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11-07-2012, 02:27 PM
RIP Al Arbour
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Originally Posted by blinkman360 View Post
I never agreed with the whole "since this guy was drafted this year, he shouldn't be on this team until this year" argument. If a player is deemed ready by the coaching staff, he should get an opportunity to make the team. Especially if said player fills a hole in an NHL lineup, like Strome would for this team.

Considering most if not all of that 2011 top-10 would probably be in the NHL this season, I really don't see Strome not making this team out of camp next season. Especially considering how he's played to this point. I don't see any scenario where Nino doesn't make the opening lineup next year either barring injury. Even if it's in a 3rd line role, he'll be on this team.

The only questionmark, IMO, will be Reinhart. If he keeps on track I think the Isles will be in a tough spot next year, especially if they still have holes on the NHL defense. Reinhart is the type of player who probably won't have much to gain from playing in the WHL as a 19/20 year old. Since they won't be able to have him start the season in Bridgeport, they may choose to keep him up at the NHL level. I think it all depends on how he performs in TC. Either way, I think it's impossible to say at this point in time whether he will or will not be here.

Other than that, I agree that veterans need to be brought in. At least one on defense, and probably a bottom-sixer. I just don't see a complete overhaul being necessary.
To your point about Strome, what does it matter what all the other picks will be in the NHL by next year? Good for those teams, but essentially giving him the job next year without proving he can handle it, I don't think that's a good thing. He's playing great right now and I am definitely excited about his future, but easing him in to an important spot in the lineup is a much better situation IMO - a situation where he can achieve some sort of success and build confidence rather than getting it destroyed like we saw last year with Nino. If Strome is ready, then he's ready. Assuming that he'll be ready, I can't pull the trigger on that.

As for Reinhart, your reasoning sounds much like the reasoning behind Nino staying up last year. I definitely think he can gain from another year in the WHL. Play him 30 minutes a game there and then see if he's ready for NHL duty then. If we learned anything from a tweener prospect and the decision to keep them in the NHL or Juniors (when the AHL is not an option), I'd rather send him back. He's someone the organization is looking to be a horse on the blue line for a long, long time... waiting another year for him to arrive isn't going potentially destroy his confidence and game like rushing him to the NHL would.

I'm very curious though with how Reinhart is handled. So far, Snow's Isles have been fairly patient with the defenseman. Hamonic spent another 2 years in Junior after being drafted and half a season at the Bridge. CDH (injuries did play a role with him), but he hasn't been rushed. Donovan too. Granted we haven't had a premium kid like Reinhart in the mix, but so far the trends are indicating to me that they'll bring him along slowly. At least I hope that's the case because screwing up Reinhart's development would really suck, he's an important piece for the future.

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