It`s game three, and we`re already saying that we need to put Nathan Beaulieu on defence, because we don`t have enough talent there, Josh and Francis aren`t cutting it. He'll be better off, might as well learn on the job in the NHL.
I have to disagree. As troublesome as the performance is by our blueliners are, the worst thing to do is to plunk down an immature kid with behavioural issues and a lot of work to still do on his game in Hamilton. He needs to work on his defensive game and his conditioning.
For two seasons now, he's come into training camp in poor physical condition, he should be a leader in that area. We saw him paired with Greg Pateryn for a 'bag skate' exercise at the start of rookie camp, and the supposed burly defensive defenceman beat the skating star handily every time. That's unacceptable. Nathan needs to take things seriously, starting with his physical training, and not just rely on his natural ability, not take twenty games to play himself into shape.
You don't reward a kid like that with an NHL job. He's the last guy who should be contending with an NHL paycheque and major league puck bunnies and hangers-on.
We talk broadly about how we need to be patient, to develop from within. We praise the Red Wings for their system and how they leave their kids in the minors to learn. These are concepts we agree with. Practically, Nathan Beaulieu is where the rubber meets the road. While he has skill and may get us a couple of wins with a nifty pass or a good shot from the point, that may be akin to winning a battle but losing the war. In the grand scheme of things, we're better off taking our lumps right now, at the cost of losing a few games, rather than rushing the kid out of desperation.
It's fine to get him in the game as a callup, but as soon as the regulars are ready to go, he should be sent down immediately.