Fletcher on trading Burns: "The players you could readily move, he had by far the most value. People might find this strange, but the decision actually has no reflection of what we felt about Brent Burns. It was more a reflection on the status quo had to change and we had to aggressively add a lot of young assets. To get three top assets for one at this stage of our franchise's evolution was really important."
Admitted Fletcher: "As soon as you traded Brent Burns, you know you're one day closer to looking for the next Brent Burns. You're blowing a big hole in one area to hopefully fill multiple areas of weakness knowing you're going to have to go back and address that other area again."
Fletcher will closely monitor the development of Brodin, 18, skating in Sweden, and Marco Scandella, 21, who has been arguably the Wild's best defenseman during an 8-3-3 start.
Could Scandella be that budding No. 1 or 2 defenseman to replace Burns?
"When you look at Scandella's size, skating and skill, he has the talent to be a top defenseman in this league. It's going to be up to him," Fletcher said. "If he wants it badly enough, he has a chance to be a top guy. But we have to really look at this."
I don't know what to make of what Fletcher said; it almost sounds like an indictment of Marco Scandella on a couple levels. On one hand, the quote almost makes it sound like Scandella's work ethic is questioned (despite the work he put in over the Summer (see #20) and what we all saw on Becoming Wild- this is a kid who worked his ass off to improve- he seemed aware of what he had to do when it came to becoming in NHL regular, based off what I had seen and heard from him.
So what is it that Brent Burns has in his game that Scandella doesn't? I'll freefly admit that Burns is a more dynamic player and has the size, but I think Scandella, so far this season playing #1 minutes, looks to be the steadier presence and looks to have better hockey sense. Both can move the puck by pass or by rush, both can shoot the puck, both have the reach and strength to defend players on a physical level.
Ya, they aren't the same, but can effectively anchor a blueline- i.e. "horse minutes" in the same manner. But apparently there is a distinction in there somewhere- unless all of this was lip service from our GM.
This one's open for interpretation folks- what do you got?
*EDIT* And I'm an idiot.