Thread: Speculation: Gunnarsson to NYR?
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10-17-2011, 03:42 PM
  #282
JeffMangum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
In need of defensemen right now. When Staal and Sauer are healthy, Franson or Gunnarsson are now bottom pairing d-men playing 12 minutes a night, and are taking a spot from Del Zotto or Erixon.

Trading Thomas, who is obviously another victim of the "what have you done lately?" mentality, for a bottom pairing d-man is just a panic move at this point.
Gunarsson has been playing 20+ minutes a night with Phaneuf on Toronto's top pairing, and has proven that he can play in a top-4 situation before. He really stepped up at the end of last season when Kaberle was traded to Boston, and it's not as if we're talking about s youngster, here, the kid is 25, and he's very, very steady. He's smart, has a good outlet pass, and is a good skater. Just what this defense needs.

I'm far from a "panic!, we've struggled in the first week of the season, blow up the team!" type of fan, and I've been a proponent of adding another potential/legitimate top-4 defenseman to the team since, well, I don't even remember how far back I've been an advocate of it, but, the point is, I am; I am a fan of Thomas, and think he could certainly become an important player for this club, but I consider him relatively replaceable given the depth this team has at right wing on the roster, and in the system. Callahan, Gaborik, Fasth, Zuccarello, Prust in addition to Thomas. Far from aging, and far from thin; I'd argue it's rather deep, in fact. The team may have "depth" at defense in the form of skill, but Gunnarsson would probably be tied for 3rd or 4th best on this defensive squad. He's no slouch, and he's a very, very solid player.

Franson is a different story. He's skilled, but I think he's far too passive for his size, and his offensive game is relatively one dimensional; I wouldn't give up Thomas for him, but he could add an element of power to the powerplay given that his shot is harder than anyone that this team currently has in tow on the defensive side of things.

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