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12-10-2012, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by
I don't think he's ever gonna be a #1 either, but that's because my definition is pretty strict on what a #1 is. I don't even consider Green/Yandle/Karlsson to be #1s. He's never gonna be the guy you go to in game 7 of the SCFs during overtime to kill a penalty.
With that said, I find it hard to make a comparison to Smith in the league. Most offensive defenders you find don't have the edge that he does.
We agree with each other on this. I think the term "#1 defenseman" is used pretty loosely, where we'd really be talking more about top pairing, or a defenseman who is a workhorse and plays a lot of minutes. They aren't the same at all.
The way I've looked at it is you jeopardize his development by putting him in the NHL and either sticking him on third pairing minutes or sitting in the press box on half the nights.
It depends on the team, but in Detroit's case, it certainly holds merit. Like I said, I think his set of skills will allow him to transition better into the NHL than defensemen who are out-playing him in the AHL. Still, he really needs to prove it at the NHL level, and 14 games is not doing that. Not by a long shot. Ideally, I think he should have been in the NHL last season, and to be honest, I think that might have hurt him a bit. To me, he looked like a player who had nothing left to prove in the AHL, and keeping him there when the NHL was an option just doesn't strike me as smart, even if he was going to be given more responsibility there. He may have been more comfortable in the AHL, but does it push him to be a better player?
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