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06-13-2011, 12:33 PM
  #60
Sam I Am
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Three words : RIGHT-HANDED SHOT.

The Habs have a real dearth of right-side shooters. After Gionta, the falloff of RH talent is steep...which explains the amount of PP and top-six time that Jeff Halpern got last year.

While Halpern did an admirable job under the circumstances, it was too often clear that he was miscast in the role. But with nobody else on the horizon, Jacques Martin went with Halpern time and time again. As of now, it is not clear that Halpern will be back. Even if he is, the Habs need to improve in the RH scoring department.

Here's a list of the RH talent down on the farm, in rough order of offensive potential and NHL readiness:

Palushaj
White
Leblanc
Avstin
Engqvist
Wyman
Dumont
Nattinen

A quick glance will show that Aaron Palushaj is the only RH shooter both sufficiently gifted and battle-ready to fit the bill. Can he do it at the NHL level: who knows?

Ryan White has cut his teeth with the big club. He's hard-banging, never-say-die style will likely earn him spot duty on the top 2 lines next season but does he have the hands to do more?

Leblanc...too soon to say. Ditto for Avstin who, despite his pedigree, had all of 5 goals for the Bulldogs last season. Wyman is big and strong on his skates and remains a distant long-shot. The other guys may eventually make the big club as bottom line forwards.

Enter Brock Trotter. Whatever else you say about Trotter, he has the flat-out skill to aspire to the role. Sure, he's small. And maybe his defense is lacking. But he's immediately ahead of almost everybody else on the list above.

Don't be surprised if the is the first injury call-up of the new season.


Last edited by Sam I Am: 06-13-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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