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12-07-2005, 12:07 AM
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The new rules have certainly benefitted him. And although I very much like him as a third line center, I'm reluctant to call him an ideal third line center. When I think 'perfect third line center', I think more a guy like Keith Primeau. Someone who is big & physical with some offensive pop but who is also strong defensively and can physically matchup well against the Sundin's, Thornton's, Allison's etc. of the world.

Belanger, while strong defensively with some good skills, does not quite fit that mold. He isn't as physical as I'd like him to be and he would have trouble shadowing and containing a guy like Thornton in the playoffs. Given all his attributes, I consider Belanger more of a marginal second liner who happens to be strong defensively and can thus excel in a third line capacity as well.

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