Bowser wrote:Netwolf - I'm not thrilled moving Welch for Roberts but Shero and Fletcher obviously feel he's not going to be a guy for the long-term with Goligoski and Letang on the horizon.
With Ekman returning and possibly Roberts here, this will open up the ability to move Malone and Christensen to fill other roles.
The thing is, Welch plays a different game than Letang and Goligoski. Those are both skating, offensive d-men that can carry the puck. Welch is a cross between Orpik and Whitney in that he's physical and makes a good 1st pass, though he's obviously not as good as either of those two at those two things. Welch gives you something Letang and Gologoski do not.
I still think Malone can be a productive/effective player on the 3rd line. I'm not sure where EC fits in, though I do still like his potential.
I'm okay with moving EC over Malone as well. I think Malone is almost a finished product and is clearly big enough to play in this league, albeit on a 3rd line as you say.
EC isn't strong enough, and may never be. I get this vibe of some kind of unfounded confidence when I see him talk, yet he is reputed to be fragile in terms of true confidence. I'm just not sure of his mental makeup, and he CLEARLY has a lot to work on. I'm a little surprised that he didn't come back to camp this year stronger along the boards.
At least Malone has had a breakthrough year in terms of attitude. He may be a 15-20 goal a year 3rd liner forever, but his new dedication to fitness and hard work shows that he has matured upstairs.
I'm not sure that EC has had that breakthrough yet, or if he ever will. The downside is that if he ever did have it, he has sick hands and shot and could very well score 40 in the league.
Hard to give anyone up, but somebody has to go if we are going to upgrade anything today.