Thread: Value of: Simmonds for Neal
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08-08-2010, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon Casey 91 View Post
Maybe, and it's good to get an unbiased opinion, but you don't remain relegated to the third line if you have offensive top 6, possibly top 3 skills. LA does not have the depth up front to justify it. Simmonds is young and we've already seen him move up the lines, I don't know with what kind of success (Kings fans could quote it) but we'll see if he has the tools to stay there.

Jere Lehtinen was/is proven to be elite defensively, yet he had the skill that kept him in the top 6, making any line better with his defensive play while put up solid totals. MOTS, you don't keep a skilled player in a 3rd line checking role and off the PP just because he is an elite checker. I'm not saying Simmonds can't, won't or shouldn't move up the line up or that he can't be successful, it's been the case to date that Neil has a little more offensive jam ultimately leaving him with the higher ceiling (greater current value) of the two.
This is a philosophical issue. It varies from coach to coach. Some coaches might go for a more rounded lineup, others may try to load up the top two lines, depending on what they think makes a better team. It does seem that Murray prefers vets to get ice time, which also figures into it. But yes, my guess would be that he soon forces his way into the top six.

In the playoffs (I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned more), he was the only forward who was a consistent threat at even strength, out playing players like Brown and Kopitar. He was bumped up to the top line where he was very effective. He kind of reminds me of Kesler, really athletic and extremely driven. If I was going to guess what kind of player he will be in his prime, I would guess a 70ish point player with some Selke nominations (difficult to get as a winger), while being good captain material.

Ya, technically Neal has more value because he scored more points. Simmonds might have more moneyball value, if you will, as he might have put up similar numbers in the same situation. I would personally take Simmonds over Neal. Also remember that really good production early in an NHL career doesn't necessarily mean that they'll become great. See: Tanguay, Alex. It's not a given that he'll be a perennial 40+ goal scorer in a couple seasons as some people are suggesting.

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