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03-29-2010, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
I think anytime we are discussing Letang and Goligoski we need to be reminded of the growing pains when developing an NHL defenceman within the system. Orpik wasn't a regular in the Pens line-up until he was 23, after 3 years of college and 2 full years in the AHL.. that was '03/'04, and he was still NO WHERE NEAR the solid defenceman he is now. Whitney was developed almost identically.. not a regular until age 23, with 3 years of college and a full season in the AHL, and it wasn't until his second full NHL season where his offensive game took off (did his defensive play ever??).
Goligoski is from the same developmental route, 3 years college, 1 1/2 in the minors, and really only in his first FULL year in "the show," coming off a visible injury. Letang went straight from the CHL to the NHL with nothing more than a month in the A.. Being his third year in the bigs, he is still only 22..
Point being, the fact that Goligoski and Letang are on par in their development to proven players like that has a much more positive twist that what is being thrown around on here. IMO Letang is ahead, and already showing top pairing ability at this early stage in his development.
Something for everyone to think about... If today was the day that the '07 version of Whitney signed his 6 yr/24mil contract with the pens.. would you feel better having a 2010 version of Letang receiving that deal instead?
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