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04-25-2013, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Originally Posted by
But trading Couturier (or Schenn, or Laughton) doesn't open up a new hole. You have to look at it on balance, not just looking at the names. Couturier has the potential to be a top defensive forward. He is already showing he can shut down guys like Malkin on a very consistent basis. That is indisputable. The kid can play. But long term, the Flyers have Giroux, Schenn, Couturier, Laughton, and Cousins currently playing center, and playing fairly well at their respective levels. Giroux will not be traded. Schenn has as high a ceiling as Couturier, but plays a very different game. Laughton, from what I understand, plays a similar game to Couturier. I'm not saying Laughton is as good now or ever will be as good as Couturier, but all indication is that his ceiling is a solid top 9 defensive forward. Cousins is kind of a wild card and I'm not really sure where he factors in on an NHL level, but he is currently looking like he is headed to a nice NHL career.
That being said, there is not room on this team for five centers. Even if you move one of these guys to wing, I don't think it very likely or wise to have Couturier or Laughton or Cousins on the fourth line (depending on who is moved to wing). This is why I feel that someone is going to be dealt.
This isn't a lack of patience. This isn't poor asset management. This isn't opening up a hole to try for a quick fix. This is looking at your team and saying, "Hey, we have a huge logjam at center. We also have no one in the system that really has the ability to be a consistent top four guy moving forward and our defense has been God-awful since Pronger went down. Maybe we should move one of these centers and try to fix the defense instead of holding on to all of these guys who in all likelihood will not be able to be on the NHL roster at the same time without moving at least one of them to wing and burying another on the fourth line."
Assuming they kept all these guys, best case scenario the team would look something like this when all these guys reached the NHL...
That's if Cousins and Schenn can play on the wing. I honestly don't know how likely that is that they make that transition. If it is not a big deal and players switch positions all the time and no one complains about being asked to do this, then sure, keep everyone and try and develop a defenseman. But you risk stunting a guy's development or making someone unhappy by asking them to switch positions to make room for someone else. I'd rather deal from a position of depth to upgrade a position of weakness, than just horde all these centers and hope that we can convert them to wings.
I think you should assume Laughton won't be ready next season. Couturier is 20 heading into next season and can't really complain about the minutes he gets. They should spend the year figuring out what they have in he and Schenn. Both are valid trade candidates (as is Laughton) Whoever does not fit can be traded the following season. No rush. Their value is only going to increase.
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