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11-07-2012, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Also, Cheechoo doesn't belong in this thread. He had 28 in the year before Thornton was traded to San Jose, and was on pace for 24-27-51 when Thornton joined the Sharks (7-8-15 in his first 24) which was actually a slightly better start than the previous season (6-5-11 in his first 24, or 21-17-38). As you can see, he was a slow starter, improving his pace by around 25% in the remaining games. Which puts him as a 30-34-64 in 2005-06 if Thornton isn't acquired, assuming the same improvement. If we're going to say that a decently skilled guy who benefited from being the go-to guy for a highly skilled playmaker is the winner of this thread, why not Milan Hejduk? He hit 50 with Forsberg one year, and 30 a couple others. When has he hit/come close to 30 without a highly skilled playmaker (Forsberg, Sakic, Stastny)? He hasn't. Good circumstances for a guy who can put the puck in the net. The difference is that Cheechoo was traded and lost his confidence, and it killed his career. He could have continued on as a perennial 30-goal guy. He had the skill, and probably still has the shot to park a few in the net if a team were to take the chance on him. Ottawa was a bad fit. San Jose was a great fit. He might not be a bad option for Chicago, actually, if he can recapture his magic. Play Kane as the 2C and take advantage of his playmaking abilities, utilize Cheechoo's shot. It would be kind of an Oates/Hull situation where Chechoo's job is basically to find the scoring spot and wait for Kane to get him the puck. Kane's shot and the fact that they'd be against 2nd units are threatening enough to offset the improved QoC compared to the early 90s when Hull could just stand around while Oates did all of the work.
Cheechoo lost his legs, he did not lose his confidence. I vividly remember Murray mentioning "Cheechoo's skating isn't where we thought it would be" after the Heatley trade. We Shark's fans thought, "no $#!+", because we saw the before and after effects of the double sports hernia from which he never recovered. He could be effective when he was a marginal NHL skater, but fell off a cliff when his skating degraded. I cannot tell you how disappointing that was, because he is a real quality human being - a guy you really root for in terms of making a comeback.

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