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02-04-2013, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
You ramble on in a tangent about how this team likes to ripen their young players, then you spout off how Harrington will be in the NHL next season. Please.

Do you know how off the wall you sound contradicting yourself?

Furthermore, anyone who watches Harrington can clearly see he doesn't have NHL strength yet and needs time in the A to get stronger.

I don't recall having any personal problems in the past with you Jiggy, so correct me in that regard if I am incorrect. But changing the discussion from Despres to Harrington is either simply moving the goal-posts in the argument, or the issue is personal.

Anyway, you want to talk about Harrington? Sure, I will be thrilled to, because I am excited about this player. If there are two guys in our entire defense core (prospects or current players) that I would not move under almost any circumstance, unless we were literally blown out of the water, it is Letang and Harrington, because I see each of these players bringing elements to our team that is unique, and ones which we can build a core around. Most of the other parts are either currently, or in the future (when the prospect are ready) will be interchangable.

Do we not all agree that, at some point -- and perhaps as early as mid-season -- one of our D-prospects gets moved for help up front? The two guys in our prospect pool I would not move are Bennett (our only blue-chip forward) and Harrington. I would prefer to keep many of them, but I would move Morrow in the right deal (because of Pouliot) and I would move Pouliot in the right deal because of Morrow. Similarly, I would move Despres in the right deal because of Dumoulin, and vice versa. But I would not want to move BOTH of our offense ex-Portland Winterhawk offensive D's, nor do I want to move BOTH of our 6'4 lefty Dmen (Despres and Dumoulin). I would also rather not trade Bortuzzo because he is our only 6'4 righty, is NHL ready, has a great salary and a good overall game. I also think Bortuzzo is very versatile, and think a double 6'4 pairing of Dumoulin/Despres and Bort would be very tough to beat, and Bortuzzo could be our next Hal Gill-type player, and be a factor on our PK against bigger forwards.

Getting back to Harrington: Harrington is just as big/strong and is more physical than Paul Martin RIGHT NOW. Harrington has tremendous character and work ethic, and I would say that he is our 3rd smartest player in our organization behind Crosby and Malkin, or at the very least in the top-5 if you want to include guys like Sutter & Letang in there. Anyway, I'm not talking out of my ass with this player. Did you know that he trains with Taylor Hall and Hall's dad in the summers? (I do, because I know Taylor and his family). I also know other trainers and therapists who have worked with Scott, and I know a couple of guys in the London organization, both some players as well as other people within their team/organization. This isn't blind homerism. I have watched this player the better part of 100 times since he has been drafted, and I can tell you that he has made pretty significant strides in his skating, strength and physicality since last year. If he continues at the same rate, or even if he were to stagnate, I have ZERO doubt that he could play in our top-6 next season, when we may need some cheap talent to replace Martin and/or Orpik for cap reasons, or to bring in talent up front.

Now, getting back to Despres: Again, I like him, and if we were dressing 7 Dmen every night, I would have no problem keeping him here. But when Nisky returns, if we have no other injuries, than Nisky is going to bump someone out of the line-up. The only two choices are Bortuzzo and Despres. Despres can be sent to the AHL, while Bortuzzo cannot, and thus would have to sit in the press box, which is the very definition of stagnating a young players' growth (your words). Where we diverge is that you think Despres has nothing left to learn at the AHL level; while I vehemently disagree because I only feel that way when a player has proven to be too good for that level (i.e. the way Jeffrey was when he was the best player in that league), or when you have a rare player who is so good that they can step into the NHL right out of junior and contribute, and yes: I think Harrington can be that guy.

We will see what the next few weeks bring, but I can say both for waiver/roster purposes, as well as quality of play, that if I had to choose between one of Bortuzzo and Despres in the line-up right now, it would be Bort. If you disagree, that's fine; but just know that that decision either means Bortuzzo rots in the box, or that we are forced to trade one of Orpik/Martin/Niskanen -- and while that may happen in a year or two, I wouldn't do that this season when our goal is to win for the Cup.

Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
This is not an evaluation. DB words, not mine.

Either you understand that or you don't. Obviously you don't.

Yeah, I'm not an idiot, so I understood it when he said it. I also understand that coaches are allowed to change their mind upon the performance of the player. Despres got demoted and benched at times today. Maybe Bylsma is seeing that Despres isn't quite ready. And if he think Simon is, but other members of the coaching staff or, more importantly, upper management (Shero) disagree, well guess what: Bylsma may be over-ridden. I do not recall Shero stating in a press conference that Despres will be staying here for the whole season. So sorry, that quote, which by now may be antiquated, does not mean anything to me other than they were willing to give Despres the first chance, which they did by inserting him into the line-up ahead of Bortuzzo. Well guess what, if Despres doesn't play like the better player, he'll find himself out of the line-up just like Tangradi has.

The thing is: I don't think Despres is a natural like Doughty or Subban (both future Norris candidates and #1 Dmen), and I don't think a benching will light a fire under Simon's ass, because I don't think it's an issue of work ethic or effort. It's an issue of him needing to learn to adjust his game from the one he played in the "Q", and I think this will take him some time. I also think that Dumoulin is an outright better player and may supplant Despres' place within our organization

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