Yes, this is a one-year, two-way contract. Many around these parts have harshly critiqued this move by Scott Howson. Why?
NHL Central Scouting provides the scouting reports to TSN, and many cringe when they scroll immediately to "career potential." Beech has an NHL-capable frame, and is listed with above-average playmaking skills and vision. Just because a player is believed to have third-line potential does not mean he can't exceed expectations.
Beech had a decent year with Washington, played 64 games and registered 26 points (8-18-26). The knock on him is that he sometimes does not use his size to his advantage and needs to work on his play in the corners. What better coach to eliminate these problems than Ken Hitchcock?
I expect to see Beech battle for the third line center position with Svitov and Malhotra, assuming Manny is around for camp. Beech has good speed, and a line of Chimera-Beech-Fritsche might as well be called "The Blue Streak."
Another thing that a depth signing does is gives the GM options to pursue. Howson now has many key elements that could be pieced together for a trade.
A belated three cheers to our old pal Doug MacLean for falling on his face....err, I mean landing on his feet in Tampa! Good to see him and his budding startlet Marc Denis reunited once again.
Until next time,