I haven't seen Burns play in pre-season or in intra squad games, but they should send him down to the OHL . He still hasn't dominated in Juniors, so why rush him ?
If i'd be Lemaire, i'd rather see Matt Foy or Stephane Veilleux in the lineup, no doubt .
Don't really need to dominate the OHL to be NHL-ready. Look at Ryan Kesler, he didn't dominate last year but he's NHL-ready right now. Umberger did dominate, but he doesn't have a contract. Same with Burns, played well in the OHL, didn't dominate, but he's NHL-ready right now in Lemaires eyes.
Don't get your hopes up too much. When all is said and done, there will be two more cuts later on.
THere will be 3 more cuts in the end after Park, Dupuis and Gabby come back. 2 of those 3 cuts will be Brandner and Daigle. And, if there are no more injuries, the third would probably be Roche. There's always an injury or two though.
I said this on the Wild.com board. People that keep expecting Darby and Dowd to be cut are fooling themselves. I just got done watching the replay of Game 6 in the Avs series. With the game tied 2-2 with 1:00 minute remaining, Lemaire sent Darby out on the ice. Does that sound like a move that a coach makes with a "bubble" player? Lemaire likes Darby and Dowd, regardless of whether most fans do. They're not going anywhere.
One never knows if the younger group of players will ever make it here, but they will get there chance at the expense of a certain group of fan favorites. (or non-favs) It's a good thing expansion came along to save some of these guys careers. They have worked there butt off to keep there jobs and DR and JL have rewarded them for that. But you can't keep a half a team of grinder types and expect to be part of the elite. Other players need to get the icetime that they take up. And this year seems primed for that. The longer the holdouts linger, the more chance the team struggles to score and win. If guys take there demotions right and play well in Houston, there will be time for them this year.
I was a little surprised to see Muckalt go, but leaving him unprotected tempered that surprise a bit. Risebrough's quoted in one of the paper's that it will be good for him to regain some confidence down in Houston. I think that makes sense. When he came back after the injury last season he really didn't look like the same guy. He may be first in line down there. (Wonder if he's on a one way contract...)
Veilleux I thought looked pretty decent in the handful of preseason games I saw him in, but it seems the team wants to see points from him.
Sending Foy down makes great sense, I think. I thought he looked good, but rough around the edges. Some AHL time could really do him good I think, provided the environment in Houston is a good one. Hopefully it will be.
I half-expected Brandner to go down for a bit, in my mind he was definitely on the edge. Hopefully he keeps improving and sticks for the whole season, because when he looked good, he looked pretty good, if that makes sense.
I see nothing wrong with the way we have brought up young guys. Year one. Gab and Schultz make team as kids. Maxim and Lubs are though to be able to fill roles. Year two. Mikko, raw knew he would take a few years. Veillieux a call up so very close to being a main stay. Wanvig needs to polish up a bit but has been up. Year three. PM makes the team. Harding possible future goalie. Brander another vet that could fill a role. Foy and Hannula see Wanvig. Year four. Burns makes team. O'Sullivan a steal, Bolduc and Irman need to devolop Both have size and a + in physical play. Then guys like Roche and Wallin needed time to get used to the physical play of the NHL. Both great offense upside but needed to work the D side out. So you have Gab, Schultz, PM, Burns, Roche, that have came through. Plus Maxim(bust) Lubs and Brander for old Euros. 7 draft picks and one college FA in 4 years i am ok with that.
Travis Roche...guess it's do or die time for him. Big money = minor results. It would be nice if DR took another trip to the "Devil's Market" and pick up a former Goph to get bigger on the blue-line. I like Brandner though, looks like he's destined for Walz-Time ...gritty...