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#1 nfreeman

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:42 AM

I like what I see.  He plays hard, plays a good 2-way game, has good hockey IQ and has pretty decent hands and is a decent-to-good skater.  He also seems to appreciate where he is.

Some background on him:

- 4 years at the U. of Michigan, including 33 goals and 63 points in 43 games as a senior (2nd in NCAA -- behind Gerbe)

- Hobey Baker award winner and all-American as a senior

- Team captain as a senior; led team to Frozen Four

- 163 NHL games with Colorado and Phoenix, plus 27 with the Sabres.

- Best season was 14 goals in 74 games with Colorado in 2010-11.

- Got healthy-scratched in Colorado last year for about half the games; they let him go after last season when his contract expired.

I'm pretty close to being happy with him as the #3 center for next year.

I'll also note that at this point, he's the #2 center by default -- i.e. the Sabres don't have anyone else for that slot.  Ideally you'd like a more dynamic player at that slot, I'm actually not as appalled at the prospect of him being the #2 center as I was a month ago.

He just seems like a character guy who knows how to play the game and has decent ability.  If he's the #2 center with, say, Ennis and Armia on the wings -- I'd be interested to watch that line.

Thoughts?

#2 skaught

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:49 AM

He also seems to be able to skate pretty fast and can actually beat people to the puck. I've been impressed by his play, he's got a lot of hustle.

Edited by skaught, 18 April 2013 - 10:49 AM.


#3 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM

My opinion on Porter is that he'd be a really, really good 4th line center on just about any team and a passable 3rd line center on a team loaded with top-6 talent.  I want absolutely no part of him as a #2 and think that would be a quick ticket to another disastrous season.  If he has to stick around as a #3 for a year I might be able to live with it, but I don't see him as the answer there on a consistently competitive team.  I just don't see enough offensive skill for him to play anywhere but the 4th line (again, unless you have a Crosby-Malkin type combo at the top).

Edited by TrueBluePhD, 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#4 Eleven

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:58 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM, said:

My opinion on Porter is that he'd be a really, really good 4th line center on just about any team and a passable 3rd line center on a team loaded with top-6 talent.  I want absolutely no part of him as a #2 and think that would be a quick ticket to another disastrous season.  If he has to stick around as a #3 for a year I might be able to live with it, but I don't see him as the answer there on a consistently competitive team.  I just don't see enough offensive skill for him to play anywhere but the 4th line (again, unless you have a Crosby-Malkin type combo at the top).

That's where I am.

#5 Taro T

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:59 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM, said:

My opinion on Porter is that he'd be a really, really good 4th line center on just about any team and a passable 3rd line center on a team loaded with top-6 talent.  I want absolutely no part of him as a #2 and think that would be a quick ticket to another disastrous season.  If he has to stick around as a #3 for a year I might be able to live with it, but I don't see him as the answer there on a consistently competitive team.  I just don't see enough offensive skill for him to play anywhere but the 4th line (again, unless you have a Crosby-Malkin type combo at the top).
As a stop-gap for the next 2 seasons, I am fine w/ him as the #3 C.  He's played well in that role this year and had he started the year in Buffalo they'd probably be on the inside barely.  How much would that have changed the dynamic around here?

#6 nfreeman

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:02 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM, said:

My opinion on Porter is that he'd be a really, really good 4th line center on just about any team and a passable 3rd line center on a team loaded with top-6 talent.  I want absolutely no part of him as a #2 and think that would be a quick ticket to another disastrous season.  If he has to stick around as a #3 for a year I might be able to live with it, but I don't see him as the answer there on a consistently competitive team.  I just don't see enough offensive skill for him to play anywhere but the 4th line (again, unless you have a Crosby-Malkin type combo at the top).

I too want someone better to play #2 center and I'm open for suggestions.  But as I think we've seen, top-2 centers are precious commodities.

I also think we're kidding ourselves if we think Griggy or Larsson is going to be ready for that slot next year.

I'll also say that I think Porter will be a solid #3 center.  I'm quite satisfied if next year's 3rd line is Porter-Ott-Foligno or Porter-Leino-Foligno.

#7 X. Benedict

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:09 AM

View Postnfreeman, on 18 April 2013 - 10:42 AM, said:

I like what I see.  He plays hard, plays a good 2-way game, has good hockey IQ and has pretty decent hands and is a decent-to-good skater.  He also seems to appreciate where he is.

Some background on him:

- 4 years at the U. of Michigan, including 33 goals and 63 points in 43 games as a senior (2nd in NCAA -- behind Gerbe)

- Hobey Baker award winner and all-American as a senior

- Team captain as a senior; led team to Frozen Four

- 163 NHL games with Colorado and Phoenix, plus 27 with the Sabres.

- Best season was 14 goals in 74 games with Colorado in 2010-11.

- Got healthy-scratched in Colorado last year for about half the games; they let him go after last season when his contract expired.

I'm pretty close to being happy with him as the #3 center for next year.

I'll also note that at this point, he's the #2 center by default -- i.e. the Sabres don't have anyone else for that slot.  Ideally you'd like a more dynamic player at that slot, I'm actually not as appalled at the prospect of him being the #2 center as I was a month ago.

He just seems like a character guy who knows how to play the game and has decent ability.  If he's the #2 center with, say, Ennis and Armia on the wings -- I'd be interested to watch that line.

Thoughts?

Good discussion. I like the guy, I like his hustle, I like his positioning.

But......if I'm overhauling the roster I don't think he has a place except as a depth player.

He's a guy that I see falling between lines. He's not top 6 material, and I don't think he's a shutdown center for the third, or a guy that is going to throw bodies in an energy role.

In other words, I think he's closer to Matt Ellis than to a top 6 player.
So if I'm overhauling the roster, I really don't see a need to keep him.

I really think we are seeing his upside right now. He's already pretty close to his ceiling as terms of production.
I'm okay with him on the roster, but penciling him in as an anchor for a line at the pivot. Yikes!
I like his hustle but that's not building a winner in my book. (oh and he stinks at draws).

If I'm the GM, I'm shopping but offering Porter the Matty Ellis role and I'm happy with the 2-way contract I gave him for next year at 537K.

#8 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

View Postnfreeman, on 18 April 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

I too want someone better to play #2 center and I'm open for suggestions.  But as I think we've seen, top-2 centers are precious commodities.

I also think we're kidding ourselves if we think Griggy or Larsson is going to be ready for that slot next year.

I'll also say that I think Porter will be a solid #3 center.  I'm quite satisfied if next year's 3rd line is Porter-Ott-Foligno or Porter-Leino-Foligno.

Leino :ph34r:

I agree that neither Grigs nor Larsson will be ready for the #2 role next year, but I don't think Hodgson was ready for the #1 role this year.  I guess what I'm saying is ready or not, there's a fair chance somebody is forced into that role who doesn't belong there, at least not yet...besides, nobody is technically ready for that type of role until they've done it before ;)

I honestly think it all comes down to the plan and the timeline for the team.  If the plan is for a quick turnaround, then we absolutely have to find somebody more established to play pivot on the second line, and no, I have no idea who that person is or how they'd be acquired (O'Reilly was my idea, but that ship has sailed).  I will say, I don't think throwing Grigs or Larsson to the wolves is any worse of an option than Porter as they at least have the potential to fill that role long-term, whereas Porter doesn't have that kind of potential even if he has NHL experience.

#9 nfreeman

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:32 AM

View PostX. Benedict, on 18 April 2013 - 11:09 AM, said:

Good discussion. I like the guy, I like his hustle, I like his positioning.

But......if I'm overhauling the roster I don't think he has a place except as a depth player.

He's a guy that I see falling between lines. He's not top 6 material, and I don't think he's a shutdown center for the third, or a guy that is going to throw bodies in an energy role.

In other words, I think he's closer to Matt Ellis than to a top 6 player.
So if I'm overhauling the roster, I really don't see a need to keep him.

I really think we are seeing his upside right now. He's already pretty close to his ceiling as terms of production.
I'm okay with him on the roster, but penciling him in as an anchor for a line at the pivot. Yikes!
I like his hustle but that's not building a winner in my book. (oh and he stinks at draws).

If I'm the GM, I'm shopping but offering Porter the Matty Ellis role and I'm happy with the 2-way contract I gave him for next year at 537K.

I agree with most of this.  He's certainly not anyone's first choice as a #2 center.  I guess I like his overall package, including intangibles, enough that I want to see him on the team next year, preferably as the #3 center.  Even there, he's not an anchor, but I think he can pull his weight on a 3rd line with linemates in the Ott-Foligno-Leino ilk.

A big part of it is that I'm skeptical that the Sabres can find enough new players at the center position this offseason so that Porter would be crowded out.  If it happens -- great.  But it doesn't seem likely.

I do think he has quite a bit more offensive game than Ellis.

It is disappointing that at his age he hasn't improved at faceoffs.

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 18 April 2013 - 11:15 AM, said:

Leino :ph34r:

I agree that neither Grigs nor Larsson will be ready for the #2 role next year, but I don't think Hodgson was ready for the #1 role this year.  I guess what I'm saying is ready or not, there's a fair chance somebody is forced into that role who doesn't belong there, at least not yet...besides, nobody is technically ready for that type of role until they've done it before ;)

I honestly think it all comes down to the plan and the timeline for the team.  If the plan is for a quick turnaround, then we absolutely have to find somebody more established to play pivot on the second line, and no, I have no idea who that person is or how they'd be acquired (O'Reilly was my idea, but that ship has sailed).  I will say, I don't think throwing Grigs or Larsson to the wolves is any worse of an option than Porter as they at least have the potential to fill that role long-term, whereas Porter doesn't have that kind of potential even if he has NHL experience.

This is an interesting point but I don't think NHL coaches think this way.

#10 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:54 AM

View Postnfreeman, on 18 April 2013 - 11:32 AM, said:

This is an interesting point but I don't think NHL coaches think this way.

You're absolutely right, they don't think this way at all.  Assuming Regier and Rolston are both around, if the choices for #2 center are Porter, Grigs or Larsson, I fully expect Porter to get the minutes.  It's a win-now industry and coaches are naturally risk-averse--they'd much rather have less potential winning with a higher floor of losing than shoot high with the potential to crash and burn.

#11 sizzlemeister

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:00 PM

I wonder if we're seeing his ceiling.  A lot of people say that such-and-such a player suffers because they aren't surrounded by talent.  Why wouldn't this apply to Porter?  Maybe he's a late bloomer.

#12 johnnychemo

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:11 PM

I seem to see him around the puck quite a bit, and while he creates chances, but just doesn't have it in him to finish. I'd keep him around.

#13 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:18 PM

View Postsizzlemeister, on 18 April 2013 - 12:00 PM, said:

I wonder if we're seeing his ceiling.  A lot of people say that such-and-such a player suffers because they aren't surrounded by talent.  Why wouldn't this apply to Porter?  Maybe he's a late bloomer.

He fails my eye test.  Everything he gets I see as the product of hustle, but basically nothing resulting from talent.  He doesn't have soft hands, his shot is meh, his overall puck skills are meh, and his offensive instincts may not be terrible but they don't exactly point to "upside" from what I've seen.

#14 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:52 PM

I miss Chewey.....he would fit in on this team right now. Same guy as Porter with a little better talent.

#15 X. Benedict

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:05 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 18 April 2013 - 12:52 PM, said:

I miss Chewey.....he would fit in on this team right now. Same guy as Porter with a little better talent.

name. :D

#16 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:10 PM

View PostX. Benedict, on 18 April 2013 - 01:05 PM, said:

name. :D

I don't know...he seemed to have some real playmaking vision, and was often the first guy backchecking even when in deep. I thought it was a shame he got sent down after 1 poor game.

#17 dudacek

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:15 PM

I'm OK with Porter holding down the checking line centre role until someone better comes along.
And I would be very happy with him in the 10th forward role Hecht was signed to fill this year.
He has more skill than Ellis, rarely makes mistakes and is always hustling.
He's limited in size and on offence, but has been surprisingly effective and is on pace for about 30 points over a full season.

#18 tom webster

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM, said:

My opinion on Porter is that he'd be a really, really good 4th line center on just about any team and a passable 3rd line center on a team loaded with top-6 talent.  I want absolutely no part of him as a #2 and think that would be a quick ticket to another disastrous season.  If he has to stick around as a #3 for a year I might be able to live with it, but I don't see him as the answer there on a consistently competitive team.  I just don't see enough offensive skill for him to play anywhere but the 4th line (again, unless you have a Crosby-Malkin type combo at the top).


This is where I'm at as well. This team needs a big, physical center at number three, especially if they keep trying to keep Ennis there but even with a one, two of Hodgson and Grigo.

#19 That Aud Smell

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

I like what Porter's brought, but I tend to agree that if you're projecting him as your #3 center, you're basically acknowledging that you have a dearth of NHL-ready talent, especially at center.

FWIW, I had actually thought that Flynn showed more upside than Porter. I also think that Flynn has played some center in college.

#20 inkman

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 18 April 2013 - 12:52 PM, said:

I miss Chewey.....he would fit in on this team right now. Same guy as Porter with a little better talent.
Oh you mean Sahara?  It's worth not having him on the team just so RJ won't have to mail it in everytime he says his name.