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08-07-2009, 01:31 PM
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This is a rather tough choice for me between a few guys here, however after giving it much thought and tossing back and forth a couple times (literally), I have come to a conclusion.

First and foremost, i'll say Ray Whitney is one of if not the quietest most underrated, close to a point-per-game wingers in the game today. He has pretty well been a point per game winger (or mighty close to it) his entire career. If he could have been consistently healthy throughout his career, he could very well be one of (if not very close to) the games 1000 point wingers. I don't doubt that for a second. He is in my mind one of the better secondary scoring, complimentary wingers in the game today. I don't intend for that to be a knock on him, as on many teams he could lead them in the points column just as he did this past season and in 06-07' (When he quietly collected 83 points - good for 21st in the league which put him in company with the Sedins, Vanek, Datsyuk, Alfredsson, Marleau, Stastny, Cammalleri, to name a few. That is impressive.). I say secondary scoring winger and complimentary forward with caution as while he can display PPG pace, he isn't a typical 1st line winger who can grab the bull by the horns and lead the charge. Very quiet by nature on the ice, very complimentary to a top 6.

However, he isn't my choice. I say that because I believe there is another player on the roster who is more valuable in terms of the position and what they bring to that position and how it effects the team as a whole. And that player is long time Cane Nic Wallin.

(Kidding )--- With that said, my choice for the 3rd most valuable to the team is Joni Pitkanen. I'll keep it as brief and to the point as I can. We don't have another defenceman on the team that brings the all-around defenceman's game to the ice that Joni brings. As a team, we went without it for a very long time. A fluid skater, sound positionally, good hockey sense, smooth hands, is not afraid to get a little dirty infront of the net in or after the play, can play the top PP unit (I believe he can be more successful and more of an impact there this coming season) and log top pairing PK minutes aswell as even strength minutes. For this team, and likely many others given the opportunity and comfortability with the team and lifestyle, he is a very valuable and reliable defenceman that can be leaned on heavily. Every team needs that one defenceman who can be relied upon in every aspect of the game, and for the Hurricanes that is Pitkanen.

Without Pitkanen, we have tremendous holes on the team in many crucial areas -Our transition game, Even Strength, PP & PK.

Every contending team needs atleast one very strong component positionally in my opinion - Cam Ward is that component in net, Eric Staal is that component at forward & Joni Pitkanen is that component on defence.

That's my take.

Last edited by Guerzy: 08-07-2009 at 02:38 PM.
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