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02-10-2013, 05:53 PM
magic school bus
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Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
I generally like what hockeyprospectus has to say, but in this case, they are making a blind statistical comparison without using much context. There is simply no chance that Ryan O'Reilly turns into an offensive player of the caliber of Thornton or Messier. Don't get me wrong, O'Reilly is a very valuable two-way center, especially considering he is only 20. Already an elite defensive player, he probably has the potential to develop into someone capable of putting up 70 points a season on a consistent basis. He consistently outplays some of the toughest competition in the NHL. In terms of pure value, taking age and future production into account, he may be worth Brent Burns. But to the Sharks, Burns is far, far more valuable than O'Reilly ever would be. The Sharks have depth down the middle that no other team in the NHL can match. The difference is that because they lack top six wingers, and because Pavelski and Marleau fit so well with Thornton, they basically utilize 4 legitimate top-six centers in their top six, 3 as wingers. Ryan O'Reilly adds nothing to the Sharks. They need a winger, preferably one that can add a dimension of goalscoring and speed on the second line that Ryane Clowe can't. Burns is incredibly valuable to a puck possession team like the Sharks. Dan Boyle is amazing, and is probably the most important player on the team right now. But he isn't going to play at this level forever. Burns is only 27, signed long-term at a very reasonable price (especially compared to what lesser defensemen are getting nowadays, and he has a skillset that only 2-3 other players at his position in the NHL can lay claim to possessing. He's 6-5, is an elite skater and provides an offensive impact from the blueline that (when he is at the top of his game) is probably only exceeded by one other defenseman in the NHL (Erik Karlsson). He is absolutely vital to the Sharks' future, one that actually is quite a bit brighter than some people like to claim.*
I agreed that the quote I pulled goes a little overboard, but the point was to show O'Reilly is underrated. They did factor in a lot more than just offensive numbers which I think you're discounting. The article mostly compared his impact to Pavel Datsyuk and Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron for Burns doesn't sound as crazy.

Comparing Burns' offensive impact to Erik Karlsson's is ridiculous. He's a talented player but Karlsson is 30-40 points better than Burns right now.*Burns isn't even the best offensive d-man on the Sharks.

I'm not saying we should do this trade (it hurts team chemistry, possibly puts Murray back in the starting lineup, etc) or that we would do this (O'Reilly signed with a KHL team during the lockout, which probably scares DW). O'Reilly would give us 3 of the best lines in franchise history. It would actually make our roster younger for future seasons and give us a contingency plan for the post-Thornton era (with Couture/O'Reilly as a 1-2 punch for years). Demers and Braun are then given more ice time to grow/develop while playing their natural position, RD.*
O'Reilly could play tough minutes too, freeing up Thornton (or maybe Pavelski for once!) to show off more of their offensive game. He could add a lot more to our group than "nothing," as you put it. Hell, the potential to go from Handzus to O'Reilly should be more than enough incentive.*

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