directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Brassard up; Beech claimed

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brassard up; Beech claimed

By now I'm sure you've all heard that Derick Brassard has been recalled and Kris Beech has been claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks.

First lets talk about Brassard. The 2006 1st overall draft choice lead the teams in pre-season in points. He's got 25 points in 21 games and is a -2 for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. He's also been named to the AHL All Star game. This kid has got talent.

Brassard is a highly skilled center who is great in tight areas with the puck and can really see the ice well. The knock on him, and the biggest reason he was sent to Syracuse, is that he doesn't go to the "dirty" areas of the ice enough and like most young players, needs to work on his defensive game.

The Jackets, one of the worst scoring teams in the league, need an offensive shot in the arm. Brassard is coming off a freak injury that broke his jaw and has been given some time in the AHL to get back into it. Now that he's had a few games the offensively challenged Jackets felt the need to shake things up a bit and give this kid a look at the next level and see if they can help jumpstart this anemic offense.

To me its a no brainer at this point. He's at a point in his contract where playing him will not affect his UFA eligility (we own his rights now no matter what until age 27) and because he's on his rookie deal we can ship him up and own to the minors as many times as we want b/c he's not waiver eligible.

So why not call this kid up and see what's he's got? Especially now with Zherdev out. Best case scenario the kid shines, helps our offense and gets some much needed NHL experience and will help management determine where he fits next year. Worst case he gets sent back down and continues to develop at the AHL level knowing what areas of his game he needs to improve on.

As far as Beech? Well the kid was signed to a 2-way deal as a depth guy. He was given a good shot to stick and he performed admirably during his brief time here notching 9 points in 16 games.

The problem is, and this is most likely the same reason why he hasn't stuck with other teams, is that he just doesn't make enough of a difference out there. He's a below average skater, doesn't hit much (although he did have a great hit on Phaneuf for us this year), doesn't shoot much, doesn't go to the dirty areas much.....average defenively...the only thing he's above average at is his passing. If you can't do those other things well though there are not going to be many opportunities to pass the puck.

Bottom line. Creating a roster spot to move Derick Brassard up was > than keeping NHL/AHL journeyman Kris Beech on this roster. Quite frankly its the right move.

At the end of the day though I wish Beech luck in Vancouver. I'm glad that if he wasn't in the plans here that he's going to get another shot elsewhere. The Canucks are a very good team so this could be a win win for everyone.


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