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No he wasn't, first half of last season he was getting beaten out for a spot by Sangs, then he got slotted in next to Pits because seemingly Pits only works well with McBain, but then when Pits went down he was back to getting beaten out for a spot by any number of our call ups. Pretty sure his top 4 slot with Maurice didn't last long either. He was a prospect projected to be top 4 worthy who wasn't developed poorly, no, but instead decided to be lazy with his conditioning and it showed, and with us needed to free salary to not just bring in missing pieces like a top 4 dman but to also make sure we can extend Faulk and Tlusty and him having really no place in the lineup he was going to be moved one way or another, we just happened to get Sekera to take his place.

 

For the first time in years we finally have four defenders who can comfortably play in the top 4, and if JR plays his cards right during free agency things should only go up from here.

I'll just say I disagree, he was a top-4 here in my opinion. Last year he fell out of his spot, but he usually played with Pitkanen before that. And Pitkanen is definitely not a third pairing guy.

 

On the defense though, I'm the most comfortable I've been in a long time with our top-4 looking like Pitkanen, Faulk, Sekera, Gleason. Only if Pitkanen stays healthy. And I believe there could be another defenseman to come here this off-season, like coastal said below this post. Although we haven't seen Sekera here yet, there have been a few dmen that came here in recent years that seemed like they'd fit in and fill a needed role and found their way out quickly.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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For the first time in years we finally have four defenders who can comfortably play in the top 4, and if JR plays his cards right during free agency things should only go up from here.

 

I'm also confident this won't be the last move on D. 

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I can't wait until Rask and Karlsson join the Canes and we put out our all Swedish line.

 

Karlsson - Rask - Lindholm

 

I think Rask could potentially make the team this upcoming season.  Karlsson has been impressive stat-wise but still needs more time.

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Karlsson is gonna have to put on some muscle...seems to be a talented kid though.  Rask should get a year in Charlotte to continue his development and then, look out. 

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Hi all, Just wanted to weigh in on the draft.

 

First, we drove up for the draft party at Rudino's, and were surprised that the turnout seemed way down from past 2 yrs. As usual, I came away diappointed because I've never been able to hear anything, and seem to miss out on the many facts being broadcast because the local broadcasters never know when to shut up! Also, with John Forsland absent, a vital component seemed to be lost!

 

2nd, I really, really was hoping to get Nich, but when Jones appeared to be miraculously dropping back to us, I was overjoyed! This made our choice of Lindholm somewhat anticlimatic, until Doug Wait sat down with on his way out and framed this pick in a different light. I'll throw this out for you to think on and possibly erase some of your disappointment also.

 

According to Doug, this kid is a very solid pick, and further seems to be the type of kid who expouses loyalty to a fault. Doug's take further was that in several years, if Nich was very successful, think how much $$ he'd command, and could the Canes have afforded him then? I guess this organization has to think in those types of long term projections, unlike the high income teams.

 

Guess that my biggest disappointment retrospectively was seeing Buffalo and Calgary each get 10 picks to only 5 for us. and further recalling how weak our back up system looked last year when injuries abounded! Seems like the hole we've dug is still a long ways from being filled.                                                                              As Always, Go Canes

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The day after. There is no question that on some levels this was a touch disappointing. We were thinking super elite big forward, or trade down and steal a really good dman or extra pick. I was hoping trade up and grab Jones.

So did JR boot it and what did we get and give?

I am mostly speculating on some of this other than JR quotes.

We did not interview Jones, so it must have been apparent that moving up one spot to get him was a no go, either not offered or would have pay dearly. So for the last time ever, two more meaningless losses...yet I know the team can't lay down and I know that issue is a loser for discussion. So Jones was so close, yet miles away.

So what of the trade down. Three words: Nichushkin blew it. The imagined grand overpay offers were obviously not going to roll in for a guy who ended up being valued at the #10 pick. But worse, NJ didn't seem to want him either and traded out of 9. Would teams have opened their pockets and spilled out overpayment to move up and get Bo Horvat? Well he went ahead of Nichuskin. And Vancouver traded a darned good goalie and then picked Horvat over Nich. Nich ended up going about where he was supposed to when it was thought he would not be available for 1-2 years. Clearly the offers to move up were now for Lindholm or Monahan or Nurse. And those offers were considerably less than our fantasies.

So, the pure top 4 and the all world dman are gone, and we are being offered small ball deals some of which asked for our forwards in return, or take Lindholm or Monahan or Nurse.

We need defense, so clearly JR had reservations about Nurse. And Monahan is a perfect JR type pick so either there were concerns, or JR and company really liked Lindholm significantly more than Monahan. If they were evenly rated, JR absolutely would have taken the bigger Canadian player. JR and company must really like Lindholm straight up.

So give the way things played out Lindholm was the right pick. There will be a ground swell of good feeling around here the more people read up on Lindholm. Back in Feb. he was the consensus #5 pick, and he moved up at the very end this year, presumably as people caught wind of the impending Nich fall. But mainly when people see this kid play there will be smiles.

I will say that I do not know Andrej Sekera any more than he knows me. But JR insists that he was on the short list of guys he wanted. (Way back he said that of Gleason (not saying they are alike)). I do know that he played #3 minutes in Buffalo, and was #3 in blocked shots. He is 27 w/ a very cap friendly contract. And on the back end of the ice he simply HAS to be a BIG improvement over McBain. Just not scoring on our own net will be an improvement. He was also a plus 12 over the past 3 years on team that was -13 over that same time period. Further, while he is discussed as a defensive defenseman, 2 of the past 3 years he has put up around .35 ppg including last year (.32). Gleason by comparison put up .21 ppg. Falulk .39. McBain...... .20 ppg. Yes, Jamie McBain, who offers Kaberle level defense was outscored by Tim Gleason. While Sekera may not be THE answer, he looks like a key piece to a defense that needs a couple of pieces.

Sekera>>>>>>>McBain.

I've been hard on McBain. To me McBain and Boychuk are the two biggest draft let downs since the cup. Both have shown flashes of promise, and both have just failed to deliver. McBain is as Coastal put it, the new Kaberle. He is the epitome of what we are trying to move away from. The guy was a healthy scratch showing up out of shape TWO years in a row. He could not cleanly beat out a struggling Sanguinetti. McBain better put up some points, because given the dmen Buffalo picked up, him even being in the NHL a year from now is a dicey proposition. In terms of the McBain part of this trade Buffalo should talk to Montreal cause JR just Kaberle'd them.

The one thing we dearly need we did not get. The future shut down 2 way top pairing dman. That is a big piece we still need to be a bonefide cup contender. (We could use some size and grit too, and a third line gritty guy who can score a little, and a non Peters back up goalie, but those pieces are much easier to find).

What we did do was basically solidify a group of forwards that have the potential to be the best in the league. I kid you not. If Lindstrom is ready for a solid third line role, we now have 7 seriously talented forwards:

Tlusty, E.Staal, Semin, Skinner, J.Staal, Ruutu, Lindstrom.

Go around the league and try to beat that top 7. There aren't many teams that are even in the conversation and if you want to find them, just look in the final 4 playoff teams.

Given that Nich freaked everyone out, we did about as well as we really could.

 

 

 

Edit: It will be really interesting to see what happens w/ Nich over the years. He will likely be a very good player, but does he go back to Russia? Is he a prima donna? Does he cause Dallas grief? Time will tell.

Edited by remkin

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Sekera is our "D" solution? I don't know anything about him nor even familiar with his name ... which doesn't necessarily mean much. Is this guy really an NHL caliber top-4 d-man or just Buffalo's top-4? The guy is 27 or 28 and only makes about $1.7M. Sounds like the old JR looking for bargain basement finds, hoping they become the next Subban or Suter.

 

Hope the Canes are still looking for a top d-man via trade (Coburn or Yandle) or FA (Hainsey)!!

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I am thinking we did a great job with Lindholm...right now, he is a more complete player than Nich.  The more I read, I like the pick that much more...leader, great motor, never takes a shift off, very responsible defensively, great hands...I can see this kid and Skinner making a very, very dangerous combination. 

 

"When thinking of Lindholm, consider the ultimate Swedish centre. Intelligent, creative, excellent skating ability, work ethic and 3 zone acumen."--Nigel Bradford Scouting Report...see below. 

 

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2013/NHL-Draft-Profiles/Elias-Lindholm

 

Compare that with Nich...star power, sure but can be selfish, needs to work on defensive play, needs to work on shot accuracy consistency is an issue...see below

 

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2013/NHL-Draft-Profiles/Valeri-Nichushkin

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The more I think about this the more I liked it. Granted I really wanted Barkov. But I am starting to see why we didn't pick Nis. If this guy can make the team and produce then it will pay dividends. I am hoping that he actually does play a physical game like some have stated.

I am liking the Sekera trade but I feel that we're not done yet. We still need a poer forward and a physical stay at home D man. I am just curious to see if Lind will make the team this season...

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World Junior under 20 highlights.

 

The high end hands and vision can be seen, but mainly I see a guy making plays all over the ice and definitely playing physical.

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looks like a pretty good 2 way player, at least from that clip. he also hits, and that is a major improvement to our team. he also is not afraid to get in the dirty areas :happydance:. we need that badly. we just found our third line center, i do believe.

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The consensus seems to be we got a pretty good player in Lindholm and upgraded our defense. Now we need to work on the 3rd and 4th line  in free agency and keep an eye out for a D-man  if the right deal falls.

 

I have a feeling we are looking for a 3rd line center. I think if Lindholm sticks he will be skating wing. With Rask still in our future mix and Ruu having three years left on his contract I think we are hoping Lindholm fills that future need. I look for Dwyer- New Center- Lindholm on 3rd line. If Lindholm sticks this season.

 

This is only a hunch. I gave up the crystal ball.

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For anyone who has a few minutes, this article offers some great insight as to the kind of defenseman Andrej Sekera is.  Really, really worth the read.  An excerpt:

 

.....I came across an interesting article in Hockey Prospectus about an introduction to "zone exits" - a new stat that is being tracked by bloggers in order to learn more and guage which teams and players are successful at breakouts. The data and findings are very preliminary, the sample size is small at about 200 total games, but I was surprised to see Sekera's name again amongst the leaders in zone exit success percentage.

 

Side note: in my opinion, one of the most interesting tidbits from the article was a quote from Coyotes' coach Dave Tippett:

 

I'll give you an example. We had a player that was supposed to be a great, shutdown defenseman. He was supposedly the be-all, end-all of defensemen. But when you did a 10-game analysis of him, you found out he was defending all the time because he can't move the puck. Then we had another guy, who supposedly couldn't defend a lick. Well, he was defending only 20 percent of the time because he's making good plays out of our end. He may not be the strongest defender, but he's only doing it 20 percent of the time. So the equation works out better the other way. I ended up trading the other defenseman."

 

To me, it sort of shows why Tippett is such a great coach and acts as an interesting look into his approach.....

 

 

http://nhlwhiteboard.blogspot.ca/2013/03/shift-stalker-andrej-sekera.html

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Great find Coastal.

 

I have to digest it more, but this line was telling:

 

Sekera is not going to be a #1 defenseman playing 30 minutes a night on the powerplay and penalty kill, but he is most certainly a top-4 defenseman on any team — likely a second-pairing or #3 on a truly good team.

 

Key piece and HUGE upgrade on McBain and removes a negative.

 

This is kind of the best one generally hopes for FROM a second rounder, and he's just hitting his peak.

Edited by remkin

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Like the pick I'm feeling better the more I find out about the player coming our way with the Sekera trade, but considering JR's quote:

 

“The urgency is not there as much because we got Sekera,” Rutherford said. “We’ll continue to look around.”

I just hope JR doesn't think now we got Sekera our defense is set at Pitkanen, Gleason, Sekera, Faulk, Harrison, Bellemore, Murphy. And that looking around means more than looking around.

 

EDIT: Ballard was waived today. Maybe if his cap hit wasn't 4.2 people would actually be interested.

The Vancouver Canucks have placed defenceman Keith Ballard on waivers.

The 30-year-old defenceman scored two assists in 36 games with the Canucks in 2012-13.

The move is not a precursor to a compliance buyout since the Canucks placed Ballard on conventional waivers and not the unconditional $100 waivers necessary to facilitate such a move.

Ballard is entering the fifth year of a six-year deal he signed with the Canucks prior to the 2009-10 season worth an average annual value of $4.2 million.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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It's crazy that somebody went to that length to analyze a "non-descript" player like Sekera, it really is an interesting read. This analysis could mean something, or it may mean nothing, but it certainly gives you a new/different way of looking at things. Personally I think there is something to it in the sense that it tries to apply a somewhat statistical analysis to things like instincts, anticipation, etc.. It takes a scientific approach to explaining what we think we see vs. what is actually happening.

If people don't want to read the whole thing, I think they should at least read the conclusion. If nothing else it should make people more excited/optimistic about the trade.

Here is part of it:

"His contract runs through 2014-15 with a cap hit of $2.75M, which is a great contract for the time being. By the time he hits UFA, I'd probably be pretty comfortable with him in the $3.5M-$5M range. Sekera is part of a newer class of defender — he possesses instincts, sense and reaction time that can't really be taught. Similar to players like Paul Martin or Dennis Seidenberg, it is an emerging "type" of defender that will and should be valued by teams — ones that can advance the puck and keep it out of their own zone as much as possible in order to increase their team's possession time. It's a departure from the archetype of big, bruising defenders that clear the front of the net without mercy and throw thunderous hip checks along the boards."

When I said we don't need big defensemen, just intelligent ones who know how to play the position, this is what I was talking about. Hopefully Sekera will be one of those guys here.

Edited by Kyrule

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And he puts up a decent number of assists for a non offensive dman. Dmen can get assists from pushing the puck up the ice. Decent chance he gets assists that way.

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This seems to fill Muller's system as well, he utilized stretch passing and playing the rush last season, evidently with the first line (Tlusty, Staal, Semin). Now we have an actual defenseman that can do it and not get injured every other game (i.e. Pitkanen) with better defensive ability I think our second and third lines are going to see a lot more offensive chances than last season.

 

I'd say Andrew Ference reminds me of that kind of defenseman as well, smart positionally and defensively but entirely capable of moving the puck up the ice successfully. I'd say that is our defense's biggest problem aside from lack of physicality. We had a real tough time last season in the beginning and the end with successfully controlling the puck and moving it out of our own zone. We seemed to turn it over often trying to make that up ice transition. 

 

I'd say I'm officially over the price it took to acquire him, Sekera not only fills a defensive need, but he will help correct a fundamental flaw in our system.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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I kinda forgot that the draft was this past Sunday, so early this morning I was getting all caught up. Anyways, I am pretty happy with the draft and trade. McBain clearly wasn't working out (evident by being called out by JR in the N&O) and we got a body to replace him Sekera, who seems to be an upgrade from McBain.

 

I don't know much about Lidholm but it looks like he will have a shot at making the team this year, and if not then one year is fine, he will get more time playing against one of the highest skilled leagues in Europe. Lets not forget that no one thought skinner was ready his rookie year either, so I think we will just have to wait and see on how our rookie camp and training camp go first. Clearly there is a spot for him too if he does, we got a handful of players that probably won't be back. Can play center and wing, a bit of skill and defense, compared to daniel alferdsson or even forsberg.

 

Bellemore signed to a 2-way contract, I think he gets a serious look next season too. He showed a lot of grit and skill that surprised a lot of us here.

 

Three long months to go...

 

:cry:

Edited by Ichigo-1

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:goodpost: This pretty much explains it.

 

Now I'm confused.  Weren't you saying that McBain was a top 4 guy?

 

I was saying that IF he was in the top 4, it was not that he WAS a top 4 guy, but that he was overslotted.

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