Thread: Line Combos: 2013 Minnesota Wild
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01-30-2013, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Puhis View Post
Pretty much this. While I would like to see Granlund on that 1st line RW, just so see what he's capable of, it's too early. Plus it would send a negative message to the team. Imagine yourself as Dany Heatley for a second.

Mike Yeo: "Hey Dany"
Dany Heatley: "Sup"
MY: "About today's lines..."
DH: "Yeah? I'm with Koivu and Zach, right?"
MY: "Well, you're dropped to second line with Brodziak and Seto"
DH: "Wha? I've been point per game, and scoring goals? And our line has been damn good! I mean..."
MY: "It's not about your play, it's about the kid. You know, Granlund. He needs confidence, and that's the best place for him right now"
DH: "Well, what about me?"

How would you answer as Mike Yeo? Exactly. As I said, it would be a treat to watch Parise - Koivu - MG together. In fact, if it'd click, it would - dare I say - even be better than the current first line. However, Granlund needs to show he deserves that spot. Nick Johnson showed it. Kyle Brodziak showed it. And earlier, Antti Miettinen and Andrew Brunette showed it. Hell, Mikko Koivu showed it in the past.

There's no use to keep a player in the NHL just because he was drafted high. That being said, Granlund has not been horrible, or bad. He's been mediocre, he's got good passing and his vision is great, and he's speed is decent. Not good, but decent in the NHL level. However, as others have stated, his game in FEL and also in AHL relied a lot on slowing the play around him rather than being faster than others. The way he was able to stay calm and make the perfect play from nearly anywhere on the offensive zone was sheer brilliance, and result of tremendous natural talent and countless hours spend on the ice.

However, he has entered an entirely different realm right now. He's been hailed as a prodigy, and even the savior of Finnish hockey. And when you look at him and how he was able to lay waste on opponent after opponent in Finland, it's no stretch. He was - and is - something special. But this is NHL, where damn near everyone is something special. Only the fittest survive, and while there's no questioning his ability to create plays and his hockey IQ, he's lacking pure physicality and brute strength to succeed. And he needs those tools before he can do what he does best.

Whether it's best for his development to send him to AHL or learn the game in NHL, that I don't know. He is a highly intelligent player, so maybe it's best to let him get used to the NHL level and take this season as an experience. Maybe, in the end, it allows him to become a better player, and it's certainly a good lesson for him.

Only time will tell. I have faith in Mike Yeo and rest of the coaching staff, they've shown their ability to make the right decisions. The ball - or the puck - is in your court, Mikael. Make sure to put it to good use.
You make some good points in your post. I have been a proponent for Granlund on the top line as a wing, but I do agree that he needs to earn the position. I believe the kid has the skill, it would not be because he was just drafted high. I will concede that maybe he has not earned the position yet, and that should also be a factor.

Good post.

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