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12-21-2012, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cashville View Post
I don't know where to put Blum. He was immensely overrated at the start of last year, but his obvious struggles and lack of NHL time have brought him back to earth. We all know the +/- is not the end all be all stat for defenseman in any fashion, but a -14 in 33 NHL GP last year is scary. I think he falls under the "not enough data to make an opinion" category right now. Frankly, other than some bright spots in 2010, he really hasn't proved anything, and his AHL performance last year was not exactly amazing (-11 with 26 points in 46 games). Thus far this year he has 1 goal, 9 assists, and is -5 in 27 games. I'm pretty concerned about him being on the third pairing if we have a season this year.

Our defense is going to be brutal this year I think. Josi / Weber will be fine, but Josi is still a risk given his age (see Datsyuk pick his pocket and score in the playoffs last year). Who do you put with Klein? I think you put Ellis with Gill on the third pairing to compensate for his parking cone speed. The choice is either Hannan or Blum with Klein; Hannan should not be on the second pairing and Blum could be a disaster there. The wild card is Ekholm; I really hope his accolades in Europe translate to a vastly improved performance from last year because he was damn awful. I haven't seen Trotz call someone out like that, besides Wilson, in a while.

I think we fight hard for an 8 spot if we have a season and are promptly bounced if we make it.
Ouch. Those are not pretty numbers. Two thoughts on Blum:

1.) When someone gets overrated and then can't live up to hype, it's common that the whiplash happens in the other direction, when the truth will always be in between. He's a talented young prospect in a position that more than most requires experience and seasoning before an honest output shows. I remember when Ohlund was drafted by Vancouver, he was supposed to be the second-coming, then was a relatively unspectacular defenseman when he finally made the roster full-time, and it wasn't until several years in that we woke up one day and he was a bonafide high-end defenseman.

2.) Because of #1, if at all possible, I would try not to rush him. As you laid out, what Nashville needs is another top-four defenseman, hopefully one can be found in free-agency or a trade of some sort, this will shore up a thin back-end and allow Blum to work out his kinks wherever it makes sense, including in the AHL where he gets lots of ice-time if he shows he's not yet mentally there to make decisions in the NHL.

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