Friday, 1 June 2012

Mikhail Grigorenko or Alex Galchenyuk as the future #1 centre of the Montréal Canadiens?

Lots of angst over which player to draft on June 22.  Some agonize over Alex Galchenyuk's surgically repaired left knee, even though the ACL graft seems to have been successful and he was able to play at the end of the season, a relatively quick turnaround time.  Even more fans and pundits are concerned that Mikhail Grigorenko will be a bust because of scouts characterizing him as lazy.

Mario Lemieux used to be be accused of being lazy too, as well as Jean Béliveau, Bobby Smith, Peter Mahovlich, Joe Thornton.  Because big centres have a long stride and don't buzz around the rink like a Yvan Cournoyer or Pavel Bure or Theo Fleury, people make the leap of logic that they are lazy and don't care.   Their role isn't to fly around with abandon like a Shayne Corson or a Mario Tremblay, it's to be the general who carries the puck, distribute it to the snipers and score big goals.  The general doesn't run around like a chicken with his head cut off, he's usually the cooler guy who sees the whole ice and thinks strategically.

Mikhail Grigorenko is a talented 6'3", 200 lbs centre who was the rookie of the year in the LHJMQ his first year ever in a new country speaking a different language, with his mother as his only local support, and the rest of his family back in Russia.  He had to deal with an ankle injury and mononucleosis at the end of the season.  His numbers, despite these travails, compare well with other LHJMQ stars who went on to have solid NHL careers.

In the end, I have to trust Trevor Timmins' staff to make the pick, they have way more info and access than I will ever have.  If we end up with either Alex Galchenyuk or Mikhail Grigorenko I'll be happy.

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