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01-09-2014, 03:52 PM
Provolone & The Neck
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
They're second in a really weak division. This team is not a realistic Cup contender at this point. The 4th line is too weak and the D group isn't good enough overall. The offense is ranked 19th, which is WAY too low for a realistic Cup contender.
I don't disagree, but if you aren't playing for a lottery pick, you are not in a rebuild. They are competing for a Cup, and you play the better player.

If Gus is the better player overall as well as a likely guy to be playing in the future, you play him over Mez. The difference between Mez and Gus won't make or break the team this year, and it's beneficial in the long term to let him get experience.
Maybe this is where we really fundamentally disagree. You are calling a 25 year old with 80 games spread over four seasons a better player than a 28 year old with 500+ NHL games. You are basing this on one player's 40 or so games since being injured. I am not saying that Mesz is the same player he was before his injuries, but I am saying that he doesn't lose his entire track record because he got hurt and played poorly in the part of the season after his injury (just like Gus doesn't gain all this credibility based on parts of 80 games spread over parts of 4 seasons where he looked good). It just doesn't work that way.

At what point did Mesz lose the credit for his previous 500 games? If Timonen struggled after an injury, does he lose his spot? Coburn? Grossmann? What does a player have to do to keep his spot after an injury? Is it just because he is overpaid? If he was making $3 million would that make him a better player? If Gus gets hurt (again) and struggles in the 11 games after he comes back, are we done with him?

As for him riding the pine after a bad game, that's part of the idiotic stance this organization has towards young Dmen. That's part of the problem. That's part of why we have been incapable of developing anybody. You have to let players play.
Define "young." If 25 is young, what is 28? At what point do you stop being young? You want Gus to play this year despite mistakes or bad games, ok fine. What about next year. Is he still young next year? how about 27?

[quote[He's not "just injured." He was pretty severely injured, several times, missing significant amounts of time and getting a lot of surgery. You keep hoping he'll play on like those injuries never happened, but every since his injury woes began that simply hasn't happened, including going into this year. I'm not moving on because got injured. I'm moving on because got injured and has been a bad player since h was injured, even with sheltered competition.[/quote]

I'm not hoping for anything. I am saying if he is playing well, let him keep playing. If he isn't, bench him. He's under contract. He's not going anywhere until he is traded or walks in free agency. No reason not play him if he is playing well.

Mez is NOT a top 4 Dman. He never has been while he's been here. You're confusing him With Pronger, Carle, Coburn, Timonen, Schenn, or Grosmann. He's been a 3rd pairing guy the whole time.
Right now, you are right. He's not a top 4 defenseman. I agree completely. But he had top four abilities before his injuries, even abilities that surpass that of Gus. He's battling back from injuries, he's played in like 40 games since his big injury two years ago. It is by no means a guarantee that he'll ever even get close to that form again, but it certainly isn't some outlandish statement to think that a 28 year old, even after a serious injury, would be able to return to close to his old form.

We are in the process of a rebuild. The D is looking at an overhaul very shortly. The forward group is still developing. Gus is part of that overhaul; a good 3rd pairing guy who has shown competency in the top 4 in the past, who has only ever gotten better overall with more playing time and more experience. So yeah, he should 100% be playing over Mez who should only be a fill-in at this point. Mez is the past. Gus is not.
This is not a rebuild. Edmonton is in a rebuild. Buffalo is in a rebuild. A rebuild doesn't mean your best defenseman will need replacement in the offseason. That is an issue, for sure, but it is not a rebuild.

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