Pens4Life wrote:Third line : LeClair - Malone OK, Koltsov i dont now yet... if he will play like this in future, than YES third line stays the same.
I think that going into next year, if LeClair can honestly say that he can stay motivated through what is most-likely an 8th playoff spot at best year (more likely a 9th or 10th place finish) then he shoud be kept.
My view on his play is that he has continued to work hard and brings some much needed scoring touch along with Malone to the 2nd line.
The other factor to consider is that he is one of the best suspects we have to help Malkin be successful in his first season if he comes over. LeClair may be the type of guy to really benefit from playing with a guy who can control the play in all three zones like Malkin.
I don't see anyone in the Pens system that offers the same skills as LeClair. Ouellet, Surovy and LeClair are the 3 prime suspects in my mind, all with slightly different skill sets to try and leverage Malkin's playmaking abilities.
Right now, our two best offensive wingers are Armstrong and Hilbert - and they are reserved for Crosby's line next year. Malone seems to be better as a center. That leaves LeClair as the most proven product for one of Malkin's wings. At his salary, if he can earn that spot he would be a huge bargain.
If LeClair can develop some chemistry with Malkin, he could dractically improve on his goal production. LeClair, especially early in the season, was a victim of poor play from the center position. He's not a guy who can do it himself, but he is still very nifty down low - if his center can get the puck there more frequently.