I said I wouldn't trade Pitkanen for Crosby and why is that so hard to understand. Pitkanen has been far and away the Flyers best defenseman this season if not their best player. If he wouldn't have gotten injured he'd be closing in on 70+ points at this point and a plus 25. Never did I say he was more talented or become the better player but he's the best young defenseman in the game aside from Phaneuf and he gets the hype because he's North American and he lays people out. Once Pitkanen develops his game physically which isn't that far off he'll be a beast and perennial Norris canidate. I said he's untouchable and I wouldn't trade him for almost anybody. That's not a rip on Crosby but recognition for how talented Pitkanen is and the value of a no 1 defenseman.
As for your comparisons Pit isn't the only one. It's not like Fleury is playing any stronger than Nitti or vice versa. Umberger already is at a level where Armstrong will need another season to match where he is. I'll take a Meyer over Welch predicition as well.
I understood what you said originally, but he does make an interesting argument. Carter and Richards are going to be fine hockey players but they are and will never be in the same league as Crosby and Malkin.
Other than the fact that I want someone to permenantly wipe that silly grin off of Pitkenans face, he is a solid defensmen for sure. Jonsson is just as good in my opinion but I guess he got hurt too. Pitkanen really reads the play well but Whitney is right there with him in that regard. Whitney is an unbeleivable passer, he blows Pitkanen away in that regard, Whitney is like a Leetch/Thronton hybird with the puck and he is going to wrack up A TON of assists in the future. Defensively Pitkanen is way better but they both need to be more physical out there. I don't know how old Pitkanen is or how much icetime he logs but Whit is over 24 minutes a game as a 22 year old rookie. That work load has made him less aggressive. Eric Johnson will be better then both of them, and Phaneuaf will have something to say about that Norris trophy as well.
I think Nittymaki is a great goalie but Fluery is alittle bit better. I would love to see what he can do with a better defense.
I would'nt trade Armstrong for ANYBODY on your team. I wouldnt even trade Malone or Oullete for Umberger. We have enough divers on our team already.