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02-04-2013, 01:52 AM
Tender Rip
#Haz supa line mates
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Shanghai, China
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As for Despres.... the truly great thing about him is that - like Letang when he came up - he has enough individual/physical abilities to cover most of his own mistakes. It doesn't mean that they are not some times egregious, but quite often ultimately they don't hurt you.
Yes, there are giveaways and hanging on to the puck too long in dangerous areas, because he has been used to being too far ahead of his competition skating/strength wise to have had a need to simplify his game. BUT the majority of the times, Despres is getting back in position himself and rubs forwards out a long the boards to help clear the danger his mistakes create.

And speaking of Letang, Despres is defensively much more ready than Letang was when getting his first full season. To not give him the time to get fully acclimated with the pace and physicality of the NHL now is simply counterproductive. Not because he is beyond playing in the AHL as such, but rather because the steps he has to take to become an NHL stud for us can only be taken in the NHL and this is where his mistakes will be punished to the extent that he has to learn from them to keep getting significant icetime.

With Despres we have a guy who can be Letang's long term partner and who - for the majority - looks good in that role right now.
The importance of having a guy who in many ways is an ideal match for Letang's strengths/weaknesses playing on our first/second pairing on a cheap contract... cannot be overstated. More so, if we want to imagine that we bring in another of the young guys next season such as Morrow, someone currently playing 4-7 roles is going to make the cut moving up from bottom pairing minutes to top4, and that doesn't happen without accepting the growing pains that are natural.
If we don't allow that process to transpire, we start out next season with the same dilemma that our new candidates for top4 duty are not confirmed. Basically, Simon Despres has to be treated as our John Carlson.

... and the consequence of that is that Shero has to get creative as regards getting value for the asset that is bound to be surplus when Niskanen is back from injury. Hopefully more so than he was with Strait, but if it is Lovejoy getting canned, at least most of can live with not getting a return. It being Jeffrey or Tangradi would make me sick, because I have not at all given up on them yet.

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