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Steve Downie - Top Six?

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08-31-2009, 10:20 AM
  #1
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Steve Downie - Top Six?

Interesting quip from Chad @ BP that pretty much sums up how I feel.

Quote:
The font size can't get big enough for this "if," but IF you take his character out of the equation, Downie has a great chance to be special on that line. He's gritty, he gets his nose dirty, he's an excellent playmaker, and has an underrated shot. He was nearly a 2 PPG producer at the junior level. OBVIOUSLY that doesn't mean he's a lock for pro production, but it does show he has at least hope of producing on a scoring line. Tanguay and Vinny will need someone to play digger on that line, and if that someone has Downie's passing skills, then kudos for that line.

He showed in Tampa that he can stay out of trouble. He was motivated to stay. Not so in Norfolk. That motivation obviously left him in Norfolk, where, IMO, he was also the victim of his reputation with that ridiculous suspension. Can he overcome that with the NHL? Can he overcome that with fans? Will he ever have a chance to play out of his reputation, or will it be an instance where some are just waiting for him to fail again?

Out of the choices we have signed right now, like it or not a motivated Downie is the best option for that line to have success. Has to be a digger, has to be able to skate, has to have some semblance of offensive ability. Obviously that person has to be trustworthy, too. That's where Downie falls and Tyrell and Veilleux rise. This is Downie's best (and maybe last?) chance to establish his NHL career at his highest upside.

Look for Tyrell to make a run. He doesn't have Downie's playmaking skills, but he has everything else, plus character. But his NF eligibility may be taken advantage of so someone like Karsums doesn't go home or Craig is lost to waivers.

Karsums on that line is useless, IMO. He has some offense, but can't dig and has limited hockey sense.

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08-31-2009, 11:14 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Downie

"Downie was selected in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Downie was suspended for five games early in the 2005–06 OHL season for on-ice altercations with a teammate during practice. Downie blindly cross-checked and then fought teammate Akim Aliu during practice on September 28, knocking out three of Aliu's teeth. [1] The incident stemmed from 16-year-old Aliu's refusal to take part in a hazing incident, which involved rookies being forced to stand naked in a cramped bus bathroom. The team suspended Downie for five games and Aliu for one, and Downie was told to undergo professional counseling. Head coach Moe Mantha was suspended by the OHL and later fired by the team, and the team was fined $35,000 by the OHL. [2] Downie left the team and requested a trade, and was eventually traded from the Windsor Spitfires, going to the Peterborough Petes in exchange for Peter Aston."


"Suspensions
During a September 25, 2007, preseason game against the Ottawa Senators, Downie was involved in an incident in which he checked left winger Dean McAmmond. Downie hit an unsuspecting McAmmond, catching him with his head down. Due the extent of McAmmond's injury and that he had left his skates in the hit, Downie was suspended by the NHL, as they were cracking down on any play resulting in a head injury. [3]

On September 28, 2007, Downie was suspended by the League for 20 games. To date, it is the fifth longest suspension given by the league. [4] [5]

On September 29, 2007, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had sent Downie down to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Per AHL by-laws, Downie was considered automatically ineligible to play pending a review by the AHL. AHL President David Andrews ruled that Downie was ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007–08 season. [6]

On March 1, 2009, Downie was suspended indefinitely by the AHL, pending league review, for the physical abuse of an official in a game the previous day. [7] On March 5, 2009, the AHL suspended Downie for 20 games. [8]"

He sure sounds like top 6 material!

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08-31-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra63 View Post
"Downie was selected in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Downie was suspended for five games early in the 2005–06 OHL season for on-ice altercations with a teammate during practice. Downie blindly cross-checked and then fought teammate Akim Aliu during practice on September 28, knocking out three of Aliu's teeth. [1] The incident stemmed from 16-year-old Aliu's refusal to take part in a hazing incident, which involved rookies being forced to stand naked in a cramped bus bathroom. The team suspended Downie for five games and Aliu for one, and Downie was told to undergo professional counseling. Head coach Moe Mantha was suspended by the OHL and later fired by the team, and the team was fined $35,000 by the OHL. [2] Downie left the team and requested a trade, and was eventually traded from the Windsor Spitfires, going to the Peterborough Petes in exchange for Peter Aston."


"Suspensions
During a September 25, 2007, preseason game against the Ottawa Senators, Downie was involved in an incident in which he checked left winger Dean McAmmond. Downie hit an unsuspecting McAmmond, catching him with his head down. Due the extent of McAmmond's injury and that he had left his skates in the hit, Downie was suspended by the NHL, as they were cracking down on any play resulting in a head injury. [3]

On September 28, 2007, Downie was suspended by the League for 20 games. To date, it is the fifth longest suspension given by the league. [4] [5]

On September 29, 2007, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had sent Downie down to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Per AHL by-laws, Downie was considered automatically ineligible to play pending a review by the AHL. AHL President David Andrews ruled that Downie was ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007–08 season. [6]

On March 1, 2009, Downie was suspended indefinitely by the AHL, pending league review, for the physical abuse of an official in a game the previous day. [7] On March 5, 2009, the AHL suspended Downie for 20 games. [8]"

He sure sounds like top 6 material!
seems like as long as he makes it thru the end of september without an incident he's ok for the year!

seriously though, he had an incident at age 18 which was pretty inexcusable, was overly aggressive in 2007 on a check in preseason (almost exactly 2 years later, 3 of the 5 paragraphs you quote refer to the same incident) possibly in an attempt to impress coaches with his grit, and then appeared to be a victim of his reputation while in the AHL at the end of last year...under the circumstances, the incident from 4 years ago is the only one that would worry me, and 2 legitimate incidents 2 years apart and both over 2 years ago aren't enough to be overly worried about a recurrence....i'd be more worried about him being of top 6 quality than about him getting suspended again

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08-31-2009, 11:37 AM
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OHL- 234 points in 190 games
WJC- 12 points in 12 games
AHL- 50 points in 49 games

NHL- different story so far, but I still have hope.

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08-31-2009, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra63 View Post
"Downie was selected in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Downie was suspended for five games early in the 2005–06 OHL season for on-ice altercations with a teammate during practice. Downie blindly cross-checked and then fought teammate Akim Aliu during practice on September 28, knocking out three of Aliu's teeth. [1] The incident stemmed from 16-year-old Aliu's refusal to take part in a hazing incident, which involved rookies being forced to stand naked in a cramped bus bathroom. The team suspended Downie for five games and Aliu for one, and Downie was told to undergo professional counseling. Head coach Moe Mantha was suspended by the OHL and later fired by the team, and the team was fined $35,000 by the OHL. [2] Downie left the team and requested a trade, and was eventually traded from the Windsor Spitfires, going to the Peterborough Petes in exchange for Peter Aston."


"Suspensions
During a September 25, 2007, preseason game against the Ottawa Senators, Downie was involved in an incident in which he checked left winger Dean McAmmond. Downie hit an unsuspecting McAmmond, catching him with his head down. Due the extent of McAmmond's injury and that he had left his skates in the hit, Downie was suspended by the NHL, as they were cracking down on any play resulting in a head injury. [3]

On September 28, 2007, Downie was suspended by the League for 20 games. To date, it is the fifth longest suspension given by the league. [4] [5]

On September 29, 2007, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had sent Downie down to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Per AHL by-laws, Downie was considered automatically ineligible to play pending a review by the AHL. AHL President David Andrews ruled that Downie was ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007–08 season. [6]

On March 1, 2009, Downie was suspended indefinitely by the AHL, pending league review, for the physical abuse of an official in a game the previous day. [7] On March 5, 2009, the AHL suspended Downie for 20 games. [8]"

He sure sounds like top 6 material!
Yeah, totally, lets take nothing but a few suspensions and cherry pick an argument, and pretend that hes never produced.

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08-31-2009, 11:46 AM
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I was actually considering creating a similar thread earlier today when I got to thinking about what Tanguay's signing meant for team needs, and what we need now. Another top six forward. Second liner-ish this time.

Downie plays the game the way it should be, but his behavior has got to be an issue. Though Akim Aliu is normally a guy that stirs up things anyway. I've got to at least respect Akim for not giving in to peer pressure with his team's hazing ********. I believe we can now assume that Steven Downie has stood naked among peers in a bus bathroom.

We'll see what Tocc can do with him. If anyone can get through to him, it's probably Tocc.

But back to the matter at hand, are we comfortable with Downie as top six? Or should Lawton still be actively on the lookout?

As I take it, we now need a second line guy who can hypothetically play third line and the role that comes with it, should Downie prove he's undeniably destined to play with Stamkos.

So with that logic, Petr Sykora would probably then be out of the running. I'd be looking at Kyle Calder now. Versatile with good character. He was the Kings NHLPA rep this past season.

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08-31-2009, 11:47 AM
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He is 100% right. People see the suspensions and tough play and label him as a 4th line agitator/goon which has already happened in this thread. He has a first round pedigree and dominated the OHL (look at his 06-07 year, amazing) and is a PPG player in the AHL.

The worst move the Lightning made the last half of the year was sending Downie down. He needs to spend all the time he can with Tocchet and be put on Walz's workout with Stamkos and you will have a player that compares to surprisingly enough, Tocchet.

Admittedly I am a Downie fan and before Prospal was bought out I did not want Tanguay because I wanted Downie on the 2nd line.

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08-31-2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felonious Python View Post
I was actually considering creating a similar thread earlier today when I got to thinking about what Tanguay's signing meant for team needs, and what we need now. Another top six forward. Second liner-ish this time.

Downie plays the game the way it should be, but his behavior has got to be an issue. Though Akim Aliu is normally a guy that stirs up things anyway. I've got to at least respect Akim for not giving in to peer pressure with his team's hazing ********. I believe we can now assume that Steven Downie has stood naked among peers in a bus bathroom.

We'll see what Tocc can do with him. If anyone can get through to him, it's probably Tocc.

But back to the matter at hand, are we comfortable with Downie as top six? Or should Lawton still be actively on the lookout?

As I take it, we now need a second line guy who can hypothetically play third line and the role that comes with it, should Downie prove he's undeniably destined to play with Stamkos.

So with that logic, Petr Sykora would probably then be out of the running. I'd be looking at Kyle Calder now.
Small sample, but look at his play style in Tampa and Norfolk.

Hes a completely different player in Tampa. Motivated, nasty, but keeps it clean and keeps his head right.

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08-31-2009, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsled Gainey View Post
Yeah, totally, lets take nothing but a few suspensions and cherry pick an argument, and pretend that hes never produced.
He has produced, I dont think you will find many that will argue that point with you. At the same time, you also cant ignore the fact that he has had 2 20 game suspensions. Deserved or not, this guy has a reputation, and there is a calculated risk to giving him top 6 minutes. The onus is on him to prove that he can keep his head out of his ass for a full year while still producing, and until he does that, he is going to have to take the skeptisism that he is a top 6 forward in the NHL in stride. Everyone knows his track record, and he will be a target for the Avery's of the NHL, he needs to prove he can keep his cool.

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08-31-2009, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
He has produced, I dont think you will find many that will argue that point with you. At the same time, you also cant ignore the fact that he has had 2 20 game suspensions. Deserved or not, this guy has a reputation, and there is a calculated risk to giving him top 6 minutes. The onus is on him to prove that he can keep his head out of his ass for a full year while still producing, and until he does that, he is going to have to take the skeptisism that he is a top 6 forward in the NHL in stride. Everyone knows his track record, and he will be a target for the Avery's of the NHL, he needs to prove he can keep his cool.
Sadly, most people argue that point with me.

Suspensions or not, anyone you get at this point is going to be a "risk", and frankly, the non-Downie options are also going to be slow. If you want a slow risk like a Sykora that will have a hard time keeping up with Stamkos, so be it. I'll still take my chances with Downie.

Prongers got a couple of suspensions and has made a hell of a career.

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08-31-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsled Gainey View Post

Prongers got a couple of suspensions and has made a hell of a career.
You are really going to compare Downie to Pronger?!?

There is a HUGE difference between a couple of suspensions and multiple 20 game suspensions.

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08-31-2009, 01:30 PM
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Honestly, the only thing holding Downie back from the 2nd line is his skating. It's attrocious. With that being said, he always seems to be in the right place and at the right time. The key to Downie will be having a head coach who can get through to him and show some patience when he makes mistakes.

Downie was thrown under a bus by the idiot behind the bench in Philadelphia. And idiot is far too nice to describe John Stevens. As others have pointed out, Tocchet is the perfect coach for a guy like Downie because Tocchet was also a Downie type coming out of junior and the AHL (high scoring player, but had a temper that seemed to be out of control).

If Tocchet can get Downie to focus his energy on improving his game rather than running around the ice being an idiot, Downie should be a player in Tampa Bay.

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08-31-2009, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
You are really going to compare Downie to Pronger?!?

There is a HUGE difference between a couple of suspensions and multiple 20 game suspensions.
Yeah, I am, because nobody has done anything but bring up his suspensions as the biggest debate point and have completely disregarded any kind of production and offensive talent he possesses.

Oh, and his skating has improved.

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08-31-2009, 01:35 PM
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The suspensions are overstated anyway. The AHL one is a joke, that should not even be a penalty much less 20 games. If Smolenak did the same move nobody would have ever heard about it.

The McAmmond hit was very bad but I don't believe for a second he intentionally took him out, it was a young player trying to get noticed by coaches by playing the same why the Flyers are known to play. It was a bad hit and he should have been suspended but there have been many bad hits like that that have gone unpunished.

The one form the OHL boys will be boys but Akim Aliu is a team cancer, he has been sent home from the both the London Knights and Chicago's AHL team. I am not saying Downie was innocent but Akim Aliu is an arrest away from being hockey's Elijah Dukes.

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08-31-2009, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
The suspensions are overstated anyway. The AHL one is a joke, that should not even be a penalty much less 20 games. If Smolenak did the same move nobody would have ever heard about it.

The McAmmond hit was very bad but I don't believe for a second he intentionally took him out, it was a young player trying to get noticed by coaches by playing the same why the Flyers are known to play. It was a bad hit and he should have been suspended but there have been many bad hits like that that have gone unpunished.

The one form the OHL boys will be boys but Akim Aliu is a team cancer, he has been sent home from the both the London Knights and Chicago's AHL team. I am not saying Downie was innocent but Akim Aliu is an arrest away from being hockey's Elijah Dukes.
The best part of the McAmmond hit is Colby Armstrong has been doing it for, what, three years? All he is, is a "big hitter".

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08-31-2009, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
You are really going to compare Downie to Pronger?!?

There is a HUGE difference between a couple of suspensions and multiple 20 game suspensions.
What do you consider worse, Downie's AHL suspension or Pronger trying to cut off Kesler's leg?



Pronger gets away with alot of stuff because he is Pronger.

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08-31-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, I am, because nobody has done anything but bring up his suspensions as the biggest debate point and have completely disregarded any kind of production and offensive talent he possesses.

Oh, and his skating has improved.
The suspensions are one of the bigger debate points with him because you cant produce or use that offensive talent when you are sitting out half a seasons worth of games on 2 suspensions, overrated or not. It is a valid discussion point whenever the topic of Steve Downie comes up.

I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. He probably has the potential to be successful in the situation he is about to be put in, if he can keep his cool, because he will be a marked man the same way R2 was because he was big.

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08-31-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsled Gainey View Post
The best part of the McAmmond hit is Colby Armstrong has been doing it for, what, three years? All he is, is a "big hitter".
Chad LaRose too who isn't dirty but a "scrappy" player.

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08-31-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
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The suspensions are one of the bigger debate points with him because you cant produce or use that offensive talent when you are sitting out half a seasons worth of games on 2 suspensions, overrated or not. It is a valid discussion point whenever the topic of Steve Downie comes up.

I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. He probably has the potential to be successful in the situation he is about to be put in, if he can keep his cool, because he will be a marked man the same way R2 was because he was big.
Its the same as someone whos injured half the games producing in the same way.

Thing is, no matter what we do at this point, its a calculated risk and Lawton and crew know it. If you give me a choice of a cheap Downie who agitates, is fast, and plays the kind of game Tocchet wants and someone who is older and a little more expensive, i'll take Downie.

You can mark my words, too, Tocchet is waiting to have someone just like Downie. I would even go out on a limb and gamble that it was one of the reasons Carcillo stuck for so long in Phoenix. Same thing happened with R2 here, gave him a shot, and didn't develop. He wants a nasty, point producing, little clone of himself and i'd pay to watch that every night of the week.

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08-31-2009, 02:06 PM
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Personally, I have heard nothing but good things about this Downie player until I came upon this thread. Which means that he doesnt have anything against him yet in Tampa to say that he doesnt deserve to play in the NHL. So as long as he keeps up his play and doesnt get into any trouble he should be alright.

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08-31-2009, 08:58 PM
  #21
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He is 100% right. People see the suspensions and tough play and label him as a 4th line agitator/goon which has already happened in this thread. He has a first round pedigree and dominated the OHL (look at his 06-07 year, amazing) and is a PPG player in the AHL.

The worst move the Lightning made the last half of the year was sending Downie down. He needs to spend all the time he can with Tocchet and be put on Walz's workout with Stamkos and you will have a player that compares to surprisingly enough, Tocchet.

Admittedly I am a Downie fan and before Prospal was bought out I did not want Tanguay because I wanted Downie on the 2nd line.
Agree almost entirely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
The suspensions are overstated anyway. The AHL one is a joke, that should not even be a penalty much less 20 games. If Smolenak did the same move nobody would have ever heard about it.

The McAmmond hit was very bad but I don't believe for a second he intentionally took him out, it was a young player trying to get noticed by coaches by playing the same why the Flyers are known to play. It was a bad hit and he should have been suspended but there have been many bad hits like that that have gone unpunished.

The one form the OHL boys will be boys but Akim Aliu is a team cancer, he has been sent home from the both the London Knights and Chicago's AHL team. I am not saying Downie was innocent but Akim Aliu is an arrest away from being hockey's Elijah Dukes.
Agreed. Downie just gets popped on stuff because he is Downie. Tocchet will be able to straighten him out, me thinks.

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09-01-2009, 06:51 AM
  #22
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Barring an incredible training camp + preseason in which Downie demonstrates he's the fourth or fifth best forward on the team, I think he starts the year off playing 3rd line RW. It provides the most manageable situation for him to ascend or descend from as his (and to a larger extent the team's) play dictates. Top 6 minutes will be the carrot dangled in front of the Bottom 6 wings to get them to overperform. The only thing that should realistically hold Downie back from a top 6 spot are team chemistry and his own abilities. Someone will seize that oppurtunity, he has as good a chance as any.

I don't put much stock in his 'past' deterring him from achieving NHL success. The McAmmond incident is the only that should have much relevancy to the NHL or its officials, and, he served a suitable and severe penalty for it already. The physicality that is a necessary part of his game could see him cross a similar line of acceptability again, but, I don't think this means every ref will be out to put him in the box just for playing hard. I also don't see anything in the other two incidents mentioned that leads me to think they make him more likely to repeat similarly stupid actions resulting in big suspensions.


All in all I think the 3rd line will demand more discipline, will have defensively responsible high character/leadership type linemates, play less amount and less important minutes, and overall be the best place for Downie to take the next step in his NHL career for better or worse. Here's to hoping he merits a greater role and can move up concurrent with team success.

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09-01-2009, 03:07 PM
  #23
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garmonbozia, good point about the 6th forward spot. just saw an article that stated veilliux was also promised an opportunity to win the 2nd line spot, so it sounds like it will be a little more of a revolving door where the guy playing the hardest will get a chance to feature for a while, like the Employee of the Week's special parking spot if you're willing to really stretch the analogy. seems consistent with some of the line promotions we saw late last season, and gives teams something different to deal with from night to night, and gives everyone back on the 3rd line more reason to battle and make an impact

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09-01-2009, 03:08 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by Off Center View Post
garmonbozia, good point about the 6th forward spot. just saw an article that stated veilliux was also promised an opportunity to win the 2nd line spot, so it sounds like it will be a little more of a revolving door where the guy playing the hardest will get a chance to feature for a while, like the Employee of the Week's special parking spot if you're willing to really stretch the analogy. seems consistent with some of the line promotions we saw late last season, and gives teams something different to deal with from night to night, and gives everyone back on the 3rd line more reason to battle and make an impact
As of about 5 minutes ago, you can add Mark Parrish to that list.

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09-01-2009, 03:39 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsled Gainey View Post
As of about 5 minutes ago, you can add Mark Parrish to that list.
Twitter has so much hockey information, I think this summer would have been a lot worse without it.

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