Ted Nolan and Tim Murray have spoken, and now the process of transforming Zemgus Girgensons from a winger into a centre shall begin. For the Latvian Olympic team Girgensons will play centre, however, Nolan said today this move is for the future not just the Olympics.
After talking with Murray, Nolan has changed his mind on 28 being a winger. Now, they’re going to develop him at center. Varone to the wing
— Paul Hamilton (@pham1717) February 4, 2014
Zemgus Girgensons is a natural centre and the Buffalo Sabres drafted him 14th in 2012 to be their 3rd line centre behind
Mikhail Grigorenko. In order to give Girgensons some time to adjust to the NHL they brought him up to play on the wing and he’s been playing alongside Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson. While he’s been performing well on the wing, if you watch his game closely you can see him excelling as a centre.
Girgensons likes to fight hard for the puck in the corners, set his teammates up and oh yeah, hit people. With his large frame and toughness, centre seems to be the position for Girgensons. He’s a worker and on most team’s the centre is the hardest working guy on the ice.
The call to move Girgensons back to centre and develop him as a centre is coming from new GM Murray, as interim head coach Ted Nolan is the one who moved him to the wing initially.
Nolan said Girgensons to center is not just prep for OLY but move for future. Tougher to find centers. #Sabres
— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) February 4, 2014
Considering the Buffalo Sabres need for centre’s, if Girgensons takes well to the transition back to centre this could be one of Murray’s best moves. With Girgensons now a centre the Buffalo Sabres have Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons and Zenon Konopka as their four centres. Not a horrible line-up.
In practice today Girgensons was centring the third line with Phil Varone and Brian Flynn, two great people to pair Girgensons with and a solid third line for the Buffalo Sabres moving forward. Flynn and Girgensons give it their all every shift, and Varone has been working hard since being called up.
With Girgensons now moved to centre, do you see any future with Girgensons being the Buffalo Sabres first line centre going forward? Imagine the Sabres top 3 centres, Cody Hodgson, Sam Reinhart/Bennett and Zemgus Girgensons, that sounds like a solid line-up the Sabres could win with. Now they need to add some solid wingers to support their centres and a number one goaltender.
Zemgus Girgensons will get his first shot at centre tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and hopefully he can lead the team to victory and help win some face-offs. With the move of Girgensons, the Buffalo Sabres have three capable centres heading into next season and won’t need to overpay any free agents to fill the void.
Do you like the move?