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NotOpie

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  1. Corvo was a good signing, not a great one, but a good one....and it surprised me because I didn't think we would spend the money...I went through a bunch of scenarios, but we're something north $46 million when we get to 22 players. I thought that would be the absolute highest JR/PK would go. Glad I'm wrong....but I do think this opens up a world of possibilities trade-wise. As many have noted, we have a bundle of puck movers on defense. I just can't imagine that Babs + something isn't on the trading block. If it ends up being Babs, Sammy, and a pick for a player and a pick back, who knows what the possibilities are.... I also think its very interesting that Corvo was signed for 2 years, without a doubt Pitkanen insurance if there's little to no chance of re-signing him. We could really see some interesting combinations and permutations. The organization has to be hoping that McBain and Sanguinetti become top 4 puck movers by 2012-2013. We will then have multiple options on Defense and money to sign one or more shut down guys.
  2. Coastal, I read JR's comments and have been a "student" of our past history. I'm not really debating your point and agree that we probably need another real Top 4 defenseman. My point is that I just don't think its going to happen this year (cause the money isn't really there even if we go to $45 or $46 million in payroll). I think there's a better chance of Babchuk and Samsonove getting traded for something near a Top 4 guy, but still not a true one. And yes, then we're stuck with Harrison, a Checker, and probably Carson (who is a very serviceable 5-6 guy). My point is that we've had no name defenses that have served us well in the past. Defenses where we really didn't have much beyond a number 4. But they played well together and our forwards played excellent defense in front of them. Yes, that's what I'm hoping for. I support what PK and JR are doing because the correct and ethical thing to do is for Karmanos to take care of his late partner's estate. I want him to get a new partner/owner in here who is a hockey person first. Now perhaps focusing on the "profitability" of the franchise is a mistaken approach...we can debate that ad nauseum too....but I won't. I just want the "sale" to take place sooner rather than later and let the franchise move forward. If there's short-term pain, then so be it. I just don't think the short term pain will be all that bad. And yes, I will readily eat crow if we end up a bottom five team....I'm not totally in fantasyland.
  3. [quote name='coastal_caniac wrote: NotOpie']The gnashing of teeth over our defense is understandable, but, quite frankly, way overdone. We'll either work together as a unit and be solid, but not spectacular, or we won't in which case Cam will earn his sizeable salary. A little suspect? We need a defense that is above par, not one that just gets by. I think I'll gnash my teeth some more until we get another top-4 defenseman, thank you please. It won't break the bank. If that happens, then we will have something to work with..... and my dental bill will go away.That's fine, but I find it incredible that there's no expectation that players can and do grow....do you assume that McBain is not going to improve? Quite frankly, he was pretty solid (sure he made a few mental errors but they were few and far between) in his own end. Sanguinetti comes with question marks but is a first rounder who was, at one time, one of the best defensive prospects in the Rangers' system....I seem to remember pages and pages of "flaming" about Pitkanen and his "weaknesses".....don't you offer the chance that players may be coming into their own (again, with growing pains, but still Joni is a good example of how different venues, circumstances, coaches, etc. can all lead to positive outcomes....)....we cannot afford a true top 4 guy. We're going to have to go with youth, a reclamation project, or get talent in a trade (which we may still do). But I really don't want any "gritty veterans" if its going to end up like the Aaron Ward fiasco....but I'm not getting into that....my point is that at some point in time we have to trust in the young talent and the front office. We don't have to agree with their strategy, but it does give the guys a chance that many of us have been hoping to see (plus some new faces). I, for one, think that many of the kids will surprise us, JR still has a move or two up his sleeve, and some of our "younger vets" (Staal, Cole, etc.) will step up their leadership. This year is going to be exciting....
  4. Well, I guess I'm in the significant minority here. I actually think that if we get more man games out of our core (Staal, Cole, Pitkanen, Ward, Gleason, Ruutu, LaRose and even Samsonov), we will be fielding a pretty competitive bunch....young, but competitive. By now Staal is enough of a veteran where leadership is expected of him. Cole has already been referenced by both Boychuk and Bowman as somebody who has been a positive influence on them. LaRose and Gleason need to step up as well, especially with Gleason mentoring our young d-men. With more actual games played by the "core" (we lost something close to 150 man games just from the group above), we will be competitive. The gnashing of teeth over our defense is understandable, but, quite frankly, way overdone. We'll either work together as a unit and be solid, but not spectacular, or we won't in which case Cam will earn his sizeable salary. A couple of keys will be the ability of Cole, Ruutu, and Samsonov to live up to their capabilities while staying healthy. Sammy is the lynchpin here....I really hate to see him on the 4th line and hope that he gets some PP time and roles up and down the 2nd and third line too. But I just don't see it. More likely, I still think there will be a trade coming of which he will be a part. The time for the new regime of players is now...that means that there will be a fair share of growing pains (time also for MO and Ronnie to earn their coaching paychecks with the kids!). It also means that a veteran 3rd line center probably won't happen, nor should it. These new kids have to get their experience sooner rather than later. Also, I think that the predictions that have LaRose on the 1st and 2nd line and Tlusty on the 2nd line over sell these guys. Chad is a great guy, has goal scoring potential, but I want him down on the 3rd line, hustling and making things happen. I want Tlusty down there as well. He has always been considered a very good 2-way forward. He is solid offensively, but is still young, so starting him on the 3rd line makes sense. Add in Dalpe (who I think will not only win the 3rd line center's job, I feel it's his to lose). He's fast and is also a very solid defender. That means that Boychuk and Cole move up to the 2nd line (or even the 1st line w/Staal and the Finns could move down w/Sutter - a line that worked well for a number of games). But for now, I think we start the season looking something like this: Jokinen/Staal/Cole Boychuk/Sutter/Ruutu Tlusty/Dalpe/LaRose Dwyer or Samsonov/Matsumoto/K-stop On defense we are what we are: Gleason/McBain Pitkanen/Babchuk Sanguinetti/? Carson? Harrison Yes, I think Carson ends up back in the fold. Ultimately, I also expect Boychuk to see some stints down in Charlotte to "work on his game". Rotating up will be Osala, Bowman, Dodge, and perhaps even Terry. The wild card is Samson. If he has a good camp, he will displace either K-stop and/or LaRose which frees them up for a trade (package with Sammy and/or Babchuk perhaps)....or Samson could be made available (his value is at its historic high)....so I know the change is/can be painful, but all is not lost. We are going to field the most exciting team that we've seen since the Cup run.....it may get ugly, but it will be fun to watch.
  5. Hmmm.....well I don't want to start a whole Babchuk's "defense" debate, nor do I want to assume too much from the youngsters, but there are two or three points that seem clear, but unrealized by a lot of us. I'm with the poster that said, we would be "surprised" by this year's team. We have, for a while, rolled a defense that is filled with journeymen, blue collar types. It was only over the last couple of years that we even had a truly serviceable "puck moving defenseman" (Franky K. was not that guy). A couple of points: 1. Babchuk's defense is better than he gets credit for. For the most part he's positionally sound, blocks a ton of shots. On the down-side he's not the most mobile guy and he, like many other offensively minded defensemen, tends to have the occasionally mental lapse. He's most remembered for these during our last ECF run. 2. McBain's defense is highly under-rated. He's very sound and got better over the course of his brief stint. He even occasionally throws the body. I expect continued improvement from him and see him as a future all-star, two-way d-man. 3. Assuming a few less injuries this year (not saying no major injuries, just a few less), and you have the very real possiblity of guys like Ruutu getting back to 55-60 points, Sammy getting back to 40 or even 45 points, LaRose getting back to 45 or so points, and Cole getting back to 45 or 50 points. This, of course assumes some 3rd line time for Sammy and maybe some PP time for LaRose. Regardless, these 4 guys will score at least 20% points than they did last year (in aggregate) IF they can just stay healthy. 4. We are going to give the young guys every chance to play on the big club. Boychuk is a near lock. Either Dalpe or Matsumoto could/should win the 3rd line center's job outright (and I would guess that's JR's hope as well). Samson, Osala, Bowman, and Dodge will see time w/the big club on a rotating basis (because we will have injuries and youngsters go through slumps). 5. The 7th Defenseman is either Borer or Rodney and I think its Borer (which means its really Harrison). Could we pick up a cheap Joe Corvo or someone else of his ilk? Sure, and while I would like more of a stay at home guy, Corvo's got one of the best "sticks" in the league and can really frustrate good shooters. So JR might surprise us all and go out and get somebody who's more than a 1 year stop gap, but with the way salaries are going this UFA season, I'm thinking he'll be content to keep his powder dry unless something incredible falls into his lap. So I think we roll lines that look like this: Jokinen/Staal/Ruutu Boychuk/Sutter/Cole Tlusty/Dalpe/Samsonov or LaRose Samsonov/Dwyer or Matsumoto/K-stop Pitkanen/McBain Gleason/Babchuk Sanguinetti/? Harrison Ward Peters And I'm still not so sure that Carson is done with us...we'll see where that shakes out as well. I also think that its not too much to ask 40 to 45 points of Tlusty and Boychuk. Quite frankly, as developing 1st rounders that should be the expectation. Finally, I do think that there's some sort of trade in the works that may or may not yield a defenseman back to us (Sammy and a pick, Sammy/Babchuk, Sammy/Babchuk and a pick). We really do need Samsonov's spot on that 3rd/4th line (he's wasted on the 4th line). Even if Babchuk goes in a trade we still have options on defense; we just need one more skilled guy. My two cents...
  6. This is all about trade bait, pure and simple. Yes, its put up or shut up time for Jiri, but the fact is he's a high draft pick who has shown flashes of potential. Package him w/a 3rd rounder and we might get a mid/low 1st rounder back. Package him w/a high 2nd rounder and we get a higher 1st rounder back....or, best case is that he starts on the 3rd line and shows the potential that Mo/JR see in him....Tlusty is no fool; he certainly sees the writing on the wall....plus it saves us cash. In the end, there are a variety of "why's" for this move, which one doesn't matter. It will prove to be a good and savvy move.
  7. 2 vs. the Thrashers, 2 vs. the Habs, 2 vs. the Bruins, and 2 vs. the Lightning, so in that sense we are the "semi-masters" of our own destiny. If we take care of that little bit of business, it will go a long way....a few weeks ago, I really didn't think we had the proverbial snowball's chance...but after watching us play the Caps and the Pens on back to backs, I was pretty impressed with the heart of this team. The only real negative is that we were outshot by a fair margin against the Caps and a significant margin against the Pens. So here's the row we have to hoe....2 more vs. Washington, 1 more vs. the Pens, 1 vs. the Yotes, 1 vs. the Slugs, 2 vs. Boston, 2 vs. the Habs, 1 vs. the Sens, and 1 vs. the Devils...that's 11 games vs. current playoff teams....get to it boys. Is it time to start chanting "We Believe" yet?
  8. [quote name='Faceoff-ch1 wrote: coastal_caniac']I thought it was looking more and more like Ray would squash any trade. There is a lot of banter going on in the twitter world about Ray not being worth a 1st rounder + a player. Some think that is why he is still here. There are two issues afloat....one is, if you're a GM and have a valuable asset that is tradeable, then you get whatever you can get for him; hopefully that means the highest value....there's no such thing as "too high of an asking price". In the end this is a seller's market and the game of chicken is either going to yield an overpayment or an underpayment; not really much of a chance that anybody will say, "...wow that's a pretty fair deal there". Conversely, the buyer can just choose to "hold out" and play the game of chicken as well and hope that he get's a deadline deal so that the selling GM doesn't walk away w/nothing for his asset. While JR is regarded as a tough negotiator, if he's so determined to "win" the trade, he's liable to end up with much less or nothing at all. Factor into this equation the fact that Ray holds some serious cards w/his "no movement" clause and you have the Canes at a serious disadvantage in any game of chicken. The second issue is the perception of Ray throughout all of this. Rumors are rumors (LA and the 3 yr. extension) and most have been discounted....and correctly so. Yet, if Ray is using his NMC to squeeze the Canes and any trading partner for a contract extension (and that is his right), he still comes off as looking a bit selfish. Yes, it does seem wierd that we expect somebody that we're trading to look out for the team that is trading him. But he did win a Cup with us, have a position of leadership with us, and we have given him a fair deal when we re-signed him previously. Lastly, maybe this is Jimmy's nod to the very, very slim chance that we could sneak into the playoffs...negotiate with a hard line and if somebody wants to overpay, then great. Otherwise, we still have Ray and he could help us sneak in. Yes, we do lose out on some future assets, but, as I've said in other posts, we cannot afford to be a team that misses the playoffs on a regular basis. We cannot "totally" rebuild. We have to smell competitive every year or we won't have fannies in the seats at the RBC Center. So we add one or two extra second round picks, a prospect or two, and maybe a couple of late round picks. They will help reload the cupboard and also give us trading chips to get better positions/draft picks in this year's draft. All is not lost, but maybe, just maybe we could have done a little bit better. However, in the end, we're still going to get younger and change the look of the team. Most of us think that's probably a good thing....
  9. ...looks like AWard's destination keeps changing...or keeps getting limited....I'm feeling some AWard til the end of the season....
  10. There is almost no correlation with trading Corvo and resigning Corvo. He's a UFA and as such, will be available to the highest bidder/best deal in his or his agent's mind. He certainly will consider whether or not he likes playing here, wants to raise a family here, and thinks there's a chance for a championship here. Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but we darn well better trade Joe Corvo and get whatever we can for him...draft pick(s) or prospect(s). I love that we are 9 out of our last 11, but take a look at our schedule...it's brutal in March. We need to go something like 17-2-2 (or something similar that would get us 90 points - and it's still a stretch) to even sniff at the playoffs. So we need to keep our eye on a significant retooling for next year and the years after that. We need to be younger, faster, and more exciting. I'd love to see us play a bunch of 6-4 or 5-3 games next year. Lots of youth, energy, and scrappiness. The only way that happens is to get assets in return for our UFAs. So trade 'em all...and maybe, if it makes financial sense next year we sign one or two of our veterens back again....but don't lose sleep over it either way. For my money's worth, I'd be happy to sign Corvo to a 2 year deal next year, but only after we got something for him as a rental this year.
  11. Let me clarify....I hope we trade all the UFAs - Cullen and Wallin, gone - check. Whitney, Corvo, Walker, AWard, Yelle - ship 'em all out....but keep the door open for a return IF AND ONLY IF it makes sense for the team. In my way of thinking, that means Corvo seems to be the only one of these guys that makes sense...he'd be very expensive to replace and he's a pretty solid 3/4 guy for us...I want picks and prospects....I'd really like to see us pick up Versteeg and was hoping there was some sort of deal w/Chicago that we could do....even though he makes $3+ million, he's only 23...but to get him we would probably lose our shot at Corvo (or somebody of his ilk)....but that probably ain't gonna happen....in the end, we need to give our boys in the AHL some time on the big club....growing pains are gonna hurt but it has to happen sooner or later...2010-2011 seems like the year for that.
  12. In March and April we play the Caps 3 times, the Penguins 2 times, Ottawa twice, Phoenix, the Devils, the Slugs, and a resurging Bruins team 2 more times. Hmmm, 12 games against playoff teams (out of our remaining 21)...that my friends is a very, very tough schedule. So even though I'm a die hard Caniac, I can see the difficulty in having any chance of making the playoffs. Do I hope we make it? Absolutely...and make a miraculous run to the Cup. But I don't think its going to happen. So I would trade our UFA's for what ever we can get and begin the retooling process in earnest. Whitney will yield a big reward, Corvo might get us what Cullen got us...even more, Walker and Ward are late rounders or conditionals. Heck, we might even get something for Manny (but I'd like to see him here next year as our back up to Cam). In the end we end up with the right type of assets to reshape this team back into a contender. We all love Ray, but his days with our franchise are numbered. He will probably end up in LA on a 2 year deal. Of all of our UFAs that get traded, I hope we re-sign Corvo to a 2 year deal....he's a pretty good defender and a great offensive asset (everybody has brain farts)....Go Canes !!!
  13. Call it cold, call it a good business decision, call it rebuilding....but let's be realistic. RayRay is gone....he won't be back, not for a 1 year extension, not for a 2 year deal, and certainly not for a 3 year term. It's just not going to happen. While one additional year of Whitney after "renting" him out to another team may indeed help the youngsters that may or may not be coming up from the Rats/Checkers, the focus of JR and the team is a "retooling". We need to be competitive next year and then for several years after that. Could one more year of Whitney help us? Sure and I would absolutely love to see him here dishing to Staalsy and the Juice...But for us to really get to where we want to be long term we need to give the "new blood" a chance....by new blood I mean the youngsters and the new free agents that will be coming in (yes folks we will sign a couple of those in the off season). But most importantly, the "prospect(s)" we get for Whitney and perhaps Corvo plus the draft choices are the face of next year. If Whit is traded for a pick and a prospect, that prospect needs to be (and probably will be) NHL ready. If we get the 2nd or 3rd pick in the draft, then perhaps even that guy is ready (Seguin or Fowler....not sure if they qualify as "ready"). But we really, really need to be prepared for life without Whitney and Cullen. Boychuk is probably going to slide into Whitney's spot (or Cole will). Samsonove/Sutter/Ruutu looks to be a pretty solid second line. We will need a 3rd line center (we may try Dalpe there if he impresses in camp) and we may or may not need a 3rd linewinger (if Tlusty doesn't continue to progress or Bowman or Terry aren't ready). Other than that we're close to set on offense (4th line of LaRose, Dwyer, and Kosto). Maybe we move somebody else in the off season, but our look is going to be different and we need to get the youth time in the NHL. On defense count on Carson, Picard, and McBain being part of our plan for next year (w/McBain perhaps moving up and down as injuries occur). The only other "off the radar" tweak that I see is perhaps showcasing Picard the rest of this year and packaging him w/a pick(s) to move up in the draft. If that's the case then we sign a free agent shut down guy w/McBain becoming our 2nd puck mover. So my trade speculation is really based on where I think we'll be next year...Whitney is going to LA or Boston, Corvo probably gets moved to somebody like NY or Boston (maybe Chicago), Ward and Walker are moved for minor considerations (color me in on the Walker lifting the Cup opportunity)....any other deal is most likely a complete surprise to me....that's my two cents....
  14. I think Tlusty has more to give and, yes, he must "show" more as he develops (hopefully at a quicker pace). Just a quick FYI, in 52 games Philippe Paradis has 39 pts. (21g, 18a). He also leads the Cataractes in PIM (84 min). I seem to recal a few folks questioning the "off the board" selection. To me he looks solid; I hope Tlusty continues his development.Back to "the Juice". He's got a bit of the sniper in him, so I don't think 30 is out of the question, but I agree 25 g/35a is a good line for him and I'd take that any year.
  15. Matt Cullen - Nashville - Feb. 11 (or Vancouver) Ray Whitney - LA - Feb. 12 (or Buffalo) Sergei Samsonov - Buffalo - March 1 (or Phoenix) But that's the order...sorry guys, we're stuck with Aaron...
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