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About OoklatheMok

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  1. Damn, I was pretty close. Off by one year and 250k... This is a good move. We would not have upgraded him via the FA market this summer for that same amount of cabbage. This leaves JR with ability to add another Top 6 winger either in FA market or via trade (a la Pitkanen for Top 6 guy).
  2. Sad that were talking about next year's lineup in February... Again... Tlusty - Staal - Free Agent/Trade Acquisition for Pits Skinner - Jokinen - Ruutu Nodl - Sutter - Dwyer Stewart - Brent - LaRose Tlusty, Nodl, Dwyer, and the entire 4th line spots should be open for Boychuk, Bowman, Dalpe, Other Sutter, Samson, to battle for. Allen (if resigned or FA replacement) - Gleason Faulk - Harrison McBain - Joslin Obviously include Pits here if he is unable to be moved for Top 6 help. Murphy, Sangs, and at least one other depth FA signing should be battle McBain and Joslin for the 5, 6, and 7th spots. If Pits can be moved for Top 6 guy and Allen can be resigned, JR really only has to bring in a depth defenseman on the market. If Pits can't be moved, he'll have is work cut out trying to bring in a Top 6 guy.
  3. While the 'trade Ruutu, then resign' situation would be ideal, it has it's problems. It is always cheaper to resign a guy when you have exclusive bargaining rights, then when they are on the open market and his agent is trolling other GM's for potential offers. I tossed out a 4.5 avg for Ruutu over 5 thinking something like 5.5, 5.5, 4.5, 4.5, 3.5 over the next five years. That takes him to 33 or so when the contract expires. I imagine he could probably add a year and several million to that on the open market easily. I do think that Allen is a perfect candidate for the 'trade, then resign scenario'. Unless he goes to a team that has a deep run and he is seen as a key reason why, he should be able to be resigned fairly easily. He will not be nearly as heavily courted in the offseason as Ruutu and all indications are that he and his family really like it here.
  4. As much as I would love to see JR turn Ruutu into Sean Couturier or some other future Top 6 forward, I think that keeping him is the right move. Ruutu is still largely in his prime and is probably more valuable than 90% of the Free Agent crop this summer. Clearly, we need TWO top 6 wingers. If we are able to keep Ruutu, we only need to find one more. JR hates going the route of the FA market for high dollar players. He loves value shopping and acquiring his high dollar guys via savvy trades. My prediction: 1 - JR resigns Ruutu for Joni Pitkanen dollars. 2 - JR trades Spacek and Allen for picks 3 - JR bundles those picks with Pitkanen at Draft for his Top 6 forward (guy who is an RFA and can’t fit in the team’s cap, guy who is on team with abundance of forwards but hurting on D, guy who is somewhat underperforming and needs a change of scenery) End result, we are still fairly solid on the back end without Joni and we shore up our Top 6 with a new addition…
  5. Centers come in all different shapes, sizes, and abilities. Production is what really matters. And Staal’s production, like every other player in the league, is partly dependent on his linemates. It is the GM’s job to get the proper players in here and it is the Coach’s job to pair them up correctly. Right now we have 4 legitimate top 6 players (Staal, Skinner, Ruutu, and Jokinen). LaRose and Poni do not belong in that group and are being miscast there. Add to the mix the fact that Ruutu has largely looked terrible this year, and we have a serious problem up front. Essentially, we have 3 Top 6 forwards and a plethora of 3rd and 4th line fodder. Mo is clearly having trouble deciding if he wants one scoring line and 3 checking lines or 4 checking lines. None of our young guys seem even remotely ready to step up into that role. Dalpe might be closest, but we’ll never know as Mo has him tabbed as a 4th liner. A trade appears to be Rutherford’s only legit option and McBain and Ruutu are his only real currency.
  6. Good. He had his chance in the last two games to show he wanted to be an NHLer. Yeah, he had limited minutes on the 4th line, but he showed little effort or drive or desire to do 'whatever it takes' to be in the NHL. When given a shot on the 4th line, he should have been doing everything he could to bring energy, skating hard, forechecking, anything. Instead, he floated around and almost looked like he was pouting since he had to play with the likes of Matsumoto and Tlusty. There are kids in Charlotte who would kill for the opportunity he’s been given. It’s a sad story and his father should be taken out behind the woodshed and worked over good for what he did. But I think his days in the NHL are over. He’s got a two-way deal, so maybe someone starved for offense takes a flyer and lifts him off our hands. I hope so anyway. For his sake and ours. I’d rather see a forechecking Bodie on the 4th line than a floating O’Sullivan. And I wouldn't mind one bit of a St Louis or Calgary or someone snatched him up and he became a staple on their 2nd line. That isn't going to happen here for whatever reason. I think I’d like to see us send Matsumoto down and call up Boychuk. It’d be nice to see if his time in Charlotte has improved his game. Let him play on the 3rd and drop Dwyer down to center the 4th with Tlusty and Bodie.
  7. So, any new thoughts on Harrison after 7 games? IMO, not only has he been far from our worst d-men(that title clearly belongs to ‘Uh Oh’ Joe), he has done his job admirably. He does not look out of place at all, even when he ends up against the opposition’s top lines. He has played a solid defensive game, adding a much needed element of physicality, and I have even seen the dude pinch in to get some offensive chances on occasion. One thing I note the most out of his play is his long reach and how he uses it to poke check, sweep check, the opposition on rushes very effectively. He’s also good at forcing the play to the outside using his size/reach.
  8. No one reacted at all when Dwyer got destroyed or Neil took a huge run at Staal in Ottawa. No one reacts when Ward gets run over. And no one reacts when your promising, 18 year old rookie gets blasted. It is a very bad sign when players do not stick up for each other, especially for an 18 year-old kid on your team. Frankly, it is embarrassing and there is no excuse. You don’t have to rush in, drop the gloves, and get your head beat in, but you do have to show that you will stick together out there. If you don’t, word gets around and the problem will get much worse. I’m sorry, but if this were a different market, the local media would already be calling out the players and coach on something like this. In regards to whether Skinner should stay for the whole season or not, I’d say that if we are going to play like we don’t care, like wins should just fall into our lap, and without any heart whatsoever, then I’d say send him down.
  9. It is telling that every team in the league could have had Carson for nothing and all of them passed. With his league minimum NHL salary, cap space shouldn’t have been an issue. Obviously, none of the 29 other teams in the league feel that he is a Top 7 guy. Keep in mind that several teams have already sustained injuries to d-men and still did not feel that Carson added anything to their team. Obviously, the above does not mean that he is total garbage. He is a prospect, and a legitimate one, but he should not be a regular in the Top 6. Of course, you can probably argue that Harrison, McBain, and possibly Babchuk should not either…
  10. Questions: Can Skinner skate an entire season and maintain the early energy? Probably not, but it will be fun watching him try. The kid is entertaining when on the ice. Who sits when Samsonov returns (maybe this week)?Tlusty should. The guy was much less deserving of a one-way deal than Harrison, but Dalpe probably will as he can go back to Charlotte and get big minutes. Does O'Sullivan break out? I am very skeptical of this. It would be great if he could, but the guy has been an enigma throughout his career. Where does Tlusty fit in to this team Doesn’t really. Too much talented youth and too many other players who bring everything he does. We need more role players in the bottom six, not more scoring forwards who can’t score. Will this road trip make us or break us? Neither. This team is too unpredictable. We could lose a bunch early and then pull it together and still make the playoffs. Or we could come out on fire, tear up the league and go into a tail spin in the second half. All bets are off. Best to just sit back and enjoy.
  11. I can give you a reason. Sanguinetti is an offensive defenseman and we have a whole corp of those. If you want to compare him to McBain or Babchuk or Corvo or Pitkanen, then by all means, go ahead. Harrison, like Gleason, brings something else completely different, and just as necessary, to the defense. Let's be honest, Sanguinetti can probably skate circles around Gleason too. But there's a reason why Gleason is in the NHL, and has been for some time, and Sanguinetti has languished in the minors. Compare Carson and Harrison all you want and argue over who should be in the lineup, but you simply cannot put a corp of all offensive guys on teh ice in the NHL. In a men's req league? Sure. On your fantasy team? Absolutely. Little kids game? Why not. But not the NHL.
  12. My only expectation is to see NHL quality hockey played for 82 games with a chance to see NHL Playoff Quality hockey well into the summer... That means a high-paced game that displays lots of speed, skill, and physical play. Those three attributes are what define NHL Hockey. I hope that the team Rutherford has assembled and the system that Maurice puts in place meet those expectations. If not, then I hope that they don't 'expect' me to renew my season tickets like I do every year.
  13. Per Chip Alexander, here is the lines they are working with today… O’Sullivan/Staal /Cole Bowman/ Sutter/Ruutu Skinner/ Jokinen/ LaRose Tlusty/ Dalpe alt with Dwyer/Kostopoulos Corvo/Gleason Pitkanen/Babchuk McBain/Harrison My guess is that this is what we’ll see on Wednesday night. And, based on performance in the next two preseason games, what we are likely looking at as opening night lineup. Hope that Dalpe wins that battle at 4th line center. He brings more to the table than Dwyer in my opinion. Dwyer is a quintessential versatile 13th forward who should only be inserted into lineup due to injury. Not sure what happens when Samsonov comes back. Does Bowman drop down to battle with Tlusty for 4th line left wing slot? In my opinion, you do not need both Tlusty and Samsonov in the lineup as they bring pretty much the same game.
  14. "Goals? We don't need no stinking goals."
  15. Bottom line is that in the NHL, you need toughness on your roster. There are a couple of ways of going about this: 1. Stock your lineup with some skilled players who bring an edge to their game and can mostly take care of themselves. 2. Dress a player (goon, enforcer, call ‘em what you will) who is there solely to police, fight, intimidate. 3. Claim you’re going to have ‘team toughness’ and hope that your team is so scary good that they can score enough goals to keep the penalties down and hope that you can run and hide behind the zebras when other teams start bullying you. Jay Harrison and Tom Kostopolos are his ‘concessions’ to the need for toughness. Neither are really ‘goons, enforcers, or intimadators’, so he is trying to dabble in the first option up there. I feel bad for both players because they are really being put in a tough spot. When the opposition starts running our goalie, roughing up our stars, and intimidating our young players, it is these two guys who will be expected to step up and do something about it. And neither one is really suited for the job. Harrison is better than the alternative … which is having Gleason as the only guy willing or able to play any sort of physical game at all. Anyone hear Gleason's comments after the season last year about wanting more ‘grit’ on the team? The guy is clearly sick of being the only rock on a team of softies.
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