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07-01-2014, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by codeman00 View Post
I'm curious if you or anyone else on this board remember that Craig Smith is still on the team and that every year he gets progressively better and better? I know everyone wants a huge trade to get a proven guy...but I think we might actually be growing one from within. He's going to be more than capable to keep up with Neal and I think they will work well together. Yes, another piece would be great but I find it comical that everyone keeps saying there's no one on the team worthy of being on the first line.
I remember Smith hes a third liner on a NHL playoff team. As for progressively better well his season last year will need to be repeated before that can be a true statment. The guy runs hot and cold even last year his best year he ad a 9 game streach without a point and a 21 game streach without a goal. That alone does not automatically anoint him to be on the first line with Neal.

Also please consider that Neal and Smith play the exact same style of hockey gliding into the slot seeking a pass or cleaning up a rebound. And I do not think theres much of an argument that Neal is a better finisher. So in my view haveing two player on the same line like that is counter productive to the line being successful.

If Smith can repeat his 20 goals from last year then perhaps it will be time to consider a larger role for him but the proof is in the pudding. he is just as likley to regress just as Wilson did are to match and beat his previous year. But that will be decided on the ice. There are numerious F/A out there that have proven they cal produce in the top 6 Vrbata Stempniak are two off the top of my head. Mason Raymond is also out there and if given a chance he would pass the litmus teast as well. He stifled in Vancouver behind there top two lines, was sent to the Leafs and did well considering the role he was put in.

Thge Preds have waited on potential forever and the last couple season the young guys have been given greater roles with very limited success. And I for one would point out that it is the reason the team is in the situation it is. Players not living up to there potential or regressing.

The team has some promising youg guys in the system that may be able to play top 6 in a few years but these guys are not Nathan McKinnon who can jump in at ply that role from the start. They must do there time on 3rd and 4th line to get ready for bigger and better things.

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