So with the anti-Georges posts I've seen recently, I thought I'd post what I thought of the situation.
First of all I think he is one of the most popular players on the team, with the fans. His fan draw is not insignificant.
Secondly, he is not doing what people who spend time to analyze the team and game and players, want him to do. (I'm separating fans here into the ones that watch and cheer and have an opinion about the state of things, and the fans who come to message boards like this one, but not only this one, and analyze the players and take the intricacies more seriously. I'm not saying either is better. It's just two different groups.) So for those of us in the second group, we want him to go out and throw his weight around, fighting, hitting, driving to the net, and digging in the corners.
When he first came he was our fighter and enforcer.
Now his role has changed significantly. He is a fourth line guy who is good in the corners and eating up time on the clock, keeping the puck in the offesnive zone. He throws a few hits now and then and will fight in select situations. I really don't think he is our enforcer anymore.
Having said that, I don't think we need an enforcer anymore. We don't have a problem with other teams taking cheap shots at our players with no worries about getting pummelled. There are many guys on our team who will drop them for another player. Our team toughness has gone way up recently.
So that leaves BG as a fourth line guy in a redudant position. On a team that needs to watch their budget, and relies on everyone contributing offensively and defensively, can we afford to keep him? Can we afford to lose him? It's a bit sticky huh?
To me "old time hockey" is a thing of the past. In todays NHL it isn't necessary to have an enforcer but it is necessary to have team toughness. Guys like Moreau, Ferguson, Cross, Chimera, Smith and Staios have enough toughness to stand up for each other, nd they have the ability to play a part in the actual game. Laraque's position has diminished to the point where people refuse to fight him based on his reputation. He hasn't enforced anything and when chippy players are runny around taking shots at Oilers player (McCormick from the Avs as an example) Laraque doesn't even make his presence felt. Frankly I am starting to see the similartities between Georges and DeBrusk. Louie all of the suddent felt he was a 20-20 man and wnt away from his role on the team. Subsequently he was dealt to Tampa. Where is he now? Laraque is an enforcer. His 20-20 annual prediction is ludacris considering that is not even a valid goal for many legitimate players. To me he has abandoned his role and is now becoming a useless part of a team that can't afford his salary.