How has he played in the past 10/15 games? I know he got off to a slow start but he's up to 6 points now I believe. Is it all a matter of playing time or is it something Hitch is doing? Big Giants fan here. Thanks.
I don't know what Gallant and crew did to him through Training Camp, but the guy that was on the ice early on was not the Brule I remembered from the few games he played last season. Quite honestly, I was afraid that whatever they had said/done had damaged the kid.
But he is blossoming again under Hitch and starting to play like the kid that I was really rooting for early on last year. I'm glad to have him close to the norm again. He's playing strong and aggressive, and playing more in the corners than I remember. Not having a lot of really strong scoring chances, but he battles really hard every shift. And I can say he wants a goal, and he fights for it every minute he's out there.
I thought Brule had a couple games there where he was rounding into his form from last season and I was starting to get excited - but he hasn't been good at all the past few games. He'll be here for years to come, but I've lowered my expectations of him slightly.
I think with Hitches coaching/teaching...he will be fine. All the expectation we/front office put on him was a little much I think. Man...imagine being so young like him and being told your going to center a couple superstars. That would not be easy.
crosby is a stunningly awesome talent... got to see the last two pens games...that kid (crying whining whatever!) is *the* superstar in this league.
oops.. oh yeah, and Crosby got thrown on the top line in Pitt and never looked back. Brule's development will be slower ... maybe as slow as Fritsche's, but hopefully not under Hitch's guidance. That's one advantage Brule will have over Parma...a competent coach. Blue Jackets are deeper than the Pens were ... so there's going to be more competition for Brule in order to get TOI similar to Crosby's.
I think Brule is going to be fine, but I also wish we could send him to Syracuse and let him play big minutes for the rest of the year. I think having him down there and Picard up here benefits both guys more and our team more, but it's not an option.
I wish that we could do it that way, Hugg. I am pretty baffled about the way in which Brule has been handled this year...poor planning/management at the very least. It almost seems like we forgot about him... letting dates pass by so he couldn't be sent back to juniors, then scratch after scratch, then playing a few minutes on the ice for a week, then scratched... It makes absolutely no sense and is of no help to Brule or the team. Shameful.
I do think sending him to juniors would have been pretty pointless. He's proven he's dominant at that level and he won a championship. I don't see him getting much out of that experience. At least in Syracuse he'd have something to prove and he'd have the added incentive of knowing he could be called back at any time. Motivating factors.
He handled being sent to juniors very well last year. I'm not so sure he would have responded quite as well this time around. Although that's purely guesswork, he's shown nothing to indicate that.
There's plusses and minuses to every scenario I guess.
I haven't lowered my expectations for his future upside at all. He's still only 19, not everyone can step into the league and be legit right away. If he doesn't show significant strides by this time next year, then I will lower them.
With Brule it's all about fear. Afraid to make a mistake, afraid to get hurt afraid that this might be his last shift for the night. As we say in hockey, it's about managing expectations. If Doug says that Gilbert is going to be a star then bygosh he will.... eventually. And that day may come in a month a year or two. The writing was on the wall during pre-season, the start of the season and now with a new coach.
For a young player change is a very disconcerting thing; not so for a vet. Brule should be playing for Canada at the World Juniors. Doug made a curious decision; which I think he regrets, by not allowing Gilbert to attend the summer evaluation camp in Calgary last August. Talk about a perfect way to develope a young star.
For now with Hitch ,who did a wonderful job with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in Phillie, young Gilbert will just have to sit back and figure it out; whatever it is. I think Carter and Richards could not have been happier(along with the vets) that Hitch was tossed. What a tough world this NHL is on the uninitiated and disorientated.
Brule should be playing for Canada at the World Juniors. Doug made a curious decision; which I think he regrets, by not allowing Gilbert to attend the summer evaluation camp in Calgary last August. Talk about a perfect way to develope a young star.
Again, what did Brule have left to prove in juniors?
Hypothetically, what if he was playing in the tournament this year, and was the leading scorer in the tourney - just completely dominated and tore everything up in sight. What would people say? "Well, he SHOULD be dominating, because he's been in juniors for a long time..."
OK, say he completely sucked - can you imagine the outcry on our beloved HFBoards and across Canada? "Overrated! Look at this bum, can't even score against guys his own age!" Even Nash, who has had success in the NHL, struggled at the international level, and was vilified. It would be twice as bad for Brule, IMO.
So, Mississauga Jim, how does Brule going back to juniors help prepare him MORE for the NHL, than actually PLAYING in the NHL does? Do you think that by scoring 20 goals in the World Juniors, that he would automatically return to the Jackets and become the NHL's leading scorer?
Brule is in exactly the right situation, and will develop into the star he's projected to be.
Your confusing the World Juniors with junior hockey which is incorrect. The World Juniors is an under 20 tournament composed of elite hockey players from around the world. The game is quite a few notches above junior and not quite AHL but close. Brule's development has been stunted in his current situation. I have not read anywhere that Brule is a candidate for NHL Rookie of the year. In fact he's not even rookie of the year in Columbus. Tollefson is right now. And when you look at a Radulov who has been brought along quite nicely in Nashville and was the star of last year's Memorial Cup then I think you can say that Gilbert's development lags. I saw Jordan Staal play live a couple of weeks ago and he has been brought along quite nicely by Pittsburgh. I've seen Wolski and Statsny for Colorado and Kopitar for L.A. The thing that strikes me about the above mentioned is confidence in these players. Don't blame Gallant for Gilbert's lack of confidence- can't be taught overnight.
I did like his toe drag last night- it's good he got the shot off as opposed to Zherdev who is lagging in the confidence department as well.
But to stay on topic- the World Juniors would be a huge boost if Gilbert did play. It's much harder to dominate at this tournament than you think. Malkin who is a few notches above Brule was not that dominating last year with Russia. And Malkin had been playing in the Russian Super League a lot more than Brule is now with Columbus.
And when you look at a Radulov who has been brought along quite nicely in Nashville and was the star of last year's Memorial Cup then I think you can say that Gilbert's development lags.
Brule was also a star of the Memorial Cup last year. And correct me if I'm wrong, Radulov is also not taking part in the World Juniors this year. He is also eligible to play in the AHL, which Brule is not.
In fact, Nashville has done pretty much the same thing with Radulov as Columbus has done with Brule.