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coastal_caniac

The Official 2011-12 Off-Season Thread

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I don't see any reason to not resign Stillman if JR won't commit to a real rebuild. Financially, this team can't possibly commit to a full rebuild. Sure the roster will be bare minimum salary but we don't exactly sell the house out everynight and if we're losing we don't have good numbers at the games.

So if we're going to do this again next season at least have a winger who can allow Staal to put the team on his back. It's obvious Stillman's playmaking compliments Staal very well. If it takes away a roster spot from one youngin, so be it. We got several guys playing right now who imo have no shot at a lengthy NHL career anyway. Tlusty comes to mind. How the heck he's still on our roster baffles me.

Also despite some opinions, I think your getting better experience playin 20 minutes a night with the Checkers then 6 minutes a night against the other teams goons anyway.

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If JR doesn't commit, I'd rather spend Stillman dollars (and some more) on a veteran second line center who can win faceoffs. That pretty much sets the top-6 assuming we sign Cole and Jokinen. That's if your not rebuilding.

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Well this year did make the defensive needs pretty clear. Boring, but clear. Cam faces more quality chances than any other goalie. Put an average goalie in there and we are 16 points out right now.

On LaRose, I like him, on the 4th line and at 4th line money. I know he has 15 goals and did get 20 two years ago, but his minus 20 really stands out and he was on the top line much of the year for that production. The real problem though is that he is taking up valuable real estate in the top 9. If we are rebuilding we need our "prospects" up there. Same with Dwyer, he's taking up space but not really a prospect anymore. If we keep Cole and Jussi and we should, then if we keep Dwyer and LaRose in the top 9, we have the same exact team as this year, with no real spot for Bowman, Tlusty, Dalpe, etc.

As to the top line center, I'm just saying what would make us instantly competitive (asuming that the D is tightened), not necessarily what is going to happen. Staal likes being a center and if Staal is set on that, then that is what will happen. Ulitmately we need to add a very seriously capable playmaker to the top line. A guy like Stillman, but not 38. It can be on the wing. The thing is this. Adding a third line center, which I pointed out ad infinitum *cough Cullen cough* would help, and might be the more likely move, but not one that will make a huge huge difference.

Just trotting out the same exact team of forwards as this year but one year older, does not change much. Just adding one solid forward to the top line, and moving the character guys to the 4th line, makes us a powerhouse up front immediately. We can pay for that guy by having a goodly chunk of the team on entry contracts: Tlusty, Bowman, Dalpe, Sutter, Skinner, Boychuk, McBain...there should be money for that guy.

Yes, a team should primarily build though the draft, but every really good team adds a few key veteran pieces. In order to build entirlely though the draft you have to go to the basement for 5 years, or have an A+ drafting system. But no problem. We got a blue chip in Staal, Ward, Skinner and possibly McBain, then we have some really nice pieces in Bowman, Dalpe, Boychuk, add a few vets Cole/Jussi and there is a nice base. But we need that one guy on the top line to put us over. I remember Stillman after the cup, I like Stillman a lot, the Stillman of the cup year is exactly what we need. But we need him about 6 years younger.

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Seems to me Sutter is clearly our third line center, and he will be looking to the future. His role looks to be clearly defined, and that's to shut down the opposing team's top line, night in-night out, and kill penalties. He's been left there to do it all year, and aside from faceoffs, has exceled, at least IMO(+13). That's what Brandon Sutter does.

Right now we have one scoring center, and that's Staal. No way Staal moves to the wing, at least if you belive Forslund. It's been discussed ad nauseum on the Aftermath this year. On offense, our biggest hole has to be the second line center position. Maybe Skinner will eventually fill that role, but I think he will be a winger in the NHL, at least in the near future. I'd rather have Jokinen on the wing if he stays, but that's just me. His assists bear that out. Who else do we have ready to take that spot?

Stillman can be replaced by youth, veteran centers are harder to find, and cost more. And our guy damn well better by 50-60% faceoff guy. It's a hole I tell you. ;)

Edited by coastal_caniac

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If Jokinen is the playmaking winger for the first line to go with Cole/Staal, then a second line center would be fine. Someone who can win faceoffs, but also put up points. As to whether Sutter is second or third, utlimately depends more on his ability to distribute the puck. At this point he is best on the third line not only because of his checking ability, but his lack of assists. A guy can be a great two way checking center and be a legit second line center, just as Rod Brinda'mour in his prime. The key differnce is assists. Even when Sutter put up 21 goals he had only 19 assists. Your second line center needs to create offense for others as well.

I just would love to see our top line with another marque scorer. We can discuss it ad infinitum, but it there is cap space for it and it would make us instantly better. As to the first line center I'm not saying it will happen, because it probably won't, but if Staal had a change of heart it would make us better also.

At the end of the day though a "second" line center that can distribute the puck with Skinner and Ruutu, and win face offs, is more likely what we'll get. And if he's good enough, that could make the difference. Jussi has shown first line chops and Cole has now also. But if either of them regresses...plus we have to resign them both, or we have no top line.

We do have Dalpe and Nash, not that either will be ready for third line duty (or second).

Edited by remkin

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What about trying to get Patrik Berglund from STL? STL has 2 top 2 centers already that are signed for many seasons. We could give up a good young winger and dman for him. Like a bowman/osala/tlusty and Sanguinetti for him. All 3 in the deal would be RFAs. He has put up 47 points so far this season with about 19 minutes of ice time. He is still young at 22, so the rebuilding thing would still make sense. His faceoff percentage is decent but is definitely something Brindy can work with him on to use that 6'4 frame for leverage advantage.

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FA Scoring Winger - Staal - Cole

Skinner - Jokinen - Ruutu

Dalpe/Boychuck - Sutter - Tlusty/Dalpe/Boychuk

Samson-Dwyer-Bodie/Bowman

I like LaRose, but I'd really like our 3rd line to be able to score more than the LaRose/Tlusty type wingers Sutter has had this season. Dalpe and Boychuk are 2 big pieces of the future and I wouldn't mind seeing at least one of them get some top 9 action. I'd like another center who can be our 3rd line guy so that Sutter can focus on scoring more on the 2nd line, but I'd much rather have that top line winger we've been needing. Regardless of that winger, I just feel like we need to add another center at some point whether that's a 2nd liner or 3rd liner.

I like the additions made to the defense so far. Allen and Joslin have been really solid. I'd like to see us make the playoffs to also judge if we need to try and improve the D or if we're gonna try the group we have now.

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If we get anything in the FA it'll be 2nd or 3rd liners whom have underachieved who have been good in the past that we can hope can possibly up there game to the first line if we ditch Stillman. Which is why I say stick with Stillman because I'd like to know what we got rather then play a guessing game with who to stick Staal with and waste 20 games trying to put him with Larose again.

We've all watched this franchise for enough years to know JR isn't going to get a top line winger, he'll get a hopeful whose like a dog that's been abused and with love and caring nuture him back into a decent player.

Secondly, watching all these players who make the big bucks off FA and get ego's just to suck up the place. Who needs that? Gomez just last night is a case of a guy who gets his pay day, is satisfied and sucks now.

I say fix the D this offseason and work on a top line winger during the next deadline for the future. JR can fit together peices of a role playing D with some money all while spending almost nothing. He's done it several times before.

Also maybe put ourselves in a position finanically to cash in on the next team that has to do a massive salary dump and is selling players for jack squat. Letting Atlanta walk away with half Chicago's team was brutal. Can you imagine us with the Buff or a more mature Ladd...or whomever else they had to ditch? Theres ways of getting the top line winger "JR Style" but that's not going to be FA and honestly I don't want it to be knowing what kinda ego trips come out of it.

Edited by legend-1

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I honestly believe the offense is going to look a lot like it does now. Maybe re-sign Stillman for one more year, go after contracts for Cole, Jokinen, LaRose. I believe this team feels its offensive punch is already in the system, with Bowman, Samson, Dalpe, Boychuk, etc. working into the lineup over time. I can see Tlusty getting the boot. He's had pretty much a full season in the top 9 and has little to show for it, except for some flashes here and there. I can see JR sticking with Stillman for one more year on the hope that a Bowman or Boychuk, with time, is going to be a top-6 winger that can either play with Staal or allow Skinner to move up to 1st line.

For this offseason, it's the D that will need the most attention. Biggest obvious question is whether JR re-signs (or even wants to re-sign) Pits. I still lean toward re-signing him. I still think that he's young and his game will only get better with time, and I'd rather have him learning here than somewhere else. Is he going to be a Chris Pronger down the line someday? Maybe. I'd rather keep him on a 2 year deal to see what develops. That being said, it's tough to look at our defensive stats and not feel the pressure to do something to improve for 2011-2012.

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While my plan would be to make a strong move for a guy who has legitimate playmaking chops, either second line center or first line winger (or center howdy.gif). I do think that there have to be some moves up front in addition to the clear needs on the back end.

I cannot argue with Legend in that in general JR does not go after the big time FA who has already consistently proven himself. His modus is to find former first round picks who are struggling or coming off injuries and try to find value. In that JR is pretty good at that, fine. Go get us a Stillman or Whitney or J. Williams, like you have before. He's pretty good at it, so, while I'd prefer to use some of that salary to get a proven producer, I could live with a "value" pick if it is a guy with serious ability and potential.

Going with the same team up front, mostly yes, but not entirely. I know every team needs a guy like Dwyer, but the man simply doesn't make plays. I know we all love LaRose, but that's a spot we could try a Boychuk, or Bowman, or Dalpe. We need to get at least 3 of those guys in the top 9. The NHL is full of guys who are extremely solid scoring forwards that took a few years to find their scoring touch. Skinner is far and away the exception. Any one of Tlusty, Boychuk, Bowman, even Dalpe could break out for 15-20 goals next year. They need to play. Plus they have cheap contracts that should free up some space to get that other guy.

At the very least up front we need a second line center who can win faceoffs and distribute the puck. Maybe Nash or Dalpe or even Sutter can be that guy eventually, but probably not next year.

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No Checker can replace Stillman. His skill, hockey intelligence and chemistry with our vets is result of his many years in the league. JR wont be able to spend on a top six guy, so we should try to keep Stillman for a year, maybe two. Then evaluate where he is with the team before looking farther into the future.

I don't get the age argument... saying he's too old is like saying Skinner is too young. Age is a number that doesn't reflect stats. What he does on the ice speaks for itself. It's like people think we are living in a Logan's Run future world where there is a certain age cut-off. I don't see a glowing red light in his hand, but I do above the goal when he's on the ice.

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and the much needed after post for JB so we can see his post since there are no issues with invision

Edited by legend-1

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and the much needed after post for JB so we can see his post since there are no issues with invision

:lol: No trouble with the Invision software here.

Side note: I'll use this opportunity to remind everyone its time to change the avatars :)

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I wouldn't replace Stillman with a checker. He's the guy I would replace with a free agent. But that's me. I have been a big fan of Stillman over the years, and his type of play is what we need: a crafty playmaker. I do however, think that age is a factor. True there are a handful of Recci's, but for every Recci there are 30 guys who can't play past their mid 30's. We had Stillman on our team post cup and he went through large droughts of very unproductive play and was in the first group out. Stillman has been a very nice move for this team this year, but I would prefer to find a Stillman type pickup when we first got him.

If age were no factor the league would be full of 40 year olds.

I would be very suprised if we resign Stillman. But then again, I've been very surpised before.

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In addition to all the previous and well known "wants"...how about a back-up goalie that actually gets some playing time! I don't see how we can continue to ride 1 goalie for over 90% of the games. Ward has played very well this season in my opinion...but needs some help in front and the knowledge and trust that he can take a day off and the team still be "in good hands" with a good back-up.

This is a coaching issue, not a goalie issue. Leighton was good and never got a chance, I have no idea about Peters because, well he never plays. Carolina is stacked with goalies "in the system". Both Pogge and Murphy are very good, but why bring them up to never play?

Carolina can reload on the cheap without chasing FAs. We have a couple guys in the system who could be ready to move up, and a couple have gotten some decent playing time. Should be an interesting training camp next year. The only problem with a wish list of players is we know the team doesn't spend money, so I don't see us making a splash in the UFA market.

I think LaRose has earned a small raise and he should stay. Maybe 2.0 a year? Let Pitkanen go, he eats up a lot of minutes, but makes a lot of mistakes for a 4 mil a year d man. I would also look at possibly trying to re-sign RFA Brandon Sutter who has done very well this year as a shutdown center. Plus depending on who we pick up in the draft in June could affect who we chase as a FA in July.

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No Checker can replace Stillman. His skill, hockey intelligence and chemistry with our vets is result of his many years in the league. JR wont be able to spend on a top six guy, so we should try to keep Stillman for a year, maybe two. Then evaluate where he is with the team before looking farther into the future.

I don't get the age argument... saying he's too old is like saying Skinner is too young. Age is a number that doesn't reflect stats. What he does on the ice speaks for itself. It's like people think we are living in a Logan's Run future world where there is a certain age cut-off. I don't see a glowing red light in his hand, but I do above the goal when he's on the ice.

Yeah...look at Mark Recchi. Still playing good hard hockey for the Bruins.

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I think a lot of us would like to see some major changes but know that there "MAY" only be only a few small changes for next season. The Canes Org. seems to try and Tweak what they have and not go for the major changes in the system. So as much as I hope I am wrong on this ,I think we will be in the same boat next year and the season will be on the edge of making the playoffs!! :facepalm2:

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Chad at 28 pts and -22 deserves 2 mil?

I'd keep Chad in the $1.5M to $1.75M range. I know others would rather cut him loose and replace him with a Bowman or a Boychuk. And I guess that's a possibility. I wouldn't be opposed to it. But I think there are certain players this organization isn't going to drop. I think Chad is one of them. He's a great story, he's been with PK forever, he's a true Caniac. And he still supplies the punch, the energy. Does he score enough? No. Does he win enough battles in the corners? No. But he's not afraid of anyone. He'll stand up to anyone, defend his teammates to anyone. Will check and hit until the whistle blows. He's borderline 3rd/4th line material.

I just don't see him going anywhere. He's a fan favorite, and as long as he can put up 15-20 goals per season, I think he's earned another 2 year deal.

That's my opinion, anyway.

Canes_6__Flames_5__SO___01.11.11_sDCJUovG_0012.embedded.prod_affiliate.156.JPG

Edited by witchking-ch1

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Hard to believe but Staal and Ward are both about to enter their prime. Something JR should think about if he wants a competitive team year in and year out.

And I've never really talked about it, but I don't believe in Maurice anymore. Unfortunately the pickings for a new coach are slim and it seems like Ted Nolan is the only one that is available and I doubt he's gonna leave Rochester.

This all said I think Jeff Daniels has been doing a great job with the Checkers/River Rats, getting them prepared for the NHL and taking them to the playoffs 4 times in 5 seasons. Can't help but wonder if JD might be the best coach available for us should Maurice get the boot.

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Hard to believe but Staal and Ward are both about to enter their prime. Something JR should think about if he wants a competitive team year in and year out.

And I've never really talked about it, but I don't believe in Maurice anymore. Unfortunately the pickings for a new coach are slim and it seems like Ted Nolan is the only one that is available and I doubt he's gonna leave Rochester.

This all said I think Jeff Daniels has been doing a great job with the Checkers/River Rats, getting them prepared for the NHL and taking them to the playoffs 4 times in 5 seasons. Can't help but wonder if JD might be the best coach available for us should Maurice get the boot.

That`s right, we could use some liquid courage ^_^

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I think a lot of us would like to see some major changes but know that there "MAY" only be only a few small changes for next season. The Canes Org. seems to try and Tweak what they have and not go for the major changes in the system. So as much as I hope I am wrong on this ,I think we will be in the same boat next year and the season will be on the edge of making the playoffs!! :facepalm2:

I would like to see just a couple of changes, but those would be big moves, not tweaks. But only 2-3 moves (other than resigning Cole/Jussi) could make a huge difference.

One: bring in a high end playmaking FA forward, ideally one who can win face-offs. That will help the powerplay, faceoffs and give Staal some legit 1st line company. I completely understand your skepticism that this will actually happen. History has not suggested that JR/PK would make a move like this. It may be another case of what "should" happen vs. what "will" happen. I am offering my thought of what should happen. Anyway, we have enough nice complementary pieces to go with our 2 legit All Stars up front, that one more high end forward would in fact make us instantly competitive with the best teams up front. One new guy. All the rest are on our team currently or in Charlotte. One player to shore up face offs, the powerplay, and give Staal a high end playmaker and put us over the top offensively on the top line. Again, I agree that the Canes are slow to do this, but they should.

The other big move would be if the team decides to part with Joni. If they do, then they should be able to pick up a very good FA at a similar salary, so at least financially this is not a huge move. Personally I would make this move. Joni has meant a lot to this team, but with Corvo, McBain and even Joslin as puck movers, we need that back end shut down guy more. Further, Joni's unconventional style is just more net negative than positive. The only thing that would seriously disappoint here would be not signing Joni or anyone else. Just going with what we have sans Joni. We need to upgrade the defensive part of our defense in front of our All Star goalie.

The only other move I would make would be a back up goalie. They clearly don't trust Peters and he is not developing on our bench. If they are going with the yute back up they should employ a system of rotating these guys down to the minors so that they are playing all the time. In the end assuming Paul "what's a back up goalie?" Maurice is the coach, we should probably just buy a half decent veteran back up and go with that.

Those three moves is all we need to instantly become a competitive playoff team assuming we keep Cole and Jussi.

This team has the drive, leadership, attitude etc already. They just need a couple of pieces to be right there near the top.

We had the All Star game this year. We need some playoff games next year.

Edited by remkin

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I totally agree we are only TWO or THREE good moves from being a playoff team..Im not convinced

this team truly has a leader or perhaps attitude/motivation or coaching. If they played all year

like they did the last 5 games.. They might be in...

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If they played all year like they did the last 5 games.. They might would be in...

Fixed that for you :)

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