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01-11-2013, 10:02 AM
  #179
rt
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So Yandle makes huge strides year after year developmentally. Improves leaps and bounds every year since being drafted until he finally gets a nice fat contract. Then, in trying to live up to it, some hesitation creeps in. Clutches the stick a little harder and starts having second thoughts on the ice. As a result, his game takes maybe a half a step back. One little back step. Only so glaringly noticeable because the whole world was expecting yet another leap forward. And now he's expendable? I'm not buying that. He likes playing for Dave Tippett, in Phoenix. He's next in line for the captaincy.

What makes this guy expendable? Nobody expects Chris Summers, David Schlemko or Michael Stone to be first pairing defensemen, do they? I like the upside of all three, but I see none as 1-2 guys. Stone could be a 3-4, and I think the other two are 5-6 types. Connor Murphy has got great upside. He's averaged 31gp each of the last four seasons, and has now had his fifth consecutive season ended by injury. I'd say there is at least a fifty percent chance he never plays and NHL game, let alone becoming a top two D. Our bluechips are Brandon Gormley and David Rundblad, right? They are the highly touted pair with the accolades and hype. Neither have adjusted to North American Professional hockey in a seamless fashion. We've seen both experience some pretty obvious and challenging growing pains. Gormley's mobility and Rundblad's decision making are definitely being put to the test. Many of us were at least penciling them into projected rosters and expecting them to compete for NHL spots. They aren't even blowing the AHL away, let alone making an NHL squad. I believe both will be effective NHL players and fairly soon. I believe both have top pairing upside. I also believe both have a long, long way to go, and a whole lot of things to work on before they get there, and there is a really, really good chance they never make it to that level. That's just the nature of prospects. 99.5% of them don't pan out as well as you hope.

I can't believe Yandle is actually on the table. He might be used as a conversation starter, just to get talks going about the philosophical swap of D for F, but I can't see him realistically being discussed in actual trade talk.

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