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11-01-2012, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Originally Posted by
Gotta disagree there. It's fun to say that Hamrlik was an "offensive defenseman" who learned how to play defense, but that's not why he was drafted 1st overall (the first of many huge differences in the relative calibre of these two guys). It wasn't his 13 points in ~50 games in the pro Czech ranks as a teenager, it was his size, hockey sense, polish, and ability in
all 3 zones
that worked in his favour on draft day. A guy who earns full time shifts in the NHL as an 18 year old is worlds apart from a guy who finally gets brought over at 25 "when he's ready" in terms of "upside" (which was actually more like age 23/24 for Emelin, and there was a little more behind when he finally made it over, but still).
Getting back to Diaz, I'm still as high on him now as when we got him. Maybe higher, actually. Totally see him, Tinordi, and Beaulieu being a better fight for roster spots next year than whatever Bouillon, Weber, and St. Denis would offer as competition.
I gotta agree with everything here (especially the Hamrlik part) except the notion of Diaz fighting for a spot, which I don't think he needs to. He was good to very good in an overwhelming majority of games last year. I really do think he is serverely underrated on this board which I believe has mostly to do with his size rather than his play (not surprised at all with this). I think at this point in his career he already is a good bottom pairing d-man, maybe even a stable #5 d-man who can fill in a #4 role for a string of games. He's cheap and effective.
As for the Hamrlik discussion, he's an another d-man that was severely underrated here. He wasn't an offensive dynamo, but was he ever a rock. The perfect #3 d-man to support Markov in a secondary role. The guy ate up minutes, but yet was always used as a scapegoat. I remember before the last year's season started that you, me, overlords, habsjunkie2 and KrissE all kept saying that the season would be tough if we didn't re-sign Hamrlik or get at least a Hamrlik type replacement. It's a shame (but at the same time it is positive I guess considering we ended up with Galchenyuk and high enough in the draft to snag prospects which overlooked like Collberg and Bozon). With the offensive depth the team had to start the season and had they had a solid D core waiting for Markov to come back, I still think the team could have done a little damage with a 5th or 6th place finish. Whatever, it has passed.
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