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sundstrom

Merrill's going back to UM

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http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120730/SPORTS0201/207300431

Ann Arbor — Michigan hockey fans received some good news Monday with star defenseman Jon Merrill telling head coach Red Berenson he was returning for his junior year.

Merrill, a second-round pick by New Jersey in 2010, participated in the Devils' prospect camp this summer.

"Johnny talked with me this morning and indicated he'll be coming back," Berenson said Monday. "He definitely had some dialogue with New Jersey. Jon realized he only played half of the season and he wants to be ready when he makes the move. He wants to be competing for an NHL job when he does. He doesn't want to be playing in the minors. I think it's the right thing for him."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120730/SPORTS0201/207300431#ixzz228xNZiMI

NJ's glut of D makes this a pretty easy decision for him. Although saying he doesn't want to play in the minors is a slight red flag to me. I doubt he goes straight to the NHL from college with the way this team is constituted.

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I dont consider that a red flag in the slightest. Who wants to play in the minors?

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In terms of on ice competition, I was hoping to see him go to Albany. Hopefully another year of maturing off the ice and playing a full college season this go around will help prepare him for the move to the pro's after this year. Its nice that the Devils can afford to have him take his time.

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In terms of ice time this is a much better move. He was likely stuck on the third pair in Albany without much special teams. In a year when a defensmen will be traded and one of the guys in Albany will be in New Jersey, it will be better to turn pro.

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This is better for his long term development. Glad he's going back to UM and, hopefully, they make it the Frozen Four this season so we can see him play in primetime.

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I don't think this is better for his development. Corey Pronman made the point on Twitter - if he's dominating the NCAA like everyone claims he is, he's not learning anything by going back, and it's not like Michigan has a great track record for developing defensemen. However, if Adam Larsson is eligible to play in Albany, something I've been too lazy to look up, that would mean Merrill would start the season 5th on the depth chart probably - not ideal.

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I'm sorry for being a little green in the college hockey knowledge but if he is dominating on a college level would it not make more sense to play in a minor league environment to prove he is ready for that next step? I just can't see with the depth we have him stepping into the NHL next year, or does it have to do with getting his full education, then play until you graduate, would that not make better sense? But to say he wants to go from college to NHL level? Is he that good?

Let's Go Devils!!!!!

Edited by Devs1965

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I don't think this is better for his development. Corey Pronman made the point on Twitter - if he's dominating the NCAA like everyone claims he is, he's not learning anything by going back, and it's not like Michigan has a great track record for developing defensemen. However, if Adam Larsson is eligible to play in Albany, something I've been too lazy to look up, that would mean Merrill would start the season 5th on the depth chart probably - not ideal.

I think the argument could be that this is better for.his development in terms of his personality.It will be a good season for him if he can get through a whole year whilst producing, without any off ice incidents.

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I don't think this is better for his development. Corey Pronman made the point on Twitter - if he's dominating the NCAA like everyone claims he is, he's not learning anything by going back, and it's not like Michigan has a great track record for developing defensemen. However, if Adam Larsson is eligible to play in Albany, something I've been too lazy to look up, that would mean Merrill would start the season 5th on the depth chart probably - not ideal.

adam larsson in albany would make me so incredibly angry. i mean, if he plays his way there after say, 20 games in the nhl, fine. but if the devils defensive situation puts him there because of salvador, i'll be furious.

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adam larsson in albany would make me so incredibly angry. i mean, if he plays his way there after say, 20 games in the nhl, fine. but if the devils defensive situation puts him there because of salvador, i'll be furious.

I think Tri's more worried about a lockout, especially since Lou said Larsson would play for the Devils this year. I don't want Larsson sitting on his butt during a lockout if it can be helped though.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Probably a good time to get his degree in case a career-threatening injury forces him to consider the corporate world.

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Good for him. A full year dominating and refining his talent will def help his confidence down the road. He needs a full year of doing so. No chance at the nhl and he would've gotten very limited mins in Albany.

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I think Tri's more worried about a lockout, especially since Lou said Larsson would play for the Devils this year. I don't want Larsson sitting on his butt during a lockout if it can be helped though.

He'd play in Sweden if he wasn't playing in Albany. But yes, I would obviously be talking about a lockout situation, because otherwise Larsson is eligible to play in the AHL.

I think the argument could be that this is better for.his development in terms of his personality.It will be a good season for him if he can get through a whole year whilst producing, without any off ice incidents.

It's pretty much a given that Michigan's increased drug testing is what got him - he was likely smoking marijuana. I don't consider that 'off-ice' incidents, although I suppose it's not something a professional athlete should be doing.

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He'd play in Sweden if he wasn't playing in Albany. But yes, I would obviously be talking about a lockout situation, because otherwise Larsson is eligible to play in the AHL.

It's pretty much a given that Michigan's increased drug testing is what got him - he was likely smoking marijuana. I don't consider that 'off-ice' incidents, although I suppose it's not something a professional athlete should be doing.

Smoking weed is something that I'd bet half of the league does. Addiction to pain killers is a whole other story. I doubt it was just for marijuana because this type of thing would definitely be more common. I still think it was for academic reasons

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Smoking weed is something that I'd bet half of the league does. Addiction to pain killers is a whole other story. I doubt it was just for marijuana because this type of thing would definitely be more common. I still think it was for academic reasons

I read about Michigan athletes in all sports being dinged for it - they increased testing at Michigan. I don't think it's for academic reasons at all - why would he be suspended twice for that, and once in the off-season? As I recall, Merrill's suspension was announced in late August.

EDIT: It was announced in October, but still, doesn't make sense given the way that Merrill spoke about it

Edited by Triumph

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I figured Lou wouldn't push anything with him this year because of the CBA and the plethora of d this team has currently. In the next CBA entry deal could be five years. No need to waste a year here. Especially when there is a good chance you lock him for five years next year on the entry level contract.

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Yea, this is no surprise to anyone. The Devils are loaded with d-men right now and all of his comments pretty much hinted at this.

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Good for him, absolute no-brainer.

Another year of the college life, or being shuttled around on a bus for a year? Easy choice.

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Less games in NCAA too...but more practice time and more time in the weight room, this is a good choice.

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Good. It would've been stupid for Merrill to turn pro this year with the 750 d-men we have right now. Hopefully he stays out of trouble and takes the year to mature a bit.

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Just don't pull a Justin Schultz and all will be well. Everyone who knows things work more than I do say it isn't a realistic possibility. So that makes me feel better.

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Just don't pull a Justin Schultz and all will be well. Everyone who knows things work more than I do say it isn't a realistic possibility. So that makes me feel better.

He can't use the same loophole Schultz did

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He can't use the same loophole Schultz did

Yes, he can. He will just have to stay in college for another year after this one (and that clause will have to remain in the CBA, something which I don't think is guaranteed). But Justin Schultz never attended Ducks development camp and it sounds like he had very little contact with the team over his career.

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Yes, he can. He will just have to stay in college for another year after this one (and that clause will have to remain in the CBA, something which I don't think is guaranteed). But Justin Schultz never attended Ducks development camp and it sounds like he had very little contact with the team over his career.

Thanks for clearing that up. I'll never understand why Schultz did what he did. The Ducks have some real nice players and good prospects. And So-Cal isn't exactly the worst place to live. I just hope this "I wanna play at home" mentality isn't a trend for years to come.

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