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10-05-2003, 08:39 AM
  #8
Jag68Sid87
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Perhaps if Higgins hasn't gotten any minutes with scoring forwards in preseason means that the coaching staff wants to see what Higgins can do on a checking line. Why must Higgins challenge for the Calder trophy as a rookie? Why couldn't he be a role player in Year 1? Doug Gilmour was a checking-line center in his first season in the NHL. Joe Thornton played on the fourth line as an NHL rookie. Neither player came close to winning the Calder, yet their careers panned out all right.

Sometimes, young players just need to play at the NHL level, gain the invaluable experience of life in the big league and learn learn learn. Higgins seems like an intelligent enough athlete that could afford to skip the minor-pro game altogether. He's also very versatile and that can only help the Canadiens.

If he hasn't looked out of place, I don't see why the Canadiens wouldn't start Higgins at the NHL level. I know that big financial decisions would have to be made in the coming days but if management is serious about playing the "best" players this season, regardless of contract status or experience, then I think it's safe to say Higgins, Plekanec and Ryder are starting the season in Montreal. However, we've seen in the past how politics get tangled in roster decisions.

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