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Canes 2010 general off season talk

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For me, the key to being competitive next year is to bring back Cullen to center the 3rd line. I think that can be done relatively inexpensively. I think we would get the Home Town discount. Move Cole and Samsonov and we save money. Keep Whitney. Sign him to a one year contract with an option on the second year.

As for the draft, keep our no. 7 position. We should get a very decent prospect. With all the young guns we have in the system, I'd be very comfortable with that.

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[quote name=gocanes0506]Sorry but JR continues his lack of FA activity.  He has already that will not be active during the FA period AT ALL. 

I could be wrong but I thought JR said he just wouldn't get involved in the early high dollar free agent bidding where most end up over paying.  He didnt rule out free agent signings all together, just the early big name guys, which is fine by me.  Most of the early free agent big money signings usually come with long contracts attached to the high dollar amount which end up eventually hand cuffing a team with regards to the cap.  Unless you just happen to be the one team that makes it to the Finals the first year because of that huge free agent signing which is exception, not the rule.

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I know I read a statement where either JR or PK said we wouldn't be involved in FA this summer but man I can't find it now to back myself up. But if you think about it Allen and Co. wants PK to drop salary to become more profitable this year to bring in a investor, then your not going to bring anyone in this offseason unless your trading. Seems like PK want's to be closer to the caps low point.

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Maybe your right cause I remember reading something about it too but I thought he mentioned taking a look at the later free agents closer to camp or maybe a player not happy in his current situation.  I cant find it either.

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I really think a Samsonov buyout is completely out of the question.   
Shouldn't be.  I'm pretty sure that Samsonov would only receive $933,333 of his $2.8m salary.  That's a savings of $1.866m

for the team.  In other words, JR could pay Jamie McBain (salary & bonus), Tlusty and Harrison with the money saved from

a Samsonov buyout.  And have money left over to stop at Starbucks.  

We'll find out pretty quickly.  I believe the buyout period is June 15-30.

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I know I read a statement where either JR or PK said we wouldn't be involved in FA this summer but man I can't find it now to back myself up. But if you think about it Allen and Co. wants PK to drop salary to become more profitable this year to bring in a investor, then your not going to bring anyone in this offseason unless your trading. Seems like PK want's to be closer to the caps low point.

From a portion of Paul Braneky's blog on April 22nd:

While the general manager said last week that he would consider making a trade to bolster his defense, he would prefer to avoid that if possible and should be able to with enough capable players currently at his disposal. He’s also expecting to steer clear of the initial free-agent frenzy in July.

”Sometimes a very useful player falls into September that ended up not going where they wanted or don’t get the deal that they want,” he said. “We’ll keep our eyes open there, but we’re not going to look at free agents in the early going.”

  

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Ah ha when I read that I missed the word initial, which kinda changes the whole thing.
I thought that was what JR said but I couldn't find the story. Kudos to Coastal. It really doesn't change it that much IMO. Everything hinges on if Whitney signs and what Brindy does. If Whitney signs we won't need to shop for a winger. Chip's blog says JR and Whitney are meeting this week, so we should know soon. Our problem is opening up space on the left wing and I expect that is Sammy's spot. If Brindy retires or is bought out we probable look for a center in the FA market after the dust settles. It is fun speculating but until we make a couple of more moves I really don't know how next seasons Canes will shape up.

I'm often confused and always uncertain.

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[quote name='davidrabbit wrote:


jeromeo87']I really think a Samsonov buyout is completely out of the question.   

Shouldn't be.  I'm pretty sure that Samsonov would only receive $933,333 of his $2.8m salary.  That's a savings of $1.866m

for the team.  In other words, JR could pay Jamie McBain (salary & bonus), Tlusty and Harrison with the money saved from

a Samsonov buyout.  And have money left over to stop at Starbucks.  

We'll find out pretty quickly.  I believe the buyout period is June 15-30.

I understand what you are saying, but what I was trying to get across is that I believe it should not be so hard to find a trading partner for Samsonov. Therefore, a buyout would not be needed.

  

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I really think a Samsonov buyout is completely out of the question. I never really understood the Sammy bashing. I mean, by no means do I disagree with Samsonov not fitting in with this team anymore; yes, I do believe he should be moved. But come on, this is a guy who scored 14 goals this year while playing on the 4th line with under-achieving players most of the year. Thats really impressive to me.  

I get that there are a number of young left wingers that will play for less, and that makes moving Samsonov logical. That was obvious before the season ended. But I have to admit, I don’t get how it is that Samsonov doesn’t “fit” the team any more, although I have heard it several times. He has done quite well when the team has played the kind of game they need to succeed – and the ‘Canes have succeeded when he has played well.

Sure, he ended up on the fourth line, although looking at it, it really looks like that was more to give the young guys more playing time that anything else. Certainly the move wasn’t so they could win more games – seemingly not the goal at that point – if you look at the situation at the time.

During the 15 games between when Sergei returned from injury and he was put on the fourth line, he was third on the team in goals, behind only Jokinen and Staal. (I’m sure that his production, his large stature, and his incredible defensive prowess all combined to make demoting him to the fourth line the obvious move…)

Now, it did give Boychuk more top line minutes. Not a bad thing, certainly. But as far as giving the team a better chance of winning, not the best move. They ended up with similar minutes and production during the last 20 games (with Boychuk missing one game), but one would generally hope (if winning is the only concern) for better production with an obvious difference in line-mates. Still, the experience was valuable for next year, no arguing that.

But of course, it isn’t just about a single player, it’s about the team. So looking at the team: During the seven games Samsonov missed prior due to injury, the team went 4-3. (To give perspective, that would be 94 points over a season.) When he came back, up until he was put on the fourth line, the team was 11-4. (120 point season.) When put on the fourth line, they were 10-7-3. (94 point season.) Sure, a small sample, but not unreasonable results when you remove/insert/remove the third leading scorer on a team.

As for not fitting – well, his production was down at the beginning of the season. So no, he doesn’t “fit” that style of play. Hopefully replicating the beginning of the season isn’t the goal going forward, though. And he certainly doesn’t “fit” on the fourth line. So if that’s the only option, then I guess I get that he doesn’t fit. But to say that the overall fifth leading scorer, whose production only went up when the team was playing well, doesn’t “fit”, if we are just talking about the style of play, I guess I just don't get that.

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I understand what you are saying, but what I was trying to get across is that I believe it should not

be so hard to find a trading partner for Samsonov. Therefore, a buyout would not be needed.

  

Hopefully, it won't be hard, jeromeo87.  But there's a lot of stuff going on now.  Some may seem unrelated.

I think it would be very hard to trade Samsonov.  And now, the owner wants to pretty up the bottom line

to make the team look attractive for a new minority partner (I won't even use the lipstick on a pig analogy).

Anyway, if you have to bring the budget down much closer to the cap floor than the ceiling - that, to me,

would mean - save money wherever possible.  And that means you don't re-sign a Ray Whitney (even if he

offers a hometown discount), you don't bring in an impact free agent to help out the defense.  The single best

way to save money is to do a buy out a 4th liner (or two) with a $2.8m salary.

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Using Sammy on the fourth line with guys who can't skate, e.g. Brindamour and KStop, left Sammy entering the zone all by himself with nothing else to do but dust off the puck.  Happened time and time again. Thus, my contention he wasn't used properly, or at least to his full potential, in that situation  But, that's what happens when the team is old and slow.  I wouldn't consider him a top 6-guy anymore, and there's little room for him on the third line going forward.  So, by default he is likely a fourth line guy on this team.  Given his salary, our best option would likey be a buyout.  As Legend pointed out, who wants a fourth line guy making almost 3 mil.  Not to mention Sammy's history and reputation before he got here.

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Using Sammy on the fourth line with guys who can't skate, e.g. Brindamour and KStop, left Sammy entering the zone all by himself with nothing else to do but dust off the puck.  Happened time and time again. Thus, my contention he wasn't used properly, or at least to his full potential, in that situation  But, that's what happens when the team is old and slow.  I wouldn't consider him a top 6-guy anymore, and there's little room for him on the third line going forward.  So, by default he is likely a fourth line guy on this team.  Given his salary, our best option would likey be a buyout.  As Legend pointed out, who wants a fourth line guy making almost 3 mil.  Not to mention Sammy's history and reputation before he got here.

I think you have it right. I hope that we could get something for him in trade, even a prospect, or a draft pick. But the bottom line is that Sammy is a very nice third line winger, but that's exactly where we need room for the young guys and his salary off the books. BTW Cole is the same general thing, a very nice third line winger, which again, we don't need. 

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I agree in concept, about Cole and his salary, assuming he is no better than a third-line winger at this point in his career. But, I do have reservations about being fairly thin in terms of true power-forwards in the lineup without Cole, particularly at wing. That's why if we do go offense with our first pick, a guy like Neiderreiter really appeals to me.  If we do get that El Nino-esque player at #7, Cole becomes doubly expendable, and we should do what we can to offload him and his salary now.  Otherwise, I think we keep him until the trade deadline.  

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I agree in concept, about Cole and his salary, assuming he is no better than a third-line winger at this point in his career. But, I do have reservations about being fairly thin in terms of true power-forwards in the lineup without Cole, particularly at wing. That's why if we do go offense with our first pick, a guy like Neiderreiter really appeals to me.  If we do get that El Nino-esque player at #7, Cole becomes doubly expendable, and we should do what we can to offload him and his salary now.  Otherwise, I think we keep him until the trade deadline.  
I can live with keeping Cole for one last chance to show something. But only if Sammy and Whitney are gone. Despite the number of years that Cole has failed to actually produce anything, he did have pretty high end ability before his neck injury, who knows, maybe he is comeback player of the year. 

However, if even a decent deal materialized I would jump at the chance to let some other team give Cole his 4th chance at a comeback and really open up those wing positions for our young guys and maybe a value pickup playmaking vet winger. Maybe a guy off a down year looking for a short deal to prove he still has it. JR is the master of these types of pickups (Whitney, Stillman) and our cup proves it. He can do it again! If he does then Cole and Sammy and Whitney must find other pastures.  If not, then, I would say keep one of the three, and Cole would be fine.

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I can live with keeping Cole for one last chance to show something. But only if Sammy and Whitney are gone. Despite the number of years that Cole has failed to actually produce anything, he did have pretty high end ability before his neck injury, who knows, maybe he is comeback player of the year. 

However, if even a decent deal materialized I would jump at the chance to let some other team give Cole his 4th chance at a comeback and really open up those wing positions for our young guys and maybe a value pickup playmaking vet winger. Maybe a guy off a down year looking for a short deal to prove he still has it. JR is the master of these types of pickups (Whitney, Stillman) and our cup proves it. He can do it again! If he does then Cole and Sammy and Whitney must find other pastures.  If not, then, I would say keep one of the three, and Cole would be fine. 
I'm not comfortable having what happens with Cole dependent on what happens with Whitney and Sammy.  So we deal Cole as things stand now.  Ruutu goes down, then what?  Not one single power-forward on wing to replace him.  How's a playmaking winger going to help us in this situation?  Until we replace that kind of play, then we almost have to keep Cole around.  Is that person in the system?  I can't think of one.  That means either drafting a guy like El-Nino or finding one in FA that fits our budget.  Those are few and far between, and likely will cost more than 2 million a year.   

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I think we will find a team ready to gamble on Samsonov.  He may have been used fourth line for us but I think he is a third liner and there will be teams willing to take a chance. But we may need to sweeten the pot with a prospect or future draft choice. With the Whitney situation it does buy us some time. If we don't sign Whitney we have already freed up space and money that should allow us to shop Samsonov for the best deal possible.

I still think we keep Cole unless a deal falls into our lap.  Unhurt Cole is still a 20 goal player and brings speed and power. The real question is can he stay healthy. I won't be shocked if Cole is dealt but I think his injury questions make him more difficult to move. If he does stay I think this will be his last year with us if not in his career.

I like Cole, Whitney and Samsonov but I don't see how we save 15 million in salaries without letting go of  at least 2 of the three.

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[quote name='coastal_caniac wrote:


remkin']I can live with keeping Cole for one last chance to show something. But only if Sammy and Whitney are gone. Despite the number of years that Cole has failed to actually produce anything, he did have pretty high end ability before his neck injury, who knows, maybe he is comeback player of the year. 

However, if even a decent deal materialized I would jump at the chance to let some other team give Cole his 4th chance at a comeback and really open up those wing positions for our young guys and maybe a value pickup playmaking vet winger. Maybe a guy off a down year looking for a short deal to prove he still has it. JR is the master of these types of pickups (Whitney, Stillman) and our cup proves it. He can do it again! If he does then Cole and Sammy and Whitney must find other pastures.  If not, then, I would say keep one of the three, and Cole would be fine. 

I'm not comfortable having what happens with Cole dependent on what happens with Whitney and Sammy.  So we deal Cole as things stand now.  Ruutu goes down, then what?  Not one single power-forward on wing to replace him.  How's a playmaking winger going to help us in this situation?  Until we replace that kind of play, then we almost have to keep Cole around.  Is that person in the system?  I can't think of one.  That means either drafting a guy like El-Nino or finding one in FA that fits our budget.  Those are few and far between, and likely will cost more than 2 million a year.   

Agreed.  Ruutu also had major shoulder surgery after the season, so it will most likely take him a while to get back to 100% and feel fully comfortable being as physical as he normally is.  With him not being 100%, getting rid of before the year started Cole would take a lot of the small amount of physicality our forwards have.  I would rather focus on ridding ourselves of Samsonov and Brind'Amours contracts, preferably avoiding a buyout of either one.  Another thing to remember is with Whitney most likely leaving, it would help to have another veteran presence, like Cole.  IIRC, Boychuk talked a lot about how much Cole was helping him make the transition to the NHL game.  Then if we are clearly out of it at the deadline, we can deal him for something like a 2nd rounder.  

Also agree with you about the draft, if we go forward I would like either Connolly or Niedereitter.  Obviously our prospects need size, but we have the unique chance to get a kid who not only has great size, but great skill.  I hope we can jump on this opportunity and get a big winger that will play with Staal for years to come. 

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I think I mentioned that I am ok with keeping Cole.

The one thing Cole does do is hit. Not like Ruutu, but he does hit. Whitney and Sammy do not. Further, I do think Cole can still have 20 goals though I'd still like to actually see it to believe it.

My main problem with Cole is his lack of point production. If he is here to slam bodies, then 3rd line fine. But we can only put so many wingers on the third line.

Offensively, how important is it to have Cole try the occasional rush down the wing and come up empty?

But hey, it is a good point that we need a physical guy. So fine trade Sammy, don't sign Whitney, keep Cole.

The main thing is to find one or two reliable vets for third line center and possibly first line wing (this one does seem like a long shot, but would improve the team greatly). To make room need to clear at least two more vets from last year's top 9.

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A lot of what we've heard from JR and PK lately isn't surprising. While I recognize the desire of folks on this forum to push for a top winger through FA, I just don't see it happening.

This is an organization that prides itself on building a team that, if the cards fall correctly, can over-achieve into something special. The problem is, when the team plays like the group of average players they are, then you get seasons like we had this past year.

Take a look at the '06 Cup season. Take a look at that roster. Now consider how many of the players at the top of our scoring had CAREER years in that one season. Staal (100 pts, best), Williams (76 pts, best), Stillman (76 pts, 2nd best season - had 80 with TB in their Cup year), Rod (31 goals was best since '97 w Philly), Cole (59 pts in just 60 games, best - by far), Cullen (49 pts, best), Kaberle (44 pts, best). And still, if you don't throw an unproven rookie into net, where he stands on his head and wins the Conn Smythe, we don't win. If you don't have an emotional coach that pulled inspirational punches, if you don't have Cole coming back from a broken neck during the Cup to give the team motivation, you still might not win.

Over-achievers.

So... when you look at what the 2010-2011 Hurricanes will look like, don't be surprised when average guys are put into key roles and are expected (hoped?) to over-achieve:

1. LaRose and Jokinen on 1st line. This makes sense because a, they tried it in the spring and it mostly worked; b, LaRose is the poor man's Whitney; c, Jokinen needs a full season at 1st line wing to prove 30 goals wasn't a fluke in his contract year; d, LaRose needs a spotlight to show where he fits on this team in his contract year; e, LaRose and Staal appear to have some chemistry that suggests giving it a shot for a full season.

2. Don't expect to resign Whitney or go after Cullen. This team gave a lot of AHLers a chance at the NHL level last year.  If you are going to save money to make your bottom line more attractive, then you aren't signing $2m or $3m+ players. If you are looking to get younger, you aren't signing a 38 year old and/or a 33 year old.  And if you want AHLers to earn spots on the roster, then spots need to be available for the competition.

3. If Sammy is dealt, he won't be alone. Finding interest in a 30+ year old guy making $2.5m for 3rd/4th line minutes? Good luck. But toss him in as part of a deal with a prospect a/o draft pick? Then you might be able to move him. Otherwise he'll need to be bought out.

4. Rod will play out his deal. One more year. We're short on centers. He will compete with Ruutu and Dwyer for the 3rd/4th line center spot. Yes, he will be the most expensive in the league for what he'll be doing. This will teach JR a lesson about how he stretches deals. Don't think for a minute that the reticence around re-signing Whitney has nothing to do with Rod's situation. JR doesn't want to sign Whitney to 2 years for $3m+ per year and see him become another anchor.

5. Pitkanen could be traded. He's making $4.5m per year, is in the last year of his contract, and if this team is really rebuilding in 2010-2011 season, then moving him makes sense. If we re-sign Babchuk and don't trade him, then I think the writing is on the wall. JR could move Joni for a top 4 guy making $3m ($1.5m less than Joni) plus a prospect or 2011 draft pick. If that top 4 guy is signed for 2 or 3 more years at $3m, then even better. This could happen as early as the draft, in my opinion. This would move Gleason - Babchuk into 1st pairing, Carson - Trade 2nd and Harrison - McBain (Rodney/Picard/Borer/etc) into 3rd. Not a great D, but likely considered serviceable... and cheap. If it doesn't happen at the draft, then he'll definitely be moved by the trade deadline unless we're really in the hunt.

When I look at what we'll have on the ice for 2010-2011, I'm going to wager on paper that we'll be picked near the bottom of our division and conference. The pessimist in me sees an injury-plagued goalie whose possible best career moments occurred in the playoffs of his rookie year, a defense that is made up of young guys who are going to make a lot of mistakes, and an offense that will have a lot of trouble scoring. The questions are many. Are Staal's best goal-scoring years already behind him? Can any of our wingers prove that they aren't just a flash in the pan? Cole, LaRose, Jokinen, Ruutu, even Sutter ... all have gotten lucrative deals because of 1 solid year with this franchise... and have yet to prove they can follow that up with a second (in Sutter's case he's only had 1 year, so it might be a bit unfair). Can any of these young guys, who showed a lot of speed and promise, actually score consistently? Boychuk showed flashes of brilliance but put little in the net... Samson lit it up at the AHL but couldn't really produce here... Bowman, Tlusty... the list goes on. Guys who showed brief flashes are now being asked to assume key roles. This could end in disaster.

Now, the optimist in me looks at this roster and sees flashes of 2005-2006. Who was going to score out of that bunch? Did anyone expect Rod to have a 30 goal season after not hitting that mark in the previous 9 seasons? Did anyone think Staal would be a 100 pt player in his 2nd full season? Williams was a cast off. Cole had never been a point per game player. Neither had Cullen. Arguably, Stillman was the only consistent scoring forward we had, and one could further argue that if the TB campaign had been his high point that we were taking a gamble. And yet... the team surged to early success, found a strong belief in themselves, and when that belief waned the coach found an inspiration from a child in a hospital bed, found a slogan -- Whatever It Takes -- that the team actually bought into and then they clawed their way through lengthy, brutal series with Buffalo and Edmonton to raise the Cup.

You look at 2010-2011... are you an optimist or a pessimist... Do You Believe?

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I think I mentioned that I am ok with keeping Cole.

The one thing Cole does do is hit. Not like Ruutu, but he does hit. Whitney and Sammy do not. Further, I do think Cole can still have 20 goals though I'd still like to actually see it to believe it.

My main problem with Cole is his lack of point production. If he is here to slam bodies, then 3rd line fine. But we can only put so many wingers on the third line.

Offensively, how important is it to have Cole try the occasional rush down the wing and come up empty?

But hey, it is a good point that we need a physical guy. So fine trade Sammy, don't sign Whitney, keep Cole.

The main thing is to find one or two reliable vets for third line center and possibly first line wing (this one does seem like a long shot, but would improve the team greatly). To make room need to clear at least two more vets from last year's top 9.

I certainly don't want to get into a Cole debate, but I think you focus too much on the player, not the aspects of a power forwards game and what they bring to a team.  With that said, Cole is not out there just to bang bodies.  That's one aspect of a big power forwards game, but one of his best attributes in his more productive years was his ability to back off a defense coming through the neutral zone.  Hip and body checks against a big, power forward that is as fast as Cole don't work.  He more often than not skates right past you.  Those checks work against smurf-like wingers, not against a big body like Cole.

The problem with Cole, as you mentioned, is he used to finish those big rushes.  He's lost that, but what's even more apparent is his hands (i.e. puck control) have escaped him, thus the loss of point production.  The speed is there, the physicality is there, his hands are not.

Cole showed flashes of his old self a few times before and after injuries last year, so I'm with you, I think he can get back to 20 goals if he can just stay on the ice for 60 or so games. 

The team needs this type of player, not just a "reliable vet."  Personally, this plug and play philosophy sounds alot like what teams like the New York Rangers do every year and thus are in a groundhog day scenario where they rebuild every year.

  

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Well a lot to consider up there.

On Cole: I agree with the need for a power forward, but if said power forward has 16 points in 40 games that's not top 6. I still believe that he can do better, but when do we see it?

Further, I may underestimate the power forward role, but where is the playmaker? Cole and LaRose are low assist guys. Jokinen can do it if he has another great year. Ruutu? If we end up losing Whitney, that is losing our playmaking winger, and Cullen was a decent playmaker also. Teams need a power forward, but they also need playmakers.

The cup year was not a bunch of rookies thrown out there. Williams, Whitney, Stillman, Brindy still in his prime, Cole, Cullen, eventually Weight and Recci. Perhaps some undervalued guys, but hardly unproven prospects. There was a lot of veteran talent there.

If we need to go full on rebuild and struggle next year, fine, but I don't buy it. I have laid out a plan that can have us competitive next year. Probably won't win the cup, but can make a run at the playoffs. Then, between our #7 (or higher) pick and the rest of our draft and our prospects, we can build the new team over the next 2-3 years without needing to bottom feed for 5 years.

We can go substantially younger without go full on rebuild. But the line ups proposed with prospects up and down the lines and Dwyer centering the third line? That is a full on rebuild. That team would struggle to stay out of last place. That is not necessary.

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[quote name='coastal_caniac wrote:


remkin']I think I mentioned that I am ok with keeping Cole.

The one thing Cole does do is hit. Not like Ruutu, but he does hit. Whitney and Sammy do not. Further, I do think Cole can still have 20 goals though I'd still like to actually see it to believe it.

My main problem with Cole is his lack of point production. If he is here to slam bodies, then 3rd line fine. But we can only put so many wingers on the third line.

Offensively, how important is it to have Cole try the occasional rush down the wing and come up empty?

But hey, it is a good point that we need a physical guy. So fine trade Sammy, don't sign Whitney, keep Cole.

The main thing is to find one or two reliable vets for third line center and possibly first line wing (this one does seem like a long shot, but would improve the team greatly). To make room need to clear at least two more vets from last year's top 9.

I certainly don't want to get into a Cole debate, but I think you focus too much on the player, not the aspects of a power forwards game and what they bring to a team.  With that said, Cole is not out there just to bang bodies.  That's one aspect of a big power forwards game, but one of his best attributes in his more productive years was his ability to back off a defense coming through the neutral zone.  Hip and body checks against a big, power forward that is as fast as Cole don't work.  He more often than not skates right past you.  Those checks work against smurf-like wingers, not against a big body like Cole.

The problem with Cole, as you mentioned, is he used to finish those big rushes.  He's lost that, but what's even more apparent is his hands (i.e. puck control) have escaped him, thus the loss of point production.  The speed is there, the physicality is there, his hands are not.

Cole showed flashes of his old self a few times before and after injuries last year, so I'm with you, I think he can get back to 20 goals if he can just stay on the ice for 60 or so games. 

The team needs this type of player, not just a "reliable vet."  Personally, this plug and play philosophy sounds alot like what teams like the New York Rangers do every year and thus are in a groundhog day scenario where they rebuild every year.

  You're right on with his hands and puck control.  I hope we don't see him on the PP anymore, and especially not on the point.  Don't know what Mo was thinking there... Give the kids those opportunities, seems like that's the motto anyways.  

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