I've been kind of lazy over the last two seasons (since I moved from Raleigh to Florida) and haven't been watching games as intently/religiously as I used to. Tim Brent has been our 4C for almost two years now and I believe he has done a great job. Maurice and Muller have both used him on the powerplay and I know his defensive skills are top notch (or at least they were in the game against Toronto in 2010/2011 where he pretty much killed a 2 minute penalty by himself).
My question is why hasn't he been considered for the 3C spot? Jussi has done alright but it's clear he's more comfortable as a wing. If we move Brent up to the third line and send Wallace back down we can bring up Nash or Welsh to fill in on the fourth line.
Nash wold be my first choice up as he has done much better in Charlotte than Welsh.
Riley Nash: 46GP-8G-20A +10
Jeremy Welsh: 48GP-7G-8A -4
When we acquired Nash I believe we were hoping for a good two-way 3/4C. He's been playing on the 1st/2nd line in Charlotte and I think he's proven himself. Let's give him a chance in the NHL. If he's not ready for the 3rd line then let him cut his teeth on the 4th. Brandon Sutter spent most of his rookie year there and look how he turned out.
Brent doesn't have anywhere near the offensive skill to play in the top-9. It's not close, at all.
The reason he plays on the PP is because we need a right-handed shot who can threaten the defense from the back side. We have used Faulk and McBain in that role as well, but it helps to not have to slide a defenseman all the way down to the circles on every PP. Brent does an adequate job of filling that role, but he is far from a strong option.
I like Tim Brent, don't get me wrong, but he is an average 4C and absolutely nothing more. Nash... I don't know what the deal is, but the coaches/management don't seem to want him in Raleigh for whatever reason.
I'm starting to feel like we're going to look back on JR's spring 2012 comments about Welsh and laugh.