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11-11-2011, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesnít get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that heís a captain who canít speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.
I don't really disagree with much besides most of the Gionta part. his goal production over the last two seasons are his 2nd and 3rd best career goal totals in the NHL, and he's on pace for over 20 again this season after a noticably slow start. I think your assessment of Gionta is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the slow start he and the whole team has had up to this point this season. I don't see why he won't put up 20+ goals this season like he has every other year, and he's excellent in scoring dirty goals down low, a trait which we lack from most of our other forwards. His hand-eye is easily the best on the team.

While I agree that his best uses are on the PK, I don't think he at all deserves to have reduced ice-time 5-on-5. He's one of our best puck possessors, and is great along the boards and in the corners. He's likely the grittiest small-guy in the league, and doesn't get pushed off the puck easily, unlike a Desharnais for example.

As far as the assessment of our defense goes, I agree in most of it with the exception of saying Weber's been our best defenseman (but I guess that's why you said "arguably"). He has been good, and I don't understand any of the flak he's been getting from some of the posters on our board (though I don't understand a lot of what goes on on our board from time to time, lol). I think compared to most of last season, he's been far and away our most improved player and definitely deserved a spot on the d-corps permanently now. I'm also very happy to see him using his cannon of a shot that we'd heard so much about in the AHL but hadn't really seen when he became a full-time Canadien.

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