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remkin

The Case for More Veteran Offensive Help Next Year

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After watching Cullen in this playoff series with Pittsburgh, I would rather have Cullen than Cole, Samsonov or Whitney (at 38). 

Of course price matters, but get Cullen back is what I'm saying.

Then get that winger.
I don't think the Canes can go into next season with a big fat question mark at center for the 3rd line.  The easiest way to close that would be signing Cullen.  The whole transition may take two seasons, where next season has to finish on the upswing and a strong playoff profile.  I'd sign Ray for one year if possible, and let him help the youngsters with their transition.  Better Ray than Rod.

As for Cole and Samsonov, Cole has to go.  Any one of several youngsters can provide what he does, and then some.  The same is likely for Samsonov, but he has more to offer than Cole, and was buried with bad (slow) linemates last season.  JR simply can't afford to keep both of them, and if he has to should keep Samsonov.

  

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[quote name='davidrabbit wrote:


remkin']I think the rebuild vs. reload is a pretty good analogy of what I am getting at. If we are in a full on rebuild, then next year we can drop Cole and or Sammy for picks/prospects and just go with all yutes and just see how it goes. If we do poorly, we get another good pick and can make a move the following year. I don't think we need to do this. I get a weird sense JR may be willing to to this. I hope not.

If we are in a quasi rebuild/reload, which is what I think, then we need to make a couple of key veteran moves and then play the kids in the remaining spots. The most key of key moves is that top winger. That makes us instantly credible and a playoff contender.

I happen to think that a solid third line center would give us solidity at the center position on all three top lines which would make us that much more formidable.

I hope we can make those two moves which would include losing the salary of Cole, Whitney, Sammy and maybe Brind'Amour to go with the already lost salaries of Corvo and Wallin.

I am far from confident that JR will do this, but I think a playoff appearance next year would solidify this fan base for a long long time.

Moving Cole and Samsonov is something I'd have to see to believe. 

They're not untradeable, but they are the next closest thing.  It's the AWard Syndrome where they make too

much money - with too many questions regarding injury and productivity - to move until the deadline.  If then.

Since they're probably going to stay, it magnifies the problem that keeps this thing from being either a rebuild

or a reload. 

I've been dancing around it, but the more I think about it moving Cole and Samsonov (or at LEAST one of them) is key (agree with Manwolf here also). I terms of bringing Cullen back and replacing Cole/Samsonov/Brind'Amour with a top winger (even if we also use Corvo's salary), it is a reload of a couple of veterans. In terms of using 3-5 young guys on the 3rd and 4th lines it is a bit of a rebuild.

But you are exactly right. We can't do either with Cole and Samsonov there, especially if we bring back Whitney. Where will the new guys play? The only way to configure the current players into the top 9 would be:

Ruutu-Staal-Jokinen

Whitney-Sutter-Cole

LaRose-?Boychuk-Samsonov

That is neither a rebuild or a reload. No top winger, no Cullen, only one yute beyond Sutter. Not inspiring in the least. If it were the Cole of yesteryear or the Sammy of the year we first got him, or LaRose of two years ago.....but it's not.

We need to lose Cole and Samsonov to make room for our young talent and a top winger and maybe Cullen.

At this point I would happily accept draft picks or prospects for Cole and Sammy just to clear the salary. There has to be a way. Seems harsh, but then again both of these guys might benefit from a change in scenery.

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Sammy was on our 4th line on a very bad Canes team. If he can only be a 4th liner for us can you imagine other GM's even giving him a look as an option to bolster their team?

Only way he's gone is a buyout.

Cole I would give another chance. I personally believe he's completely capable of rebounding next year. I also think he could suck next year, however I can't see Cole being ok with status quo, he's not a guy who can look at last year and be happy with himself. I really think given the chance he won't let us regret it.

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I've been dancing around it, but the more I think about it moving Cole and Samsonov (or at LEAST one of them) is key (agree with Manwolf here also). I terms of bringing Cullen back and replacing Cole/Samsonov/Brind'Amour with a top winger (even if we also use Corvo's salary), it is a reload of a couple of veterans. In terms of using 3-5 young guys on the 3rd and 4th lines it is a bit of a rebuild.

But you are exactly right. We can't do either with Cole and Samsonov there, especially if we bring back Whitney. Where will the new guys play? The only way to configure the current players into the top 9 would be:

Ruutu-Staal-Jokinen

Whitney-Sutter-Cole

LaRose-?Boychuk-Samsonov

That is neither a rebuild or a reload. No top winger, no Cullen, only one yute beyond Sutter. Not inspiring in the least. If it were the Cole of yesteryear or the Sammy of the year we first got him, or LaRose of two years ago.....but it's not.

We need to lose Cole and Samsonov to make room for our young talent and a top winger and maybe Cullen.

At this point I would happily accept draft picks or prospects for Cole and Sammy just to clear the salary. There has to be a way. Seems harsh, but then again both of these guys might benefit from a change in scenery.

A lot of it, obviously, will be determined by Cullen's availability.  In reading some of post-mortems in the Ottawa Sun,

it sounds like they'll try to keep him.  Here's a few examples of what the Senators sportswriters are saying:

http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2010/04/25/13717051.html

http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2010/04/25/13715571.html

Basically, they're saying Volchenkov is gone (possibly to Washington sad.gif   ... we can't have that, but that's another thread)

If looming unrestricted free agents Anton Volchenkov and Andy Sutton split, the Senators

can afford to keep Matt Cullen.   The question is, does Cullen, an American, want to stay? 

I do envision Whitney coming back for two reasons:  JR would've traded him (if Ray allowed) if he didn't plan on bringing

him back.  And his point production may be badly missed if all of the under-24 crowd would fail miserably next season.

 

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Sammy was on our 4th line on a very bad Canes team. If he can only be a 4th liner for us can you imagine other GM's even giving him a look as an option to bolster their team?

Only way he's gone is a buyout.

Cole I would give another chance. I personally believe he's completely capable of rebounding next year. I also think he could suck next year, however I can't see Cole being ok with status quo, he's not a guy who can look at last year and be happy with himself. I really think given the chance he won't let us regret it.

I have no doubts that Erik Cole has one 30-goal season left in him.  The problem is whether that season would come

next year or 4 years from now.  Buyouts are a really radical way to solve a problem ... but it does save a little money.

  

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Cole only played 40 games, had 11 goals and 6 assists and was a -9.  His hands have turned to granite as he can't handle the puck anymore.  He was the worst puck handling player on the team at the end of the season.  How long do we wait?   While his numbers aren't eye popping (14g, 15 assists, -15), Sammy did play 72 games.  One of these two has to go, if not both.  I think Sammy would be easier to trade of the two, but if we have to keep one, lets keep Sammy. 

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Although I am highly against Rutherford's tendency to recycle 2006 Canes player every year...I do want Cullen back, but only him. I think that was more of a rental situation and he proved with the senators that he is a good PP guy and can put up good numbers when put with other good offensive players.

Canes played fine when the youth move din for the rest of the year, run with it for a bit, don't do something stupid like the Lightning did trying to rebuild in 1 year.

This starts with a good draft, from there hopefully we can find a good stay at home defenseman on the free agent market. Canes need defense badly, outside of gleason I don't think our defense is tough to play against. toughness and defense would be my offseason goals.

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Thinkin' about the idea of getting Frolov through free agency, there's also a guy like Ponikarovsky that could be considered as well...peronsally, I like him more than Frolov.

However, I don't think we are that short of scoring, necessarily. During a rebuild, we just gotta let the young guns get the minutes and hope for their talent to come up big, and before that happens, there's no reason to spend too much dollars in veteran players. With Whitney possibly returning, we surely got enugh guys on the team that know how things are goin' that can bring their experience to our youth. Anyway, a top winger for Staals line would still be nice, but hope remains that one of our prospects can fill that role some day (e.g. Bowman).

On center position, I think we got 3 centers who will take the top 3 lines with Staal, Sutter and Boychuk. Among their lines there's enough to fill up the spots...Whitney, Sammy, Jussi, Bowman, Cole, Ruutu, Rosey, Samson, Kostopoulos, even Dwyer...all guys who will or at least "could" make a jump into the top 9. Without moving some of them away, there's no reason or even possibility to reasonably look out for new Forwards on our roster.

On defense, I' pretty sure that Pitkanen, Gleason and McBain are set for the top 4, but the problem I see is that you ususally wouldn't want either Pitkanen or McBain pair with another offensive minded defenseman. We lack a solid stay at home D with physical presence in our top 4, and I'm not sure that Pothier could be that guy. Maybe Carson?

Right now, that's what I see:

Gleason - Pitkanen

McBain - ??

Carson - Picard/Rodney/Babchuk

That's the point I mentioned when Alberts was traded away...I think he could have been the guy to fill that role. On the other hand, I really love the idea of bringing Seids back, I loved his play and, as a german, I'm a great fan of him. Still, despite he's a blue colored workhorse, he's not the guy that will make a phycial impact.

Gladly, we gotta good shot at the draft and could be possibly getting Gudbranson out of it. Maybe he can make a big step and take over that top 4 spot, or challenge it with Carson.

Also, I'd like to add that I really do think we kinda HAVE TO bring back Babchuk. He had an amazing season here when he last came back, where he scored more goals than any of our considered power play guns (Corvo and Pitkanen), and that's something to build on. If he's able to even improve his play (especially on the defensive side), he could become an amazing force on the blue line.

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Alberts was way too slow to fill any position on the team.

I think most of us who want to bring in a 1st line winger know it would require samsonov and cole to be moved or bought out. 

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Why is it that folks continue to pencil in Boychuk at third line center? If this is our checking line, I just don't see Boychuk in that role against the oppositions top players.  His defensive game just isn't there yet, IMO.  Actually, he just doesn't look ready to me to play 82 NHL games. 

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Why is it that folks continue to pencil in Boychuk at third line center? If this is our checking line, I just don't see Boychuk in that role against the oppositions top players.  His defensive game just isn't there yet, IMO.  Actually, he just doesn't look ready to me to play 82 NHL games. 

First off, I usually expect our 4th line to be our checking line.

If he's really ready to play 82 NHL games and deliver is indeed a question still lookin for an answer, but...let's say I'm optimistic^^

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[quote name='Portisfreak wrote:


coastal_caniac']Why is it that folks continue to pencil in Boychuk at third line center? If this is our checking line, I just don't see Boychuk in that role against the oppositions top players.  His defensive game just isn't there yet, IMO.  Actually, he just doesn't look ready to me to play 82 NHL games. 

First off, I usually expect our 4th line to be our checking line. Well, the thing is, I don't.  I want our third line to be able to roll at anytime against the opponents top line.  Take the defending Cup champs for example.  Jordan Staal and that line do the things I'm talking about and are considered their checking line.  But, maybe its just semantics.

I do think that's exactly the reason many on here think the third line center position is one of our biggest weaknesses in the top 9 going forward.  If your comfortable with an unseasoned Boychuk who shows little to no defensive skills as your third line center that's great. At this point in his development, I see him as a winger. He's shown some skill, but all to often he's too easily taken off the puck or run in the boards, is slow getting back to help the D, and looks a little lost at times.  Plus, I don't like smurfs at the center position.  He's got some work to do to prove to me he can make it as a center in the big league.  I'm not down on Boychuk, just think his development may be better suited to consider him a winger rather than a center.  I think he really needs some more time in Charlotte until we need a callup. 

Please bring back Cullen - again.  It was painfully obvious what we lost when he went to New York.

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If I was JR....

I would try to get Cullen back, and I would throw everything I've got to get defenceman Anton Volchenkov. Resign Whitney to the Glen Wesley one year renewable pre-retirement deal. Draft Nino. Trade Cole or Sammy & a 2nd to move back up into the late first round & take a Defenceman. Brindy = retire or buyout. Resign Pothier, & Babchuk or Picard.

Lines:

Whitney, Staal, Ruutu

Jokinen, Sutter, Boychuk

Cole or Sammy, Cullen, Nino

LaRose, Dwyer, Kostopoulos

Pitkanen, Gleason

McBain, Volchenkov

Pothier, Carson

Babchuk or Picard as 7th D.

C Ward

Peters

I can dream right?pimp.gif

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Boychuk's not ready. He looked so lost and confused even on his second stint with us. Boychuk's about as ready as Tlusty and Osala.

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Boychuk's not ready. He looked so lost and confused even on his second stint with us. Boychuk's about as ready as Tlusty and Osala.

Sutter wasn't ready last year either, and how did that turn out...Not saying that it is a given that he will progress that much in the off season, but in talking to him at the casino night he sure did sound like a kid that had learned a lot this year. I think he just needs to put on some more size.

But another year in the AHL wouldn't hurt if he is still not ready. then just insert a different young gun.

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If boychuk isnt ready then we stick another young guy in that position.  I really dont think Cullen comes back. 
Okay, like who?  Your choices are Dwyer, Dalpe, Dodge, Angelidis, Chaput or Hemigar.  Pick one and we can talk about the "hole" at center some more.

  

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I predict LaRose to have a career season this coming season.  Just my opinion.  He needs to be, at the very least, on a 3rd line and possibly higher. He may not have the goals to back it up but his performance in the last few months of this season proves he can hang.  He was also injured for almost half the season.

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I predict LaRose to have a career season this coming season.  Just my opinion.  He needs to be, at the very least, on a 3rd line and possibly higher. He may not have the goals to back it up but his performance in the last few months of this season proves he can hang.  He was also injured for almost half the season.
I like LaRose(he is one of my favorite players), but IMO he is not a top 6 forward. I would not put him higher than the 3rd line except when injuries force him up to fill in.  I think he is a perfect fourth line player who can score. So he is top 9 at best.

If LaRose starts the year in our top 6 it would be a disappointing offseason. Of course, I hope you are right about a career season for LaRose.

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I have been reading this thread with great interest.  The truth is  I have no idea what we are going to do. But I suspect that next year is the second year of a 3 to 5 year rebuilding effort. I'm sure we want to put a team on the ice that is competitive and has a chance to make the playoffs but you don't get younger by signing veterans.

I'm all in favor of signing back Cullen but I have doubts it will happen.    I could see next seasons team begin the year much as they looked at the end of last season with only a few changes.    

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I would point out that signing Whitney, keeping Brind'Amour, Cole, and Sammy does not get us younger.

I think more than just youth we need energy and a blend of workers and skill. I think Cullen can still bring the energy and skill and fills a need, so I am still hoping to get him back.

On Whitney, I still think many are projecting a Whitney untouched by father time, especially suggsting he might be a good option on the first line.

Once again, Whitney has long been a favorite of mine, but I would not project him past the second line. I would probably rather resign an elderly Whitney than keeping Cole or Sammy (I realize that they are under contract, just a way of thinking about it).

But, if I were JR I would try to unavail myself of the contracts of Cole, Whitney, Sammy, and any part of Brindy's, to go with not having Corvo's salary or Walker's. Bring back Cullen if possible and a scoring winger.

This would also clear room for two AHL'ers to maket the third line, with Cullen (or Sutter).

Jussi-Staal-Vet winger

Ruutu-Sutter-LaRose

Tlusty*-Cullen-Boychuk*

* or whoever, could be our top pick, or some other.

Wouldn't the combined salaries of that top 9 be workable? There's three guys on their first contract, and LaRose is not that expensive. Jussi is a budget first liner. How can we not afford one more middle of the pack first line winger? We're also using McBain and maybe another young dman and maybe even a relatively cheap Babchuk smile.gif. Seems that if we can somehow clear the Cole/Sammy $$ there ought to be room to do this.

There would be enough proven producers mixed with a lot of potential. Lots of energy.

It would be a legit top line, a pretty good second line, and lots of potential on the third grounded by a solid veteran center.

Well I like it, darn it.

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Well, I just watched Montreal and Washington in game 7 and I think the 'Canes could've beaten either team in 5.

I always have high expectations.  The goal is to build on the final 40 games from last season.  And, most of those

guys are still around because the 'Canes started the rebuild/reload during the year and not waiting for the summer. 

Who did a rebuild last summer to use as a comparison with what the 'Canes hope to do?  Montreal.  Who did a

reload by adding a second scoring line?  Washington.  The Caps have their high-end talent.  Would it hurt to add

a moderately priced Matt Cullen and a mid-tier 1st line winger?  No.  Especially if more housecleaning occurred.

Many credit the Habs success on their housecleaning ... Kovalev, Koivu, Komisarek, Tanguay, Lang, and Mathieu

Schneider were out.  Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri, Spacek and Gill were in.  OK, granted that's

a very old/overpaid group being swapped for an old/overpaid group.  But, it's Montreal, where things are different.

All Remkin is asking for is the Hurricane equivalent: Matt Cullen.  Add a good winger, and things would be solid.

The future is looking pretty good.

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If I was JR....

I would try to get Cullen back, and I would throw everything I've got to get defenceman Anton Volchenkov. Resign Whitney to the Glen Wesley one year renewable pre-retirement deal. Draft Nino. Trade Cole or Sammy & a 2nd to move back up into the late first round & take a Defenceman. Brindy = retire or buyout. Resign Pothier, & Babchuk or Picard.

Lines:

Whitney, Staal, Ruutu

Jokinen, Sutter, Boychuk

Cole or Sammy, Cullen, Nino

LaRose, Dwyer, Kostopoulos

Pitkanen, Gleason

McBain, Volchenkov

Pothier, Carson

Babchuk or Picard as 7th D.

C Ward

Peters

I can dream right?pimp.gif

I like adding Volchenkov altho he reportedly is asking $4.5m per for 3 or 4 years.  In the past, JR has only paid

that much to guys already in the organization.  With that figure in mind, why necessarily would you bring back Pothier?

  

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