I still am of the opinion that if Gelinas defensive play continues to be a major problem, looking into switching him to wing would not be a bad option. You're not going to see too much in the way of big slap shots during normal even strength play anyhow so losing that on your even strength blue line isn't a major headache. Wingers still get those opportunities off offensive zone faceoffs. It was responsible for a decent number of Sykora and Rolston goals in their careers.
My major motivation for starting my version of this thread was that I wanted Gelinas to stay in the lineup for games so he could play powerplay time because I think that his presence there is vital to this team's success. It would also help given that we're relatively weak up front and if done right he does have natural talents that could lend themselves to being an effective power forward.
I think part of the problem is the immediate assumption that once a player chooses a position that they become a "natural whatever." Obviously if that were true, Gelinas would still be a forward since that's what he started as. The skills involved in playing a non-goalie hockey position be they defense or forward are absolutely translatable. "Quickness" is a skill that can be improved with agility training and let's be honest, most power forwards struggle with quickness. The guy has speed, size and offensive talent. Those things are useful no matter where you are in the offensive zone. His lack of certain defensive instincts may be minimized by him playing forward.
Now on the flip side, if he does improve his defensive play to the point where a coach doesn't need to hesitate to put him out there against a second liner, I have no objection to him going full speed ahead as a defenseman because having a good weapon like that on the blue line during even strength is an enormous asset if it isn't a liability.
DeBoer's system and any heavy forecheck/puck control system requires people who can shoot the puck at the point. Gelinas has more shots/60 than anyone on this year's team. It's not just about the big slapshot - Gelinas has a very good release and he has a good wrist shot too.
Gelinas's biggest potential skill at 5 on 5 is not his shot, it's his ability to knife through the neutral zone and either lead the rush/get the puck into the zone or be available for drop passes on the rush. I'm not convinced that his decision making in this regard will ever be elite but this is an ability that players like Kurtis Foster do not possess. It's a skill that frankly NJ hasn't really had since Scott Niedermayer. It's a skill that most defensemen don't have and one that's pretty useless as a forward.