Thursday, July 17, 2008
Today is a sad day for Michigan hockey fans across the world as we say goodbye to the last member of one of the greatest lines in the storied history of Michigan hockey under Red Berenson, Max Pacioretty. He has signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens for a three year entry level contract, and i would not doubt it if he ended up getting brought up to the big leagues at some point during next season.
In foresight it's obvious why the Habs signed him, they're trying to get duplicate the success that the Red Wings have had with Thomas Holmstrom by signing a guy who specializes in screening the goalie, something he did to perfection here in Ann Arbor. However it is Michigan who is on the very short end of a deal, i highly doubt Coach Berenson was prepared for this and now he has to re-analyze his team for next year's depth chart at forward, and although this team is incredibly deep it hurts to see a dependable star player like Patch leave so early.
Prior to him leaving the first line would have probably been Patch, Carl Hagelin, and either Travis Turnbull or Aaron Palushaj, now you will probably see Turnbull definitely starting as the grinder forward that normally would have been taken up by Patch. The problem however is that although Turnbull has been known to play the grinder well, can he protect Carl Hagelin from getting pummeled every time he gets into the corners, because it seemed that in every game in the NCAA tournament the opposing defensemen would just let the Swede have it. So now either the Swede has to really tough it up and start hitting back against some much bigger defensemen in some cases, or Turnbull or someone else is gonna have to step their corner game up. In any case we will need the swede to show the flashes of greatness that he showed in the postseason everyday this upcoming season.
If Chris Summers is moved up to forward, which i doubt will happen, but is entirely possible, that might help but it would leave an incredibly large gap on the defensive end of the ice. Hopefully Scooter Vaughn can step up into a role if he needs too this year, to truly prove his worth to the NHL scouts, which he apparently was unable to last year.
All in all we are going to need ten of the fabulous twelve freshmen to become super sophomores.