Henry Hank wrote:Sykora started the year on Crosby's wing. He got demoted for not working hard and not producing.
I don't think Pesonen fits in the top six when it's healthy. He's not an adequate replacement for the role Dupuis is asked to fill. Dupuis is there to do some dirty work and pot in the occasional goal. Satan's the finisher on that line. If anyone, Fedotenko would be a possible better choice than Dupuis, who definitely isn't ideal for any top six role.
Pesonen's willingness to go to the AHL provides a whole new wrinkle to the situation. He can go down there and play top line minutes and adjust to whatever he might need to adjust to in NA hockey. Then if the opportunity presents itself he'll be ready. I think Dupuis-Crosby-Satan makes more sense than Pesonen-Crosby-Satan because I doubt Pesonen is up to the task of doing the board work that Dupuis is more capable of doing.
The idea of Dupuis on the top line is to free Crosby up from doing all the dirty work behind the net and in the corners. Fedotenko makes sense, but they may be trying to spread out the depth right now. If Pesonen can't go into the corners, that means it's all up to Sid to basically cycle by himself and kick pucks out. I don't think that's the best utilization for Crosby. He should be allowed to create all over the ice and not be forced behind the net all the time because his linemates can't do it.
The goal should be to maximize the effectiveness of Crosby and Satan... not sacrifice them to maximize a Finnish player with no NHL experience.
I don't not want Pesonen to succeed, but I'm just saying that when it comes to unproven players, MT doesn't just slot them into prominent roles. I threw Sykora in there as an additional example, but look at Staal, Kennedy, Letang... They were all gradually worked into their roles, not just thrown into an important spot.
By playing Pesonen with the 4th line guys, the coaches can get a better idea of him as a player. He doesn't have the help of a top 3 player in the league. Once they figure out how he plays and what he is best at, they can place him in the proper roles.