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02-18-2004, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by flyers guy
Nope, Oates was leading the league in assists, I believe, and was also in the top 5 in the point leaders when we acquired him. Francis has 24 points in 58 games this year, it's not even close to being the same situation.

Factor in that EVERYONE has admitted that Oates was highly overpaid for, not the norm, and that Francis is not as good as Oates was when we acquired him and you'll realize that you're not going to get a whole lot in return for Francis.
As a Flyer fan with Keith Primeau, the all star, you should be the first to recognize that it's not all about point production when talking about the value of a player. If this were true, what would Keith Primeau be worth to a person who hadn't seen him play this season.

Ron Francis is probably twice as good on defense as Oates was at the time, and he's a far better leader in a sense that he's never been a distraction at any point in his career and even managed to tame the likes of Jaromir Jagr, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since. In my book, there are only four other players in the NHL right now that command the respect that Francis does. Steve Yzerman, Scott Stevens, Mark Messier, and Mario Lemiuex.

Even as recent as two years ago, Francis has been a name that was associated with the Selke trophy for the league's top defensive forward. That is quite the accomplishment for a player as up there in age as Francis is. He plays the most cerebral game in the league almost, and that isn't something that leaves you in a hurry.

As for the reason behind his point production, he hasn't had productive linemates at any point during this entire season. He can't do it all by himself. The style of game that Francis plays is very dependant upon being placed with a finisher in order for him to rack up the points. His lifeless numbers are represenative of his lifeless linemates. He's one of the best setup men in the game, but when you don't have a finisher that is clicking it doesn't matter.

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