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I've never been shy in admitting that Ruutu has been one of my favorites from the day he arrived and still is.

 

He brings a physicality that few others do and he can put up points. He has a great attitude and love of the game.

 

That said......

 

I just don't see how JR picks an elite forward at #5, and fixes the defense this year without a trade. 

 

Sure JR says he'll find a guy shook lose by the dropping cap, and he may. But he also may not. FA's are a strange lot. There aren't that many good ones and they get a say in where they go, and we are not exactly heaven for defenseman. Even if we overpay (and we'll probably have to) Mr. Right might not want to come here.

 

So, assuming that FA doesn't work out. We'll need a trade. And you have to give to get. We are not trading Nash, Corvo, McBain, Dalpe, Bowman, and our 3rd round pick for a #1 Dmen. 8 first graders do not equal an 8th grader. So who do you give up?

 

If JR does as expected and picks an elite forward at #5, then we have 7 top 6 forwards. This would be nice if we had at least an average defense. Go with it. But we do not have anything close to an average defense. 

 

So who do you trade? If I rank our forwards 1-8 including Nichushkin (ha!), Ruutu is now #8. But does he fetch a top pair Dman? Maybe if someone wants McBain, or a prospect, or something to sweeten the pot.

 

E, J, Semin and Tlusty are untouchable to me. 

 

Skinner...well Luke trotted that out there...the concussions....hard to find linemates for him....but oh that talent and scoring and fun to watch quotient....but if Skinner could bring an honest return, a potential #1 dman still signed to some years....still Skinner is probably on the verge of a breakout year. This kid could put up 40 with slightly above average line mates. 

 

That leaves Ruutu as just about the only guy who could bring a return. If we signed a Cooke or a FA like that for physicality and still some skill, and we have our new draft pick forward....we'd be ok up front. 

 

We NEED defense. BAD. 

 

Bad enough to trade my favorite player? If that was the only way, yes.

 

We did go on that really nice run to the top of the division without Ruutu. 

 

I would hate for it to come to that though.

Edited by remkin

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Ruutu has a NMC. So he would have some say in matter. We also looked a little stronger and better when Ruu returned. Except for the first line we had big time scoring problems. Unless you are sure you can replace Ruu's scoring and hitting I would be very careful before I moved him. 

 

If we trade a top 6 I'm now convinced it would be Skinner but the return would need to very very very good.

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Ruutu is the best banger we have plus he has offensive skill. Next year he'll have two good hips, so I expect about 20 goals and a million hits from him on the 2nd line. If anything, we should look for another Ruutu-type for the 3rd line, ie: Ryane Clowe (my choice)....for heaven's sake not COOKE!

 

I think our top 6 will be better next year; or should I say the 2nd line with a full-time Ruutu. Bottom six is still an offensive question mark. But still defense is terrible in its execution, strength, and toughness.

 

If JR tries to trade for a top d-man, I think he'll have to move Skinner, Tlusty + another, or Ruutu... not that he would to do that. Maybe he will have to take a tough top 4 two-way or defensive d-man and maybe a bottom pair big man too. Perhaps JR can move use our offensive d-men for these lower eschelon of players, but not for a top d-man.

Edited by Bill_B

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I think its gonna be skinner. I think Rutherford was hinting at it. I believe we will end up doing a package deal of a skinner/mcbain for a really good dman. I sitll think we are gonna try and move pitkanen as well. My guess for bottom 6 is Nash/Dwyer are locks... everyone else I think we replace through Charlotte, and or trades. Our top 5 draft pick will replace skinners scoring in the next 2 years, but like I said in another board the top 5 draft pick will not have skinners bad habits because that pick has been playing hockey for many more years than skinner did. I like Skinner I do, but at the moment he is the odd man out, and I am not even sure if muller hockey works for him.

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I don't think we touch the top 6.  I agree if we did Skinner would bring the biggest return but I just can't see it.

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A huge mistake if we get  rid of skinner, he will haunt us for the rest of his career, BANK on it..

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The big issue as far as moving/bringin in personnel is carolina has a lot of really bad contracts.  Staal, Staal, Ruutu, Joni, Gleason, Ward, and arguably Semin are overpaid.  We have no room for era as far as salary (never thought i'd say that).  I honestly would try to add through free agency at this point.  There are some good defensemen there, and we're already stretched on offence, no need to compound the problem.

 

 

Also, i keep hearing Erik Johnson's name being mentioned.  Is that just wishful thinking or is he actually available?

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A huge mistake if we get  rid of skinner, he will haunt us for the rest of his career, BANK on it..

That's why if we do trade him, it has to be out West. But I hope we leave the top 6 alone.

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The big issue as far as moving/bringin in personnel is carolina has a lot of really bad contracts.  Staal, Staal, Ruutu, Joni, Gleason, Ward, and arguably Semin are overpaid.  We have no room for era as far as salary (never thought i'd say that).  I honestly would try to add through free agency at this point.  There are some good defensemen there, and we're already stretched on offence, no need to compound the problem.

 

 

Also, i keep hearing Erik Johnson's name being mentioned.  Is that just wishful thinking or is he actually available?

When I mentioned Johnson ($3.4M) and O'Brien ($2M), it was just assuming the Avs will draft Jones and want to move some defense. Both these guys are big and tough, with Johnson being the much better player but has two bad years in a row. Plus Johnson seems to have the injury bug like Joni! The Denver papers were really on his case about what disappointment he's been but nothing hinted from the Avs ... they may listen iif JR called though.

Edited by Bill_B

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Also, i keep hearing Erik Johnson's name being mentioned.  Is that just wishful thinking or is he actually available?

 

Just pure speculation as they have 8 NHL Dmen on contract for next season.  They may draft Jones and they have a NHL ready Dman in the system.  Thats 10 guys.  It only makes sense that they will have to trade some dudes and Johnson has never lived up to expectations. He could be available.

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I think our only hope is trades,becuase I doubt we are going to get any decent FA to sign here after the last 4 seasons,I mean what is JR and PK going to say when a top Dman says he wants a cup,"We might get to the playoffs one day" ?

 

I believe in this team,but we just dont have enough reasons for FA's to want to play here

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Just want to give an official 'atta-boy' shout-out to Patrick Dwyer for his outstanding season.  He finished with 8g 8a, almost matching his best season for scoring (8g 10a in '10-11) with only half a season's game count.  He had a great 2013.

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Erik Johnson probably has the best value as far as salary in the nhl.  If colorado was dumb enough to trade him, i'd hunt JR down if he didn't try to get him.

Johnson's performance has not met early hype. Couple of bad knee injuries and then a concussion this year have limited his accomplishments. As I mentioned previously, the Denver press has been down on him ... at least for his lack of offensive output. When the Avs take Jones, they are going to have a boatload of D under contract. For the Canes, I like Johnson for his big body, skating, toughness, and defense. Offense is just a big plus.

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I think our only hope is trades,becuase I doubt we are going to get any decent FA to sign here after the last 4 seasons,I mean what is JR and PK going to say when a top Dman says he wants a cup,"We might get to the playoffs one day" ?

 

I believe in this team,but we just dont have enough reasons for FA's to want to play here

You are probably right about a UFA. But that may be true for a trade too. We need to trade for a top defenseman and these high-end candidates will probably have some form of NTC, ie: Johnson, Seabrook, Coburn, etc.

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Just want to give an official 'atta-boy' shout-out to Patrick Dwyer for his outstanding season.  He finished with 8g 8a, almost matching his best season for scoring (8g 10a in '10-11) with only half a season's game count.  He had a great 2013.

 

Truth.

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I don't think we should really worry about our top-6. Even with drafting an elite forward at 5th, Muller has said several times he thinks a third line is the most important part of a hockey team. So that would only make our most important part better, with a guy in Skinner, Ruu, or the drafted player slotting into the third line and immediately improving it, along with our depth.

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Hey guys, new poster here.  I've been trying to get an account setup here forever now but has some difficulties.  All is well now and I'm able to post.

 

Anyways, I've enjoyed reading what you guys have had to say about what the team should do this offseason and I agree with the majority.

 

I really hope the team doesn't move Skinner to the 3rd line.  The top 6 should not be touched. Skinner was one of our better players (if not the best) down the stretch and I'd feel more comfortable pairing him with higher talent that'd be offered on the 2nd line. He also had a very strong start to the season but struggled in the middle of the year (which had a lot to do with the concussion). Having Ruutu back in form was huge help and I see that carrying over into next season.  I love the versatility offered on that line and would like to give them more time together in order to develop some chemistry.  It could be something special.

 

I also want to quickly touch on the Skinner trade talk.  This would be the most idiotic thing the team could do.  You do NOT trade a 20 year old superstar who hasn't even come close to reaching his prime.  Skinner will win a cup (maybe multiple) in his career and it'd be a shame to watch him do so for another organization.  

 

Moving on, the bottom 6 may need an overhaul. Nash showed some promise as the 3rd line center and I think he's earned his spot there for next season.  Dwyer and Dalpe were also impressive but I wouldn't feel comfortable with a Dwyer/Nash/Dalpe line due to the lack of physicality.  This is where the draft pick comes into play.  A guy like Nichushkin would be great for our 3rd line. Nichushkin is a big, physical forward who would be a great fit with Nash and Dwyer.  This would still leave the team without a true checking line but I think this could be addressed with the 4th line.  I love Westgarth and Wallace but I have a feeling one will be gone.  Making room for those 2 along with Dalpe, Bowman, Brent, Blanchard, Welsh, and possibly Jared and Terry could be a nice battle in camp.  Not sure how everything will play out in the bottom 6 but I do think we have some nice talent to work with.  Rask has been looking great but I wouldn't feel comfortable starting the season with him.  Give him some time in Charlotte and see how he does before bringing him up.  And it looks like LaRose is gone.  I'm fine with that.

 

 

Tlusty / E Staal / Semin

Skinner / J Staal / Ruutu

Nichushkin / Nash / Dwyer

Westgarth / ?? / ??

 

As far as the defense is concerned, I really have no idea what JR has planned.  Faulk, Harrison, Gleason are safe but after that anything could happen.  I really hope Bellemore makes the team as he's earned his spot.

 

Faulk / Gleason

??? / ???

Harrison / Bellemore

Murphy

 

Joni could stay but he could also be nice trade bait.  However, his injury and salary may scare teams away. I like MAB but I think Murphy offers a lot of the same.  I'd like to see Murphy come in the D rotation at some point in the season. Some time in Charlotte initially may be beneficial. 

Edited by TheFaulker

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Here are some potential UFA defensemen this year:

Sergei Gonchar - 5.5m - 39 years old -> Could help PP, old though

Tom Poti - 2.875m - 36 years old -> Experienced two-way defender

Doug Murray - 2.5m - 33 years old -> Big, Physical defender

Anton Babchuk - 2.5m - 29 years old ->  :twilight-zone: 

Ron Hainsey - 4.5m - 32 years old -> Smooth skating reliable dman

Cam Barker - 700k - 27 years old -> Big shot could help PP

Andrew Ference - 2.250m - 34 years old -> All around defenseman, reliable

Adrian Aucoin - 2.250m - 39 years old -> Experienced, hits hard, but aging

Michal Roszival - 2m - 34 years old -> Once a puck mover, now a solid defensive dman

Adam Pardy - 2m - 29 years old ->Hard hitter

Ryan O'Byrne - 1.8m - 28 years old -> BIg body, hard hits, crease clearer

Robyn Regher - 4.020m - 33 years old -> Same

Mark Fistric - 1.475m - 27 years old -> Fairly young, reliable dman does what is ask of him

Mark Streit - 4.1m - 35 years old -> Leadership, puck moving ability, skates well, aging

Rob Scuderi - 3.4m - 34 years old -> Solid defenseman, experience and leadership qualities

Andrew Alberts - 1.225m - 32 years old -> Recycle Rutherford may take a look, hits hard but takes dumb penalties

Ryan Whitney - 4m - 30 years old -> Struggled to play up to contract post-Anaheim days, but has played well lately

Scott Hannan - 1m - 34 years old -> decent size, affordable, and hits hard

Steve Eminger - 750k - 29 years old -> Cheap, younger, depth

Toni Lydman - 3m - 35 years old ->  Aging but worth a look

Jordan Leopold - 3m - 32 years old -> Disappointing season for Buffalo, can still move the puck and good on PP

 

Here's some forwards that could help our bottom 6 (most should get pay-cuts)

Centers:

Tim Connolly - 4.75m - 32 years old -> Never going to get a contract that big again, disappointed in TO

PIerre Marc-Bouchard  - 4m - 29 years old -> Want offense in your third line? Some noise in the locker room?

Matt Cullen - 3.5m - 36 years old -> Recycle Rutherford may want to consider this guy. Watching him this post-season, we could use work ethic like that

Jerred Smithson - 800k - 34 years old -> An experienced guy who isn't afraid to do the less rewarding jobs

Kyle Chipchura - 675k - 27 years old -> I just like his name ;)

 

Wingers:

John Scott - 600k - 30 years old -> (6'8'' 270lbs) Huge, fights, sticks up for teammates

Ruslan Fedotenko - 1.75m - 34 years old -> Smart, plays well with limited minutes, PKer

Ryane Clowe - 3.625m - 30 years old -> Big, hits, stands up for teammates, contributes offensively

Raffi Torres - 1.75m - 31 years old -> A pest who you'd be happy is on your team and can chip in offensively

Jody Shelley - 1.1m - 37 years old -> Aging, but definitely knows how to fight and stick up for team

Vinny Prospal - 2.5m - 38 years old -> Aging, but still has offensive abilities and brings experience. Could spark some secondary scoring

Lennart Petrell - 825k - 29 years old -> Not many know who this guy is, but Edmonton fans do. Excellent penalty killer, and scored a few pretty short handed goals

Mike Knuble - 750k - 41 years old -> old, may retire, but could add experience in the locker room and instill some work ethic

Brandon Yip - 750k - 28 years old -> Love his name, would be a good depth bottom-6 player

Colton Orr - 1m - 31 years old -> May be a little dirty, but sticks up for teammates and hits hard

Kyle Wellwood - 1.6m - 30 years old -> The guy we should have signed last year for our third line center.

David Clarkson - 2.666m - 29 years old -> Pipe dream, but a man is allowed to dream.

Craig Adams - 675k - 36 years old -> Recycle Rutherford has another candidate for recycling. And his old spot is open

Tom Kostopoulos - 600k - 34 years old -> Did I mention Recycle Rutherford? His spot is open is well.

Matt Cooke - 1.8m - 34 years old -> Dirty player, but physicality and the idea to stick up for team is valuable

Pascal Dupuis - 1.5m - 34 years old -> May walk if Malking and Letang leave not enough room capwise. Reminds me of a more skilled LaRose. Most likely will get money thrown at him though.

 

Anyone you guys are eyeballing?

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Clarkson is a guy I'd love to bring in but I think a team will overpay for him. He had impressive numbers this year but he's not that great of a skater. Someone will pay him top 6 money even though he belongs on the 3rd line (not a bad thing).

I also like Kyle Wellwood.

I think Murray is a realistic option on defense considering we were rumored to be interested in him around the trade deadline. I'd be a fan of bringing him in.

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I like the idea of bringing in Doug Murray as well.

 

Surprisingly I think Craig Adams could be a decent recycle for JR at the salary he's at. Could use the experience.

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Think we need to trade for at least a quality d-man. We can't have 10 d-men under contract ... sarcasm!! Really, we'll need to make cap room, even if JR only goes for one quality big guy. Murray or O'Byrne would be good option for a 2nd d-man that is big, strong, and physical. Thought I heard Murray chose Pitt over the Canes at the trade deadline ... may have been just supposition.

 

As for an edgy forward, I have always liked Ryane Clowe,

Edited by Bill_B

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Think we need to trade for at least a quality d-man. We can't have 10 d-men under contract ... sarcasm!! Really, we'll need to make cap room, even if JR only goes for one quality big guy. Murray or O'Byrne would be good option for a 2nd d-man that is big, strong, and physical. Thought I heard Murray chose Pitt over the Canes at the trade deadline ... may have been just supposition.

 

As for an edgy forward, I have always liked Ryane Clowe,

No, we made a pitch for Murray then Ray Shero came in and outbid us.

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I also want to quickly touch on the Skinner trade talk.  This would be the most idiotic thing the team could do.  You do NOT trade a 20 year old superstar who hasn't even come close to reaching his prime.  Skinner will win a cup (maybe multiple) in his career and it'd be a shame to watch him do so for another organization.  

He's also one more concussion away from never having a prime.  If we're going to get better, we need to at least see if we can either:

1. Find someone to defend him from being a punching bag every single game.

or

2. See what we can get for him on the open market while he still has significant value.

 

So far, JR has refused to do #1.

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