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Old
02-03-2013, 02:56 PM
  #426
KIRK
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
I think Despres would gain more playing in the NHL, but that by no stretch means he can't go to the AHL and work on his game. A guy like Bortuzzo...yeah, he should probably stay here, not just because of his contract situation, but because he is already regarded as one of the best defensemen in the AHL. He'd benefit more staying here and getting comfortable with the pace of the game.
I don't think that anyone doubts that Despres needs to work on his game. I just think that the 'work' he needs is going to have to come at the NHL level, learning what he can get away with. So many of his mistakes come from not appreciating sometimes the speed of the game and not recognizing situations, but those are things pretty unique to the NHL game. I don't see how much he'd get out of a return to the AHL.

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02-03-2013, 04:13 PM
  #427
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
I don't think that anyone doubts that Despres needs to work on his game. I just think that the 'work' he needs is going to have to come at the NHL level, learning what he can get away with. So many of his mistakes come from not appreciating sometimes the speed of the game and not recognizing situations, but those are things pretty unique to the NHL game. I don't see how much he'd get out of a return to the AHL.
I already posted a link to what DB said before camp.

Despres, according to him, was not brought up to be evaluated.

I'll go with what the coach says over some poster on here.

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02-03-2013, 07:43 PM
  #428
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I'm not getting into this stupidity with you. Rookies make mistakes and have brutal games. Deal with it.

Sending Despres down will retard his growth. Period.

You believe otherwise, I frankly don't care nor could I vehemently disagree anymore.

Ok, and yet you want to ignore the trend that this team has of NOT playing young players/prospects until they're more clearly ready & experienced? This team certainly has that trend -- unless you're going back to pre-Shero era.


Oh, and I keep hearing really smart hockey professionals like Ken Holland, Ray Shero, Scotty Bowman and others talking about how young players can always benefit from getting more experience at the previous level before being brought up. But I guess I should take, like Gospel, the words of just some poster on this board as being more true.


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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
I think Despres would gain more playing in the NHL, but that by no stretch means he can't go to the AHL and work on his game. A guy like Bortuzzo...yeah, he should probably stay here, not just because of his contract situation, but because he is already regarded as one of the best defensemen in the AHL. He'd benefit more staying here and getting comfortable with the pace of the game.

Thanks, JTG, for also acknowledging another practical factor into this discussion. Yeah, Bortuzzo has, in fact, learned and accomplished everything that he can at the AHL level. Unlike Despres, Bortuzzo was voted an All-Star in that league and, as you mentioned, is known to be one of the best Dman at the level over the last few seasons. Keeping Despres in the top-6 means either we HAVE TO trade a veteran like Orpik, Martin or Niskanen right now -- which almost everyone, including me, is against -- or having Bortuzzo rot in the pressbox as the #7th Dman.


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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I already posted a link to what DB said before camp.

Despres, according to him, was not brought up to be evaluated.


I'll go with what the coach says over some poster on here.

Oh, and this would be the first time in NHL history that a good young player was sent back down to the minors/juniors after getting a look in the NHL?

Obviously, Bylsma has some free reign over roster & line-up decisions, but (A) it doesn't mean he can't ever change his mind; or (B) that other, higher people in the organization (i.e. Shero) can't veto his decisions or ask him to reconsider.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
I don't think that anyone doubts that Despres needs to work on his game. I just think that the 'work' he needs is going to have to come at the NHL level, learning what he can get away with. So many of his mistakes come from not appreciating sometimes the speed of the game and not recognizing situations, but those are things pretty unique to the NHL game. I don't see how much he'd get out of a return to the AHL.

The issue, as I've mentioned, is that Despres did not prove to be "too good" for the AHL. He had some inconsistencies there, too, just as he did on the big stage of the WJCs when he played there. I have no doubt that he could continue to find some things to improve on at the AHL level.


I wouldn't necessarily be against Despres staying in the NHL if, say, we were allowed to dress 13 forwards and 7 Dmen like they do in International hockey. I'm also not against him being the first guy to get called up this season in the event of injury, as opposed to inserting Lovejoy into the line-up. But if all of our Dmen are healthy come playoff time, I do not feel comfortable going into the playoffs with Despres being in our top-6. I also don't feel comfortable with him getting ice-time at the expense of Bortuzzo, when the former can play 20+ minutes at the AHL, while the latter would have to sit in the pressbox.


I don't know what the rest of your defense line-up would be with Despres in the line-up, Jiggy; but if you DON'T think that Bortuzzo sitting in the pressbox would be stagnating a good young players' growth, then I'll just be thankful that you're not the one who's managing or coaching this team.

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02-03-2013, 10:31 PM
  #429
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Ok, and yet you want to ignore the trend that this team has of NOT playing young players/prospects until they're more clearly ready & experienced? This team certainly has that trend -- unless you're going back to pre-Shero era.

Oh, and I keep hearing really smart hockey professionals like Ken Holland, Ray Shero, Scotty Bowman and others talking about how young players can always benefit from getting more experience at the previous level before being brought up. But I guess I should take, like Gospel, the words of just some poster on this board as being more true.
You ramble on in a tangent about how this team likes to ripen their young players, then you spout off how Harrington will be in the NHL next season. Please.

Do you know how off the wall you sound contradicting yourself?

Furthermore, anyone who watches Harrington can clearly see he doesn't have NHL strength yet and needs time in the A to get stronger.

Quote:
Oh, and this would be the first time in NHL history that a good young player was sent back down to the minors/juniors after getting a look in the NHL?

Obviously, Bylsma has some free reign over roster & line-up decisions, but (A) it doesn't mean he can't ever change his mind; or (B) that other, higher people in the organization (i.e. Shero) can't veto his decisions or ask him to reconsider.
This is not an evaluation. DB words, not mine.

Either you understand that or you don't. Obviously you don't.

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02-03-2013, 10:39 PM
  #430
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Sorry to be Johnny Come Lately, but while Despres has been uneven at times I think he's been all right overall. I don't think he needs to be sent down at all. You could argue putting him on the bottom pairing would be better for him so they could shelter his minutes, but today was a fast game against a crappy but also nifty offensive team. Again if you're in favor of switching the pairs I can buy that, but I think there's been more good than bad.

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02-04-2013, 12:14 AM
  #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
You ramble on in a tangent about how this team likes to ripen their young players, then you spout off how Harrington will be in the NHL next season. Please.

Do you know how off the wall you sound contradicting yourself?

Furthermore, anyone who watches Harrington can clearly see he doesn't have NHL strength yet and needs time in the A to get stronger.

I don't recall having any personal problems in the past with you Jiggy, so correct me in that regard if I am incorrect. But changing the discussion from Despres to Harrington is either simply moving the goal-posts in the argument, or the issue is personal.


Anyway, you want to talk about Harrington? Sure, I will be thrilled to, because I am excited about this player. If there are two guys in our entire defense core (prospects or current players) that I would not move under almost any circumstance, unless we were literally blown out of the water, it is Letang and Harrington, because I see each of these players bringing elements to our team that is unique, and ones which we can build a core around. Most of the other parts are either currently, or in the future (when the prospect are ready) will be interchangable.


Do we not all agree that, at some point -- and perhaps as early as mid-season -- one of our D-prospects gets moved for help up front? The two guys in our prospect pool I would not move are Bennett (our only blue-chip forward) and Harrington. I would prefer to keep many of them, but I would move Morrow in the right deal (because of Pouliot) and I would move Pouliot in the right deal because of Morrow. Similarly, I would move Despres in the right deal because of Dumoulin, and vice versa. But I would not want to move BOTH of our offense ex-Portland Winterhawk offensive D's, nor do I want to move BOTH of our 6'4 lefty Dmen (Despres and Dumoulin). I would also rather not trade Bortuzzo because he is our only 6'4 righty, is NHL ready, has a great salary and a good overall game. I also think Bortuzzo is very versatile, and think a double 6'4 pairing of Dumoulin/Despres and Bort would be very tough to beat, and Bortuzzo could be our next Hal Gill-type player, and be a factor on our PK against bigger forwards.


Getting back to Harrington: Harrington is just as big/strong and is more physical than Paul Martin RIGHT NOW. Harrington has tremendous character and work ethic, and I would say that he is our 3rd smartest player in our organization behind Crosby and Malkin, or at the very least in the top-5 if you want to include guys like Sutter & Letang in there. Anyway, I'm not talking out of my ass with this player. Did you know that he trains with Taylor Hall and Hall's dad in the summers? (I do, because I know Taylor and his family). I also know other trainers and therapists who have worked with Scott, and I know a couple of guys in the London organization, both some players as well as other people within their team/organization. This isn't blind homerism. I have watched this player the better part of 100 times since he has been drafted, and I can tell you that he has made pretty significant strides in his skating, strength and physicality since last year. If he continues at the same rate, or even if he were to stagnate, I have ZERO doubt that he could play in our top-6 next season, when we may need some cheap talent to replace Martin and/or Orpik for cap reasons, or to bring in talent up front.


Now, getting back to Despres: Again, I like him, and if we were dressing 7 Dmen every night, I would have no problem keeping him here. But when Nisky returns, if we have no other injuries, than Nisky is going to bump someone out of the line-up. The only two choices are Bortuzzo and Despres. Despres can be sent to the AHL, while Bortuzzo cannot, and thus would have to sit in the press box, which is the very definition of stagnating a young players' growth (your words). Where we diverge is that you think Despres has nothing left to learn at the AHL level; while I vehemently disagree because I only feel that way when a player has proven to be too good for that level (i.e. the way Jeffrey was when he was the best player in that league), or when you have a rare player who is so good that they can step into the NHL right out of junior and contribute, and yes: I think Harrington can be that guy.


We will see what the next few weeks bring, but I can say both for waiver/roster purposes, as well as quality of play, that if I had to choose between one of Bortuzzo and Despres in the line-up right now, it would be Bort. If you disagree, that's fine; but just know that that decision either means Bortuzzo rots in the box, or that we are forced to trade one of Orpik/Martin/Niskanen -- and while that may happen in a year or two, I wouldn't do that this season when our goal is to win for the Cup.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
This is not an evaluation. DB words, not mine.

Either you understand that or you don't. Obviously you don't.

Yeah, I'm not an idiot, so I understood it when he said it. I also understand that coaches are allowed to change their mind upon the performance of the player. Despres got demoted and benched at times today. Maybe Bylsma is seeing that Despres isn't quite ready. And if he think Simon is, but other members of the coaching staff or, more importantly, upper management (Shero) disagree, well guess what: Bylsma may be over-ridden. I do not recall Shero stating in a press conference that Despres will be staying here for the whole season. So sorry, that quote, which by now may be antiquated, does not mean anything to me other than they were willing to give Despres the first chance, which they did by inserting him into the line-up ahead of Bortuzzo. Well guess what, if Despres doesn't play like the better player, he'll find himself out of the line-up just like Tangradi has.


The thing is: I don't think Despres is a natural like Doughty or Subban (both future Norris candidates and #1 Dmen), and I don't think a benching will light a fire under Simon's ass, because I don't think it's an issue of work ethic or effort. It's an issue of him needing to learn to adjust his game from the one he played in the "Q", and I think this will take him some time. I also think that Dumoulin is an outright better player and may supplant Despres' place within our organization

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02-04-2013, 12:22 AM
  #432
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Originally Posted by UnderratedBrooks44 View Post
Sorry to be Johnny Come Lately, but while Despres has been uneven at times I think he's been all right overall. I don't think he needs to be sent down at all. You could argue putting him on the bottom pairing would be better for him so they could shelter his minutes, but today was a fast game against a crappy but also nifty offensive team. Again if you're in favor of switching the pairs I can buy that, but I think there's been more good than bad.

Brooksy, this isn't only an issue about Despres. On a lot of other teams, I have no doubt he'd be in their top-6. But him being in our top-6 necessitates either a trade (Niskanen/Orpik/Martin), or having Bortuzzo sitting in the pressbox. And I don't believe that Despres has out-performed any of those or other guys in our top-6. He's also the only one in our top 7 (Lovejoy being #8) who can be sent down.

Niskanen-Letang
Orpik-Martin
Engelland-Bortuzzo


Want to have Despres be the first call up from WBS in the event of injury? Sure, I have no problem with that. Want to have Despres be dressed as the 7th D if we only played 11 forwards? Well, our coach doesn't work that way, and our 4th line is pretty darn awesome. So unless there's an injury or one of those top-6 above gets moved, I don't see why Despres can't get a little more seasoning down in WBS, esepcially if he keeps playing like he did today.


Edit: And again, we cannot discount the possibility of a trade. Unfortunately, I'm not very optimistic that we're going to get a roster player (ie. Setoguchi, Stewart, etc) for prospect like Maatta, who is a few years away. So if we're looking at prospects who are at the top of the list for trade candidates, I'd have to put Despres name right at the top. If there's a team like, say, Minnesota, and they think Despres could look nice on their D right now and would move a Setoguchi or Charlie Coyle for him, we would have to seriously think about pulling the trigger on that deal, especially the way Dumoulin is looking down in WBS as a big-lefty going forward. I just have the feeling that if we're going to move one of our young D for an established or near NHL ready player, Despres is the most likely guy to go.


Last edited by jmelm: 02-04-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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02-04-2013, 12:42 AM
  #433
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I'm convinced one of Martin, Orpik our Niskanen will be traded, unless despres brings us a young awesome winger with years of control. I'd say that it would less likely be orpik based on what he brings to the team. Which leaves nisky or Martin. Now I realize Martin plays a huge role and is playing well, but nisky brings allot of the same play that Martin does and we have more control of nisky and at a much more reasonable cap hit. He also is still improving. Therefore I think we look for a suitor for Martin. This would be smart as we may look to move him in the offseason anyway. I just think moving Martin its the best move we can make. If we don't move Martin I'd say a first and a d prospect get moved. But we would still have a log jam at the NHL level which isn't necessarily what you want with top prospects just sitting down in WBS.

the other situation I can see is moving a first for a forward, standing pat everywhere else, then looking to deal a defensemen at the draft for a first. This would be ok by me too. This would mean we didn't think there was Assn offer that helped our future out there now.

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02-04-2013, 12:43 AM
  #434
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jmelm, why do your posts have those weird double-spaces between paragraphs? I keep getting the urge to quote you just to edit them to the usual spacing most on here use.

In regards to the rookies, I think as long as they get their games in, I don't mind them rotating Despres and Bortuzzo in that 6th spot when Niskanen returns. I hope to God that while Nisky's out that both of them dress every game instead of Lovejoy.

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02-04-2013, 12:52 AM
  #435
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As for Despres.... the truly great thing about him is that - like Letang when he came up - he has enough individual/physical abilities to cover most of his own mistakes. It doesn't mean that they are not some times egregious, but quite often ultimately they don't hurt you.
Yes, there are giveaways and hanging on to the puck too long in dangerous areas, because he has been used to being too far ahead of his competition skating/strength wise to have had a need to simplify his game. BUT the majority of the times, Despres is getting back in position himself and rubs forwards out a long the boards to help clear the danger his mistakes create.

And speaking of Letang, Despres is defensively much more ready than Letang was when getting his first full season. To not give him the time to get fully acclimated with the pace and physicality of the NHL now is simply counterproductive. Not because he is beyond playing in the AHL as such, but rather because the steps he has to take to become an NHL stud for us can only be taken in the NHL and this is where his mistakes will be punished to the extent that he has to learn from them to keep getting significant icetime.

With Despres we have a guy who can be Letang's long term partner and who - for the majority - looks good in that role right now.
The importance of having a guy who in many ways is an ideal match for Letang's strengths/weaknesses playing on our first/second pairing on a cheap contract... cannot be overstated. More so, if we want to imagine that we bring in another of the young guys next season such as Morrow, someone currently playing 4-7 roles is going to make the cut moving up from bottom pairing minutes to top4, and that doesn't happen without accepting the growing pains that are natural.
If we don't allow that process to transpire, we start out next season with the same dilemma that our new candidates for top4 duty are not confirmed. Basically, Simon Despres has to be treated as our John Carlson.

... and the consequence of that is that Shero has to get creative as regards getting value for the asset that is bound to be surplus when Niskanen is back from injury. Hopefully more so than he was with Strait, but if it is Lovejoy getting canned, at least most of can live with not getting a return. It being Jeffrey or Tangradi would make me sick, because I have not at all given up on them yet.

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02-04-2013, 12:56 AM
  #436
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
jmelm, why do your posts have those weird double-spaces between paragraphs? I keep getting the urge to quote you just to edit them to the usual spacing most on here use.

In regards to the rookies, I think as long as they get their games in, I don't mind them rotating Despres and Bortuzzo in that 6th spot when Niskanen returns. I hope to God that while Nisky's out that both of them dress every game instead of Lovejoy.

Don't get me wrong: I wish that Strait was kept over Lovejoy, and that Lovejoy never steps foot on Pens ice again. But if Lovejoy is really well liked by his teammates and has "locker room" chemistry, I could see them keeping him instead. No biggie having him be the #7 or #8 as long as he's staying in the press-box.


As for rotating Simon and Bort, it all depends on how well they play. Bort has significantly outplayed Despres in the last 2 games, and Despres was particularly bad today. Like it or not, Despres time with Pittsburgh might be coming to temporary end and he could get sent back to WBS, until the next injury/illness/whatever occurs.


The poblem with rotating them is that they play different positions. Despres plays on the left-side, and Bortuzzo on the right, so it messes up the pairings when you swap one guy out for another. Nisky really looks comfortable on the left-side, because he has been playing there all of last year and a lot thoughout his career. Thus, he makes a solid partner for Letang, and I think he'll slide right in there when he comes back. That don't bother me at all, because all that's going to do is raise his value if he can perform well in that role, which many of us believe he can (Bylsma, Letang, and Sid included amongst those in that camp). He'll have more trade value after this season or next if he continues to do that, and comes at a very reasonable cap-hit. Now, hopefully Engelland can adjust to the left-side, so he can play with Bort there.

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02-04-2013, 01:44 AM
  #437
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I agree, Tender Rip. Good post.

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02-04-2013, 01:55 AM
  #438
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It does seem as though DB gives a lot more leash to his young defensemen than his young forwards.

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02-04-2013, 02:01 AM
  #439
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There's no reason at all not to keep giving ice time to Bort and Despres. The minutes they are getting aren't that high so they aren't gonna kill us, and it's the regular season so even if they make mistakes we'll be fine since there's almost no chance the Pens could miss the playoffs, even in this shortened season.

If you're Ray Shero and you're worried about those two, then trade for some veteran rentals at the deadline, but I'd at least keep throwing them out there until then, unless their games go so far south that they need to be sent down.

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02-04-2013, 02:07 AM
  #440
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There's no reason at all not to keep giving ice time to Bort and Despres. The minutes they are getting aren't that high so they aren't gonna kill us, and it's the regular season so even if they make mistakes we'll be fine since there's almost no chance the Pens could miss the playoffs, even in this shortened season.

If you're Ray Shero and you're worried about those two, then trade for some veteran rentals at the deadline, but I'd at least keep throwing them out there until then, unless their games go so far south that they need to be sent down.
I agree.

I'd look to acquire a veteran as insurance before heading into the playoffs. Preferably a big bruiser like Regehr.

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02-04-2013, 08:10 AM
  #441
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I don't recall having any personal problems in the past with you Jiggy, so correct me in that regard if I am incorrect. But changing the discussion from Despres to Harrington is either simply moving the goal-posts in the argument, or the issue is personal.
I had a person tell me he wished Jagr would bang my mother, and she was dying of cancer at the time, simply because I kept insisting he didn't care about Pittsburgh. I never held a grudge over that, because I don't take this place seriously. So trying to insist I have a personal thing with you isn't the right tree to bark up.

You made the claim in previous discussions with me that Harrington was ready to jump into the NHL next season. I told you he wasn't physically ready IMHO.

Now you tell me how I'm wrong Despres will stay up and that the Pen's brass love to ripen their prospects.

I simply pointed out how you are contradicting yourself and that DB is the one who said Despres isn't being evaluated.

Quote:
Getting back to Harrington: Harrington is just as big/strong and is more physical than Paul Martin RIGHT NOW. Harrington has tremendous character and work ethic, and I would say that he is our 3rd smartest player in our organization behind Crosby and Malkin, or at the very least in the top-5 if you want to include guys like Sutter & Letang in there. Anyway, I'm not talking out of my ass with this player. Did you know that he trains with Taylor Hall and Hall's dad in the summers? (I do, because I know Taylor and his family). I also know other trainers and therapists who have worked with Scott, and I know a couple of guys in the London organization, both some players as well as other people within their team/organization. This isn't blind homerism. I have watched this player the better part of 100 times since he has been drafted, and I can tell you that he has made pretty significant strides in his skating, strength and physicality since last year. If he continues at the same rate, or even if he were to stagnate, I have ZERO doubt that he could play in our top-6 next season, when we may need some cheap talent to replace Martin and/or Orpik for cap reasons, or to bring in talent up front.
I like Harrington and have had only good things to say about him. However, NHL players train just as hard and are physically mature. He isn't country strong like Morrow, which is why I'm positive that Morrow can play in the NHL now.

No matter how you try to sell this, you are contradicting yourself with insisting Harrington will jump straight to the NHL.

It's not like I'm twisting your argument here Jmelm.

Quote:
Now, getting back to Despres: Again, I like him, and if we were dressing 7 Dmen every night, I would have no problem keeping him here. But when Nisky returns, if we have no other injuries, than Nisky is going to bump someone out of the line-up. The only two choices are Bortuzzo and Despres. Despres can be sent to the AHL, while Bortuzzo cannot, and thus would have to sit in the press box, which is the very definition of stagnating a young players' growth (your words). Where we diverge is that you think Despres has nothing left to learn at the AHL level; while I vehemently disagree because I only feel that way when a player has proven to be too good for that level (i.e. the way Jeffrey was when he was the best player in that league), or when you have a rare player who is so good that they can step into the NHL right out of junior and contribute, and yes: I think Harrington can be that guy.
Nisky was healthy when DB kept Despres on the roster out of camp and DB is the one who said it isn't an evaluation. These aren't things I'm making up. It's clear evidence DB wants him on the roster.

Quote:
We will see what the next few weeks bring, but I can say both for waiver/roster purposes, as well as quality of play, that if I had to choose between one of Bortuzzo and Despres in the line-up right now, it would be Bort. If you disagree, that's fine; but just know that that decision either means Bortuzzo rots in the box, or that we are forced to trade one of Orpik/Martin/Niskanen -- and while that may happen in a year or two, I wouldn't do that this season when our goal is to win for the Cup.
I prefer both and the size they bring to the lineup.

The Kings won with a rookie in their top four and I'm confident Despres will be an asset by the time the playoffs roll around.

If his play considerably detororiates, then I have no problems sending him to the A. I said it would retard his growth. I didn't say he was too good for the A. There is a huge difference.

For now, I see a guy who should be in the NHL and will progress much faster staying where he is.

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02-04-2013, 12:54 PM
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jmelm
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I I never held a grudge over that, because I don't take this place seriously. So trying to insist I have a personal thing with you isn't the right tree to bark up.
Just to be clear Jiggy, I wasn't insisting anything. I also don't hold beef around here and I believe in healthy debates/discussion, so I was simply asking if there was some other issue. I'm glad there isn't because we're both long-time/regular posters on this board and I respect the opinions of people such as us.


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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
You made the claim in previous discussions with me that Harrington was ready to jump into the NHL next season. I told you he wasn't physically ready IMHO.

Now you tell me how I'm wrong Despres will stay up and that the Pen's brass love to ripen their prospects.

I simply pointed out how you are contradicting yourself and that DB is the one who said Despres isn't being evaluated.

I'm not contradicting myself at all, and here's why: there are generalization (the Pens like to have their prospects ripe), but there will always be the odd player who is the exception to that rule. (i.e. Staal, Malkin, Crosby, etc). Now while Harrington may not have the overall Superstar upside that those guys do, I nonetheless believe he fits into the category of being a very special player, and one who is smart and accomplished enough to be an exception, and be able to not only play in the NHL next year, but to make a significant impact. He plays a steady, simple game, and makes the right play 99+% of the time. Thus, he would work really well in a variety of roles and with a variety of different partners. He is also equally comfortable/effective on the left or right sides, which is not something that can be said about all of our Dmen, young or old.


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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I like Harrington and have had only good things to say about him. However, NHL players train just as hard and are physically mature. He isn't country strong like Morrow, which is why I'm positive that Morrow can play in the NHL now.

No matter how you try to sell this, you are contradicting yourself with insisting Harrington will jump straight to the NHL.

I will admit that after last summer and before the lockout, I did say that I believe Harrington could have stepped into the NHL THIS YEAR, even though it was obvious he would finish off in juniors and play a big role in the WJCs, which he did by being one of Canada's top-3 players and their best defensemen (as named by Team Canada's brass & coaches). The other two guys who received those accolades were Huberdeau and RNH, the former looking great in the NHL and the latter having been a rookie last year. Dougie Hamilton, who wasn't as good as Harrington in the tournament is playing a signifcant role with the Bruins THIS season. So I do think, absolutely, that by next season, Harrington could step right in and contribute signficantly.

(Despres on the other hand was shaky at best for Canada at the WJCs as their #6 or 7 guy, as opposed to Harrington, who was on their top-pair last year and their #1 Dman and assistant captain this year).


I will admit that I may have had some concerns about his overall strength & speed in the scenario that there was no lockout and Harrington was a candidate for the top-6 this season, given he had come off such a long & grueling offseason last year. But after seeing everything he has done so far this year -- improving his strength/physicality/speed, being named captain of his team and what I said above about his play/accolades in the WJCs -- I have no doubt that Harrington will be physically ready to play after yet another summer of training.


Now, as I said, I know that Harrington trains with Taylor Hall and his dad in the summer because I know the family and I know people who work with them both. What I know about Harrington is clear: his work ethic is unquestionable, he is mature WELL BEYOND his years, and he understands the nutrition/sacrifice/details of what it means to be at your best. (There will be no issues of him showing up to camp in less than top shape or having to learn how to eat & train right, the way that Despres did when he first came up. Remember what he said about training with Dupuis and eating organic brussel sprouts? There is no such issue with Harrington whatsoever).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
Nisky was healthy when DB kept Despres on the roster out of camp and DB is the one who said it isn't an evaluation. These aren't things I'm making up. It's clear evidence DB wants him on the roster.

All that DB's comment and the decision to keep him on the roster back then means to me is: DB wanted him on the roster back then, and management allowed it. But that does not mean that this scenario cannot change. And we know from history that the Pens usually prefer to keep 7 Dmen and an extra forward during the season,
so I never really believed that we would keep 8 Dmen around all season long. I'm not saying Despres should be sent down immediately. What I said was: Despres has until Niskanen gets back to significantly increase his learning curve and improve his game, because he is making a lot of mistakes right now and Bortuzzo and everyone else in the top 6 (Nisky, Martin, Engo) have looked really, really good.


If Despres can turn things around very quickly, then we will likely have to make a trade to make room for Simon. But given that it wouldn't be prudent to part with depth in this shortened season when some of our other D may not be quite ripe for call-ups yet in the event of multiple injuries, I think it would be prudent to get Despres playing minutes in WBS, because if we keep Despres in the line-up when Nisky gets back, it either means we have to play 7 Dmen/11 forwards (something DB is loathe to do), or bench Bortuzzo, who deserves to play and cannot be sent to WBS. It's pretty simple, if you ask me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I prefer both and the size they bring to the lineup.

The Kings won with a rookie in their top four and I'm confident Despres will be an asset by the time the playoffs roll around.

This is where you and I diverge, because unless Despres can quickly & significantly improve his play, I do not feel comfortable having him in the line-up during the playoffs. If Despres cannot simplify his game and stop making mistakes in the regular season, then I can only imagine that this issue will become worse (and potentially cost us more) come playoff time. The speed and intensity of the game will be taken to another gear, and until Simon shows otherwise, I don't think he's ready for that. I also love the idea of having huge Dmen in our line-up, but that doesn't mean they are all ready to play this season. Next year could be a different story.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
If his play considerably detororiates, then I have no problems sending him to the A. I said it would retard his growth. I didn't say he was too good for the A. There is a huge difference.

For now, I see a guy who should be in the NHL and will progress much faster staying where he is.

I agree, his progress probably would be faster if he stayed in the NHL (though not definitely, because if he's not getting big minutes and playing in all situations like PP & PK, which he is not doing here, he could lose confidence and miss out on working on those other aspects of his game). That said, I don't believe he would be much worse off by being sent down, for all the reasons I just mentioned. He got great experience, knows what he needs to work on to get back to and stick at the NHL level, and can get more minutes, PK & PP time in WBS. I don't see anything wrong with that, as well as being the first call-up in the event of injury. That's what Bortuzzo did last year, and now he's a full-time NHLer. Ditto with Goligoski and a whole host of other NHLers, from this team in the past and all others.

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