Benoit Pouliot: not tendered qualifying offer (June 27)
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05-08-2011, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Play him in an offensive system or simplified offensive role and watch him flourish. This is a player who has had to work against his natural talents since he came into the league with varying levels of success and no real progression. In order to gain confidence, he needs to produce. In order to produce, he needs to go back to his basics, what got him into this league in the first place.
This would be difficult to do in Montreal because of how we match up lines. We match talent with talent and base our game around solid two-way play, something Pouliot has yet to master to the point where he can take on a top NHL line. If we were to roll three offensive lines and bring in another top six forward, he may have an opportunity here but, based on the players we have available to us now. Another option is putting Desharnais up with Eller and Pouliot but there's a lot of uncertainty there.
Another option could be to package him with our first round draft pick to a rebuilding team for a younger player who who suits our needs and can play in the top six. As an example, let's say to Ottawa for Nick Foligno and their second round draft pick. Ottawa gives up a promising, young forward who doesn't mind playing in the corners or in front of the net which suits Montreal's needs and in return upgrade their 36th overall pick to the 17th and get an enigmatic player with a ton of skill and a lot of potential. Benoit Pouliot gets a fresh start in an environment where he has room to make mistakes as Ottawa (/Florida/Edmonton/the Islanders) is not expected to be competitive this season and likely gets time to play his game with established players between Michalek, Spezza, and Alfredsson (or players like them).
That's my 2 cents on Pouliot. Productive thoughts are always welcome, particularly as I'm not really sure of values of players/picks.
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