Aside from the obvious post just to knock Filppula, he scored 10 goals in a little more than half a season last year and the season before that he had 14 assists with a full season. Playing with Z and Pav for a whole year and getting some confidence/experience, I could see him doubling those numbers. I'm not saying it absolutely will happen, but it's more than possible.
Abby just doesn't have the skill to put up those numbers, and like I said earlier shouldn't be granted the ice time to try either. He is a good 3rd or 4th line player. He will never put up more than 35 points max no matter who he plays with. I would rather not waste the final years of Datsyuk with Abby playing on his wing. I would rather one of our young skilled forwards whether it be Tatar or Nyquist to try to learn from playing with him.
Anyone trashing Abdelkader is being ridiculous. Is he going to be a great player? No. I don't care who's line he's on. Is he a solid player for us and very valuable member of this team? Absolutely! First, he hits more than almost the rest of the team combined. Without Abby, we have very little physical presence. He's also a willing fighter. For being a grit type player, he's a pretty good skater with good speed. He can definitely help on the offensive side of the things, where i think he will continue to improve. However, he's not a sniper and never will be. He's just doesn't have the hands or touch. I think he's being wasted with Datsyuk b/c Pavel needs a guy he can drop it to who can fire it......a guy like Shanahan or Hull. Maybe with Weiss we'll see more of Datsyuk and Zetterberg together. I'd like to see what Abby can do with Helm.
I don't think people are trashing on Abby. I think they hate the idea of him playing top line again in front of way more talented players, at least that's where my issue is. I see it the same as Cleary playing in the top 6.. doesn't make sense.
I would argue that he only played half the season with Datsyuk. And I'd argue that Z on the other wing instead of Cleary would make a HUGE difference.
I would argue Abby has no right to play in the top 6 at all. He can't shoot, can't pass, can't deflect shots... he basically can't do anything right except maybe hit the odd person here and there. He is a 3rd or 4th line player, nothing more.
Also I don't even want to see him on a line with D and Z. It's just a waste to have someone play with great players who cannot finish anything.