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Spezza is older, smaller, more fragile, and has produced less than Eric Staal on better teams. I get we are all down on Eric (and he deserves it right now), but let's remember he has been one of the better centers in the game for the last 8 season. Just go to the 2003 draft class page on hockeydb and sort through the various stats. Staal leads in games played, points, and goals. He is 2nd in assists to Getzlaf who has played with significantly better goal scorers on his wings. That list has the affore mentioned Getzlaf, in addition to Vanek, Perry, Parise, Bergeron, Richards, Carter, Horton, Brown, Pavelski, Michalek, Eriksson, Kesler, and many more. He is at the top of the best draft class in a generation. I don't think I would dump him for the super talented, but oft injured Spezza. Ron Francis knows a thing or two about big talented centers. Let's see what he can do to compliment that skill set...starting by finding the right coach!

Edited by cclifford10

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cclifford10, I appreciate your perspective and am in full agreement with it!! While Eric was somewhat less than spectacular last year, I still maintain that the off season injury he sustained was a factor in that problem. No way do I exchange Eris Staal for Jason Spezza, not  with any additional inducement.

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Ugh, Eric Staal trade talk is just silly.   He is the only guy to score 70 plus points on this team for 7 or 8 straight seasons!  Not even Ronny or Rod used to score 70 plus points in seasons they were our heroes.  They used to put up 55-65 points.   Every player has a couple of "under acheiving" years in his career and this was Eric's .  Its up to him to work his butt off this summer and come back with a new coach and new fire under him and put up 80plus points, I think he will do it.  I'd much rather take that chance than trade him for what??

 

And lets not forget he was on pace for 100 points the lockout year.  (58points in 48 games).  I'm gonna blame the teams under performing players  on Muller this year and believe that our extremely talented group of core players will be back on their game with a new coach next year.

Edited by danimal-ch1

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On pace always bothers me. It just seems like a limited view of someone's performance. I'm sure that if you were to look at random players and use a sample from most seasons, you could make the same argument, " on pace" for any number of factors. Just think if we were paying players " on pace", the sports agents would be the worlds happiest people.

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On pace always bothers me. It just seems like a limited view of someone's performance. I'm sure that if you were to look at random players and use a sample from most seasons, you could make the same argument, " on pace" for any number of factors. Just think if we were paying players " on pace", the sports agents would be the worlds happiest people.

 

Interesting, stats don't lie.  if it was a regular season we would have had 34 more games to go, Obviously Eric was feeling good and playing good so I think its pretty legit to say he would have put up at least another 25 points in 34 games which would have given him 84points.  Thats if he slumped and slowed down.   If he would have kept up the "pace" he would have been over 90points.   Thats the only way to really compare a lockout season to a full season IMO.  

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It's certainly plausible Eric could have gotten 84 points but that team was nose diving hard and we were lucky to not have to sit through 34 more games of disappointment. However even when this team slumps Eric does still put up points. So 84 remains plausible.

 

That nose dive was so bad it went into the following season.

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Yes, that was the beginning of the end, we started out so well in lockout season than tanked really bad.  It was so bad it looked like they were purposely trying to lose to get the coach fired.   All passion for the game gone and everyone playing lazy and nervous.

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At the end of the day, one ends up using a cliche like "at the end of the day". 

 

OK, so when it all boils down, dang, another one....when all is said and done....

 

 

With E.'s stock at an all time low, and J's stock right there with him, and both guys w/ NTC's. And E. having at least in recent memory (lock out year) gotten seemingly back on track offensively and at least having long periods where the plus/minus was better, the smart play is to keep both Staals at this point, and that is clearly the plan. The new coach's job essentially, is to get both Staals on track. 

 

I've been harder on E. last year than I've ever been. He simply did not get it done. But we're in a position where trying to offload both Staals would return far less than either guy's potential upside. If these guys both find their game under a new coach/GM, this team could turn it around on a dime. Imagine the E/Semin/Tlusty line finding it again. Remember Semin was playing w/ a bad wrist last year. 

 

Now that the GM and coach will have been changed, it is obvious that the brother's Staal are not going anywhere. 

 

I do wonder if J. liked Bylsma, and he became available.....if that might play a role in that decision.

I have no idea if coaching was part of it, but under Bylsma, for his last two years, including the playoffs, Jordan rang in at .79 ppg. His last two years under Muller went from .65 ppg year one, to .49 ppg last year.

 

Just saying. 

 

I don't know if this pushes us towards Bylsma if he is available and wants the job or not.

 

But I do know that J. has regressed from numbers he has already proven he can achieve. I know he has been given a checking responsibility, but he was doing that in Pittsburgh and two years ago here as well. 

 

It has not worked to take a guy who could produce 65-70 points as a two way player and pay him to score, and then put him w/ marginal wingers and tell him to focus on a shut down role. We already had one of the best around at that, the guy we traded for him. If the need was a pure shut down second line center, we could have kept our #8 draft pick, Brian Doumalin, and a ton of cap room and just stuck w/ Sutter.

 

The new GM and coach need to find wingers to play with J. that have second line scoring chops. Gerbe doesn't quite cut it, and Dwyer isn't even in the neighborhood. But Jordan is. He can put up 70 points with the right wingers. And that would make a huge difference.

Edited by remkin

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At the end of the day, one ends up using a cliche like "at the end of the day". 

 

OK, so when it all boils down, dang, another one....when all is said and done....

 

 

With E.'s stock at an all time low, and J's stock right there with him, and both guys w/ NTC's. And E. having at least in recent memory (lock out year) gotten seemingly back on track offensively and at least having long periods where the plus/minus was better, the smart play is to keep both Staals at this point, and that is clearly the plan. The new coach's job essentially, is to get both Staals on track. 

 

I've been harder on E. last year than I've ever been. He simply did not get it done. But we're in a position where trying to offload both Staals would return far less than either guy's potential upside. If these guys both find their game under a new coach/GM, this team could turn it around on a dime. Imagine the E/Semin/Tlusty line finding it again. Remember Semin was playing w/ a bad wrist last year. 

 

Now that the GM and coach will have been changed, it is obvious that the brother's Staal are not going anywhere. 

 

I do wonder if J. liked Bylsma, and he became available.....if that might play a role in that decision.

I have no idea if coaching was part of it, but under Bylsma, for his last two years, including the playoffs, Jordan rang in at .79 ppg. His last two years under Muller went from .65 ppg year one, to .49 ppg last year.

 

Just saying. 

 

I don't know if this pushes us towards Bylsma if he is available and wants the job or not.

 

But I do know that J. has regressed from numbers he has already proven he can achieve. I know he has been given a checking responsibility, but he was doing that in Pittsburgh and two years ago here as well. 

 

It has not worked to take a guy who could produce 65-70 points as a two way player and pay him to score, and then put him w/ marginal wingers and tell him to focus on a shut down role. We already had one of the best around at that, the guy we traded for him. If the need was a pure shut down second line center, we could have kept our #8 draft pick, Brian Doumalin, and a ton of cap room and just stuck w/ Sutter.

 

The new GM and coach need to find wingers to play with J. that have second line scoring chops. Gerbe doesn't quite cut it, and Dwyer isn't even in the neighborhood. But Jordan is. He can put up 70 points with the right wingers. And that would make a huge difference.

Amen Brother!!

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This whole notion of expecting Jordan Staal to be something he's not just sets up people for disappointment and misplaced expectations.

 

He's a defense-first center that should put up close to 50 points with decent wingers.  Now he's expected to score 70.

 

It was stupid of JR to expect anything more, and I'll leave it at that.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Jordan was producting at a 65 goal pace over his last two seasons in Pittsburgh (with playoffs included) not always with scoring wingers.

 

Not sure why it's stupid to expect that if he was put on the second line and if he had second line wingers.

 

I will agree that it might be stupid to pay him like he's going to put up 65 plus points if one doesn't think he will.

Edited by remkin

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Can we just drop the projections and take the facts as they are, or the points, since that's what's being discussed?

 

The fact is, his role on the Canes didn't change after coming over from Pittsburgh.  If you want to see the Corsi breakdown I'll put it up.  He faces the other team's top lines every night.  That makes him our defensive shut-down center. 

 

Just because he is our "second" line center doesn't change that fact.  There's no rule that says your third line center has to be "that" guy - see Patrice Bergeron.

 

In that role, his best production with decent wingers is 50 points over an 82-game season.  It is what it is.  

 

JR tried to pull the wool over fans eyes by giving the impression he was going to be more "offensive" in Carolina, yet in the end the Canes used him just like Pittsburgh did.  We aren't Pittsburgh, and his numbers declined.

 

And Rem, for clarification, the stupid comment wasn't referring to you or your post, only to JR.  Sorry if it sounded that way, that wasn't my intention.  ;)

 

I'd love to see him put up 70 points, but I don't think that's going to happen as long as he's put into the primary shut down role, regardless of who is on his wings.  In an offensive role, maybe, but I still don't think he's a 70-point center regardless.

 

He can prove me wrong though. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Not sure why people have trouble with projected stats. It's one way to account for years where a guy doesn't play the whole season.

 

The other way is PPG.

 

J. Staal scored .79 ppg over two actual seasons including the playoffs, his last two seasons in Pittsburgh. That was across 120 consecutive games. No projections. N = 120/

 

He was the third line center for much of that.

 

He put up .49 ppg last year here.

 

 

He can do better.

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I wouldn't frame it as having trouble with projected stats.  But, when one chooses to ignore the point production during full 82-point seasons in lieu of projected stats during partial seasons to make a point, then it's up for debate.

 

See 82 game seasons:

 

2008-09  49 points

2009-10  49 points 

2013-14  40 points 

 

I agree he can do better, but in the role he's being used, not to the tune of 70 points, as you suggested.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Oddly enough, pertaining to the Jordan Staal discussion, the pens fans in several blogs/forums are talking about what a mistake it was to lose Jordan.

 

I guess it is always a matter of perspective.  My thoughts are that he is playing well as the defensive center d'ing up on the #1 line for the opponent.  Basically the Roddy position.  Goals from him are gravy.

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I think Jordan was the best third line center in the league when he was with the Pens. He has been a mediocre second line center with the Canes. If goals are gravy, we should be getting more gravy for 6 mil.

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I think Jordan was the best third line center in the league when he was with the Pens. He has been a mediocre second line center with the Canes. If goals are gravy, we should be getting more gravy for 6 mil.

 

If he wasn't being asked to play the 3rd line center role with 3rd line wingers, you would probably get more gravy.

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Jordan's game, for whatever reason, was better with both the Canes and Pens when top players went down for extended periods of time.

With Pittsburgh, when Crosby and/or Malkin went down, his game elevated. Same with last season when Eric was out for a period of time. He seemed to play stronger when he was "top dog". Don't know why it takes that for him to elevate his game. A mental thing?

 

With the Penguins done, two former Canes will be possibly available. Jussi is a UFA and Brandon is a RFA. Brandon could be that 3rd line lock down/grind center with the right line-mates and could bring in more scoring from that line. That way, Jordan's line would be more responsible for scoring and not having to lock down the top opponent's line.

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When Tlusty and Semin were put on J's line for a very brief time, that line became a scoring line. I would guess if J had scoring wingers he would put up more points. But E's line struggled even more than it had been with that move and the Nash line, mostly because of Skinner , emerged as a scoring line.

 

If J is the go to guy to shut down the other teams top then I'm comfortable with it. But it does point out (to me) the need to add one or two more top line wingers.

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Good point OBXer.

If Tlusty comes back, move him and Semin to Jordan's line, then put Skinner and Lindholm with Eric. On paper, two good scoring lines.

 

Build a 3rd grind line around say Brandon, Dwyer and Gerbe. Fourth line up in the air.

 

New rumor floating around, per watching ESPN about the Penguins.

They are saying they may move Malkin, as they are up against the Cap.

I say highly unlikely............

Edited by hopper915

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I wouldn't frame it as having trouble with projected stats.  But, when one chooses to ignore the point production during full 82-point seasons in lieu of projected stats during partial seasons to make a point, then it's up for debate.

 

See 82 game seasons:

 

2008-09  49 points

2009-10  49 points 

2013-14  40 points 

 

I agree he can do better, but in the role he's being used, not to the tune of 70 points, as you suggested.

 

Well I chose his two most recent Pittsburgh years. Jordan came in and played at age 18 on a team with two superstar centers. I chose to think that as his game matured he gained the scoring touch, so I left out his earliest years, even though they were complete seasons. And he maintained it through two consecutive seasons including both playoffs. Those were 120 consecutive games, the 120 right before he got here. I think that was enough N value as we like to say, to show what he is capable of.

 

Take his per game production over those last 120 consecutive Pittsburgh games including playoffs, and down size them to an 82 game season, and that's 65 points.

 

Either way, if he is here to be a defensive center, then we seriously overpaid. 

 

Anyway there may be some common ground in this. I don't think he has to put up 65-70 points to be worth his salary. I just think that it is pretty clear that he is capable of it if given the right role and wingers. 40 points? Well that is harder to do than a lot of people think. Go down most teams rosters and it doesn't take long to get to guys under 40 points. Still, and not to split hairs, but I think we need more like 55 for him to be worth everything involved in getting him and keeping him. 

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Pens trading Malkin....that would be a head scratch-er!

 

Before I start breaking up lines I think I would just identify what is needed. If E, Semin and Tlusty are healthy I have no reason to think they won't return to form. Although Nash could be replaced he showed in my opinion great strides last season. He does seem to have chemistry with the more skilled Skinner and Lindholm. They also have speed. Speed IMO is the key in today's NHL.

 

For me the additions need to be on J's wings or if J is moved up with E then a top 6 center and a wing.

 

We also need to get a 4th line that can be dangerous, change game tempo, show some grit and play on PK. I think that requires at least one add.

 

A speedy puck moving top 4 d-man who can play defense would also be in my wish list.

 

That's five player moves and I don't suggest it will be easy to obtain.

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Interesting article in The Hockey News: http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/copycat-alert-does-montreals-win-change-the-nhls-emphasis-from-big-and-strong-to-small-and-crafty/

Copycat alert: Does Montreal’s win change the NHL’s emphasis from big and strong to small and crafty?

By: Brian Costello on May 15, 2014

 

If the NHL is a bunch of copycats like we’ve come to expect over the years, what will the league do now that bigger, meaner teams like Boston and St. Louis have fallen by the wayside and smaller, quicker teams like Montreal and the New York Rangers have advanced to the final four?

 

Follow suit and shift away from size and strength towards a more up-tempo, active game?

 

We shall see next season.

 

If the biggest and meanest team of all, the Los Angeles Kings, fall to the middle-of-the-pack size-wise Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal Friday, rest assured the league will take notice.

 

Montreal’s seven-game victory over Boston was a triumph for the small guy. For several seasons now, the Canadiens have made a concerted effort to get bigger, stronger and meaner, drafting the likes of Jarred Tinordi and Michael McCarron with high selections. But those players haven’t stepped in yet and Montreal remains pint-sized, icing a roster with a league-high nine forwards and four defensemen who stand 6-foot or smaller. The Habs are at the bottom of the NHL weight scale as well with just one regular (Alexei Emelin) weighing 220 pounds or more.

 

So in two playoff rounds, the league’s smallest team beat the league’s tallest team (Tampa Bay) and one of the league’s most physical teams. Boston has just five forwards and one defenseman 6-foot and under and four regulars weighing 220-plus pounds.

The Rangers rank mid-pack in terms of height and bottom third in terms of weight, but most of their difference-makers and support players stand 6-foot or under – Martin St-Louis, Brad Richards, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan, Dominic Moore, Carl Hagelin, Derek Dorsett, Dan Carcillo, Anton Stralman.

 

In the playoffs, the Rangers beat the league’s most penalized team (Philadelphia) and a team (Pittsburgh) that ranked ahead of them in hits and penalty minutes.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks rank 30th in hits and 28th in penalty minutes. They’re close to league average in height and weight, but the emphasis with them the past several seasons has been on puck control. They beat the league’s second heaviest team (St. Louis) in the opening round and had a close battle with a small Minnesota team in the second round.

 

There are dozens of cases over the years of NHL teams having copied successful rivals – from the Broad Street Bullies to Steve Kasper shadowing Wayne Gretzky to New Jersey’s neutral-zone trap to bigger goalie equipment. Recent Stanley Cup titles by physical teams such as the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings have pushed the copycats towards being bigger, stronger and meaner.

 

Even the Canadiens are trying to move in that direction, only to discover they’re doing all right being on the small side.

When Brian Burke took over as acting GM of the Calgary Flames, he said his team needed to get bigger. We assume he means bigger and more skilled, but he just mentioned size. Of course, his 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks who won the Cup excelled at the physical game.

 

Maybe if the big, strong Kings (first in the league in hits, first in average weight and fifth in average height) win Game 7 against Anaheim Friday and go on to assert themselves successfully against Chicago and either the Rangers or Canadiens, we’ll continue to see other teams try to emulate their style.

 

But if one of the smaller, craftier teams win the final game of the season, we’ll be sure to see some copycats next season.

Edited by LakeLivin

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