I assume you haven't watched him this season. He's improved. He still needs improvement on his first few steps, but when he gets going he's not slow anymore. If there was one skill in hockey that can be improved, it's skating.
I agree. I am far from a fan of him but his game has improved significantly.
His skating has never been a strength but its at a point where it won't hinder him. His boardwork has improved a lot this season as he has become more and more dominant at this.
Offensively you would like more as the points just aren't there.
However for the first time i can see him being able to play on more than just a scoring line. In the past, he was only effective with Koivu. Now if the scoring doesn't pan out, i can actually see him playing a third line role and adding secondary offense. His defensive game is what surprises me most this year. IMO, he is actually becoming very effective on the defensive side of things. He finally knows where he is supposed to be and he always back checks hard.