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12-21-2012, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Eh. I think there's some big differences between Despres and Maatta. I see Maatta as a much smarter player, where with Despres, I'd probably call his hockey IQ average. I also think in terms of physical ability, Despres is miles ahead of Maatta. I honestly can't remember a guy who is 6'4 and 220-230 who can move like Simon Despres does. Maatta's wheels don't even come close to those of Despres.

I think offensively...very similar. Both will probably put up average point totals in the NHL, and I think both will be physically imposing, but won't be overly physical.

I didn't meant to imply that they are the same player. Obviously, there are diffrerences. Some of them, you pointed out, but I would disagree with some of the details of those differences:

Regarding skating: I think that Maatta is a better skater than he is given credit for, and while I think Despres is a great skater for a player of his size, he isn't exactly Jay Bouwmeester either.

On the physical side: Despres may be one or two inches bigger, but Maatta is still a very big guy, and as you said, neither are naturally physical or dirty, so I think it's a bit of a wash, with the edge going to Despres.

Offensively: I think there's a bigger gap here than you do. I think that Maatta has a bit more offensive upside than Despres does. I think Maatta could be a legit first-unit PP guy, whereas I think Despres is clearly a second-unit or support kind of guy. And while Despres is great about joining the rush, he makes more questionable decisions than Maatta does. In other words, Maatta is a bit safer in this regard.

So overall, if I had to choose between the two, I would choose Maatta. Now, for most organizations, we woulnd't have to make this choice. Given our excessive blueline depth, however, we have the good problem of looking at our prospect stable and clearly realizing that not all of these guys will be able to be Penguins as NHLers. So with the drafting of both Pouliot and Maatta, and then getting a guy like Dumoulin in a trade, our depth chart changes accordingly. Given that Dumoulin can bring an element that Despres does (namely, a two-way Dman who is 6'4 and can provide some offense and play in a variety of situations), IMO, I think that this bumps Despres down our depth chart or makes him expendible by trade.

I also think Despres' NHL-readiness is overrated (as it was with Morrow, with many people on these boards thinking he could step right in or not need more than half or one season in WBS). Now, with Dumoulin in the fold, he could possibly be ready as soon or sooner than Despres.

If forced to trade one of Despres, Maatta, and Dumoulin, who would you trade?

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