To each their own, but I think Bickel gets an unwarranted reputation around here. There was a 8 or 10 game stretch in there where he was logging big minutes and didn't seem out of place at all. In fact, I think he may have sniffed 20 minutes on a couple nights. He had a rough patch to end the season and lost Tortorella's trust heading into the playoffs. It happens. It was Sather's fault for not thinking ahead and shoring up the defense before the trade deadline.
You said it yourself. Fistric has 5x the NHL experience and is only averaging 4 minutes a night more than an NHL rookie in Bickel. I wouldn't ice Fistric over Eminger, and I'd think twice about giving him time ahead of Bickel. That's just my 2 cents.
Yeah, I don't think he is a bad hockey player at all really.
He is obviously a kid that wasn't that redefined as a 16-23 y/o, but by being in a pro-environment has sorted out alot of flaws and become a player who atleast gets by.
A kid like that who comes from behind in his development with a hockey stick type of curve is always interesting to follow. I don't see why he could keep becoming a better player and that would make him a solid 6. And I don't see why he couldn't become a good 3rd pairing D. The attitude is there. He is built the right way. He isn't the worst stiff I've seen. And so forth.
Works and fits a need for both. I honestly wouldn't be surprised.
I've been following Rundblad this year in the AHL and without seing a ton of video he definitely seem to be doing alright. He is 4th on his team in scoring and 5th among D's in the AHL. Further, its important to remember that OEL and Brandon Gormely also plays for the same team, meaning that someone like Rundblad atleast isn't a given to always see the ice in all offensive situations. I know that he early on atleast had to sit back for those two a bit.
David Rundblad is very interesting. I wouldn't be prepared to take poision on that he will become a star in the NHL. Mobility/gap controll and positioning is an issue for him. He might be one of those players who is caught up in struggles instead of managing to play to his strengths. But no matter what his offensive ability and play on the PP is just really good. It feels like you see many D's nowadays who are very talented offensively, but who isn't a perfect fit on the PP or really thrives there (the zones are bigger, its tougher to be a threat with just a decent shot thanks to that and all the people that get in the way), but Rundblad is at his best for sure on the PP.
I remember when Markus Näslund was dumped by Pittsburgh to Vancouver, and how Keenan in Vancouver never gave Näslund a shot and sent him through waivers a couple of times. Then someone was hurt and Näslund got a chance playing with Morrisson and Bertuzzi and all of a sudden he took off and lead the league in scoring over like a 5 year period from that time. I wouldn't be shocked if Rundblad had that type of break through at the big stage. But just like Näslund was month's from returning to Sweden, where he would have stayed and gone down as a bust nobody would remember, things needs to go these kids way too, they need to take a chance when they get it, they can't be hurt too much, and so forth.
I think he's better than average. He had an up and down year last year, but prior to that he's been excellent. Reminds me a lot of Danny G at the same age. Great shot blocker that keeps it simple, but shows glimpses of being a very good shutdown guy. Just hasn't managed to find the consistency in his game that he needs. He certainly fits the mold of this team.
One thing of note: Hjalmarsson can play the right side pretty well.
Yeah, but Torts want D's with the stick towards the board. You are able to move the puck up ice faster that way for sure, and in the NHL today marginals are important.
To me, it just seems like its either not true or Slats poking around for a LD to use as backup if one of our current LD's would be moved out.
I wonder if Slats will take a stab at Hickey or Wishart on waivers. Neither is NHL-ready, IMO, but both would be considerable upgrades if he can get them down to CT. We're way down on the waiver order to begin with, so it's not like we'd be wasting our spot by picking up a guy only to try and waive him again.
Wishart and McIlrath would make one monstrous shutdown pairing. Hickey, 4th overall by LA in 2007, has had all sorts of developmental setbacks and is now stuck behind a log-jam of NHL ready D with the Kings.
99% of the time you are right but we said the same about Tim Erixon. Business is business. And as far as Cotourier, same stuff was said about Richards, Carter and JVR at times. LA said it about Schenn and Simmonds. All about who is available... if two unavailable guys meet, a trade can happen.
I understand what you're saying and the past examples. BUT this is different. They just acquired his brother in the summer. It's not as if both Schenn's have been playing in Philly for 2-3 years and it is not working out for Brayden. They just got Luke. I'll eat crow if a trade were to happen but I say there is a 95% chance it does not happen.
It can hurt. This team worked hard to build an identity. When I player doesn't fit into that kind of team there is inherently negative aspects to it.
Exactly. Lets go beyond Gomez's play (we can focus on this, because he cant play anymore) - perhaps more importantly, I always thought he was a smug *******. Why would anyone want to inject that into the locker room? This team's core is unified and ready to make a cup run.