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05-14-2012, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
"Needs"...? Well, the team needs to get better. How many "1st line centres" are there in the league by your own subjective definition? 10? 15? If you can't get one of those, and if you're down to a draft where maybe you have 50/50 odds at best of getting and then (over the course of a few years at minimum) possibly developing one... well...

I'd take Jordan Staal. He may or may not be (or may or may not become) a "1st line centre" of the perennial All-Star point-per-game variety... but those are hard to come by, and hard to successfully draft and develop. But if you have 3 strong lines anchored by good "2nd line centers", then your team may still be fine. Staal, Plekanec, and the productive Desharnais line would strike me as great strength up the middle.

But again, the big drawback with Staal is his contract status. For the assets it would take to acquire him, I wouldn't dare do it with the risk that he's only on our team for 1 season.
Obviously every team could use Jordan Staal. I just think he fits better with teams that are closer to being contenders. He needs to go to a team with a 1st line centre so he can focus on his defensive role while chipping in. I'm thinking behind Getzlaf in Anaheim, behind his brother Eric in Carolina, behind Spezza in Ottawa. These are teams with offensive centre men and need a very strong two way player to help. He's not the kind of guy you lean on offensively, hence the poor fit with the current Habs.

Use the 3rd overall to get that 1st line centre and then you can make moves like this in the future. It's great to dream of Plekanec/Staal/Desharnais or Eller, but someone is losing ice time and therefore effectiveness in this situation. I just don't see a fit.

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