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12-26-2012, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Originally Posted by UnrealMachine View Post
I believe Despres was called up last season because:

1. Multiple injuries on Pitt's defense;
2. Depth players also injured;
3. Top WBS players also injured.

All he had to do at that point was have a pulse and he was eligible to be called up. He did surprisingly well in the sheltered NHL minutes that he got so that was weighed against his AHL performance in future call ups. Also, to a lesser degree, you have to consider that they could be looking for particular skill sets depending on who was injured.

Yeah, pretty much this exactly -- in terms of why Despres was called up. It was not because we really "needed" him on the big club, or that he would have developed better in the NHL. He was brought up because the team needed bodies, and with all the injuries they had up and down the defense, they chose to give Despres a shot -- even though if all things were equal and there were no injuries, he would have been left in the AHL.

And Jiggy: As far as Morrow or even Despres being "exceptions" like Letang is just so absurd, that I imagine it can only come from blind homerism. Morrow was not even consistent in his own end in the WHL LAST season, and has been inconsistent so far in the AHL, just like Botteril said in his quote. These are kids that need to learn how to do certain things before they can take the next step.

Despres is closer than Morrow, but that's because he had a full year of pro under his belt, and unlike Morrow, was dominant at both ends of the ice in junior. Yet if Despres had jumped right into the NHL full-time last year (like you are suggesting with Morrow), his weaknesses would have been very apparent, he would not have developed as well, and would be bumping a better player (i.e. Niskanen or Engelland)out of a roster spot last season.

Morrow was a bit of a "project" when he was drafted, and he has not yet learned to be a complete & consistent player. In fact, if he wasn't a late birthday (born after Sept. 15th), he would be still be playing another season in the WHL and we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation. I'm high on Morrow's long-term potential, but the best thing for him BY FAR is to develop in WBS? Disagree and you think you know better? Well, just watch what Shero, Botteril, Fitzgerald, Gurein, Hynes and the other Pens' brass decide to do with this player. But I guess you know better than all those guys...

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