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The Official 2011-12 Off-Season Thread

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no, say it aint so, jussi so good on PP, faceoffs, big goals.. i donr get it.. someone explain this please..

Unless I completely missed something, Chip never said they weren't going to sign Jussi. He only said that it may be tough to re-sign him because of his market value. I bet if they don't sign Pitkanen (which it sounds more and more likely they won't), I bet they find a way to sign Jussi. I also bet they're hoping for a little hometown discount.

Remember, JR is well known for using the media for posturing before negotiations ;)

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...Remember, JR is well known for using the media for posturing before negotiations ;)

Isn't that what this is all about? The exit interviews are long done, the coaching moves worked out, and now its time to signal the UFAs. The next 6 weeks lead to re-signing current players or signing new ones. Won't be long before July 1 is here...

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Unless I completely missed something, Chip never said they weren't going to sign Jussi. He only said that it may be tough to re-sign him because of his market value. I bet if they don't sign Pitkanen (which it sounds more and more likely they won't), I bet they find a way to sign Jussi. I also bet they're hoping for a little hometown discount.

Remember, JR is well known for using the media for posturing before negotiations ;)

True, Chip never said we wouldn't resign Jussi but the implication he might be difficult to sign but that's close enough to might not sign for me. I hope your right about finding a way to sign Jussi but I''m not so sure.

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Chip Alexander tweeted...

ice_chip: Almost forgot: Canes said to be looking seriously at taking a defenseman with their first draft pick. Makes sense this year.

Interesting... Jamieson Oleksiak anyone?

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JR has been burned on first round defensemen just about every time but we have a huge crop of offensive talent in our system that a d-man is probably the way to go this year.

This is said to be a rather weak drafting class, time will tell but I'm feeling more confident with our drafting choices since winning the cup than I was before. Whoever we take I just hope will follow the pattern we have with our recent draft picks that have panned out.

As far as coaching goes, yes, I'm prepared for another year of Mo behind the bench :shifty:

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For those who have asked, there won't be any live streams for the press conference but the video will be posted shortly after.

You can follow the highlights as they come in from Paul here:

http://twitter.com/#!/PaulBranecky

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Some of the highlights:

  • While disappointed with finish, Rutherford starts press conference by saying he was pleased with first year of "transition" period
  • Rutherford listing areas he'd like to upgrade - first mentioned is experience backup goalie. Wants Peters back in AHL to play more.
  • Next is fourth-line center to kill penalties and win faceoffs. Wants Dwyer back at wing, top players playing less on PK.
  • Rutherford guesses UFA Joni Pitkanen will test market in free agency. Canes will leave door open, but want to restructure defense.
  • Rutherford said Ron Francis is coming back to front office, which had been planned for some time
  • Rutherford says Cole had "special year" and is a priority in terms of free agents.
  • Rutherford called Joe Corvo "new Rod Brind'Amour" in terms of conditioning and said that he had positive influence on Cole's fitness
  • Rutherford says he thinks coaching staff did very good job with young players. Said Maurice did well in 2 of his 3 recent years.Obvious exception there is 2009-10
  • Rutherford called this past season an off year for Chad LaRose, but added that "he is the guy that drives this team."
  • Rutherford thinks Jokinen will probably test free agent market on July 1. "He's more of a maybe, along with Pitkanen."
  • Rutherford says Stillman probably has one more year in the tank at a cheaper price. Thinks he'll bring back Jokinen OR Stillman
  • Rutherford expects Justin Faulk to get some NHL games next year, but will need at least another half season in AHL, if not more
  • Rutherford says Canes feel good about defensemen in their range at draft (No. 12), could go that route.
  • Rutherford said Francis return to front office was "always expected" from time he first went behind bench two years ago
  • Concerning financial issues at RecZone, Rutherford talks of new project near airport - a school for athletes that would include ice rink
  • No timetable on that project, but Hurricanes would be involved
  • Short term, would prefer to stay at the RecZone and move into new facility in a few years. "We'll figure it out"
  • Rutherford: "If we don't give Cam Ward more relief, he's going to have to retire when he's 28."
  • Rutherford says Tom Barrasso has been scouting video of pending UFA goalies. Will provide mgmt with short list of 5 to work off.
  • Rutherford mentions Dalpe, Bowman and Boychuk as top prospects in Charlotte, but said it all comes down to training camp.
  • Rutherford says he would consider trading younger players for players coming into their primes, not rentals
  • Rutherford wants to sign Brandon Sutter to long-term contract, similar in length to Staal, Ward. Mentions those 3 and Skinner as team's core
  • Rutherford says Jeff Daniels has done great job in developing players in Charlotte. Thinks he will be NHL head coach in near future.
  • Rutherford said bringing Daniels up now to NHL assistant would hurt organization's player development, but, "his time will come"
  • Rutherford on Cole: teams noticed he had a good year, but also that he has his best years here. Thinks Cole would make mistake by leaving
  • Rutherford happy with forwards and offense. Focus is on limiting goals against, improving special teams.
  • Rutherford said team could make trade for established power-play contributor before July 1, or sign after
  • Rutherford says Dalpe is No. 1 candidate to make jump from AHL next season (at wing). Adds that he's playing hurt now.
  • Rutherford likes idea of Dalpe-Skinner-Ruutu line for next season.
  • On adding size to lineup - a few years ago, "we got bigger and we got worse." Says he'd like Gleason to be more physical next season.
  • Rutherford: "In a perfect world, the fourth-line center is a physical guy." Thinks Harrison, Allen, Joslin bring enough grit to D.
  • Rutherford: Skinner has character and work ethic to "keep going up the ladder" and improve on rookie year
  • Rutherford said he's "very, very impressed" with Brind'Amour's front office debut. Says he has bright future as head coach or GM.
  • Rutherford on Brind'Amour: "He makes his point in very short order and makes points others don't make. He has a very special way about him"
  • Rutherford ends Q&A session with tribute to Don MacMillan. "He'd do anything for anybody"

That's all folks, have at it....

Video and Audio will be posted shortly

Oops, some additions:

  • Rutherford not aware of Oskar Osala having signed in KHL. Thinks he can be NHL player with increased foot speed.
  • Rutherford said he expects Checkers goalie tandem to be Peters, Murphy next season. "Not satisfied" with Pogge's season.

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Thanks TSA for the updates. I really want to see the video but it appears that we can have Stillman or Jussi but not both. Could be posturing by Rutherford but I doubt it. I am not surprised that Peters will head back to Charlotte but a little surprised Rutherford made it public at this time. It looks to me that we have another year of transition but I hope that means we expect to at least make the playoffs.

He certainly told both Cole and LaRose he wants them back.

Trying to guess the mystery coach to replace Francis should keep us busy for a while.

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Nothing too surprising there. Glad to hear they finally realize they need a real backup. A little nervous about Jussi but we'll see. He would be a significant loss just due to his versatility, let alone his scoring. I'd be very surprised if Pitkanen is back. Interesting to hear Dalpe has jumped ahead of Boychuk and Bowman.

So...who for backup? I hear the Islanders have a contract they'd like to move. :) (yeah, doubtful)

Who is the new Assistant Coach? Sounds like they are looking outside the organization, which is good to hear. Anyone have some names to toss around that fit "former NHL d-man who has coached d-men" (Chip's criteria)? Personally, I'd like to see Brindy there but if they were going that route I'd think they'd have said so today.

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Who is the new Assistant Coach? Sounds like they are looking outside the organization, which is good to hear. Anyone have some names to toss around that fit "former NHL d-man who has coached d-men" (Chip's criteria)? Personally, I'd like to see Brindy there but if they were going that route I'd think they'd have said so today.

Chip was spot on for most of the pre-conference information printed. What has me confused is why a d-man who has coached d-men. Isn't that Tom Rowe's bailiwick. Are we replacing Rowe too? Now Rutherford didn't say a former d-man so it is possible Chip's criteria is wrong . I don't even have a guess.

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That's what I was thinking too, OBXer. A former forward who has been an AHL head coach, I can think of. :) And that is what Francis was doing.

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Finally some interesting fodder for comment!

Then back to the dog days.

I love the GM stuff, and I know JR is waiting to hear from me, so here goes.

Rutherford listing areas he'd like to upgrade - first mentioned is experience backup goalie. Wants Peters back in AHL to play more.

Absolutely. Assuming we make the playoffs, cannot have ridden Cam into the ground. Get a veteran back up. To be an honest cup contender, a team has to be able to play the back up and still make the playoffs.

Next is fourth-line center to kill penalties and win faceoffs. Wants Dwyer back at wing, top players playing less on PK.

Personally I have no major problem with Dwyer as long as he's on the 4th line. But Chad and Dwyer back probably puts one of them in the top 9. How does that make us better? Also, it suggests Dalpe is not seen as the 4th line center. Can he play wing? We really need a second or third line center.

Rutherford guesses UFA Joni Pitkanen will test market in free agency. Canes will leave door open, but want to restructure defense.

Sounds like Joni is gone. That's fine with me, but ONLY if they bring in another proven top 2 dman. Why do I think that won't happen? This might be the biggest issue of all. IF JR lets Joni go, does he bring in a defense first guy of comparable stature, or go cheap? If he tries to find a lowish "value" guy, then bad move. Team does not get better.

Rutherford said Ron Francis is coming back to front office, which had been planned for some time.

Hmmm. Is Ronnie the scape goat and this is the big bench move, or are they clearing him away from where the axe falls.

Rutherford says he thinks coaching staff did very good job with young players. Said Maurice did well in 2 of his 3 recent years.Obvious exception there is 2009-10.

Seems to suggest Mo is back, but not explicitly.

Rutherford says Cole had "special year" and is a priority in terms of free agents.

Heck yes. No question about that. The man is back.

Rutherford thinks Jokinen will probably test free agent market on July 1. "He's more of a maybe, along with Pitkanen."

Yeah just like Pitkanen if you lose him you better replace him. But unlike Pitkanen, JUST SIGN HIM. This guy is a major point producer. He is a playmaker and a goal scorer. He is also clutch and don't forget the last time we made the playoffs. This is the one guy I am afraid we might lose that WE SHOULD NOT!!! Mark my words, if he lets Jussi go, he will not replace that playmaking or those points. The team will not get better by letting Jussi go. He was decent defensively at +3. Hopefully this is just GM subterfuge. Keep Jussi. Read that again JR. Keep Jussi.

Rutherford says Stillman probably has one more year in the tank at a cheaper price. Thinks he'll bring back Jokinen ORStillman.

Completely agree except there really isn't a choice as to which one to pick. Stillman may have one mediocre year left but he will not be anywhere near Jussi's production next year. I'll take that bet right now. See the above paragraph. Love Stillman, but Jussi is the CLEAR choice here. Don't get cheap here. Jussi is not some high priced hired gun FA. We know the guy. Just keep him.

Rutherford called this past season an off year for Chad LaRose, but added that "he is the guy that drives this team."

Yes, I'd say it was an off year. OK, so, Chad and Dwyer are the kind of guys every team needs to win. But does every team need them both? Chad has more upside, so as long as he's good on the 4th line. Fine. I love LaRose, but last year showed he is not a top 6 guy, and probably not even a regular top 9 guy. Personally I sign Chad or Dwyer, but not both.

Rutherford expects Justin Faulk to get some NHL games next year, but will need at least another half season in AHL, if not more

Yeah what I've seen of this kid is exciting. More reason to let Joni go in favor of a defensive minded shut downer, since Faulk seems more offensive minded.

Rutherford says Canes feel good about defensemen in their range at draft (No. 12), could go that route.

Or they could go a different route. Who knows? Can't read draft tea leaves, especially with JR. I'd have no problem with it though.

Rutherford happy with forwards and offense. Focus is on limiting goals against, improving special teams.

Yes, AS LONG AS YOU KEEP THE MAIN PRODUCERS, cough JUSSI, cough.

Rutherford mentions Dalpe, Bowman and Boychuk as top prospects in Charlotte, but said it all comes down to training camp.

I'd say those 3 guys need to show something with the big club this year. Their time as prospects is aging. I like all 3 though. Still given the next statement, I wouldn't be shocked if one gets traded.

Rutherford says he would consider trading younger players for players coming into their primes, not rentals.

Certainly and we have a pretty full cupboard. Would not be surprised at all to see a prospect traded as part of a package. Rentals really only make sense at the end of the year.

Rutherford wants to sign Brandon Sutter to long-term contract, similar in length to Staal, Ward. Mentions those 3 and Skinner as team's core.

Completely agree. Sutter showed his offense two years ago, and his defense last year. This year he does both. Just needs to win some faceoffs. He still has not filled out his frame. Nothing but upside with Sutter.

Rutherford says Jeff Daniels has done great job in developing players in Charlotte. Thinks he will be NHL head coach in near future.

Rutherford said bringing Daniels up now to NHL assistant would hurt organization's player development, but, "his time will come"

Taken together with the other coaching quotes sounds like Mo this year, Daniels after that.

Rutherford says Dalpe is No. 1 candidate to make jump from AHL next season (at wing). Adds that he's playing hurt now.

Kind of answers my question from higher up. OK Dalpe is going to be moved to wing. He has a LOT of upside. This does make me really wonder if Boychuk and or Tlusty might end up as trade bait, especially if JR does the right thing and SIGNS JUSSI.

Rutherford: Skinner has character and work ethic to "keep going up the ladder" and improve on rookie year.

I'm going to end on the single biggest positive. This kid is clearly the real deal. The idea of him getting better is just mind blowing. If we have Staal at full speed, Cole back to his preinjury days, JUSSI THROWING down .8 ppts/game and near 30 goals, and Skinner at 30. Toss in a little Ruutu and Sutter and get one or two kids up and running (Dalpe, Boychuk?) and this team will have serious fire power.

Edited by remkin

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The more I watch Kesler this post-season, the more I think "that's what Brandon Sutter is going to be like in 2-3 years."

So... yeah. Long-term deal. Get it done, JR.

I agree with rem that Jussi over Stillman.

While I think we're making a mistake on Joni, I agree the D seems some kind of overhaul. But "going cheap" will hurt.

Love getting an experienced backup goalie.

I too read that Mo in 2011-2012, Daniels after that.

News break: Canes sign contracting deal to extend front-office facilities to make room for Francis, Stillman and likely Mo after 2011-2012 season ends. LOL.

I'm glad he wants to bring back Chad. Chad is Rad. :-) I agree that having both Chad and Dwyer is overkill. I think LaRose looked good once he was secure on the 3rd line. Leave him there. He is a more energetic Samsonov and can give you 15-20 goals alongside Sutter.

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I too read that Mo in 2011-2012, Daniels after that.

News break: Canes sign contracting deal to extend front-office facilities to make room for Francis, Stillman and likely Mo after 2011-2012 season ends. LOL.

Thats not what I read but I could be way off. Sounded more like Brind'Amour is the coach of the future for the Canes with Daniels being the bridge if needed. Jr said specifically that Daniels would be a good head coach but didn't say where, and he also said he'd rather him continue with the development of the younger players.

I would bet that if Maurice isn't working out by Christmas, Daniels gets promoted to finish the year which will get him NHL head coach experience while waiting for Brind'Amour also to develop as a coach. He's committed to coaching the Jr Hurricane AAA team so he'll get his feet wet there first.

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I think JR took all that time off to read these boards :). Nothing unexpected in all of this, except for the real possibility of losing Jussi. I agree with Remkin that a loss of Jussi would be a mistake.

I like that he wants more physical play from Gleason, where in his exit interview Gleason suggested Mo told him not to fight. Hmmm...

Filling the defender spot for Joni will be a hugh step, especially if he wants fewer goals against. Fixing special teams is the other shoe dropping, and breathing some fresh air into the PP starts with Ronnie going upstairs.

A really encouraging part was the discussion of resolving the ownership issue by adding a few local investors. I hope the group he mentioned settles that issue and gives JR some wiggle room to upgrade where needed.

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I think JR took all that time off to read these boards :). Nothing unexpected in all of this, except for the real possibility of losing Jussi. I agree with Remkin that a loss of Jussi would be a mistake.

I like that he wants more physical play from Gleason, where in his exit interview Gleason suggested Mo told him not to fight. Hmmm...

Filling the defender spot for Joni will be a hugh step, especially if he wants fewer goals against. Fixing special teams is the other shoe dropping, and breathing some fresh air into the PP starts with Ronnie going upstairs.

A really encouraging part was the discussion of resolving the ownership issue by adding a few local investors. I hope the group he mentioned settles that issue and gives JR some wiggle room to upgrade where needed.

I thought the comments about Gleason were interesting too since he was told not to play like that this past season. I also didn't get the impression that Maurice was being backed 100%, sounded more like he was saying he's done an adequate job and is a good answer through these few transition years. Jr did however put his full backing behind Daniels and especially Brind'Amour.

The Jussi, Pitkanen, Stillman, LaRose and Cole comments were all just posturing, the message was more for the players than us fans imo. We'll see who signs and who doesn't in a few weeks. I got a chuckle out of the message to Cole about the grass not being greener on the other side.

I'm also in the camp of doing what they can to keep Jussi. It took a couple of years

to fix losing Cullen over a few s, I'd hate to see that same mistake made again. I think JR can get this done.

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I'm beginning to wonder how many positions there are in the front office for former Canes. In addition to the guys already in the fold, there are several more knocking on the door. And you know how JR likes to keep the family together. :love:

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I'm beginning to wonder how many positions there are in the front office for former Canes. In addition to the guys already in the fold, there are several more knocking on the door. And you know how JR likes to keep the family together. :love:

You would think they'd run out of job titles for all the alumni at some point.

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One thing I don't think was mentioned in the press conference was the faceoff problem. Weren't we last place in faceoffs this year? Something needs to change down the middle - we need a true second line center. Will Skinner be ready for that?

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I agree with whoever said JR is sending messages to Jussi, Joni, Cole and Larose----and to some degree, Stillman.

And I think we all read our own impressions into what was said. This is my read.

Say what you want about Larose-----but he is like the little spark plug in the power mower. :)

JR, if you read these boards---I think it would be a mistake to let Jussi go. I think his versatility is worth

a lot and is hard to replace. He likes it here too. He was positive on his exit interview.

I think Cole, Larose and Sutter will be signed before July 1. (Hope the Juice is, too, even though I think JR

posturing right now. ) Pitkanen may be gone---because if he is not, how can you "restructure the defense"

of all the same guys are back ? I know we will not pay him what he may feel he is worth--or what he could

get on the open market.

Comments about Stillman having a year left in the tank and possibly moving into the organization when he retires

sounds a little like the deal he wanted to make last year with Whitney ? Yes ?

I expect we will see some more major coaching changes at the end of next year..

I like the idea of a veteran backup netminder for Cam. (And I read a hidden message to Mo--

" play him for 20 games" and stop riding Cam !! )

How does getting a fourth line center who is good at faceoffs improve us in that category in a

fourth line that plays four minutes?

So now we get to chew on all of this for six weeks and watch which RFA's and UFA's ink the deals.

PLEASE RE-SIGN JUSSI !

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I'm also in the camp of doing what they can to keep Jussi. It took a couple of years

to fix losing Cullen over a few s, I'd hate to see that same mistake made again. I think JR can get this done.

It could be argued that losing Cullen is still not fixed. grin.gif

Admittedly not a lot of points from Cullen last year, but he did win 56% of his face offs.

But back to point, assuming that JR will not possibly let Cole walk, and given the controversy around Joni, I do think that Jussi is the biggest indication of what the plan is. Jussi brings so much and has reliably put up points, and is our only playmaker assuming we don't sign Stillman. Just can't see JR replacing Jussi with another vet since guys like him make big bucks. Thus most likely if Jussi walks he gets replaced with Boychuk, or Dalpe. There is no indication that those guys are ready to put up .80 points per game like Jussi did 2 years ago, or .74 ppg Jussi put up in a very slow starting year last year. Add in his playoff prowess and how do you replace him?

Now, if JR finds that top line winger and losing Jussi makes room for that, fine, but none of his comments hint at that, and saying that the offense is fine and not wanting a "rental" (which I agree with) argues that JR is not planning on any big offensive pick ups. If true and he lets Jussi walk, then this team takes a step back up front.

If we can at least hold serve up front with our biggest point producers signed, then hope for some production from Tlusty, Boychuk, Dalpe. That would be improvement over LaRose/Dwyer in the top 9 (move them to the 4th line, add JR's 4th line center).

Then fix the defense and back up goalie and not get the schedule from heck, win a few face offs, and we'll get in.

I know that this is posturing by JR, but at least it's something to write about.

Sign Jussi.

Edited by remkin

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Who is the new Assistant Coach? Sounds like they are looking outside the organization, which is good to hear. Anyone have some names to toss around that fit "former NHL d-man who has coached d-men" (Chip's criteria)? Personally, I'd like to see Brindy there but if they were going that route I'd think they'd have said so today.

Well, I finally got a chance to watch a little of the video. When asked about replacing Francis, JR indicated he didn't want to go into details about one option but it would be a good one and set the team up for the next 3 to 5 years. Based on his comments later about Brindy, I'd have to think that's what he's considering, he may just need to convince Brindy to do it. Not sure where Chip came up with his criteria but it could be a red herring.

One name I have not heard from the final Canes roster is Troy Bodie, who's an RFA. I'd guess that's not a good sign, but maybe he was just overlooked?

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It could be argued that losing Cullen is still not fixed. grin.gif

Admittedly not a lot of points from Cullen last year, but he did win 56% of his face offs.

You are right about that----we never replaced losing him the second time. We played musical chairs

with the second line center position all last year. Would have made the playoffs, I am convinced, had we

relaxed our meager budget a little and kept Cullen.

Now we may be letting Jussi go--with his versatility, defensive skills and sniping ability. I am not

advocating spending to the cap----but this basement bottom mindset won't cut it. Sometimes you have

to pay for what you need. KEEP JUSSI ---JR-----PLEASE !!

Edited by UNCCaniac8

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I just had a chance to listen to JR's comments. Here's a few things that I took away from it.

On Ron Francis: How come since it was decided a long time ago that Francis would not stay behind the bench did he get behind the bench to begin with? Translation - "he sucked as a coach but we will never humiliate him in public by saying so. He's better and more valuable to the organization in the front office, and that's our story, and we are sticking to it."

On Mo: Don't screw up because we have somebody ready to take over.

On Brind'amour: Dang, those were some interesting comments, huh? Future GM or head coach?

On Cole: The grass isn't always greener outside of Raleigh. The checkbook is out.

On Pitkanen: We aren't paying the market price. If the market kicks your *edit*, then maybe we will take you back.

On Jokinen: See Pitkanen above.

On Stillman: Our answer to Jokinen when we go el-cheapo again and he signs elsewhere. I was really hoping he wouldn't be mentioned, but there you have it.

On LaRose: No matter how bad a year you have, you da man. Top 9 in 2011-12 anyone?

On Dwyer: The only move you will make is over to wing.

On Tlusty: Now viewed as a 4th liner, and another surgery (bombshell).

On our prospects: Dalpe is ready, will slide beside Ruutu and Skinner and replace Jokinen on the second line. Time for Boychuk to fish or cut bait (maybe even on another team).

On the offense: Except for our mystery fourth line center, it's looking like we could take a step back up front from last year.

On the defense: Gosh where do I start. McBain had surgery (another bombshell). And no praise at all for McBain. Nothing, nada. Gleason not mentioned as one of the core players as in the past. Everyone noticed the year he had I guess. He needs to slug more people going forward. But this is what get's me. "We are restructuring", which means we will take Pitkanen's salary and use some of that to replace him with somebody cheaper while keeping everyone else we had. Restructuring.

On the team: We are now officially "transitioning". No more "rebuilding". Core group consists of Staal, Ward, Sutter and Skinner.

But my favorite part of the JR interview were his comments dismissing our attempts to get bigger. Hilarious. Go back and listen to that part.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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