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09-15-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Beukeboom Fan View Post
IMO - being a top 6 player is more than a ES/G rate. By that measure - Victor Stalberg is a legit 1st line player if you just want to look at point production over the last two years.

IMO - Bickell has been very inconsistent over his 3 years with the Hawks. I would say that the only time that he consistently performed like the player we think he was the P/O's last year. Even if you look at the first contract he signed - Bickell didn't think he was a top 6 player.

From my perspective - when you're a top 6 player - you're who the team expects to produce. Offensive production beyond 10-15 in a 3rd line role is considered "bonus", but now Bickell is going to be getting more icetime, and IMO he needs to step up the level of consistency in his game, especially the physical aspects.

I'm not saying that Bickell lacks the skills to be a top 6 player. I am saying that there have been a ton of players who have gotten hot over a play-off run who were never able to re-kindle that same level of effort/intensity/production (Joel Ward, Ruslan Fedetenko, Martin Gelinas, John Druce, etc.). Hoping that Bickell isn't one of those guys, and turns into a consistent legit 2nd tier scoring line forward that plays a power game. Until he does that over a period of time a lot longer than 23 games though, it's a risk IMO.
Of course ES PPG is not the only telling aspect of being a top-6 player, but it's an important one. And Bickell's stats say he's a top-6 player. Offensively, 2nd line forwards usually fall somewhere in between <0.7 and 0.5 points per game. With more ice time and some PP time, Bickell should easily get there.

If you require Bickell to perform consistently like he did last playoffs you are expecting him to be a 1st line player and one of the best power forwards in the game - because that is how he played.

Personally, if Bickell can play as well as he did last regular season, but improve his points with the greater ice time and PP time I will be happy.

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