Thread: Injury Report: Koivu (Returning To Lineup 3/22)
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02-21-2012, 10:42 AM
dun worry he's cool
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
If Granlund is on this team and plays as we expect, do we still consider Koivu a #1 center?

More importantly, can we define what a #1 center is once and for all?
I can't speak for anyone else, but if Granlund plays how I expect him to, then next season Koivu will be our top line center, but some time in the next year or two he will be bumped down and seen as a Kesler type. That's where he'll stay, much like his brother in Anaheim.

As for defining #1 center, I would go with a twist on the literalist interpretation. A #1 center is a player who could legitimately fill the top line center role on a "good" team. In that regard, Malkin is a #1 center but (to pick on the Leafs) Tim Connolly likely wouldn't be. In that regard, I would argue Koivu is a #1 center, but at the edge where I'd accept people disagreeing me without too much argument.

The fact of the matter is, we've never seen what Koivu can do with secondary scoring. How would he do replacing Thornton (or as San Jose is currently aligned, Pavelski)? Koivu is not a Crosby, Malkin, or Backstrom (WSH). He's not going to carry a line to huge point totals despite teams overcommitting to him. Then again, neither can Henrik Sedin. If you put Koivu on a team like San Jose and took away their current "#1 center" I don't think we'd have this conversation.

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