Paajarvi arrived on scene in Edmonton at the same time as 2008 selection Jordan Eberle and 2010 first-overall selection Taylor Hall. For a short time, the combination of Hall, Omark, Paajarvi and Eberle were labeled “HOPE”. We’re now down to “HPE”, and who knows if we’ll soon be down to “HE”.
Paajarvi had a solid 34 point rookie campaign in 2010-11 before a completely forgettable 2011-12 season. Paajarvi went all the way to February before burying one against the Senators, and was shuttled to OKC not long after. Paajarvi finished the season in the AHL. After an eight-point season in the NHL, many are left to wonder where he stands today.
Assuming we don’t face a labour dispute heading into September, Paajarvi will get a chance to break into camp and reclaim a spot on the team. But what can we expect? And even if Paajarvi performs a at a level of satisfaction, will he unseat Ryan Smyth on the third wing?
Here’s what I’m dart-throwing as of this moment.
Hall – RNH – Eberle
Hemsky – Gagner – Yakupov
Smyth – Horcoff – ????
???? – ???? – ????
Here’s your word bank.
- Magnus Paajarvi
- Ryan Jones
- Eric Belanger
- Anton Lander
- Darcy Hordichuk
- Ben Eager
- Teemu Hartikainen
- Lennart Petrell
Cam BarkerOkay, that was cruel. I did that to make sure you were paying attention.
A couple of things going forward:
- Yes, I have Hemsky moving over to LW. Maybe they’ll flip Yakupov. Maybe Yakupov will play on line one. Maybe Hemsky will buy a taco truck. I don’t know. It worked out here, so I’m going with it.
- There’s not a doughnut’s chance in Hell that Paajarvi puts Ryan Smyth out of 3LW. One has argued (for good reason) that the re-acquisition of Ryan Smyth cost Paajarvi a boatload of ice. Of almost equal unlikeliness, I don’t see the team putting him on 3RW. What is his effectiveness on the fourth line with 6 or 7 minutes per night?
- Let’s say Krueger puts him on the fourth line. Who will his linemates be? Belanger and Hordichuk? Eager and Lander? What is it that this team is trying to do with the fourth line, anyways? If Krueger is going to let Hordichuk do what Hordichuk does, then you’re going to see a pugilistic fourth line. Call me skeptical, I don’t see Paajarvi on the same line with Belanger and Hordichuk. More so, I don’t see anything effective getting done if that were the case.
- ONE WAY- Ryan Jones is on a one-way deal. So are Hordichuk, Belanger, Eager, and Petrell. Before you bring out the trade talk, no one is going to trade anything of value if you package all those guys up in the hopes of one meaningful defenceman in return. I’m exactly sure that Paajarvi is a more talented player than Hordichuk and Petrell, but if the fourth line is going to look like the float scene from Animal House, how effective will that look?
Paajarvi is on the last year of his ELC. Assuming the NHL is in a fully-functional state, where do you see him in 2012-13?
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