Thread: Larry Brooks: Rangers free agent thoughts
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04-16-2010, 12:10 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
And why was he used as a 4th liner? In 2005-06, Sharp was 24 yo and getting 7+ minutes a night. Why? He couldn't beat out players like Brian Savage, Branko Radivojevic and Donald Brashear for more ice time?
Sharp was viewed as a bottom six player as he was developing in the AHL. The same can be said for Dubinsky as he was originally pegged as a bottom-six agitator. What's the problem with a player exceeding expectations?

Philly traded him after 22 games to Chicago for Matt Ellison and a 3rd round pick. Chicago gave him 16+ minutes a night and he put up 22 points in 50 games. The following year, at age 25, he put up 35 points in 80 games getting 17+ minutes a night, but he did have 20 goals.

In 2007-08, Toews and Kane joined the team and Sharp put up 36 goals and 26 assists, both well over his career high totals. Did the light just suddenly go on for Sharp, or did playing with those 2 inflate his numbers? Maybe it was both.

But that doesn't send up a red flag for you? That a 26 year old player who had never scored at even a .5 ppg pace suddenly puts up 62 points in 80 games after 2 elite talents are added to the team?
Again, why would the fact that he got better when the team got better be a red flag? If we added Brad Richards over the summer and suddenly Dubinsky turned into a 70 point winger, would you be as concerned? Of course not. Players can and often do get better. They don't always do it at the same rate.

It's evident from watching Sharp play that he's a legitimate top-six winger. He did just fine for himself this season when Hossa came back and took his spot with Kane and Toews. Plus, even if he is completely reliant on them to put up points, what's wrong with Gaborik helping him out?

He's signed to a good deal and plays a complete game. If he came in here and scored 30 goals on a line with Gaborik, I could care less about whether or not he's "mooching" off Gabby.

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