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Thursday, August 21, 2008

THN's Proteau gives Legein a pass

THN's Adam Porteau has a blog post up about the Legein story and had this to say:

I hope the young man isn’t vilified for his decision. Who among us hasn’t had doubts in our late teens (or for that matter, well beyond that age) about our direction in life? Legein’s biggest problem is he has been in a line of work that receives so much publicity and adulation most casual observers assume he should be down on his hands and knees in gratitude for the opportunities he’s been afforded.

That attitude has some degree of validity. At the same time, though, nobody knows what led this kid to his decision. There was also no guarantee he would’ve evolved into a full-time NHLer, especially with his modest size – he’s listed at 5-foot-10, which means he’s likely an inch or two shorter than that – and in the end, he’s the one who has to live with the ramifications of his choices, the same way we all do.


Oh really Adam? Somehow I think that tune he's singing would change pretty quickly if it was a Canadian team he just "retired" from.

This was an interesting rebuttal from a poster over there.

You also forgot to mention that he had no trouble taking $$ in the signing bonus before he decided to 'retire'. The Jackets have put a heck of a lot more into this kid than he has given back to him and they, if nobody else, deserve more than a random call from the agent with no explanation from him. If he is burnt out, fine, then say that and do so in a professional manner. The kid is being held accountable by an NHL team for the first time in his life, and clearly didn't care for it. Instead of responding accordingly, he decided to quit. You have to have a career of some sort before you can actually retire from it. This is nothing more than a spoiled kid throwing a tantrum.

Of course we also have the mandatory shots at Columbus and their history of losing. Gawd I hope we shove that crap down some of these folks throats next season.

As far as Legein I think its great everyone is pointing out the fact that its his choice, so what if he doesn't want to play, etc, etc. Hey, if the kid wants to party or whatever it is he's doing now and flush a promising pro career down the drain then more power to him - but at least own up to your decision and make a statement and put closure around this thing so everyone can move on.

Chris Nichols of Sportsnet takes a peak at line combos in the Central division - here was his prediction on the Jackets:

Nash-Umberger-Huselius
Modin-Filatov-Novotny
Torres-Peca-Chimera

Quick notes: Rick Nash still may not have a stud number one centre with which to play, but the situation is going to look a lot more rosy in Columbus this year for him than it has in past seasons in that regard. I’m quite giddy at the thought of the season that Nashman could have, actually.

R.J. Umberger will be given a shot to feed both Nash and Kristian Huselius off the bat, which will give him a chance to emerge from the large shadows cast by Daniel Briere, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in Philadelphia.

Young Nikita Filatov, fresh from being selected sixth overall at this summer’s draft, should infuse this line-up with offensive punch and he seems like an excellent bet to make this roster. He’s also going to be tried at centre first.

If Derick Brassard looks good in camp then it’s possible he and Filatov could be paired together on L2 despite the fact that they’re both potential centres. A veteran like Fredrik Modin might complement them nicely, if that’s the case.

Mike Peca would best be used in a third line role because of his defensive abilities, but he’s certainly quite able to step into a second line role if the kids don’t show much to begin with. If Umberger can’t get the job done on L1 (I think he’ll be ok, actually) then Peca would also do in a pinch there.


Well at least he got line one right, right?

To his defense I will say he certainly doesn't follow this team as closely as a hockey nerd like myself so I'll cut him some slack but of course I've got to dissect his lines -- its what we do here right!

I don't see any scenario where Filatov starts the year as the 2nd line center to begin with. True he could shock us all and be a franchise type guy who steps in and doesn't leave the coaching staff any choice but I find that highly unlikely. Instead I think he starts the year in the AHL or if he makes the NHL squad it will be as a wing.

I also don't think Novotny gets any higher than the 4th line other than spot duty here or there. Just to much depth in front of him now.

The second line right wing is a big question mark (which reminds that Hitch mentioned the same thing yesterday). Ideally it would be great if Voracek could slide right in there but I don't see him grabbing that spot until the second half of the year. Instead I see Torres getting a long look there with Voracek or perhaps maybe even a guy like Filatov grabbing it away later that season.

The third line will definitely see Peca in the 3rd hole with guys like Chimera and Boll on the wings.

The fourth line should see Manny in the middle as he's carved out a nice niche for himself as a face off specialist and PKer. Murray and Voracek are my bets to start on the wings early with guys like York and Novotny waiting for their shots. Pineault, Sestito and Dorsett will all be chomping at the bit for their chances should injuries hit.

Nash - Umberger - Huselius
Modin - Brassard - Torres
Chimera - Peca - Boll
Murray - Malhotra - Voracek
York, Novotny

Hejda - Commodore
Tyutin - Klesla
Russell - Backman
Tollefsen/Methot/Rome

Leclaire
Norrena

That's my best guess at this point should everyone remain healthy (which won't be the case).

You have to think a d-man will get injured out of that group of 9 otherwise somebody will have to go.

Same with the forwards - someone will get injured so I doubt they'll have to put Novonty or York through waivers. I see them carrying at least 1 extra forward.

TSN.ca ranks Rick Nash as the 36th most tradeable player in the NHL:

#36
Player: Rick Nash
Position: LW
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 24
Contract Expires: 2010
Salary Cap Hit: $5.4M
Comment: Top-notch power forward is still looking for his first taste of playoff action and needs a stronger supporting cast if he's ever going to get there.

What's interesting is that he ranks Ovechkin ahead of Crosby as #1.

-LTL

4 comments:

mike said...

It is amusing to see sportswriters sometimes assess a team, and expose their suggested lack of covering the team...Novotny at 2nd. line? This writer must of just videotaped the CBJ's first week of last season and discarded everything else with Novotny being that high on the depth chart!

erik said...

i would just love to see a guy like brassard get a shot on our 1st line with nash and huselius. that would give ourselves the oppurtunitie to go with 2 huge scoring lines. so put umberger on the 2nd with modin and voracek.
torres is a great power forward, but more of a 3rd liner than a top6 winger.
just really love this 3rd line combination.

nash.-brassard.-huselius.
modin.-umberger.-voracek.
chimera.-peca.-torres.
york.-malhotra.-boll.

Anonymous said...

Puck-rakers did a follow up blog about 'the meeting'. It would seem to me that Legein has finally started to acknowledge the level of severity of his decision. He has admitted to being burnt out and that he needs a break. Fair enough. I personally don't think he would have found energy had he been drafted by a Canadian team. Burnout is burnout. I have been there and the more people push you to go forward, the deeper you dig your heels in.

Let the kid have his time off and before too long he will find the energy for it. Sometimes when we don't feel like we have choices even a pleasing path is most undesirable.

Nonetheless I believe he owes Howson a personal phone call to describe what he is going through. Howson will do nothing but respect him and his decision and give him the time he needs.

Wasn't about this time last year that Svitov defected on his contract?? August is a tough month for the jackets!!!

D. Michael said...

Don't be surprised if Manny or Novotny go the way of the waiver wire, if York shows anything.

If he's got his act together, more offensive upside then those two. More flexability in the event of injuries.

This could very well be Manny's last year here.

And erik, why would you want to put a kid (Brassard) that's basically a rookie out against the top defenders of the other team?

And why would you want 2 kids in the top 6. If we were in rebuilding mode, I could see it. Why would you want that many rookie mistakes being exposed at 18+ minutes a night?

I love the talent of these guys, but ease them into their roles. We have depth this year. No need to rush them, and we are in a "win now" mode.