Q: How would you evaluate David Legwand's performance so far? What should his role on the team be? If you could do it over, would you still sign him?
Sheer Craziness: I feel like I'm more positive than most on the signing, because I'm indifferent. I feel like most Sens fans are pretty unhappy.
The big question I've heard tossed around is if he's going to play with Neil and a throwaway, why don't we just get Pageau to play that spot? Personally, I'd rather Pageau have a chance to dominate the AHL than be stuck with Neil. Maybe Grant could serve that role better, but Grant has very little offensive upside. Legwand is able to mop up the tough minutes, which allows pretty much everyone else to have better starts. If someone like Turris goes down with injury (knock on wood) Zibanejad and Legwand have to fill the top two centre lines, which looks better to me than having Smith, Lazar, or Pageau have to take on one of those roles. Also, he's seen as providing grit and a veteran presence, and I'd rather have him doing that than Neil or Phillips. In a way, he helps to save coach from himself.
That being said, I wouldn't be opposed to trading the guy. He doesn't doing anything impressively well, he just does most things OK enough. Except for the power play. Please, P-Mac, don't put the guy on the power play ever again.
Amelia: I agree about Legwand absorbing tough minutes that I don't really want Turris or Zibanejad attempting, given that this team is sort of middle-of-the-pack when it comes to scoring. I think his power play deployment has led to more frustration from fans than his play might deserve. Still, he hasn't quite delivered on a strong preseason.
I'd still sign him again, depth is a good thing and maybe he'll play a bigger role if Zibanejad continues to struggle someone. Legwand's style and contract are the type that GMs whose teams are in playoff hunts will part with some assets at the deadline for, so if things go south for Ottawa, Legwand still has value as a trade asset.
Peter: I'm happy with the Legwand signing, and--unlike a lot of others, it seems--I'm actually pretty happy with what he's been able to do, both at even-strength in a shutdown role and on the power play. With the departures of Alfredsson and Spezza in consecutive summers, a lot of experience up front was lost, and I think Legwand's been able to fill that void ably. I think with better linemates (he's mostly playing with Neil and Z. Smith right now), he'd be doing even better.
Like you two, though, I'd be fully supportive of flipping him for another asset--especially if we can bring back an asset that lines up with the rebuild we're in the midst of (and not Chris Stewart). I think it would make more sense to wait until the deadline and continue using Legwand to insulate the team while Zibanejad is struggling, but if Edmonton wanted to get rid of David Perron then I'd be all for that deal.
Amelia: Neil and Smith have definitely not helped his cause. Smith has been dreadful on the wing, much much worse than I thought he would be.
Nkb: Given the cost and the term I wasn't disappointed with the signing at the time and I wouldn't really say I am today, either. He hasn't been up to the task on PP1, but that has more to do with MacLean miscasting him than anything else. So, if I could do it over, I would indeed re-sign him but change his role considerably. Give him the 4th line centre role, and a heavy dose of PK mins but no PP time; Ottawa just has too many young, fast, skilled forwards to justify his over usage. In an ideal world he plays 12-13 mins a game, 8-9 of which are at even strength.
Amelia: What specifically do you not like about him on the power play?
Nkb: He hangs on to the puck a lot and doesn't move with much speed -- patience isn't a bad trait but it's not a good fit with the rest of the power play. Turris, Mac, Karlsson all do things at warp speed. If Mac really wants to go 4F and needs a left hade shot, Hoffman seems like a much better fit. Plus Hoff's wheels make it a lot more possible for him to catch anyone that might be leading an odd man rush.
Sheer Craziness: When Turris takes the draws on the PP, Legwand ends up covering the point, and he's not great there. He isn't a quick skater to discourage shorthanded chances, and he doesn't seem great at keeping the puck in. I think he'd be best served being the big body in front of the net (what Neil used to do) which is how he got his only goal on the power play this year. That being said, I think if Mac wants someone in that role, Chiasson is better suited. He seems to have better hands, and seems to be quicker.
Nkb: Further to the big body point, I'd be curious to see Stone in that role who's no small guy himself.
Amelia: Stone is noticeably large this season. I don't know if it's that he put on more weight in the offseason or because he's been getting more ice time so I notice it more, but the guy seems a lot bigger out there.
Sheer Craziness: Legwand's kept out there because he does have a strong history on the power play. But at some point, you gotta realize the present isn't working. I think this team is pretty good at overvaluing the past though - playing Phillips as a first-pairing, shutdown defender for example, or playing Chris Neil at all at this point.
Adnan: I have been pretty meh about Legwand. I don't really have anything against the guy, and I would prefer him to Zack Smith in every situation. Would like to get him off the power play though. As NKB said, with the correct usage he's a useful player.
Mrs. O: I'm not really here nor there about Legwand. I think he does some good things, especially on the PK. I have internal struggle every time I see him on PP1 though. His skating really gets to me, especially when he holds onto the puck a little long like NKB mentioned.
His role on the team should be as a 3C with alright wingers who are responsible defensively so that it's a balanced two-way line.
Not sure if I would have signed him in the first place ahead of others, albeit we don't know if Murray tried for others and was rejected.
Michaela: I don't have strong feelings either way about Legwand because I didn't have any grand expectations for him when he signed here. They brought him on, I thought, to add some depth in the middle, and leadership up front. I think he has adequately fulfilled those roles. As you guys mentioned, he eats up a lot of minutes that Turris and Zibanejad don't have to, which is great.
Was I hoping he would be more of a factor in games than he is now? Yes. Did I think signing him would make a huge difference to our team? Not really. I also agree that he shouldn't be used on the power play as much as he has been.
I would sign him again, but I am also not opposed to the idea of trading him before the deadline, if we get something decent in return.