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06-07-2010, 03:05 AM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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Move Colton Gillies to defense...

Seriously. I know he's never played that position for an extended amount of time but other players have done it, and hell 20 points from a defensive-defenseman is better than 20 points from a third line checker.

He can skate. He can hit people. Take the next 2-3 years and let the guy develop as a defensive defenseman. I mean we were just going to let him develop into a checking winger. Why not add another defenseman to our stash. Especially one that is more stay at home than roaming.

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06-07-2010, 09:13 AM
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idk, I have a feeling in a few more years gillies could be a big part of the wild and its new style. Why completely change gilles position and style when the game he plays now fits so well in the new system? i say stay the course with him give him another year or two in the minors to really find his game, and watch him suprise alot of critics when he does make the big club.

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06-07-2010, 09:41 AM
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Why? That is my only question with it. We have more than enough defensive prospects to supplement the team if the need arises. Changing his position only keeps held back even more when the guy is basically on the verge the last two training camps of making the team full time. He was heartbroken like crazy last year after camps and he was going to Houston because he busted his ass off. Hopefully he will take Boogaard's spot and get some playing time with Clutterbuck and Brodziak and see how that line meshes out.

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06-07-2010, 10:22 AM
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Our forward prospects are much behind our defense ones, yet you want to move one of our top forward prospects to defense just because Brent Burns had success making the switch? Burns was a d-man growing up, Gillies was not. There is no guarantee that he will only be a 20 point player either. I also don't see how you think he'd be a defensive d-man when he might be the best skater we have, and considering nearly his whole career has been as a forward, he'd be looking to jump the rush as a d-man.

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06-07-2010, 10:25 AM
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I think we just keep him as a forward, I don't really see the point in moving him to defense at this point. Just give him another year down in the AHL (maybe if injuries happpen, a call-up) and hope that he might find his offensive game and continue to hone his game period.

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06-07-2010, 10:33 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
Seriously. I know he's never played that position for an extended amount of time but other players have done it, and hell 20 points from a defensive-defenseman is better than 20 points from a third line checker.

He can skate. He can hit people. Take the next 2-3 years and let the guy develop as a defensive defenseman. I mean we were just going to let him develop into a checking winger. Why not add another defenseman to our stash. Especially one that is more stay at home than roaming.
1. Other than Nick Schultz, how many defensive defensemen has this team developed?

2. Is there really a need for another defensemen in the system? Especially compared to the forward pipeline?

3. Doesn't have the Wild have a shortage of physical forwards?

4. Why spend all this time converting Gillies when he can be let go after next season? It's not the best option in my opinion, but if you don't want him then it's entirely possible to stick out the season and non-tender Gillies.

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06-07-2010, 12:12 PM
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Or we could just let him play two more seasons in the AHL, and surround him with some talent down there.

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06-07-2010, 12:35 PM
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While we're at it, we should have Backstrom be our top line scoring winger and Schultz can be our second line center.

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06-07-2010, 02:59 PM
  #9
thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by GopherState View Post
1. Other than Nick Schultz, how many defensive defensemen has this team developed?
Stoner actually as well. Scott. We haven't really drafted a lot of defensive-defensemen in our drafts.

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2. Is there really a need for another defensemen in the system? Especially compared to the forward pipeline?
Actually yes. What we're missing from the pipeline is elite, scoring forwards, something that Gillies is not. We're also missing defensive defenseman as well. We have Scandella, Cuma but they are more two-way then stay at home. Falk could possibly be a stay at home. Then in the NHL you have Zidlicky, Burns, Barker as all two-way, flashy defensemen. Noreau as well if he gets called up. Stoner is constantly injured and Zanon has one year left.

We have a LOT of checking forwards coming through right now. Almond, McMillan, Gillies...well more than our offensive forwards.

If we move Schultz, we'll have a depth problem with defensive defensemen.

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3. Doesn't have the Wild have a shortage of physical forwards?
Not really. Almond, McMillan, Kassian, Clutterbuck. Those three need a few years. Plus do we really want to roll two scoring lines and two checking lines?

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4. Why spend all this time converting Gillies when he can be let go after next season? It's not the best option in my opinion, but if you don't want him then it's entirely possible to stick out the season and non-tender Gillies.
Why did LA try to move Boyle to defense?

Because this team needs players at pretty much all position except checking forward. For everyone that wants to get rid of Schultz, WE HAVE NO REPLACEMENT FOR HIM. Period. Zilch. We don't have good defensive defensemen at all. Because we never drafted or sign any.

I don't know why people continue to think Gillies is going to find his scoring touch. Even Carson McMillian and Cody Almond had more goals than Colton did in the WHL. He's not going to magically become a 20 goal scorer when he can't even pot 10 goals in the AHL.

Gillies played a few spots on defense in the WHL when his team needed him.

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06-07-2010, 03:16 PM
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Gillies also never got to play his last season in the WHL because he was up in the NHL. His team was also horrible his last season, and was the 2nd leading scorer on his team(oddly enough former Wild 2nd rounder Ondrej Fiala led the team in scoring, and we didn't sign him because of knee issues). McMillan was 5th his last year, Almond 3rd.

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06-07-2010, 03:20 PM
  #11
thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by saywut View Post
Gillies also never got to play his last season in the WHL because he was up in the NHL. His team was also horrible his last season, and was the 2nd leading scorer on his team(oddly enough former Wild 2nd rounder Ondrej Fiala led the team in scoring, and we didn't sign him because of knee issues). McMillan was 5th his last year, Almond 3rd.
But they still scored more than a dozen or so goals.

Gillies was a big bodied presence. Yes, he might have had a sucky team but so do other guys. The fact is, he can't score goals.

He had 7 goals in the AHL. As many as Almond. And he has more experience than Almond. McMillian had 4 but both Almond and McMillian played less time than Gillies.

Oh and Almond played half as many games less than Gillies (48 vs 72)

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06-07-2010, 03:31 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
But they still scored more than a dozen or so goals.

Gillies was a big bodied presence. Yes, he might have had a sucky team but so do other guys. The fact is, he can't score goals.

He had 7 goals in the AHL. As many as Almond. And he has more experience than Almond. McMillian had 4 but both Almond and McMillian played less time than Gillies.

Oh and Almond played half as many games less than Gillies (48 vs 72)
Gillies confidence was also shot from being outmatched in the NHL the year before, while McMillan and Almond's confidence was at an all-time high after their seasons in the WHL.

And for the record, I consider Almond a better prospect than Gillies at this point. But Scandella is BY FAR our best prospect. Gillies on defense plays where in Houston? Behind Falk, Noreau, Scandella, Prosser, and Cuma, assuming they all begin down there. He'll play as a top-6 forward, not a #6 d-man in Houston next year. With the players down in Houston next year the right coach is KEY, we can't afford another Daum.

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06-07-2010, 03:44 PM
  #13
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TSK, the issue is that you are proposing a move based upon other moves and believing that Gillies will be able to maintain his goal-scoring pace and play good defense. It's hard to see that continuing as well as hoping that the Aeros will be able to convert him into a quality defensive blue liner; hell, it's hard to see Houston giving the time to Gillies given their blue line this season but hypothetically I'd expect something closer to Burns-lite.

Given the options the best one is to put him up against the Kassians, Almonds and other physical forwards in the minors rather than putting him up against the other defensemen in the minors. The team has failed to draft and develop scoring forwards and because of that they are dealing with the consequences of having a glut of grinders and hopeful scorers. It's disappointing that Gillies does not appear to be a goal scorer after spending a first round pick on him, but you play the hand that was dealt and it is still possible for him to be a presence on the Wild. That might even be this season given how it appears Minnesota will be lacking toughness.

So in conclusion, making a move like converting Gillies to defense is only something which should be done as a last resort. Given the Wild have defensemen in the wings and can sign another free agent over the next two years or not trade Nick Schultz, it's hard to see this as a last resort.

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06-08-2010, 02:28 AM
  #14
thestonedkoala
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I don't care if he scores 1 goal as a defenseman. If he can maintain his presence, his skating ability and defensive awareness as a defenseman while only pitching in a few goals and a few points but keeping the other team off the board, then it's worth it. Even a Burns' lite would be good for this team on defense.

Noreau I don't see having much of a career in the NHL. He's too small and I see him more as a Roche type. Prosser possibly but Scandy, Cuma, Gillies and Falk as the top 4 with Prosser and Noreau in there, that would be a solid group of defensemen.

It's not a last resort but making the best out of a bad situation with Gillies. The guy can skate. The guy can play defensive hockey. But he has no, zilch, offensive awareness at all. Which we knew when we drafted him. Which makes no sense why we didn't stick a smooth skating, defensive player on the blueline in the first place. He has the size, the ability, and the capability to become a solid blue liner.

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06-08-2010, 08:30 AM
  #15
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Gillies may be able to skate, but how is he going the other direction? Does he have the form you need from a defenseman? Can he successfully keep his legs underneath him moving laterally while maintaining speed? How he is with gap control at the blue line? Does he have the ability to change direction to apply pressure?

Just a guess here, but considering he likely hasn't played much (if any) defense, I'd say he's very poor at everyone of those things at the NHL level. Playing defense isn't something you can just "switch" to if you don't have any experience playing it at a high level.

You're suggesting he'd probably be a bottom pairing defenseman, if he is even successful in his transition, right? Why even bother making that switch, then? What type of drastic upgrade would Gillies make as a prospect in that scenario? Either way you're looking at a role player. Why not leave him where he's at instead of throwing even more adversity at him than he's already experienced in his professional career?

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06-08-2010, 12:58 PM
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Exactly, you don't just "switch" to defense when you've never played there before.

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06-08-2010, 02:51 PM
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I'm just echoing what others have stated but we have defensive depth in Scandella, Cuma, Prosser, Noreau and Faulk. Scandella would be better served to be the shutdown defenseman that you are alluding too. I'd rather keep Gillies at forward and hope he can become a tenacious forechecker with good leadership qualities.

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06-08-2010, 07:33 PM
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time to bring gillies up again! I'm only half-joking...if he's decent defensively and can play with the same snarl he did in the AHL he'll add more to the team than he did the first time around. He could easily replace Sheppard.

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06-11-2010, 11:31 PM
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No offense here but you didn't advocate for moving Jake Reed from WR to TE did you? Not your best idea.

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06-11-2010, 11:46 PM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Jocksta18 View Post
I'm just echoing what others have stated but we have defensive depth in Scandella, Cuma, Prosser, Noreau and Faulk. Scandella would be better served to be the shutdown defenseman that you are alluding too. I'd rather keep Gillies at forward and hope he can become a tenacious forechecker with good leadership qualities.
Again you guys might be seeing something different in Noreau but a smallish, defenseman that isn't physical isn't something Minnesota needs.

Both Scandy and Cuma could be a few years away.

Prosser? Faulk? I see them more like Stoner.

BTW Gillies has played games on defense.

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06-12-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
Again you guys might be seeing something different in Noreau but a smallish, defenseman that isn't physical isn't something Minnesota needs.

Both Scandy and Cuma could be a few years away.

Prosser? Faulk? I see them more like Stoner.

BTW Gillies has played games on defense.
Scandella almost made our team last year, and if he doesn't make the Wild this year he will be Houston's #1 d-man. Gillies would need 2 years in Houston to learn the position, and this year would be behind all those guys in Houston(Falk, Noreau, Scandella, Prosser, and Cuma). At forward he cracks Houston's top-6.
Prosser's game is much different than Falk and Stoner, primarily due to his skating.

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06-14-2010, 01:03 PM
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Jarick
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Cuma wasn't far off from making the Wild two years ago as an 18-year-old. Wouldn't surprise me if it clicks for him and he gets back on track.

When did Gillies play defense?

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06-14-2010, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
Again you guys might be seeing something different in Noreau but a smallish, defenseman that isn't physical isn't something Minnesota needs.

Both Scandy and Cuma could be a few years away.

Prosser? Faulk? I see them more like Stoner.

BTW Gillies has played games on defense.
My sentence was written poorly. My point was we have defensive depth. The way I wrote it implied that all of those players mentioned had potential to be shut-down defensemen. Out of those mentioned, I only believe that Scandella has the potential to be a true stay at home defenseman. Even though Cuma has been described as a defensive defenseman, I don't think his size will allow him to be a punishing one.

However, even if they don't, the fact remains that we have Gillies, Almond and Wellman up front for prospects that are closest to being ready. You add Gillies to the backend and that depletes the forward depth even more.

This would make sense if you or others have watched a lot of his AHL games, and have come to the conclusion that he is very good defensively in his own zone, good on closing gaps, good in lanes on the pk, then there is some justification for believing he might be better on defense. But, basing your conclusion on the fact he is big, mobile and played defense a little bit in juniors isn't very strong.

In other words, I think that if Gillies displayed strong defensive acumen, the coaching staff in Houston or in MN would have already seen it.

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06-14-2010, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
Again you guys might be seeing something different in Noreau but a smallish, defenseman that isn't physical isn't something Minnesota needs.

Both Scandy and Cuma could be a few years away.

Prosser? Faulk? I see them more like Stoner.

BTW Gillies has played games on defense.
I'm not sure if you watched at the end of last season but Prosser did not look out of place at all and according to what Russo has said both he and Scandella have an excellent shot at next years team and from what I have seen from both having watched more Prosser than Scandella I agree.

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06-14-2010, 03:02 PM
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I also find it funny that you point out that Scandella, Cuma, and Prosser are all 2-3 years away from the NHL, but we should move Gillies to defense and let him "learn" the position for 2-3 years.

And after spending 2 years of his RFA status "developing" as a checker, we're going to spend another 2-3 years teaching him how to play defense? And we'll get, what, 1, MAYBE 2 years before his unrestricted?

Brilliant!

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