Thread: Prospect Info: Morgan Rielly discussion thread.
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12-14-2012, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ponder View Post
Agreed. When watching him play, my main problem with his defensive game is that he's very passive. As you said, he tends to give opposing forwards a lot of time and space, which is a dangerous way to defend, especially at the NHL level. I'm not overly worried about this long term, I think it's something he can fix, but I'm surprised by how many people seem to think that he's currently playing NHL level defence. Personally, I'd like to see him be at least solidly above average defensively at the WHL level before we bring him up to the NHL.

Another thought:
- Rielly, Gardiner, Liles, Phaneuf and Gunnarsson all shoot left, and Rielly, Gardiner and Liles specifically all play fairly similar games
- I don't see Gardiner and Phaneuf playing on the same pairing, both are aggressive puck handlers who like to take risks, the two of them on one pair probably means too many mistakes
- That leaves the top pairing with Phaneuf as the RD and Gunnarsson as the LD, and Gardiner the LD on the 2nd pairing (with Franson?)
- When Rielly comes up, I don't see him being good enough to play on the top pair with Phaneuf immediately, and I think Gardiner has a tight hold on 2nd pair LD. I see Rielly having a good shot to become our top pairing LD in the long term, but he'll have to mature into that role. When he first comes up, that means he should be playing LD on the 3rd pairing, which is Liles' spot. When Rielly does come up, I think it means we'll have to trade Liles to make room, so we better make sure that he's good enough to fill Liles' shoes before we make him a Leaf
Although I agree that Liles' game would be redundant with Rielly and Gardiner on the team, I still wouldnt trade him. The reason being that he would be a valuable mentor for a developing rielly and gardiner. I dont see this team contending in the next two years anyway, so I would be more focused in having rielly and gardiner reach their max potential. That way, they help us win more when we actually are competing. Short term pain, long term gain.

As for now, I would just pair up liles and Gardiner. Rielly and Komisarek/franson/holzer/ranger/kotska in the bottom pairing.

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