Too many centers?

The first couple of polls that I posted were either roster oriented, or line oriented, this one is a combonation. We have 6 centers. There are really only two things that we know for sure about these six guys. 1. Blair Betts will stay as fourth line center- assuming he's healthy. 2. Darroll Powe will man the opposite wing from Lappy on the fourth line (unless Betts isn't healthy in which case he will probably center that line). Other than the two checkers we have Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, and Danny Briere. All four of these guys have some legitimate expierence at winger... but lets just start off by looking at faceoffs.

(Player, playoff %, regular season %, last year's regular season %)

Richards: (47.4, 50.7,49.0) Improvement from 09 in this years regular season, but the lower playoff number had a lot to do with Towes killing Richie on the draw.

Carter: (51.6, 52.4,48.3) Most improoved from year to year, currently our best faceoff guy aside from Bettsy.

Giroux: (43.8, 49.5,47.6) Not very good on the draw, needs to work on it, especially if he's going to be there.

Briere: (47.4, 44.2,46.3) Another poor FO guy, and him playing with Lieno and Hartnell doesn't help because they're not any good at taking them either (Ville did have a nice % in the playoffs though)

Now guy by guy and the pro's and con's of their switch to wing...

Mike Richards at wing. Pros: He played the wing to Towes and Rick Nash in the olympics and that was the best line. Richie is a great checkign wing because his board play is phonominal. Richie's 5 points (2-3-5) in 7 games for Canada was better than most people expected. He's improoved his faceoff numbers from last year getting over the 50% mark and there will only be improovement there, however he's not as good as Carter, so Richie on the wing with Carter in the middle wouldn't be bad. Cons: Richie on the wing with Carter in the middle was bad in the Cup, so there goes that idea. Richie is a great defender and taking him out of the middle hurts him on defense. He's a playmaker more than a scorer so that helps him in the middle, not on the wing.

Jeff Carter at wing. Pros: Shooters play the wing. Jeff is a shooter. He leads the league in shots attempted year after year, and occasionally he'll put one on net. Thats the main positive with him on the wing, and the only thing I could think of. Cons: He had a horrible playoff at wing. Maybe it was the feet, maybe it was the overall discomfort of the wing. Who knows. He's our second best faceoff guy, which points him to center even more. He's also very responsible defensivley. If it was my pick, I'd put him on the wing and let him know early so he can prepare for it. He's lightning fast with a wicked wrist shot, and his potential could and should be on the wing. With either Richie or Carter at wing your looking at lines identical to the playoffs (Gags-Richie/Carter-Richie/Carter--- Harts-Danny-Lieno--- JVR-Claude-FA/Asham/Carcillo/Powe)

Danny Briere at wing. Pros: He's a horrible faceoff guy. He's a horrible defender. He's little. He has a deadly shot from his spot on the dot of the circle. Cons: theoretically nothing. He's the perfect little winger (think St. Louis) but for whatever reason he's best suited at center. The Flyers desperatley want him on the wing and have tried and tried but his points pile up at center. After his amazing playoffs at center, I can't even fathom he's on the wing, unless he's playing with Claude and they switch up at wing and center, in which case it could be very fun watching them go. Throw in a stronger JVR and that line could be magic. Bump Carter down to center Lieno and Hartnell (Harts and Carts had carrier years playing with Lupul who isn't as good as Ville was in the playoffs and hopefully will continue to be), and then get your FA winger to play with Gags and Richie and were stacked. Not what I'd do but its the only way I see Danny at wing.

Claude at wing. Pros: Gagne-Richards-Claude. That line could be deadly. But it never panned out. Last offseason the big debate was 3 scoring lines or two stacked lines, and Stevens picked 3. Who knows if Laviolette wants 2 and then his third line is two checkers with JVR and line two is Ville and Danny and Harts. However, this kid is not ment to play wing. Cons: He's the best pure playmaker the Flyers have had in my lifetime (Forsberg was old with us). He can realy do it all and he kills it on the PP. He has the defensive abilites to play center, and if they get him a legitimate right wing to skate with him and JVR he could have a 70+ point season on the third line. He wont be a winger.

Now what do you guys think?

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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