* McPhee is likely stuck with Fehr because of the surgery. That leaves a short term roster spot with which to take a swing on a project player.
* It could be this is a sign that Laich is leaving. I doubt this is a player selected to replace Bradley. That would be Beagle.
* On the other hand this is a 23 year old professional player. It could be that letting him develope as an extra is part of the plan. It could also be that this player makes it easier to go slow with Eakin.
Definitely, though he may have an out-clause to return to the SEL if he doesn't make it. Given that he's typically a center I'd put him in the running for 3C/4C, one of the 4W spots or maybe 3RW with Fehr's availability early on in doubt. He did play wing in the WC it looks like. Any of those forward spots that are at least slated to be up for grabs at the moment (except 2LW). He did kill penalties in the SEL but I'm not sure how well. I'll check out some video in the next few days.
Camp depth/competition and seemingly fairly versatile. Sounds a lot like what they were hoping to get in Gustafsson.
First thing I thought of as well.
BGus email to GMGM: "hey George. You have to check this guy out. He's what my PoS son was supposed to be"
We like those swedish centers, thats for damn sure. Even at the expense of low faceoff numbers. Probably because they always seem to be responsible defensively, and Bruce's system requires that re: BBs directive - everyone pinch at every opportunity thing, and the center has to always cover that.
Somewhere across the oceans, Nylander is probably laughing at Bruce. Shunning a player of his status because he doesn't fit the system... when the system fails, who is the fool. Nylander didnt have to do any carpet cleaning commercials pulling 4.875M last year.
If this is a sign Laich is leaving, moreover a replacement for Laich...Then GMGM needs to be brought into question. A team starved for experience and leadership, yet you'll subtract one to add a young, inexperienced player, who hasn't done squat at the NHL level.
Now if he's added for a 4th line role, I have no real qualms about that.
He can't possibly be pencilled in as a starting center, right? Please?
The way some people are talking, you'd think he's being brought in so Knubs can finally drop to the second line.
I think we'll see a lot of Sjogren and Eakin in the preseason and those few games will probably ultimately determine where he fits in. With Fehr out, he could see some early regular season time as well.
I like him as (read: would say that his potential upside is) a 3RW, next to Johansson and Chimera (on paper). That's assuming the Caps pull a 2C out of thin air or force Johansson into the 2C spot. Otherwise, not really sure. He doesn't sound like a pure grinder, but probably not enough touch to project into a top-6 role, unless he develops it.
As far as grit and leadership go, he has some PIMs to show for himself (no idea if they're good penalties etc.), and he wore an "A" in 2009-2010.
All in all, for $900k/yr, not a bad "let's see what happens" deal. Cheap contract if he makes the team, no big loss if he doesn't.