Dubinsky vs Malhotra
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03-19-2007, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sin City
Don't agree with a lot of the comments here.
1. Dubinsky better than Savard? Cmon now.
2. Malhotra taken too high? Not at all, he was a consensus top 10 pick and nearly went even higher to Vancouver.
3. Rushed to the NHL? Not at all, he didn't look out of place at all in the NHL his rookie season and popped in 8 goals and 16 points with limited ice time. The problem wasn't rushing him, the problem with Malhotra, like Blackburn, was the second season where instead of increasing the responsibility slightly he was actually dropped further down the depth chart. From there he was told to change positions and the fiasco that was that situation.
The Rangers problem, traditionally, doesn't seem to be the rookie seasons, it's the second or third seasons that they seem to get dumbfounded with. From Granato to Amonte to Malhotra to York to Blackburn to Prucha, it's that 3 year shelf life this team has before they eventually get into trouble. The one player that they did hold on to for too long and turn down good deals for, Kovalev, was probably the one time they should've made the move.
4. I think Malhotra could've been more of a scorer but by the time he was even given a chance to be a player, those possibilities were gone and it was a matter of trying to salvage a third line player out of him. Malhotra showed a scoring touch and abilities in the OHL playoffs/memorial cup (in two consecutive years), the prospects game and other stages.
People forget that he was used by his coach in the OHL as a defensive player during the regular season and that when the leash was removed he often was able to score. Simply going to hockeydb.com and looking at his stat sheet doesn't show that.
It also wasn't just the Rangers who were crazy about the kid. Scouting services, THN, ESPN, everyone loved him. He drew comparisons to a young Brindamour, he was seen as NHL-ready, you name it.
The problem didn't really start until the second season when Muckler (another stooge who got lucky to be in the right place at the right time with some amazing Oilers talent) decided that he was going to try and make his play for the GM spot. Malhotra, whom he didn't want to draft (for the record he wanted Jeff Heerema that draft or a trade for LEgwand that fell through), became his card to play.
Was Smith perhaps a little too excited for Malhotra? Perhaps, but if you saw what he did when he wasn't in a defensive role in juniors you probably wouldn't have thought he was that far off either back then.
As for Malhotra vs. Betts, I'd still take Malhotra. Betts in a good year is looking at 10 points, Malhotra at the very least is about 10 goals and 20-30 points.
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