directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Brule sent down to Syracuse...finally...

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Brule sent down to Syracuse...finally...

Word breaking today that fomer 2005 #6 overall pick Gilbert Brule has been assigned to Syracuse of the AHL.

This is a great news for a couple of reasons.

1. This kid desperately needs more ice time. He's played in 31 games for the Jackets...scored just 4 points (1g, 3a) and is only seeing 9:49 in average ice time. Brule is supposed to be a scrappy offensive player and that just hasn't happened yet.

2. Get his confidence. Brule came into this league after tearing up the WHL. In his last year in that league he scored 37 points (23g, 15a) in just 27 games. He then went on to tear up the WHL playoffs. Since he's became a pro he really seems to have lost that offensive confidence so this move down to Syracuse should get him loads of ice time and hopefully start to rebuild this kid's confidence.

3. Play with other former #1s. Brule won't be the only guy down on the farm. 2004 1st round pick Alexandre Picard and 2006 1st round pick Derrick Brassard are both currently playing the Syracuse. Its good timing in terms of that dynamic and just having those kinds of players in similar positions to play with should help him adjust relatively quickly.

Some people may ask "what took so long?". My guess is that Howson and co. were probably shopping Brule to see what they could get for him in terms of immediate help for the team and sending him down would really de-value him. Obviously with this move it signals that there wasn't much of a market for this kid so the right decision is to send him down and let him kind of do a reset on his pro career and then go from there.

I do want to say that the organization under Doug MacLean has had as much to do with Brule's slow development as Brule himself. This kid was brought along to quickly and suffered a couple of major injuries in his first stint in the NHL. Then last season when it was clear this kid wasn't ready for the NHL MacLean decided to keep him up anyways insteading of returning him to his junior team to continue to develop. Unfortunately this is another glaring example of mis-management from the MacLean camp.

The good news is that under Howson hopefully this kid's development can be salvaged and Brule can become a key contributer for this organization in the not to distant future. Remember not every player, even first round picks, develop at the same pace and Brule may just need a good bit of time in the minors to find that confidence at the pro level and rebuild his game and then get another shot at the pro level.

He'll get a big minutes in Syracuse and can really be a key player to help them get to the playoffs. Now we'll just have to watch how he handles this. I'm sure he's dissapointed but as a pro he'll just need buckle up, focus and work hard to get recalled -- not gonna do him any good sitting around feeling sorry for himself, which I don't see him doing.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another factor is that Brule won a spot on the team fair and square. He clearly deserved that spot coming out of camp and the preseason. If he had been not so impressive in either he would have been sent down faster.