This NYI Fan Central final review is the last one. Bruno Gervais, come on down.
Bruno Gervais had a lot of injury problems in the second half of 2006-07, he returned during the Buffalo series and if anyone watched game five saw a player stepping up and playing desperate hockey who led by example. His rush at Buffalo's goal in game five was as good as it gets. His goal earlier in the series was key in the Isles game two win.
Watching that I expected him to really come in and step it up in 2007-08 on offense.
Basically in 07-08 early I saw a defender who's defensive game got even better, he seemed very tough to beat one on one and was an excellent fit in the system. At the twenty game mark I compared him with a young Kenny Morrow in that he simply did not beat himself and had the ability to win the puck and move it out of high quality areas. Not flashy, but very effective.
His offensive game was virtually non-exsistant, whether it be by team system or just not enough opportunity but at this point he should be doing more and forcing the staff to give him more minutes with his play on offense. Given he led the AHL in scoring by defenders for a time and had three goals as a rookie more was expected in that regard but it seemed a by-product of a roster that was simply not very good offensively nor did he receive a lot of powerplay time or make much of it when he did.
Having written that he made an excellent partner with Chris Campoli again until his season ended in January with shoulder problems. Gervais would play with anyone and usually made the pairing effective with his solid defensive game.
The core of the four weekend ended Gervais season between a shoulder injury combined with a concussion problem that lingered.
Garth Snow said he intends to qualify Bruno Gervais, he is well regarded by the organization but having written that he is also the kind of player other teams want in trades. With Hillen, Campoli, Meyer, Witt, Sutton, Martinek all under contract a tough choice will be coming sooner or later. It's likely Gervais receives a contract similar to Campoli and they are left together but anything can happen.
I gave him an A at the twenty game mark, his defensive play is good and only getting better. This is a prospect who has an offensive game and the organization needs him to show it a lot more than he has. I do not see a durability issue with Gervais, the hit he took against Florida could have injured anyone.
My final grade for Gervais is a B. He can be trusted in any defensive situtation to do a solid job.