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11-01-2004, 07:34 PM
  #36
Ziggy Stardust
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I find Lehoux's venture in the minors to be similar to that of Eric Belanger's. Both were quite productive in the QMJHL, but in their first couple of seasons in the AHL, they both went through some setbacks.

In Belanger's case, he was constantly hurt and he wasn't played on the top scoring units (mainly due to the fact that the Kings were sharing an affiliate with the Canadiens in Fredricton, where Montreal was the primary affiliate and the coaching staff gave their players top billing).

I recall many people thinking Belanger would amount to nothing, but he adjusted and kept working on his overall game, which got him to where he is today, and he has done more than anyone anticipated as a 3rd line center. He's been quite effective in a checkling line role, winning faceoffs, always on the ice against the oppositions top scoring unit, and constantly used on the penalty killing teams.

There are many players who have blossomed in their mid-to-late 20's... Derek Armstrong is another example of that who is on the Kings roster, and he tore up the AHL and all he ever really needed was an opportunity, and we saw what a great "plug in" he became as a top 2 C playing with Ziggy Palffy or in between Luc and Klatt. Is he a top 2 line C on most NHL clubs? Probably not, but adding a player like him is a positive addition to any NHL club.

So my point is, don't write off Lehoux. He may or may not prove you wrong, but take into consideration that he is still young and he was not used in a top six role in his previous 2 seasons in Manchester (and perhaps some Monarchs fans who have followed his progress the past few years can enlighten us on the amount of ice time he averaged).

This season, up to 7 games thus far, he has been consistently productive and there was more of a pressure for him to produce. He has also been put on the point on the main PP unit along with Grebeshkov. If you are going to be critical of Lehoux, be fair and present credible reasons as to why we should think he will amount to nothing.

If anything, thus far he has proven he at least has the ability... over the course of a season we will see if he has the drive and desire.

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