anyone can't understand the debate... hopefully Gagne will get first line duty rather than playing defense this year and make it even more interesting.

Was he the first 24 year old to win a cup? otherwise I don't find this an interesting statistic in any way. The bolts had a pretty good year the year before w/out Vinny buying into the system at all. "He's bigger," that matters for St. Louis, "more talented and has more potential" vague and unprovable claims in this argument. more talented at what, scoring? sure, he's been getting top-line duty and PP time, he SHOULD be scoring more points. is a GIANT step down than Gagne defensively, in a league that is ruled by defensive teams.

Hitch is going to hurt point total, ask Modano, so that is a factor. He's a .46 ppg player in the playoffs to Vinny's 0.64 ppg playoff production, i'm not blown away considering the roles they play for their teams. give Gagne PP time and a center like Zhammy and his numbers are just as good as that.

"He was pretty invisible in the World Cup."

you didn't notice him out on the ice killing the time at the end of every close game? his line with St. Louis and Richards was pretty friggin good to go with that.

ugh injury BS. didn't miss last year... came back from a seperated shoulder quickly and then had a mis-diagnosed groin issue that nagged him for a season. if Vinny has a groin problem next year is he suddenly gonna be "injury-prone." he's 24, if he doesn't have another injury between now and 30 he's suddenly durable. Vinny could do his knee tomorrow and have that nag him the rest of his career. injuries are non-quantifiable in this type of debate, seeing as you may be able to predict the future, but i am not. unfair argumentative stance.

look, you can make a strong case for Vinny, really you aren't going wrong with either. However, he isn't the messiah that he was made out to be when he first got to Tampa... and unless he suddenly finds game that isn't there he isn't about to jump the top of the league in scoring, but will maintain and float around the upper echelon of scoring in the league... he wasn't even top 20 last year, while being a much poorer defensive player than Gagne.

it's closer than people are allowing for, especially in the modern NHL where defense is first.

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