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The Race for the #1 pick in 2010!

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Our Mojo from the run last year really led us into this year quite nicely.  I don't want our players to play without heart, I just want them to lose the rest of the games. they can try all they want but they need to lose. It is for the best.

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Not to offend anyone here.  We all have a right to an opinion and if your posting on these boards then chances are you are a true fan.  However, I don't think tanking a season is in the best interest for anybody including the fans.  It is about winning but why corrupt the integrity of the Carolina Hurricanes by throwing games?  We are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now and whether or not we make the playoffs we will still have that mojo going into next season.  This season was plagued with injuries, the most detrimental, in my opinion, being Ward.  I do take my hat off to Legace and Peters.  They have done an exceptional job given the circumstance.  Rutherford has done a very good job of recruiting this season and we do have (4) 2nd rounders at our disposal with a still promising draft ahead, even if we keep winning.  There is a lot of talent to go around in this years draft.

 As Ward states in his last 2 post game interviews:
 "At the end of the day this is what we get paid to do and you've got to wear that jersey with some pride and compete."

I personally don't like watching my favorite team play without heart and soul. 

One other note, yes I realize the landscape of hockey is different now but it is an interesting fact:
The 3rd highest goal scorer of all time, Brett Hull, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1984 in the 6th round with 117th overall pick.  He didn't enter the NHL for good until 1987.

Are we going to get a Brett Hull, not likely but it's not always about the 1st round.
Yah, it's the conundrum we go round and round on. The players can't tank. But at these last few games will have ZERO effect on the team's morale next year. They have already shown that they have a nice core that can win. The only thing winning does now is move us down the draft board.

No, the players can't tank, but it would be far better if they played hard and lost. Not asking them to tank, just wishing the other guys would win a few more (just at the end of this year). Sure, it may all turn out fine anyway, but drafting higher increases the chances of getting a game changing NHL ready player.

At this point, I'm not asking anyone to actually try to lose. Just hoping that they do.

Also, for the last time, there are very few occasions that I would hope for the team to lose. This is the rare exception to the rule.

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[quote name='canesrun wrote:


cc']Which way do you want it?  A team that fights unitl the end? RE : 2 game 7's last year on the road.  OR one that picks when to give up.

It might be nice if you could turn on and off the fight in a team.  Win every game   Regardless.  I personally would be majorly irritated if I went to games and thought the team had packed it in.
mad.gif

mad.gif

All this for a pick?  There are no guaranteed Gretsky's out there.
mad.gif
  I don't pay for season tickets to have a team give up.

God...Lighten up, Francis. Of course we all want the Canes to do well. At this point, however, the only thing we're playing for is a lower or higher lottery seed so that, hopefully, we will be a better team in the future. We are not playing in the playoffs in a game seven. I too have season's tickets (I've even got my STH card to prove it--with the secret handshake)...please stop the "true fan" indignation.

Not God... Not Francis.    I don't take losing lightly or proposing a team to lose for any reason.  Very simple for me, no Gray area.

Also did not indicate any "true fan" indignation as buying season tickets is no indication of a persons "fandom" in any case..  That was added for free.

Sorry it took awhile for me to respond ,I had to review and digest the plethora of other posts on this topic.  Gave me heartburn.

   GO Canes ! And win out.

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[quote name='remkin wrote:


VonCaniac']Not to offend anyone here.  We all have a right to an opinion and if your posting on these boards then chances are you are a true fan.  However, I don't think tanking a season is in the best interest for anybody including the fans.  It is about winning but why corrupt the integrity of the Carolina Hurricanes by throwing games?  We are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now and whether or not we make the playoffs we will still have that mojo going into next season.  This season was plagued with injuries, the most detrimental, in my opinion, being Ward.  I do take my hat off to Legace and Peters.  They have done an exceptional job given the circumstance.  Rutherford has done a very good job of recruiting this season and we do have (4) 2nd rounders at our disposal with a still promising draft ahead, even if we keep winning.  There is a lot of talent to go around in this years draft.

 As Ward states in his last 2 post game interviews:
 
"At the end of the day this is what we get paid to do and you've got to wear that jersey with some pride and compete."

I personally don't like watching my favorite team play without heart and soul. 

One other note, yes I realize the landscape of hockey is different now but it is an interesting fact:
The 3rd highest goal scorer of all time, Brett Hull, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1984 in the 6th round with 117th overall pick.  He didn't enter the NHL for good until 1987.

Are we going to get a Brett Hull, not likely but it's not always about the 1st round.

Yah, it's the conundrum we go round and round on. The players can't tank. But at these last few games will have ZERO effect on the team's morale next year. They have already shown that they have a nice core that can win. The only thing winning does now is move us down the draft board.

No, the players can't tank, but it would be far better if they played hard and lost. Not asking them to tank, just wishing the other guys would win a few more (just at the end of this year). Sure, it may all turn out fine anyway, but drafting higher increases the chances of getting a game changing NHL ready player.

At this point, I'm not asking anyone to actually try to lose. Just hoping that they do.

Also, for the last time, there are very few occasions that I would hope for the team to lose. This is the rare exception to the rule.

I understand your reasoning. However, I don't think losing out for the season would have ZERO effect on morale.  That may be a little overstated but I certainly want the same as everyone else and that is a good, solid, and talented team next year.  I just stand on the other side of the fence when it comes to the tank/no-tank scenario. Ok, we aren't calling it tanking but if your wishing for losses from a team that's predominantly winning, then it's pretty much the same thing.  Your point is well taken but I just think that we don't necessarily need another number one draft pick.  We need our # 2 draft pick *ahem* Staal *ahem* to give us another 2006, 100 point season or at least 40 goals.  I know there are a lot of Staalsy fans on here, me being one of them but let's be honest he has the potential to be a monster scorer if he comes to play every night and in my opinion for his $8+ mill contract he should bring his A-game more often than not.  

All of this is not to say that I'll be unhappy with a talented addition to the team via draft but the reality is that Wardo has that hungry look in his eye devil.gif and jump in his step so I don't see us in the top 2 spots or even 3 or 4 for that matter.

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We wont earn a top three pick, but this is a strong draft and we'll get a lot of good young talent anyway.  It's not like the only good players in this draft are Hall, Seguin and Fowler.

Go Canes

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[quote name='VonCaniac wrote:


remkin wrote:

VonCaniac']Not to offend anyone here.  We all have a right to an opinion and if your posting on these boards then chances are you are a true fan.  However, I don't think tanking a season is in the best interest for anybody including the fans.  It is about winning but why corrupt the integrity of the Carolina Hurricanes by throwing games?  We are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now and whether or not we make the playoffs we will still have that mojo going into next season.  This season was plagued with injuries, the most detrimental, in my opinion, being Ward.  I do take my hat off to Legace and Peters.  They have done an exceptional job given the circumstance.  Rutherford has done a very good job of recruiting this season and we do have (4) 2nd rounders at our disposal with a still promising draft ahead, even if we keep winning.  There is a lot of talent to go around in this years draft.

 As Ward states in his last 2 post game interviews:
 
"At the end of the day this is what we get paid to do and you've got to wear that jersey with some pride and compete."

I personally don't like watching my favorite team play without heart and soul. 

One other note, yes I realize the landscape of hockey is different now but it is an interesting fact:
The 3rd highest goal scorer of all time, Brett Hull, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1984 in the 6th round with 117th overall pick.  He didn't enter the NHL for good until 1987.

Are we going to get a Brett Hull, not likely but it's not always about the 1st round.

Yah, it's the conundrum we go round and round on. The players can't tank. But at these last few games will have ZERO effect on the team's morale next year. They have already shown that they have a nice core that can win. The only thing winning does now is move us down the draft board.

No, the players can't tank, but it would be far better if they played hard and lost. Not asking them to tank, just wishing the other guys would win a few more (just at the end of this year). Sure, it may all turn out fine anyway, but drafting higher increases the chances of getting a game changing NHL ready player.

At this point, I'm not asking anyone to actually try to lose. Just hoping that they do.

Also, for the last time, there are
very
few occasions that I would hope for the team to lose. This is the rare exception to the rule.

I understand your reasoning. However, I don't think losing out for the season would have ZERO effect on morale.  That may be a little overstated but I certainly want the same as everyone else and that is a good, solid, and talented team next year.  I just stand on the other side of the fence when it comes to the tank/no-tank scenario. Ok, we aren't calling it tanking but if your wishing for losses from a team that's predominantly winning, then it's pretty much the same thing.  Your point is well taken but I just think that we don't necessarily need another number one draft pick.  We need our # 2 draft pick *ahem* Staal *ahem* to give us another 2006, 100 point season or at least 40 goals.  I know there are a lot of Staalsy fans on here, me being one of them but let's be honest he has the potential to be a monster scorer if he comes to play every night and in my opinion for his $8+ mill contract he should bring his A-game more often than not.  

All of this is not to say that I'll be unhappy with a talented addition to the team via draft but the reality is that Wardo has that hungry look in his eye devil.gif and jump in his step so I don't see us in the top 2 spots or even 3 or 4 for that matter.
Losing most of the rest of the games would have zero effect on next season. Sure guys would be a little bummed right now. But we've finished strong nearly every year. And it hasn't affected their start the next year. How we come out next season will be much more dependent on how good the team is and how good they feel and how they deal with the jet lag from Finland. 

I understand that the idea of wanting the team to lose just seems unthinkable to some. I understand that we might get just as good a pick at 9 as we do at #2. It is still better to pick #2. Everyone on the team will feel pretty good coming into camp with an elite draft pick a couple of good moves and a hungry young group in the mix no matter how these last 5 game end up. 

Again, I don't advocate the team tanking, just prefer to get the higher pick to a meaningless run of 5 games.

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The issue I've had with the Oilers for years is they were never good enough to make the playoffs (or make any noise save for 2006) and never bad enough to get a reasonable draft pick. For years now we've been mediocre and kept the same overpaid players without really ever doing anything.

This year forced the change that we've been wanting for years. Finally we're dumping some of the overpaid players and stockpiling draft picks. We've never been good enough to make the playoffs but management always went after the home run instead of playing it safe. They finally woke up and are taking steps to sweep out the old and bring in the new. THis summer I'm expecting more trades (and less of the '06 crew) and so far management has done a decent job of cleaning out Kevin Lowe's garbage.

This probably also means we'll suck for a few more years, but it's not usually a quick fix. I'm willing to be patient if we get good again down the road.

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We wont earn a top three pick, but this is a strong draft and we'll get a lot of good young talent anyway.  It's not like the only good players in this draft are Hall, Seguin and Fowler.

Go Canes

Wrong, every scouting report says that there is a big drop off after Hall, Sequin and Fowler.

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[quote name='carolina_kat wrote:


jb_online']

We wont
earn
a top three pick, but this is a strong draft and we'll get a lot of good young talent anyway.  It's not like the only good players in this draft are Hall, Seguin and Fowler.

Go Canes

Wrong, every scouting report says that there is a big drop off after Hall, Sequin and Fowler.No, not wrong in every right. Look at just about every mock draft site on google. Just about all of them said we should end up with four decent guys. One of them being Brett Connolly. Have you seen his stats? Best rookie of the year period. Add him to the line of whitney and staal etc.. and you could see magic. Maybe even wake up staal a bit.

  

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Most mocks now have us taking Gudbranson, to which I say yuck, when we had the opportunity to get Seguin. You can't tell me that the talent is equivalent. We were the worst team in the league just a couple months ago, but because other teams have been tanking we now are stuck in the 6th position. And honestly its our own fault. What was the point of bringing back Cam Ward who just came off a back injury? Risk the future of our franchise to take some heat off Maurice? This entire season has been mismanaged. And it all stems from bringing in a coach who has a below .500 record for his career. Maurice is so much of a loser, he lost the 2nd pick.

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He's not saying the talent is equivalent.  He's saying it's a deep draft.  Which it is.  Yes, the top 3 are the most notable,
but there are a lot of quality players available.  If the Canes draft well, you can get a prospect with NHL-quality talent
in the 3rd round.  This draft is considered on-par with 2003 - when every 1st-rounder played in the NHL, except one.
The Hurricanes will end up with a fine prospect at #6, or 10, or 20.  And they'll get more in the 2nd-round.

Cam Ward is playing - not to save Maurice's job, but because the doctors cleared him to play.  He's not risking his
health in any way.  Management actually needed him to return so they'll know what off-season moves need be made.
Now, we can avoid threads like: CAM WARD'S BACK IS WONKY, AT BEST  smile.gif

The Hurricanes played poorly in the first half of the season because of, what I consider, a teamwide bad attitude.  They
came waltzing into the season thinking something was owed them from a long playoff run a few months earlier.  Wasn't
the case, obviously.  In my opinion, it started with the then-captain Rod Brind'Amour and filtered throughout the team.
Last year was last year.  No one was going to roll over and play dead just because Carolina made the conference final.
It took a couple of months for some highly paid players to come to grips with the fact that some effort was required.

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I guess everyone knows my thoughts on this whole affair: it is unquestionbly better for the team to lose now.

But I will say this. I'm not sure what more anyone can reasonably do to facilitate this. The team is now full of guys that were in the minors at the start of the year. They've played the back up and third string goalies for long stretches.

Currently Dwyer, Boychuk, Bowman, Harrison, McBain, Carson, Rodney, recently Peters. They started Manny. Still these son's of guns just keep either winning or nearly winning. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of talent from that group, but to go on the winning streak we've seen over the last 30 or so games? Just amazing.

I am becoming resigned to the idea that we are going to be picking more mid than early. What a bizare thing. To start off the year as a playoff favorite. Then move to a #1 pick favorite. Then move to no playoffs and a midround pick despite trading a few of our best players and playing minor-leaguers. Strange times.

I have a slight hope that justice will prevail and we'll drop our last few games and move down, but I'm not counting on it.

On the plus side, there is a group here that wants to win and hopefully that will carry through to next year. Also, we have a ton of draft picks and our current crop of young players has some standouts. The future is bright, even if a bit less bright than it would have been with Taylor Hall.

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.....The team is now full of guys that were in the minors at the start of the year. They've played the back up and third string goalies for long stretches.

Currently Dwyer, Boychuk, Bowman, Harrison, McBain, Carson, Rodney, recently Peters. They started Manny. Still these son's of guns just keep either winning or nearly winning. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of talent from that group, but to go on the winning streak we've seen over the last 30 or so games? Just amazing....

I am becoming resigned to the idea that we are going to be picking more mid than early. What a bizare thing. To start off the year as a playoff favorite. Then move to a #1 pick favorite. Then move to no playoffs and a midround pick despite trading a few of our best players and playing minor-leaguers. Strange times.....

  

Well said.  Just how glaring a difference?

First half after 41 games: 29 points!

Second half after 37 games: 47 points! (Current total = 76).

Now the 2nd half was a revolving door (trade deadline), but the future looks bright.  More recently, with 2 Olympians out of the lineup.  Look at Sutter and McBain! IMO Sutter will fill out to a Jeff Carter type frame, and a 30 goal scorer.

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Continually amazed that people expect professional coaches and players to purposely not try and do their job. THE OBJECT OF COMPETITION ON THE PRO LEVEL IS TO DO YOUR BEST AND WIN WHEN YOU CAN. tHAT DOES NOT MEAN SOME GAMES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS. GAME 1, GAME 16, GAME 82. ALL YOU WHO HAVE WANTED THIS TEAM TO LOSE FOR A HIGHER DRAFT PICK UNDERSTAND NOTHING ABOUT THE MENTALITY OF PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND WHAT GOT THEM TO THAT LEVEL. PRIDE AND PROFESSIONALISM FAR OUTWEIGH THE CHARACTERISTICS YOU EXHIBIT WHEN YOU WISH FOR SUCH A THING FROM PROFESSIONALS. ESPECIALLY THESE PROUD PROFESSIONALS. WHY HAS TORONTO BEEN ON A WINNING TURN LATELY? BECAUSE THEY CAN OR AT LEAST HAVE BEEN ABLE TO. SAME WITH OUR TEAM, WINNING BECAUSE THEY CAN. IT'S WHAT PROFESSIONALS DO. I WOULD LOVE FOR SOME OF THE STATEMENTS MADE HERE TO BE MADE IN THE LOCKER ROOM. YOU WOULD BE DRUMMED OUT ON YOUR HEAD AND NOT WELCOMED BACK. PRIDE AND PROFESSIONALISM ALSO WOULD DEEM SUCH AN ATTITUDE AS LOSE FOR DRAFT PICK AS A LOSER PSYCHE AND ANY PLAYER WITH THAT FEELING WOULD BE OSTRACIZED ON ANY PROFESSIONAL TEAM IN EXISTENCE. HOCKEY PLAYERS WOULD LAUGH YOU OFF THE PLANET IF THEY COULD. THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS IT TAKES TO PLAY THIS GAME LEAVES NO ROOM FOR A LOSER MENTALITY. AND ALL THIS FOR A TEAM THAT AS OF YET IS NOT EVEN MATHEMATICALLY ELIMINATED. ME THINKS YOU PROTEST TOO MUCH. i ONCE ENJOYED SOME OF THE CONVERSATION ON THESE BOARDS BUT I NOW PREFER TO DISCUSS ISSUES WITH PERSONS WHO HAVE A GRASP OF THE SUBJECT MATTER AND THERE ARE TOO MANY HERE WHO HAVE NONE. tHANKS TSA, KRAD AND OTHERS WHO WORK HARD HERE BUT I FIND THIS NO LONGER INTERESTINGOR PRODUCTIVE. HAPPY OFF SEASON CANIACS AND CANES.

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Continually amazed that people expect professional coaches and players to purposely not try and do their job. THE OBJECT OF COMPETITION ON THE PRO LEVEL IS TO DO YOUR BEST AND WIN WHEN YOU CAN. tHAT DOES NOT MEAN SOME GAMES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS. GAME 1, GAME 16, GAME 82. ALL YOU WHO HAVE WANTED THIS TEAM TO LOSE FOR A HIGHER DRAFT PICK UNDERSTAND NOTHING ABOUT THE MENTALITY OF PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND WHAT GOT THEM TO THAT LEVEL. PRIDE AND PROFESSIONALISM FAR OUTWEIGH THE CHARACTERISTICS YOU EXHIBIT WHEN YOU WISH FOR SUCH A THING FROM PROFESSIONALS. ESPECIALLY THESE PROUD PROFESSIONALS. WHY HAS TORONTO BEEN ON A WINNING TURN LATELY? BECAUSE THEY CAN OR AT LEAST HAVE BEEN ABLE TO. SAME WITH OUR TEAM, WINNING BECAUSE THEY CAN. IT'S WHAT PROFESSIONALS DO. I WOULD LOVE FOR SOME OF THE STATEMENTS MADE HERE TO BE MADE IN THE LOCKER ROOM. YOU WOULD BE DRUMMED OUT ON YOUR HEAD AND NOT WELCOMED BACK. PRIDE AND PROFESSIONALISM ALSO WOULD DEEM SUCH AN ATTITUDE AS LOSE FOR DRAFT PICK AS A LOSER PSYCHE AND ANY PLAYER WITH THAT FEELING WOULD BE OSTRACIZED ON ANY PROFESSIONAL TEAM IN EXISTENCE. HOCKEY PLAYERS WOULD LAUGH YOU OFF THE PLANET IF THEY COULD. THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS IT TAKES TO PLAY THIS GAME LEAVES NO ROOM FOR A LOSER MENTALITY. AND ALL THIS FOR A TEAM THAT AS OF YET IS NOT EVEN MATHEMATICALLY ELIMINATED. ME THINKS YOU PROTEST TOO MUCH. i ONCE ENJOYED SOME OF THE CONVERSATION ON THESE BOARDS BUT I NOW PREFER TO DISCUSS ISSUES WITH PERSONS WHO HAVE A GRASP OF THE SUBJECT MATTER AND THERE ARE TOO MANY HERE WHO HAVE NONE. tHANKS TSA, KRAD AND OTHERS WHO WORK HARD HERE BUT I FIND THIS NO LONGER INTERESTINGOR PRODUCTIVE. HAPPY OFF SEASON CANIACS AND CANES.
That's a lot of caps. Realizing that it best if the team loses is not the same as asking them to lose. You either get the difference, or you don't. Judging by your response I guess you don't.

I for one have NEVER said the players should tank, NEVER NEVER NEVER. Since I have never asked the players or coaches to tank, your entire post is irrelevant.

So, never mind then.

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fUNNY how with no one in particular mentioned, you respond always to this discussion. That says a lot. I was not speaking about you REM. I have come to understand your position and respect it. there are plenty others who don't understand as you do and simply have emotional responses over and over and over. They need to get over it. You have qualified your stance quite well and it does make sense, lots. It's not that anyone has asked the players to tank, its just the continual wishful begging, like it was ever a possible scenario in the world of professional hockey. But I guess thats the world in the public domain. No disrespect intended at all to you. I have come to appreciate your articulate comments about the entire season. I for one have loved watching this team, however slowly, come together, and think the whole affair bodes well for the future. Just tired of all the whining over 2 or 3 places in the draft order.

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We are mathematically eliminated now. The maximum amount of points we can get is 82 but the flyers would still have more wins...not to mention that the flyers play the rangers in 2 games. It is impossible for both teams to lose. If I was the canes, I would shut Cam down. He's proven his back is healthy. I would shut every single player with a minor injury down....and I'm sure there are a couple no one knows about. No reason for them to suffer for 3 meaningless games. If there is any justice, the canes win the lottery with their 1% chance and get the 1st or 2nd pick. Because there is no doubt in my mind we are one of the worst teams in the league, we are just not tanking like some other teams.

Tampa Bay 5-15 last 20 games

Florida 7-13 last 20 games

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fUNNY how with no one in particular mentioned, you respond always to this discussion. That says a lot. I was not speaking about you REM. I have come to understand your position and respect it. there are plenty others who don't understand as you do and simply have emotional responses over and over and over. They need to get over it. You have qualified your stance quite well and it does make sense, lots.
Oh. Sorry. I guess I'm getting a bit paranoid.embarassed.gif  I thought you meant me. I guess I've put my opinion out there on this one. I'll give it a rest.

At this point whatever happens happens and I really do have a lot of expectations for these guys next year.

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In my opinion Jim Rutherford needs to work some magic this offseason.

Assuming that we resign nobody, we still have a lot of dead weight on our roster for next year. Here is how our depth chart looks next year.

1st line   ? - Staal - Jokinen

Jokinen is a bargain as he has gotten back to his 50 pt production. Staal is a little overpaid, but where would we be without him? He's our only consistent point per game guy, and the guy is clutch when it counts both in the playoffs and the olympics. He would be making 7-8M as a free agent anyways. (see Gaborik or any other point per game player) We need another 50 -70 point guy to replace Whitney as the LW if we can't resign him which I don't think we have on our roster right now. We should look to sign Jussi to an extension at a reasonable cap number.

2nd line  ? - ? - Ruutu

Ruutu is the only player we have signed that deserves to be on a top 2 line based on his production. You want your 2nd line to have about 50-70 pt potential and Ruutu was again on a 50 pt pace this year had he played a full season. Brandon Sutter may fill the center spot for this line next year but his defensive ability and his projected 40 pt total make him a great 3rd line center. Left wing is another hole for us.

3rd line Samsonov - Sutter - Cole

A 3rd line is usually your checking line. A good defensive line with 30-40 pt potential. If you plugged in players according to that production, this would be our 3rd line. Talk about underachieving. Samsonov and Cole both make about 3M next year which is about twice as much as they are worth. Both players are projected for 30 points in a full seasons worth of games and are injury prone. Sutter like I said before, could move up to the 2nd line if his offensive ability continues to improve. Chad Larose is also a fringe 3rd liner because of his energy, but he needs to improve offensively. 

4th line Larose - Brindamour - Kostopoulus

This would be a pretty good 4th line aside from the fact that Brindamour should probably retire after this season. We are still on the hook for 3M next year though. Kostopoulus and Larose are great 4th liners but anything more than that is pushing it. I consistently see Larose on the top 2 lines and wonder how we can be that bad of a team. Don't get me wrong, I love him. But he is a 3rd liner at best. Pat Dwyer would be a good fit here for the center position should Brindy retire and would definitely be more cost effective.

Zach Boychuck, Drayson Bowman, Jerome Samson and Jiri Tlusty should be competing for spots on this roster as well.

Defense

1st pair Gleason - Mcbain

Gleason is untouchable. He's the guy we can matchup against other teams top lines while also contributing some offense this year as well. The 3M we are paying him is well worth it. We just need another offensive minded guy to pair up with him and Mcbain fits that role. We are kind of throwing the rookie in the fire but I've been impressed by him since his call up. His ability to get pucks through towards the net is something we have lacked.

2nd Pair Pitkanen - ?

Pitkanen has been a great offensive player for us. He's on pace for a career year, and if he keeps it up he will be worth that 4.5M. We need a real defense first guy to pair up with him. Preferrably younger. I'm tired of signing all these veterans who have lost a step. 

3rd Pair Carson - Picard

Picard is your typical underachieving young defenseman. Who knows if he will pan out. Brett Carson can slide in here pretty well. He's a plus 2 and has been up for 50 something games. That is pretty solid for a lower tier defenseman.

Goalies

Cam Ward, Justin Peters

This is a position where we are set for a couple years. I don't know if Cam will earn that new contract he got, but I think he's a great goalie and a face of our franchise. Peters would be a good cheap option for a backup.

As you can see our talent level on the team is pretty far off from what it should be for a cup contender. We don't have the depth that we had when we won the cup. We have roughly 6M to spend on 3 forwards and 1 defenseman. Realistically we can get 1 good  forward and 1 good defenseman. Then fill the rest of the spots with draft picks and prospects. A Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, or Cam Fowler would have helped a lot but we have killed that scenario with our good play down the stretch.

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The team is now full of guys that were in the minors at the start of the year. They've played the back up and third string goalies for long stretches.

Currently Dwyer, Boychuk, Bowman, Harrison, McBain, Carson, Rodney, recently Peters. They started Manny. Still these son's of guns just keep either winning or nearly winning. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of talent from that group, but to go on the winning streak we've seen over the last 30 or so games? Just amazing.

I am becoming resigned to the idea that we are going to be picking more mid than early. What a bizare thing. To start off the year as a playoff favorite. Then move to a #1 pick favorite. Then move to no playoffs and a midround pick despite trading a few of our best players and playing minor-leaguers. Strange times.

I have a slight hope that justice will prevail and we'll drop our last few games and move down, but I'm not counting on it.

On the plus side, there is a group here that wants to win and hopefully that will carry through to next year. Also, we have a ton of draft picks and our current crop of young players has some standouts. The future is bright, even if a bit less bright than it would have been with Taylor Hall.

Yes, it's time to look toward the future.  The draft and training camp.  There's always the chance of winning the lottery

and moving up 4 slots.  Which would be in the #2 range.  Camp could be a little disruptive with the Finland thing.

There's still plenty of work to be done, tho.  It will continue to be a learning experience for some of the young guys. 

It's one thing to be a fill-in - something entirely different to do good things over an 82-game schedule.

No doubt there will be a couple of personnel moves at the draft.  I would hope.  Beyond that, the defense is the main

concern.  I have no problem with Gleason and McBain, Pitkanen and Carson.  The third pairing may be problematic.

Trading Alberts could haunt this group, in my opinion.

It's early, but McBain looks like the real deal.  Will he make some rookie mistakes next year?  Sure, but not enough to

be a negative.  Some of the others, to me, have more to prove.  Are Harrison and Rodney top-6 quality or 'tweeners?

Picard.  Usually you want guys to be able to do one thing particularly well.  Gleason is physical.  Pitkanen moves the puck.

Picard, to me, does a lot of things - but none of them particularly well.  I'm going back to include his days in Philadelphia. 

He's big, but not physical.  Can handle the puck, but often misfires on transition passes or turns it over.  Has a big shot,

but misses the net.  He'll be qualified - and signed for an easily manageable cap hit - but I don't consider him an answer.

  

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It's looking like 6th or 7th for us, unless we win the lottery. Maybe Brett Connolly will still be available. It was clear in last night's game that Tampa had little interest in winning, put on a show near the end for the crowd, but ultimately walked away "happy" with the result. For us, we continue to earn empty points, though it is fun to see the Canes rack up 8 goals against a division rival. :-)

Edit: Nino Niederreiter (I probably mangled that) looks good, too, and should be available in the 6-7 range... 6'1", 205, nice size, good scoring touch... and a great name!

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Hey, at least if you win the lottery now, you won't break our hearts again!

Its your lucky day Keith smile.gif  If it wasn't going to be us, I'm glad it was you.  The Edmonton fans have something to be excited about with either of these two kids.

  

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