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No one on the Rags is playing well.  And I think it's because of Tort's system.  He is a bad coach.

 

Paying #3 mil per for Richards is a good deal considering what he is capable of doing.

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If he was still capable, he would be playing. He's lost at least a step, and he wasn't that fast to begin with. Phil Esposito says he looks hesitant, and when you hesitate,your are done. Phil has seen him play since he was in Tampa, so he should know.I can't remember Tort's system in Tampa, but I would have to believe it was similar to the system he was using now. Richards had great success playing for Torts in Tampa, but seems to have lost it in NY. I agree that getting him at a good price would be good if he was still capable, but he seems to have no impact when he can get some ice time.

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If he was still capable, he would be playing. He's lost at least a step, and he wasn't that fast to begin with. Phil Esposito says he looks hesitant, and when you hesitate,your are done. Phil has seen him play since he was in Tampa, so he should know.I can't remember Tort's system in Tampa, but I would have to believe it was similar to the system he was using now. Richards had great success playing for Torts in Tampa, but seems to have lost it in NY. I agree that getting him at a good price would be good if he was still capable, but he seems to have no impact when he can get some ice time.

I'd have to disagree with you there. He is getting older but by no means is on the way out. First off he is in NY where star players get huge contacts which in turn generate unrealistic expectations. Jagr, Drury, Redden are just some recent examples. Also Torts system has changed over time. Tampa ws a completely differently built team. A system where Brad Richards was surrounded by more skill and finesse players rather than speed and physicality was where he shined, and won a Conn Smythe. He's on a defensive team and the one skill and finesse guy they had in Gaborik was recently traded (mark that name down on the list of fallen NYR stars). Torts is notorious for throwing players under the bus, but hasn't anyone wondered why such skilled and highly paid players keep getting tossed under the bus by him? He's bad at managing ice time and working players through ruts. Be glad we have Muller. Eric was spiraling downward hard and after adding Kirky he's been better than before his rut. If Torts was our coach he'd be trying convincing the organization to move him rather than work with him through his problems like Muller did.

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Anyone seeing what the RedWings are doing this playoffs?  It is very impressive.

 

To me, it comes down to a few things:

- Excellent coaching

- Stratospheric talent scouting and evaulation

- Player development

- Veteran leadership and succession

 

 

There's about 22 other teams and fan bases out there that are probably wondering what we are: "Why can't my team be like that?"  The others just "think" their team has it already.  :)

 

But look at the Canes:

- Coaching: jury still out.  This season will say a lot.  Many of us are concerned about the assistants.

- Scouting/drafting/evaluation: hit or miss.  Look at what the Wings do year after with with 20+ as their first pick.  Crazy good

- Player development: I'm no hocky expert, but I have a bad feeling about this.  Not sure how we are developing the guys "in the system"

- Veteran leadership/succession: on succession, did good with Francis to Brindy, but it was forced by the lockout.  Management was awkward with the Brindy to Staal transition.  As for Staal and the others recognized as leaders: apparently they are "quiet".  Hmmmmm.

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- Stratospheric talent scouting and evaulation

- Player development

 

These are the two areas that the deep pocket teams have a huge advantage over the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Salary cap doesn't factor in to those areas and a team like Detroit makes hay off of cherry picking talent in the later rounds and developing them.  They started this about a generation ago and it culminated with the Red Army in the 90s.  They just keep filling the pipeline.

 

Don't worry, Mo is no longer coaching in Mother Russia and is available to be our next European scout.  Due to the Hurricanes Job for Life program, it has to happen.

Edited by super_dave_1

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HI AWACSooner, When I read this, I assume that you are joking? Don't think either would be interested in a backup roll.On another note, I hope you Have no family in Oklahoma, but if so, I pray they are okay!

Hence the ;)

 

My wife's family lives in Norman, just south of Moore.  It missed our house by 3 miles.  But I have lots of friends who lost their homes, some of whom are currently deployed.

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But I have lots of friends who lost their homes, some of whom are currently deployed.

 

 

That must be a terrible position to be in, wanting to go home and unable to do so.

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Hence the ;)

 

My wife's family lives in Norman, just south of Moore.  It missed our house by 3 miles.  But I have lots of friends who lost their homes, some of whom are currently deployed.

Though it's not considered to be "politically correct" nowadays, my PRAYERS are with your friends and family.  It's times like these when one remembers what's really important in life.

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Thanks man...it sucks big time that we now live over here and there's nothing I can do to help my friends back in the states.

 

Anywho...back to the Canes.  Some of the talking heads brought up an interesting point about Brad Richards.  IF (and that's a huge if, cause I give it a .304969% chance of happening) he gets bought out by the Rags this summer, or is used as trade bait for only $3 mil per season cap it, would we take a chance?  I'd be willing to trade for him and Marc...but NOT if it includes Skinner.

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Thanks man...it sucks big time that we now live over here and there's nothing I can do to help my friends back in the states.

 

Anywho...back to the Canes.  Some of the talking heads brought up an interesting point about Brad Richards.  IF (and that's a huge if, cause I give it a .304969% chance of happening) he gets bought out by the Rags this summer, or is used as trade bait for only $3 mil per season cap it, would we take a chance?  I'd be willing to trade for him and Marc...but NOT if it includes Skinner.

 

We'd have to give up something big to land Richards AND Marc.  Ruutu has a NTC, the Staals and Semin aren't moving, and Skinner is most likely off limits as well.  What could we possibly offer?

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We'd have to give up something big to land Richards AND Marc.  Ruutu has a NTC, the Staals and Semin aren't moving, and Skinner is most likely off limits as well.  What could we possibly offer?

 

I still don't buy that Skinner is unmovable. I think it's not likely JR moves Skinner unless it's a really, really appealing deal, but I think the list of untouchables ends with Faulk, not Skinner.

Edited by Blinding

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As much as I'd hate to see Skinner moved, if it would help bring in a solid dman, then so be it.  The Canes can score goals without him.  They proved that.  The problem arose when the defense got extra-weak and the goals were scored against.

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I'm not sure how we proved that we can score goals without Skinner.  In my opinion, we were pretty thin as far as goal scorers are concerned.  The top line produced, the second line would occasionally, and after that we had almost nothing.  By moving Skinner for a top dman, we'd be filling one hole while enlarging another.  

 

I know JR has said he plans on bringing in another forward with the #5 pick but we can't assume that guy will come in and be a superstar right away.  Also, he'd be under so much pressure to put up huge numbers right away if he saw the team trade away a 21-year old with as much talent as Skinner so early in his career.  I don't think that'd be good for a rookie.  It'd be putting the expectations very high right away.

 

Adding a guy like Nich or Drouin to our current offense is what the team needs.  It'd provide scoring depth.  The staff would be able to spread some talent throughout the lines rather than having top heavy lines.  As far as the defense is concerned, there will be a way to bring in a difference maker without having to give up one of our promising stars.  As cool as it'd be to have another Staal, Marc isn't the only answer.  There will be some other names popping up as we get into the summer and FA.  

Edited by TheFaulker

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We'd have to give up something big to land Richards AND Marc.  Ruutu has a NTC, the Staals and Semin aren't moving, and Skinner is most likely off limits as well.  What could we possibly offer?

Joni, McBain, and a bag of pucks for Marc and Richards...seems fair enough for me...hee hee

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^^ I know you're only joking but others have brought up packaging Joni and/or McBain for Marc.  I don't see that working because, as far as I'm concerned, the NYR are pretty set on D.  Trading away a stud for 2 fillers wouldn't be doing them any good.  They need goal scorers.  And we don't have any to offer (well, any that we want to give up).  Sadly, I'm pretty much giving up on Marc being in a Cane uniform this upcoming season via trade.  That scenario will have to wait two more seasons and then we can make an offer in FA. 

 

The only way we get him in a trade would be next summer when NYR go to him about an extension.  If he plays the same card as Jordan, the team won't have a choice if they want something out of him leaving.  The NYR would expect the same deal we gave Pitt when acquiring Jordan.  1st round pick, prospect, young (or roughly same age as Marc) replacement. 

Edited by TheFaulker

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Defense is our big concern but goal scoring isn't without concern. In 1/3 of our games we scored 2 or fewer goals.  In many games we had one line and done.  J & Skinner had a so-so season. J is steady enough and Skinner had times where he looked like the Skinner we expect.

 

We need to fix the third and fourth line  and get a veteran D- man but I don't see us giving up Skinner to do that. I don't think we have to. Complicating the process is Pitkanen's injury. I can't imagine he could be moved before Nov. I think we will be looking at a 3 million dollar man to pick up on D. McBain is the most likely trade candidate.

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Skinner is a unique talent. This year was a strange one for the entire team and none more than Skinner. In many ways this should have been his breakout year. But the lockout, the head injury issues, the second line funk, J.'s issues, the team's lack of defense, all figured into a setback year. At times he showed signs of a more rounded game, but it just didn't come together.

 

This is still a guy who can score 40 goals in this league and there aren't many of those out there. Ironically we have 4 guys who could do that and possibly 5 after the draft. That is really a pretty crazy amount of elite talent for one team considering that the last full year there were only 4 guys total in the NHL to score 40, and 5 the year before.

 

But back to Skinner. This next year is going to be his breakout year. Last thing any GM wants to do is trade a guy and watch him break out the next year. Plus on the very very outside chance we get Drouin, I can imagine him and Skinner driving defenses batty. 

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The NYR would expect the same deal we gave Pitt when acquiring Jordan.  1st round pick, prospect, young (or roughly same age as Marc) replacement. 

So given the price we paid for Jordan, and how it worked out for both parties, I'm thinking JR says "Are you kidding?" and waits for Marc to become a UFA.

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Skinner is a unique talent. This year was a strange one for the entire team and none more than Skinner. In many ways this should have been his breakout year. But the lockout, the head injury issues, the second line funk, J.'s issues, the team's lack of defense, all figured into a setback year. At times he showed signs of a more rounded game, but it just didn't come together.

 

This is still a guy who can score 40 goals in this league and there aren't many of those out there. Ironically we have 4 guys who could do that and possibly 5 after the draft. That is really a pretty crazy amount of elite talent for one team considering that the last full year there were only 4 guys total in the NHL to score 40, and 5 the year before.

 

But back to Skinner. This next year is going to be his breakout year. Last thing any GM wants to do is trade a guy and watch him break out the next year. Plus on the very very outside chance we get Drouin, I can imagine him and Skinner driving defenses batty. 

I suspect a lot of "strangeness" of Skinner's year had to do with how he was used. Whether this was because it is Muller's philosophy, or was just a result of personnel, the second line was the "shut down" line this season, unlike in previous years when that would have been the third line.

 

Over the past three years, Skinner has gone from getting the most offensise zone starts (among 'Canes forwards playing 20+ games) as a rookie, to second most last season, to middle of the pack (5th of 11) this season. He has gone from playing against easier competition (8th strongest out of 14 as a rookie and 9th out of 12 last season) to playing against the strongest competiton this season, second only to Jordan Staal.

Throw in the other factors this season - the lockout, new linemates, trying to modify his style of play to reduce the concussion concerns, and it is not surprising that he struggled a bit.

Next season will be interesting. It sounds like the lines will be used in a similar manner, with just some tweeks regarding the personnel. This is why Muller referred to making Skinner a "plus player" by moving him to the third line - he would play against weaker competition on the third line, and be given more offensive opportunities. The other option is for Skinner to become better defensively and stay on the second line. Although if that comes at the expense of his offense, is it worth it?

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It would seem ideal for every player to be plus player. If you are offensive then assuming you get some points 5 on 5, you get all the pluses that you score, thus you don't have to be an awsome defensive forward to at least be plus assuming your team, defense, goalie, are good defensively.

 

BUT guys like Skinner need to be offensive players first. That's his thing. That's why he gets the big bucks and Pat Dwyer does not. Being a two way player is the goal, but scoring is a must.

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Exactly. But on the second line, as it was used, it was difficult for Skinner to be a plus player. He had to devote more energy than in the past two seasons to playing defense, since he was playing against stronger competition, and he was playing less minutes in the offensive zone, so it was harder for him to get points.

The role of the second line changed, so it is not the same fit for him as it was the last two seasons. It is no longer an offense first line. To play to his strengths, he needs to be on the third (or first) line, the way the lines are constructed now.

 

Edited to add:

t may well be that once Muller gets the personnel he wants on the bottom 6, that less defensive responsibility will fall to the second line. Although I would think that they will still want to work towards Jordan's strengths as well, which may keep it more defensively minded than second lines we have seen in the past.

Edited by InvisibleCane

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Jeff O'Neill never fails to make an *edit* of himself.

 

The first round was a better matchup then this, Matthias got lucky and really for all intensive purposes doesn't make much of a move.

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