Garth Snow gave Trent Hunter a five year contract a year ago and regardless how it works out that is an excellent signing given his career to that point.
Hunter does a lot of things to help win a hockey game but those are many of the same things I will write about Richard Park, Andy Hilbert, Nate Thompson, Tim Jackman and even Dean MacAmmond. Character, hard-work, excellent team play.
After his hot start would should have been writing about a player closing in on thirty goals by now, he will not even hit twenty and they way he was going I doubt he would have done that if healthy.
In other words for the last two seasons Trent Hunter has not scored nearly enough on a team that desperately needed him to produce. It's obvious we will never see the player who was flying and had those twenty five goals in 03-04 again.
That means contract or not, his spot should not be as safe as it's tenure. This is about giving players time to develop the best version of their game, there is no excuse for this player not to produce next season.
If I were coaching I would not name him captain, if anything with Okposo as the first line right wing (who plays his shifts on the left side) and no doubt a prospect pushing for a spot if any right wings who can score are added Hunter's spot may not be the lock many feel it is if Garth Snow does resign Jackman.
I'm not going to pull punches, for their very brief looks Mike Iggulden, Jesse Joensuu and Kurtis McLean had a similar or better impact on the offense than Hunter did for a good part of this season.
If they can skate, get to high quality area's faster and get their shot off quicker they have more offensive value than Hunter.
Alexei Yashin had the kind of season Trent Hunter did for the better part of two years folks would be talking buyout. Maybe he needs a change, maybe it's the talent around him, a lot of maybe's but it's time for production or time for a change.
Jon Sim has not gotten the opportunity Hunter has this season, Scott Gordon never really found a spot for him, still when he finally started producing a little he was sent down and continues to produce.