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01-01-2005, 04:33 PM
Peter Griffin
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If were just comparing pure talent and ability, I'd take Naslund. Factor in age and it sways a bit.

Defensively, I'd give the edge to Elias, he plays in a strict defensive system in New Jersey and has been very successful under it. But Naslund has completely turned around his defensive game to the point where he is now atually a decent defensive player, no longer a liabilty, but also not a player you're going to put out there to protect a lead.

Offensively, Naslund gets the edge here IMO. Sure Elias plays in a stricter defensive system and with lesser linemates(although I'd rate Gomez as a better center than Morrison), but Naslund has outproduced Elias by a rather wide margin over the past 4 seasons. In that time frame Naslund has 164 goals to Elias' 115, and 353 points to Elias' 295. Thats a pretty wide margin right there. I think it's also safe to say that Naslund has effectively made the players around him better. Bertuzzi was a 25 goal guy before he lined up beside Naslund, then he exploded for seasons of 36 and 46 goals. And last year, when he did slump, that didn't pull Naslund down, he continued to put up solid offensive numbers which we he is known for.

And this brings me to perhaps the biggest difference between the two, consistency. Take a look at Naslund's offensive numbers over the past 4 years, he's been pretty consistent, improving every year until his best year in 2002/03. Then look at Elias' numbers, 96, 61, 57, 81. So great year, average year, average year, great year. That's not the type of consistency you want from your star player.

But anyway, when you factor this in, I'd take Naslund. Consistency goes a long way in making my descision, and Naslund has consistency written all over him.

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