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Jul 5, 2017
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Jul 3, 1994
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Hockyluv21</b></div><div>Slavin was always as good as he was before playing with Hamilton. They worked well together for a reason. It was a yin and yang partnership. The issue is that Hamilton is a great complementary player but not someone that could carry a lesser defenseman on his pairing. The latter is what you should expect to pay for $9M/year and something that Hedman, Fox, Makar, and the like can do. If Ty Smith or Luke Hughes develop into a Slavin-esque stabilizer in the coming seasons, then great for New Jersey. If you pair him with a Kris Russell, though, like Calgary tried to do at one point, get ready for some disappointment.</div></div>
That's because anyone is a disappointment next to Russell. Dougie carried the guys I mentioned, I have the receipts for it. You saying he's "complementary" doesn't mean he is. If anything Slavin is complementary to Dougie, because Hamiltons possession abilities has improved every defensive defenseman numbers next to him. Slavin *can* play defense because Dougie makes sure possession is on their side most of the time.
Your example helps me if anything - it's the literal embodiment of Russell as a player; if he had Dougies puck playing abilities he'd be a useful defenseman, or even a good one. Instead all he does is block one shot to have opponents take the next one. When Slavin blocks Dougie turns the play around. It's the rarest and most important quality a defenseman can have, the ability to turn defense into offense. No one cares how many shots you prevent if you make sure there are more of them to prevent in the first place.