pcm wrote:Yeah really. There's no basis for him being "too small to physically withstand a season" at this point, other than it fitting into your narrative of angst and chagrin. It might be the case, but there's plenty of evidence of players for whom this is not true. Why not just take a breather, and wait and see, like the rest of us?
Its not like I don't want it to happen. I'd love to see the kid set camp on fire, have instant chemistry with Malkin and score 30 this season and then contribute through a long march to the Final.
I just look at his frame and consider the physical punishment that a top 6 NHL wing who likes to have the puck on his stick must endure, and find it extremely unlikely that this skinny 17 year old kid, despite his obvious physical gifts, can handle it over the long course of an NHL season and, more importantly, for the playoffs.
You also have to factor in what is best for his long term development. Looking at the current (lack of) depth chart, I could see him being one of the best 23 after camp. But where would he be after 40 games? After 80?
Would it be possible for Kapanen to play the season in Finland, then come over and join the Pens for the last 9 games of the regular season and be available for the playoffs without burning an ELC season?