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cwjohnson23

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Everything posted by cwjohnson23

  1. Right team but wrong player(s)....go after either Clowe or Pavelski plus Murray. Jussi, Joni, Boychuk and a conditional 2013 1st (1st if we make playoffs, otherwise its a 2nd). At least that's the type of deal I'd like to see us explore, might be a bit of an overpayment, but it does get the talks going.
  2. Can somebody pm me a link to the game. I'm sitting in an airport and can't see it? Thanks.
  3. So I think that perhaps we're missing the point....Sutter, sure he might be able to play wing, but that's not where he's going IMHO. I think that we all forgot where our boy Matty played during the Cup year. He played a bunch on Staal's wing, and I think that's where he would play if Sutter makes the team. Young Brandon center's a line w/our Finns (or Ruutu and Whitney). I think that the man on the outside looking in then becomes Samsonov. Pretty decent year last year, perfect 3rd line scoring threat who is going to have a heck of a year this year (again, IMHO). So that means the lines might look like: Cullen/Staal/Cole Whitney or Jokinen/Sutter/Ruutu Jokinen or Whitney/Brindy/LaRose Kosto/Yelle/Walker Cullen has a great shot, is a pretty fair passer, and has the speed to keep up w/that top line. Whitney or Jokinen then become 2nd line snipers w/Brandon and Tuomo doing the dirty work in front of the net. We also then still end up w/a killer 3rd line. I'll agree this is a good problem to have....but it is still a big IF for Sutter to make the team out of camp.
  4. ...and with all the talk about Cullen's and LaRose's chemistry, what has been missed is the awesome chemistry that Sammy and Roddy have...that's why I like this line w/either LaRose or Walker on it (because I think Jokinen will play on many different lines)...
  5. Maybe this is a bit out on a limb or even a bit controversial, but I think LaRose on the 2nd line is a bit of a waste of a spot. Rosey is great and began to prove that he has the skill to finish, but he missed as many as he buried (big Chad fan, but the truth is the truth). He gets by on heart and grit. Throughout his career at lower levels he was a solid scorer and if he could hone his scoring skills a bit, then, by all means, put him on the 2nd line....but not until then....besides, he's part of what I think could be a seriously dangerous 3rd line. So here's my take - put Whitney/Staal/Cole on your 1st line - Whitney is an adequate playmaker, Cole protects Staal and shakes things up with his speed (even if he overuses the "J" curve move too much) and that all free's Eric up to be the primary scorer on that line. The 2nd line is where I think I'm going to get some flak - we didn't sign Jussi to play on the 3rd line in my hmble opinion. He's quick (not overly fast but quick) as is Ruutu. The two Finns also had a few shifts together and they were very comfortable. Add in Matt's speed and I think you've got a pretty darn nice 2nd line - Jokinen is you best playmaker on that line, Ruutu is the banger and can be the "front of the net" presence (he's got a dynamite wrister as well, especially from the slot). Cullen's quick hands allow him to be there to clean up, make the 1st passes in the zone, and get a fair amount of clean up/rebound goals. That leaves a third line of Sammy/Brindy/LaRose (his natural best fit IMHO). This line is, quite frankly deadly - guys with higher level talent playing against other team's 3rd lines - Chad and Roddy running the cycle w/Sammy looking for open space in the slot. And against some of the tougher teams, you roll Walker up onto that line every 3rd shift or so. Quite frankly a Walker/Jokinen/Ruutu line would be very, very interesting as well...but more about that at some other time....if we rolled these lines we'd have 2 relatively fast, somewhat physical lines and a third line with higher skill levels than most other 3rd lines....roll Scotty in from time to time and that's some serious aggravation....just my two cents....
  6. Extra year always seems like a good idea...this is a tough kid who can skate and play in front of the net...that's all good and just what we need...future 3rd liner perhaps?
  7. Won't the Cane's draft pick, Matt Kennedy be on the Rats this year? Any news on that?
  8. Just had to jump in...mostly to agree and to just add a thought or two...We all are entitled to our opinions, but I think that there is almost no way we will not see Roddy at 3rd line center this year...and that line is going to look pretty good too. First, I'm in total agreement w/Froggy in that Roddy looked much better in the 2nd half - even his decision-making improved (which I think was affected by "trying to do too much" with a still recovering body). While he didn't exactly shine in the faceoff circle during the playoffs, his overall play was solid. Second, I think that Roddy will get mid-teens minutes, playing on the 3rd line, taking key faceoffs, playing on the 2nd PP unit, and 1st PK unit. He will be in shape, recovered from his knee(s) issue, and will have lost the tentativeness that characterized his play (and made him look slower in all facets of his game). Thirdly, the line of Sammy/Brindy/Rosey will surprise with substantial scoring. They will be playing against a lot of "lesser" 3rd lines and will be able to take advantage of that. Roddy and Rosey are good on the cycle which should allow Sammy to dangle around the middle for opportune shots. It would not surprise me to see in excess of 130 points (perhaps closer to 150) coming from group. I feel that all the "will he" or "won't he" discussions are nice and informative, but JR and his comments about Brindy and the 3rd line vs. 4th line aren't really germane. In the end Moe is going to make that decision and he needs Rod's on ice coaching to help him succeed. He won't get that w/Rod on the 4th line. Given Brindy's improvement during the 2nd half, I think its a pretty safe bet to assume that will continue. Stepping into the "playing GM" role, I'm going to repeat myself and a hunch that I have. I think that a Samsonov/Babchuk with maybe a pick or prospect is probably on the table around the league right now. What we are actually looking for is really the bigger question. If that proposed trade were to take place I could see 2 scenarios coming about: 1. 4th line center + very good 2nd line winger (and maybe something else back) or 2. 1st line winger + pick/prospect back While I don't want to ignite the whole Babchuk saga again, he should be, and probably is, viewed as a pretty valuable asset. Sammy is a 50 point guy who could very easily be a 60 point guy. He's had two 70+ point seasons and in those where he played in excess of 70 games he's scored between 45 and 75 points. He's proven himself again that he can still put the puck in the net over the past year and a half. Or the trade could go down for picks and prospects and one of the Rats takes Sammy's spot. And while I think this type of trade is out there, with all of the cap issues around the league, it would not surprise me in the least bit if no other team bit on it. I would be very comfortable going into the season with these lines: Cole/Staal/Ruutu Whitney/Cullen/Jokinen Samsonov/Brind'Amour/LaRose Walker/Ryan or Blanchard/Kostopoulos Conboy/Spare Rat Pitkanen/Ward Corvo/Gleason Alberts/Wallin Carson or Rodney Ward Leighton I could even seen Ruutu playing on the 2nd line and Whitney on the 1st (which would make a nice Finnish connection on Cullen's line). Regardless, my last comment is about Cullen. Hopefully he scores as many goals as last year, but really bumps up his assists numbers. In truth as a 2nd line center Cully should be in the 50 to 55 point range (30 to 35 assists). Quite frankly, if he doesn't get his coconut busted up this past year, he probably ends up right around 50 points. So I'll be watching Matt early in the season to see how his point production is shaping up....he could become a pivotal bargaining chip as the season progresses....just my proverbial two cents....
  9. Yup, Sammy and Babs have been w/Chicago before...different coach and now a different GM; so I'm not sure what part of the exisiting managment team would have bad feelings for these guys. And while 23 year old NHL experienced defensemen don't come cheap, 25 year old NHL defensemen who score 16 goals in 72 games don't come cheap either...playoffs be damned, Babchuk was one of our best D-men for the last 30 games or so. And he can probably be had in the $1.5 to $2.0 million range....Eaves is a non-starter as he doesn't really add much for Chicago. If a deal like this goes down (all supposition by me, mind you) - whether its Sharp or Versteeg or Barker or Keith or Seabrook, etc.....it only works for Chicago if only 1 true roster player goes back - hence my player + prospect + pick theory in the first place....I thought I saw that they had something like 21 guys signed but still need a back up goalie and a 7th D-man....figure something like $1.5 to $1.7 million total for those two players. So the end result of either of these trades is that Chicago is going to bring $3.0 to $3.5 million off of their number (which currently sits at $58.147 million). That get's them below next year's cap w/a million to spare...
  10. While I don't disagree that Sharp would fit as well, the million extra in salary won't work for JR...plus your scenario is a little lopsided in favor of Chicago (3 1st rounders and a 2nd for a 1st and a 5th rounder???). Remember the team with the salary issues usually gets a bit of the old hose in these types of deals....not the complete ream job, but they have to trade salary for something in return....all those 1st rounders just don't add up (remember that Babs is a one time 1st round pick)...yes, I do know that Versteeg and Barker are both rising young stars, but your scenario is a fairly significant overpayment. I could see Boychuk or Bowman as the prospect, however, instead of Dalpe or Terry and I'd probably be okay with that....but I don't think that's gonna happen as I truly believe we're going to see one or both of them on the Canes this year - either out of camp or by mid season....just a hunch.... Still a pretty interesting line up that could look like this: Versteeg/Staal/Cole Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu Eaves/Jokinen/LaRose Walker/Brindy/Kostopoulos Extras: Conboy/Ryan Pitkanen/Gleason Corvo/Barker Alberts/Wallin Extra: Carson Ward Leighton That's a team I could really enjoy watching...speed and grit....three true puck movers and 3 defensive D-men....but alas...it won't happen...but a guy can dream...
  11. So this feels like a situation where we overvalue our picks/prospects because of past mistakes trading picks/prospects....no doubt I have a bit of a man crush on Chris Versteeg; he's a sniper of underrated proportions....and he's not afraid to bang....but even with that knowledge a deal that makes sense for both the Canes and Chicago could look something like: rights to Babchuk + prospect (Dalpe or Terry) + 2010 or 2011 2nd rd. pick for Versteeg and Barker or Keith You could substitute Samsonov for Babchuk (yet Babs has more upside), but I don't think Eaves gets it done (face it you're gonna see Patty on the 3rd/4th line for the Canes this year)....what makes this type of trade w/Chicago a bit suspect is the fact that Chicago has already had a session w/Babs and Sammy....but, both of those players have found a bit of themselves that didn't exist during their previous stints....not to mention that there's a different coach/system in Chicago now. What makes it work is that Chicago is giving up good young talent to get under the cap and the Canes are getting guys in their early 20s and seem to be on their way to good solid NHL careers (1st/2nd line forward and 2nd pairing D-man). The Hawks get a rising talent in Babs, very solid 2nd/3rd line potential w/the prospect and a very high pick - so they get youth, get the option to have a good young player come into the bigs in 2010/11 and get a high pick to replenish their system. The Canes get 2 young guys who could realistically be Hurricanes for the next decade. This deal takes about $4.5 million off of Chicago's payroll (assuming they sign Babs for $1.5 million). But it does, however add about $6.0 million to our payroll....which means that Sammy and/or Whitney are gone (along w/Kabs buyout)...yes Ray has a no trade clause, but I'm sure there are a select few teams he would consider...it might not be necessary if Sammy gets traded - by my calculations w/that trade and Kabs' buyout we would end up w/about a $53 million payroll (w/Versteeg and Barker added) and while we might not get revenue sharing we would field a pretty damn competitive team that might drive attendance higher and therefore more revenue....
  12. Hmmm.....I've been sitting on the sidelines watching lots of conversation about all the travails that we are facing and I've just got to jump in...So here's my two cents. First of all so much of this is all gamesmanship...by JR, by Ruutu's agent, by Babchuk....so we probably will see so much play out over the next 6 weeks that will prove some of us right and most of us wrong (both LaRose and Cole, for example were signed for several hundred thousand $$$ more than I would have guessed)....Secondly, we're sitting at a shade over $49 million ($49.067 according to nhlnumbers.com - and its tough to tell if that includes Ryan's, Conboy's, and Dwyer's $$$) with 18 players signed. So we have either a shade over $6 million to the cap (which we will never spend to) or, more realistically, about $3.7 to $4 million to spend to $53 million which I believe is JR's upper end, self-imposed cap. So there are a few of realities that we just need to face: 1) We're going to see Carson/Rodney/Borer as part of the last pairing or even part of the 2nd pairing. Yup, they're going to make mistakes, but all three proved to be quite servicable during their call ups and WAY TOO MUCH is being made of their "inexperience".... in the end they will be fine. I'm calling it right here and now....we will not see a new defenseman signed unless something dramatic happens. 2) Ruutu will be signed before arbitration....one thing JR wants is flexibility and arbitration is the antithesis of that. I'm looking for something like 3 years $10.5 million....and his name will continuously come up in trade talk, trade negotiations, and eventually he may be part of an actual trade...probably next year at or around the deadline or at or around the draft. 3) Babchuk will either accept his QO or actually get a 2 year deal (2 yrs. @ $3 million - $1.25/$1.75). The trade that becomes available is then Babs and Ruutu for a significant player plus either a pick or prospect. This trade might also be a Ruutu and the "rights" to Babs. Regardless, Babs becomes a trading chip all year long....if not this year then next. If he stays and plays with us, I think he continues his breakout and while JR may regret some of his posturing and treatment, in the end, he will prove to be a valuable asset that we trade and get significant return for. 4) The 1st line and the 4th line are going to be in flux all year long with Cole and Staal playing with one of either Boychuk or Bowman. One or both of the youngsters are going to make the team and play 1st line and 3rd line minutes. While I think that Ruutu will also see some 1st line minutes, I think Mo plays some "match up" hockey (we throw out a tough line of Cole/Staal/Ruutu against bangers like Boston/New Jersey). However, I also believe that both Eaves and perhaps Jokinen may get time on that line as both are due for breakouts. JR is going to ask Mo to showcase those guys and I think they will prove more than able to contribute (Jussi especially, who I believe can skate w/the Eric(k)s and has nifty passing ability). That also creates "tradeable" assets. The second line is going to be Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu and will really provide a balance of scoring and physicality. Again, this is a line I think you see Eaves on when Ruutu moves up to play 1st line time. LaRose will also see a bit of time on this line as he has chemistry here, but a line of Whitney/Cullen/LaRose is exceedingly small and could only work against the more "skilled" teams. The third line is, for the most part, going to be LaRose/Jokinen/Eaves and that line will be surprisingly productive from a scoring perspective. With Chad and Patty on it, they will also be a serious "pest" line. I suspect that Sutter gets some time on this line as well. The fourth line is going to be Walker/Brindy/Sutter with Brindy and Walker rotating up to the third line when LaRose and Eaves move up. The rookies will sit those games out or play 3rd/4th line time. Brindy and Sutter will see PK time w/Eaves and LaRose. Brindy will also see critical faceoff time. 5) Who is missing? You guessed it, Samsonov. Love him, think he's a heck of a player and once he got on track, he can make things happen. But, for whatever reason, he doesn't seem to play well with Staal (the line he should be playing on, IMO) and with the Jokinen signing, he becomes expendable. So I think while we'll hear Ruutu/Babs rumors, in the end, we'll see a Samsonov/Babs trade or Samsonov plus an asset trade at some point in time this year freeing up salary....which will get us our winger back in return (more like a true solid 2nd liner w/some 1st line potential - ala Ruutu)....we might get a pick as well, but.... This is all a guessing game, but I expect that we will see more "match up" hockey....not so much matching lines, but building lines to play against certain teams....Cole, Ruutu on the 1st line, Walker on the 3rd line....and Conboy as appropriate will get rolled out much more prominently against the more physical teams. I think that as the year goes on Sutter also sees more time (going from 6 to 8 minutes a game to 8 to 12 minutes a game)....he's a physical player and can play a shut down guy already. I think Eaves and Jokinen each get 15 to 20 goals...and Kaberle has a return to form as well.... Finally, one of the two rookies (Boychuk/Bowman) will stick and the other will get one more year in Albany (although with our team's injury history he will see plenty of time in Raleigh). In the end two or more of our AHLers will get NHL experience, contribute significantly, and be part of a Hurricane's team that reaches the playoffs again. Yes, that's what I said, the same basic team that got us to the playoffs this year takes us back next year....I for one am excited about that prospect.
  13. I think we end up signing Ruutu no problem....3 years @ $10.5 million. We are going to see some of the young guys up here this year....and it won't be a bad thing....just my opinion
  14. JR himself said that if they are to stay in Raleigh it would be on a scoring line (read 1st or 2nd line)...if they don't prove in training camp that they belong there then I don't believe they will stay up for 3rd or 4th line duties...which is what I said or at least meant to say in my post
  15. Thanks SD...I think my point is that if you're going to trade a valuable asset, you need to get value in return...of those two potential trades, quite frankly, Ruutu and Corvo are the true assets, Babchuk and Samsonov are the "upside" (both of which could continue to increase their production). While I think a deal with Babchuk and Eaves is an option, we're just not going to get the type of return we need for those two guys - one a wild card and the other an underachiever....btw, I still have an thought that Eaves might break out...just a feeling.
  16. Just listened to JR's interview on the site....here's my take....Cole and LaRose get re-signed to REASONABLE contracts, Seidenberg is gone, Bayda is gone, Frankie goes Russian (but I don't get the impression that is a sure thing at all). Then there's the possibility that we stand pat with the possible exception of hoping that Bowman or Boychuk have a great camp and make the team. All the RFAs get qualified and then new deals get worked out if possible. If not, then one or more of them becomes trade bait. One or two of the 3 promising D-Men in Albany makes the club (Carson, Borer, McBain). If the youngsters make the team, I think that they will see 1st and/or 2nd line time (IMHO). They are proverbial "snipers" after all. If that's the case then the lines might look something like this: Bowman or Boychuk/Staal/Cole Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu Samsonov/Jokinen/LaRose Eaves/Brind 'Amour/Walker Conboy as the extra Pitkanen/? Gleason/Corvo Wallin/Babchuk Carson/Borer/McBain fighting it out for 2 spots. But the more I think about this scenario the more I believe that with this line up there's a trade possible...at the draft, before the draft, after the draft. As much as I hate to say this I would not be surprised at all if one or more of Ruutu, Corvo, Samsonov, and Babchuk were moved. If that's the case then I do believe that we would pick up another D-man in free agency, maybe two. Of those four players, don't be surprised if Ruutu and Babchuk get packaged (and it pains me greatly to think that Ruutu might be going somewhere). But we all know the time to trade is when a player is at his highest value...right now Ruutu and Babchuk are the career year poster children on this team. We have also heard the rumors of Sammy and Corvo as trade chips given their performances (strong) as of late. If the first trade goes down then you might end up with something like this line up: Bowman or Boychuk/Staal/Cole Whitney/Cullen/LaRose Eaves/Jokinen/Walker ?/Brind 'Amour/Conboy Pitkanen/? Gleason/Corvo Wallin/Carson Borer or McBain I'm guessing that a guy like Dwyer, Dodge, or even Blanchard could be the 4th line winger...but that's all speculation, because even though I see a trade as a distinct possibility, I don't know who the trade would be with....it just smells like an option/possibility.....just my additional two cents worth...
  17. Okay, a few pages back I made a couple of comments about "strategy"...(willingness to trade unproven prospects and/or picks (with or without a current roster player) for young up and coming talent (I mentioned Chris Versteeg as an example)...but here is what I think I would do if I were GM: 1. resign LaRose to 3 yr deal ($1.5 mil, $1.5 mil, $1.75 mil) 2. sign Ruutu - 3yr deal ($3.0, $3.25, $3.5 mil) or just qualify him if he/his agent won't take that deal 3. sign Cole - either a 3 yr deal w/NTC ($2.5, $2.5, $3.0) or a 4 yr deal w/out an NTC (4 yrs at $11 mil) 4. sign Seidenberg - 2 yrs at $3.5 ($1.5, $2.0) 5. SIGN Babchuk - not just qualify him, but sign him to a 3 yr deal ($1.25, $1.75, $2.0) 6. sign Jokinen to his qualifying offer and then negotiate longer term deal before season starts* Then I would use Seidenberg and/or Babchuk and/or LaRose as trade bait in a package that must include Kaberle and probably includes a prospect or pick (3rd or 4th rounder in '10). So a trade could look something like this: Babchuk, LaRose, Kaberle, and a 3rd rounder for Versteeg and a 2nd rounder You would free up almost $5 mil to sign Versteeg (RFA) and a stay at home defender....but actually I would probably bring up Carson and/or Rodney to fill the bill. Then our lines would look something like: Cole/Staal/Versteeg Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu Samsonov/Jokinen/Boychuk/Bowman (my preference) Eaves/Brind' Amour/Walker Conboy (to fill in for the inevitable injury) Early in the season I would make sure that Eaves and Walker tooks shifts on the 2nd and 3rd line as well or I'd give the 4th line closer to 8 to 10 minutes (ala Boston this past season). The defense would look like: Pitkanen/Gleason Seidenberg/Corvo Wallin/Carson or Rodney or new guy and move Seidenberg down to this pairing Ward/Leighton I would give our rising stars more time in the AHL (Sutter, Boychuk or Bowman - whichever didn't make the big club -, Terry, McBain, etc.). As much as I like LaRose and what he brings and I really think that Babchuk will continue to improve, I think that they provide a short term answer to some of our salary issues, can help us get the sniper we need (if not Versteeg, then someone like him), and gets us into some discussions w/potential shut down D-men. Now I know with all of the LaRose love on this board I'll get some flak, but I'm a believer in selling high; there's no guarantee that Chad's gonna keep up his scoring (and he only had 31 pts. total, I believe). And I do think that Babchuk is going to keep scoring....and get even better. So some team is going to get a steal there....but you've got to give a little to get a little...finally, we get Frank's salary off of the books... We also get one or two of the Rats worked into our line up giving them NHL experience....well that's just my 2 cents worth....
  18. Long time lurker...sometime poster. It has taken me a while to get through all 13 pages of this thread and there are some very interesting ideas and comments....although it does seem that the entire thread has devolved to a discussion about the various values of LaRose and Cole. I won't insult anyone by saying I love this player or that one....these guys are all professionals, all talented. In the end we should be prepared for one or two of our forwards to be traded (Cullen, Sammy, and Eaves are probably the most likely), one or two of our defensemen to go unsigned - we know which two. There are a couple of pieces of this puzzle that haven't been really discussed - trading and acquiring picks/prospects or young "up and comers". To me, this is a strategy that has worked for us and probably will work again in the future. Nobody wants to see us trade away all of our 1st rounders, but let's face it, I'd happily drop a 1st rounder for a proven young NHL player. As much as we like Sutter, Boychuk or even Bowman, they are totally unproven and may all end up being a bust. I'd happily send one of them plus a high draft pick for a guy like Corey Perry....and that's my point. You may be giving up some salary flexibility, but in the next couple of years we have a payroll situation where that won't really hamstring us. We have some other options besides arguing the relative merits of our salary cap issues and who we "have" to sign and who we should "let walk". So whether or not we sign Cole (I vote yes on a 3 or 4 yr. deal at an average of $2.5 million per year - 4 yr. w/no NTC, or 3 w/one) or LaRose (I vote yes but something closer to a 3 yr. deal at an average of $1.5 million per yr.; if he want's more, then you have to let this guy walk). In the end who is to say that the answer isn't trading to get a rising star and bringing up an AHLer? In fact, I'd even consider running an offer sheet out there for Chicago's Versteeg...give me young talent today, not a promise for tomorrow....just my two cents.
  19. Does anybody know when the arbitration hearing that JR was talking about will take place? How's that for rolling the dead horse over so we can get a chance at his other side?
  20. Don't be so quick on the draw....I would not be surprised to see young Drayson Bowman on either the 2nd or 3rd line. Remember, JR was quoted as saying he will be given a realistic shot to make the team in camp....just looks a bit more realistic now....given his scoring ability I would think he'd be wasted on the 4th line....having said that, maybe LaRose has found his touch.... Actually, that might have been Ronnie Franchise that said that....
  21. No doubt about the "flexibility" of JR's and PK's self imposed cap....I just think there's more to come and its not just Frank Kaberle....now by way of disclaimer, I really, really like the team as its now configured and I think we're going to surprise some folks....
  22. I really think that we've got some serious blinders on. First of all I believe that JR's "$45 million self-imposed cap" is more of a target. If he puts the team on the ice that he feels is the most competitive, I really see him spending much closer to $46.5 million or even $47 million. Right now our cap hit is $49.3 million (that includes the 2/3 of Tanabe's salary if he gets bought out). It does not include Brandon Sutter's salary. Add that in and we're right at $50 million or so. If Frankie gets traded we're only down to $47.8 million (because I think that unless Sutter gets hurt, he's on the team in October). IMHO that means there's around a million or so in salary that will still need to go. I would not be surprised to see two or more currently signed players traded (and none of them will be named Nic Wallin - besides his NTC, when he's on, he's a more than adequate #5). So look at the salary, look where we have the most flexibility, and read what you can into that...in my tiny mind I think there are two or three scenarios brewing: 1. Trade Frank Kaberle alone or with an unnamed forward (Chad LaRose?); we get picks and prospects in return, possibly a cheap 4th liner - this sheds around $2.5 million in salary (Rosies's and Frankie's salary minus the $500K we would have to pay the new 4th liner) and would make sense to do as soon as possible. It allows training camp to start w/everybody knowing where they stand, what lines they're on, and what their responsibilities are. Either Conboy, the guy we got back in the trade or an unsigned player (O'Neil or Taffe?) take the 4th line forward role and we run w/the 7 d-men we have under contract. 2. The above trade happens AND we trade another D-man (Babs, Melichar, or Seids); we get picks or prospect(s) back. This trade happens during training camp, pre-season, or after the 1st 10 games or so. Conboy fills the #7 D-man role/swing forward role and the "unnamed 4th liner" comes up from Albany or via one of the two trades. Ultimately, this saves us around $500K to $700K. 3. Ray Whitney gets traded as part of the package above. This would be the most radical of the trade options and chould yield us an "up and comer" (LAK O'Sullivan, perhaps) and a pick/prospect perhaps. This provides us Ruutu insurance in the event that he doesn't re-sign, covers for the loss of Whitney (although I think that if this happens LaRose isn't part of the 1st deal), and gets us down at or below JR's internal salary cap. Probably still end up shedding another $2 million in salary....and bingo that puts us right at $45 million. The reason that I think this is something that could be considered is that it gives us financial flexibility, helps restock the farm system, potentially gives us picks for the '09, '10 draft, both of which are considered strong. It is a risk, no doubt about it (replacing Ray's #'s and Chad's energy would both be difficult). But it would potentially force Sutter into a larger role (for those who fear him wasting away on the 4th line), adds some surety for the blueline (everybody would know what their role was), and again, allows Tim Conboy to play more and we could see if he fits the role as 4th line agitator or #5/#6 D-man. Just my two cents worth....
  23. Yeah, well, I didn't know what to expect...so color me just a little surprised, him being an 18 year old and all...just seemed very mature as a player....very Sutter-esque, if I can use that phrase....anyway, it says a lot about our last 2 or 3 years of drafting I think -- Boychuk, Sutter, Dalpe, Mourneau, Murphy, Bowman, Terry, and the rest of the guys that i'm sure I missed...
  24. Thanks for the kind words everybody...it was just a load of fun watching the kids....and that's the key thing. They are all so very young. It is incredible the talent and the drive that they all must have. Nate Hagemo was wearing #31, so he wasn't the mystery man. I think it might be a kid named Ryan Weston who I know absolutely nothing about. The last picture in the N&O photo gallery shows some kid with his name teasingly interviewing Brandon Sutter and he looks like the kid who was wearing #51, but I've never heard of him. Anybody else know anything?
  25. Well, we took the kids out to the skate today and what a blast. The guys seemed to be working hard, putting in the effort, but everybody had a smile on his face. First things first....Brandon Sutter is the real deal....you can see the poise and he oozes leadership qualities - by quiet example - always hustling, always working, always paying attention...and from what I saw today, he looked like he's improved his shooting a bit. Secondly, the two Zac(h)s are pretty clear 1st round picks (even though Dalpe went in the 2nd)....Boychuk didn't have his best day today w/his stick but he did have a couple of beauts against Murphy. However, Dalpe looked very, very, very good....much like Sutter this kid seemed to give off lots of confidence today and his hockey sense is awesome...good shot, good passer, very good puck handler (at least for the hour or so that we saw him).....Third, McBain and Bellimore we sort of "men amongst boys" out there....they looked like real D-men and just seemed to know what to do and when to do it....I will say, the drills really highlight the offense, but they did do these 2 on 1 breakaway things and those two guys looked stellar. A couple of other standout things - Mike Murphy is a "feast or famine" monster....he made 4 or 5 incredible acrobatic saves....and yes he dives all over the place, but that mostly happened when he had to make a big initial save and then come back across for some incredible 2nd and 3rd chance save....he did that a number of times. He also made the prettiest save I have ever seen where he had dove across the crease on a second chance and was laying on his side, the puck squirted our about 15 feet in front and either Dalpe or Chaput rocketed a "top shelfer" which he nabbed with a scissor kick....and it was no accident, he saw it as he laid there and kicked his leg up to make the save...just sweet....Now for the down side....his jock strap is still laying on the ice from the 4 or 5 times that he got deked....he sometimes just commits too early...but the kid's got monster talent. Mourneau (sp?) is a sweet finisher....his skating is just a shade "rusty" but he didn't miss any real chances that I saw. He could be a really, really sweet late round find. And while he was clearly out of shape, it was very easy to see flashes of why Nate Hagemo was a viable 2nd rounder.....give that kid some conditioning and he's got real potential...its just a matter of whether or not he'll put in the effort. Finally, there was a mystery player out there wearing #51. That kid had moves and a shot that wouldn't quit. He was a pretty big kid (it wasn't Terry who was wearing # 58 I believe)....whoever that skater was, he's a keeper. He did seem a little older that some of the others (maybe 20 or 21), but he was somebody that impressed all around. All in all it appears that we have some serious talent in the pipeline....keep it up Ronnie. Ya done good dude!!!
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