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03-26-2014, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
A lot of people seem to be running on the assumption that Laughton will hit the ice and immediately fill Couturier's skates. I don't buy it. If he had that ability he would be on the team. He's likely several years away from being a crucial player, if he gets there at all. Our forward depth honestly isn't THAT great.
I view the handling of Laughton a bit differently. I think he could certainly be here right now, but this team doesn't "need" him the way we "needed" Couturier, so we're letting him develop w/ top line minutes @ the OHL level (& WJC exposure).

We were a contender during Couturier's rookie year (Pronger was still playing), and he played a role that nobody else on the team could, so we "rushed" him a bit. Had the circumstances been different (if we were a "bad" team or if we had a player who could fill that role) I think they would've let Couturier develop in the Q.

There was no reason to rush Laughton though. We already have a glut of centers and our PK is fairly established (Giroux, Couturier, Read, Hall, etc.). We're already struggling to get some of our key players the playing time they deserve and adding another young center to that wouldn't help. That's why I think they didn't even use him for his 9 game tryout.

But even beyond Laughton, I think we have some pretty fantastic forward depth... I think Read and Couturier are both top 6 caliber players who are playing on the 3rd line. And if Raffl isn't there now, I think he will be soon.

That being said, I don't think Laughton could step into Couturier's shoes, but I do think he is capable of having an impact next year, provided the minutes and linemates are available.

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