Shawn Belle was once a very, very highly ranked prospect and a key part on Team Canada's WJC team. Give the guy a chance... some defencemen take years to develop like power forwards take longer. He's only waht... 24??
He's a tough SOB also, which is a good thing. He won't score but he can play an O'B type game and once MAB is ready to go, he'll be the 7th D until O'B is back.
To be honest I havent seen him play for the dogs these year and I barely saw him in camp so Im not going to comment on why he's coming up. I will say that he's one of those players that IF he ever hit his potential, he'd be a BEAST in the NHL. He's a physical specimen but has little hockey sense from what Ive seen. When thats the case it can take many years before they finally "get" it and become productive NHLer's. Im not saying thats the case, just that he's that type of player imo.
MAB obviously isnt in game shape just yet. Two games this weekend should help him get there. To a certain degree the Habs are sheltering him here.
Also even with MAB's eventual call-up in a few days, we are still left with only 6 d-men for the next month or two. The Habs will want to carry 7 guys, and im guessing they would not want to have MAB and Weber in at the same time, so their preference would be to have a 7th guy with a bit more size. At this point the choice comes down to Carle or Belle, and im sure Gainey got some good feeback from the AHL coaching staff and J.Brisebois before making that call.
Really its not a big deal. If Belle bombs Thursday night, then i'm sure we will see MAB on Saturday.
The guy finished +19 last year in the AHL. He's got it defensively. You want pp? I want defense first off. Price looked Shaky these last two games so we must think defense first, I think he'll do alright. Can't wait to see him get a shot here
Weber clearly wasn't ready yet, but he is ahead of Carle, Subban, and Benoit in terms of development. Wouldn't make any sense to call any of them up for a 1-2 game stint.
Belle is a player who has all the tools but no toolbox. Defencemen generally take longer to put it all together. Maybe Belle can be a late bloomer...no harm in giving him 1-2 games with the big club. We all know MAB is coming next week anyway.
I don't find this THAT surprising and bad. Now we have what we have. And while they've tried Weber, they might give a chance to Carle but honestly, I feel that we would have just the same question marks as far as those small d-man being able to sustain a rush. And they clearly don't want to rush Subban. So what the advantage it gives Belle is his speed, something most people here have to agree, we don't have a whole lot in the backhand, and he plays physical so whenever he's going to lose some battles, he might be able to make up for it with his physical play.
Now.....it's not like we have a whole lot of options here. We have what we have. Belle is not the best as far as decision making and we'll know about that real soon. But he is the best option out there, as sad as it sounds.
Last edited by Whitesnake: 10-13-2009 at 06:34 PM.