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08-12-2006, 11:14 AM
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Its a tough one. Forget Grabvonsky. Unless he destroys the camp, its most probably the AHL for him for well deserved seasoning. The RSL is a different pace, plus I don't know if he knows english (that hurt A.Kostitsyn's a lot last year, most that it is credited for I think).

Kostitsyn seems to be ready to be given a spot. I am at loss however, to see where. The Dumont conversation showed us we were pretty stacked on the 2 first trio's wings. That being said, I heard a lot of things about Kostitsyn's defensive game: they are usually negative. Kostitsyn on a 4th line seems a waste. If he comes in, you can bet its as an extra player or on the 3rd line. I don't think Johnson's going to be on the 4th but I have to admit a Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Perezhogin line is very, very appealing to me. Probably wont happen though.

Cote is another strong candidate. He'd be a shoe-in for 7th defenseman, at least, if Streit wasn't there. While I prefer Cote to Streit, I believe Gainey will keep Streit around because he always had that tendency to give players the extra mile to prove themselves.

To me, the question revolves around a simple question: in which position will we see the most movement this season? (the rookies will probably be brought in as extras). We have enough left wings that can be converted to center for this position to call for much rookie help. At the defense, barring a disaster, I think Gainey will go with Streit as a replacement when needed.

However, I see the first three trio as a possibility for Kostitsyn. Wingers are usually more mobile too. Johnson and Higgins have played center (in case of injury) and I'm sure a couple can switch sides without much problem. If he is kept in the club as an extra, I believe Kostitsyn will see the most ice time. In addition, I'm sure Carbonneau would be the type of coach to throw a bone to our reserve guys so Kostitsyn might be called to take up Perezhogin's place from time to time (to keep him sharp).

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