I thought when he got into the playoffs he looked much improved from the reg season, much better speed. I am fully confident that he can be a 40-50 point player in the right situation, and my confidence that he'll be better than that has greatly increased.
I guess Clam's examples do show that a center can break in at winger, but not vice versa (although that is probably self-evident). Should he make the team as a winger out of camp (can't see where he'd fit though, even without MayRay), my expectations would be very low, maybe 20-25 points if he gets a full 82 games. Same would go for 2012-2013.
The question is, can you get somebody who will contribute more than what even the most optimistic of us expect from Coho? I wouldn't trade him for a middling 2nd/3rd line winger to compete with Sturm, Raymond, Sammy, Higgins, or a depth D.
I'm not foolish enough to think we can flip him into the 60 point bruising power forward on a cheap contract that people in other threads think actually exists, or that he will get us Weber. But if we're going to make a move for a substantial piece that improves the team, Hodgson is definitely expendable.
I'm also not convinced that we can completely rely on Malhotra. Yes the man is fantastic in the room, he awesome on face-offs and his work ethic is second to none but he has just come off a very serious injury that may require more surgeries before the season begins as HW suggested.
And even before that injury he wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire with an ability to provide that key centre for the second PP unit, and his line 5 on 5 was streaky at best. We forget how frustrating that line was due to the sentimental, feel good story of his miraculous recovery to play in the Finals.
As far as I'm concerned our third line centre spot is not as secure as one might think.
I'd say Manny and the third line in general was consistently inconsistent, which is all you can expect from them. No, they're not going to score you a big goal every other game, but there were stretches spaced out over the season where that line was our best. I can think of two stretches, one early and one late, where they won us several hockey games. Manny was on pace for 35 pts, Hansen and Torres both at 29 pts, for a checking line that is very good.
I do not agree that streaky is the best you can say for that line, how about "cheap", "physical", "won big faceoffs in the defensive zone," "as productive as you'd expect from a 3rd line".
Did anybody observe anything in Manny's play in the finals to suggest his eye was bothering him? Conditioning/game speed yes, but I think his vision won't be an issue once he gets used to the reduced vision and he is no longer playing in a cage.