Eklund: Setoguchi for Beauchemin
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11-17-2010, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Originally Posted by
I agree generally with this sentiment, but I just can't agree with the bolded section.
Marleau came into the league as a 17 year old in 97-98, and at 22/23 (end of 01-02) he had seasons of 32, 45, 40, 52, and 44 points, with goal totals being 13, 21, 17, 25, and 21. At 23/24 and 24/25, he put up back-to-back 28 goal, 29 assist campaigns. Then, after the lockout: 86, 78, 48, 71, 83, and this year's 17 so far. Marleau had ONE YEAR where he significantly underperformed his expectations, and pretty much every other year turned out to be about right. Streakiness is one thing, and yes Marleau did have bouts of that, but Seto's struggles go past streakiness.
Thornton is similar. He had 7 points in his first year in the league, then 60, 71, 68, 101, 73, then after the lockout with the Sharks we all know. He had one blowup year but otherwise was pretty consistent through his learning curve.
You can't even say that about Clowe. It took until game 20 for Clowe to score his second goal last year, but he had 8 assists in that time - and that was still considered awful. He looked really bad on the ice too, granted, which Setoguchi does not, but from a production standpoint his slump wasn't nearly as bad.
No, Setoguchi's current struggles go far beyond what any of Marleau, Thornton, or Clowe went through to get to where they are.
Unfortunately, this is already a large drop from his being a fixture on the first line's right wing, which everyone thought he would be after his 31-goal year.
I wouldn't do the deal because I think Setoguchi's long-term 'resting point' (so to speak) is much closer to 30-goal Seto than he is to the current iteration, but Seto's production is starting to remind me of Bernier's - meteoric, and then fading fast. His stock is lower than ever right now. And if this goes on for long enough such that people actually have to start re-evaluating his talent as more of a career third-line winger, then not trading him while everyone else thinks he has 1st line potential is asset mismanagement. (That being said, Setoguchi not earning a huge payday this year and then signing on for a few more years at a 1.8-ish cap figure would be a-ok by me)
I'd prefer to compare rookie season to rookie season and so on. If you look at each player's third season, you'd see the struggle. The age, I don't think is a factor. Mostly because when Marleau came in, the Sharks had nothing. When Seto was drafted, it was the lockout draft. The Sharks were pretty much set to go in with what they had due to the very low cap and see what happens. Setoguchi's struggles are very much on par to what Marleau's struggles were. The biggest difference is that I don't expect Setoguchi to have that consistency be in question as long as Marleau did and that's mostly due to coaching. Sutter was terrible at developing offensive talent. The environment in San Jose now is much better for bringing along a talent like Setoguchi. It just takes time.
It's his third season, he's only getting paid 1.8 mil. He's not going to get a big contract until he breaks out. And if he doesn't, he doesn't but the risk-reward ratio for keeping him is in the team's favor and shouldn't be traded for a quick fix that won't really turn the team's problem into what it needs to be to contend.
As for the Bernier comparisons, I actually don't think it's valid. You never got the impression from Bernier that he was doing everything he could on and off the ice to be a better player. Setoguchi gives that impression to me and he does give a solid effort for a talented young player. A lot of his problems right now is seasoning. He's not a very smart player out there right now. That will change in time. But his effort is there a lot more often than not. I wouldn't say it's 100% like Scotty Nichol but I've seen a lot more effort and drive out of Setoguchi than I ever saw in Bernier.
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