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This will make a comeback even tougher.

 

Chip Alexander @ice_chip  ·  4h

Chad LaRose is injured and not on Canes' training camp roster. GM Ron Francis says LaRose could later go to Checkers' AHL camp.

 

It does open up a spot for another of the prospects to get some ice time at training camp. I might need to reevaluate my thinking on Rask. He sure seems to have the managements attention.

 

Chip Alexander @ice_chip  ·  4h

Francis was pleased with Canes' effort in Traverse City prospects tournament and particularly the overall play of Victor Rask

Francis on Rask: "He was very consistent, every shift, every game. He was good at both ends of the rink, and good on special teams.

Maybe he does have a shot right out of training camp. I don't think we will rush him if we aren't sure but he just might be ready.

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It's interesting that the Canes are bringing 5 goalies to camp but left out John Muse in favor of Drew MacIntyre.  They're both career AHL goalies with almost identical stats but Muse is 5 years younger (26 vs. 31).  And he had a good season in Charlotte last year.

 

"Went 27-18-0 to set a club record for most wins in a single season. None of the other eight goaltenders the team used during the season won more than four … Had four separate winning streaks lasting five or more games … Tied for fourth in AHL victories and ranked fifth with 1,305 saves … Tied for third in the AHL with a career-high five shutouts … Went 4-for-4 in the shootout, stopping 16 of 20 shots."

 

I can see bringing in the 2 young'uns (Altshuler and Nedeljkovik) to see where they stand, but I wonder why MacIntyre instead of Muse?

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I wouldn't argue with anyone who believes Rask probably needs more time in the AHL.

 

I'll wait until the tourney is over and see what Francis has to say.  That, and the way he looks in camp.

 

But it sounds like to me he's positioning himself to play his first NHL game.  I wouldn't be totally surprised if that was this season on a callup.

 

 

Chip Alexander @ice chip  4h

Francis was pleased with Canes' effort in Traverse City prospects tournament and particularly the overall play of Victor Rask

Francis on Rask: "He was very consistent, every shift, every game. He was good at both ends of the rink, and good on special teams.

 

Okay, so now what say you?  Actually, I'm just kidding.

 

Sounds like to me some guys better be looking over their shoulder.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Well the beauty is getting to see these guys in camp and pre-season. If Rask has taken it up a notch, (certiainly did in Traverse City as Coastal points out) then that would be awsome. Can he do it at NHL speed? That's the reservation for me. But if he can it would be great. I'm open to it. And since I make the final roster cuts, that's all that matters.....(inserts emoticon of a guy dreaming of himself as a GM).

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Before this thread is long gone, and it's close....

 

I want to say, I haven't been this excited for a season to start in a long time.

 

Ron Francis is going about his business and I like everything he's done. Everything.

 

Like the fact PK is still on the sidelines. Waddell can help.  Some of the things they have done with ticket sales is forward thinking, IMO.

 

Now let's win home games and grow this.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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So based on the training camp groups, I would say that the initial line look is going to be

 

Skinner / E. Staal / Lindholm

Tlusty / J. Staal / Semin

Gerbe / Nash / Boychuck

Malone / McClement / Dwyer

 

I love those top two line combos!!

 

The first look defensive pairings are interesting...

 

Sekera / Murphy

Hainsey / Faulk

Gleason / Liles

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I'm curious to know what would be a reasonable expectation for the team that we are putting on the ice this year?  Do you feel like there will be a significant improvement based on the moves that we've made or will we be about the same?  As always, I look forward to the start of hockey season!  

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I'm curious to know what would be a reasonable expectation for the team that we are putting on the ice this year?  Do you feel like there will be a significant improvement based on the moves that we've made or will we be about the same?  As always, I look forward to the start of hockey season!  

 

I guess a reasonable expectation is that the team improves enough to make the playoffs. Of course at this time of year my expectations are a tough higher then that. What do you think a reasonable expectation is?

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So based on the training camp groups, I would say that the initial line look is going to be

 

Skinner / E. Staal / Lindholm

Tlusty / J. Staal / Semin

Gerbe / Nash / Boychuck

Malone / McClement / Dwyer

 

I love those top two line combos!!

 

The first look defensive pairings are interesting...

 

Sekera / Murphy

Hainsey / Faulk

Gleason / Liles

 

That would be interesting. Could Semin/Tlusty find the same or similar magic w/ Jordan? Is Lindholm ready for the top line? I still just swtich the wingers around to recapture Semin/E./Tlusty and put Skinner and  Linholm w/ J, but that's me. I would be fine with the bottom six as listed, and I really think Boychuk/Nash/Gerbe could work. They would have to score though, since they would be a bit small on the wings.

 

Murphy on the top pair? I have probably more hope for Murphy than some, but top pair is pushing it. There is no doubt that Murphy and Sekera are our top offensive slicksters. I think conventional wisdom would be to pair each of them w/ a slightly more defensive minded guy. And Faulk-Sekera seems pretty locked in. That said, it would be interesing just for fun to try two offensive minded dmen behind our top line. Put 5 offensively dangerous guys out there as a unit....

 

I still think we end up seeing Faulk/Sekera, and my hope is for Murphy to show enough defensive chops to play w/ Hainsey on the 3-4 pairing.

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Before this thread is long gone, and it's close....

 

I want to say, I haven't been this excited for a season to start in a long time.

 

Ron Francis is going about his business and I like everything he's done. Everything.

 

Like the fact PK is still on the sidelines. Waddell can help.  Some of the things they have done with ticket sales is forward thinking, IMO.

 

Now let's win home games and grow this.

 

I agree. Last year I thought to myself...self?....yes?....a lot of people have it wrong. The lock out year was a debacle, but there were really good reasons. J. in his first year post big contract, new team...then the injuries....at one point we had 3 AHL dmen and an AHL goalie, Skinner concussion, both goalies out....

 

So, last year I thought, they've all got this team wrong. I was pretty confident about it and wrote that long post about it. Laid out why I was so optimstic despite the media having us going nowhere....

 

Then...what the?....really?....Island....Tsunami.....mock drafts....

 

But it's that time of year again, the exact same team on the ice....round 3....so? Why not double, er triple down!

 

This time, the excuses feel more like excuses than reasons, but that does not mean they are wrong. There are several excuses, but the one that if true could lead most to a big turnaround is the coaching/admin issue. IF the problem was Muller and or assistant coaches and to some extent JR's influnence. And ESPECIALLY if that led to a frustrated Eric Staal, and he was that....the entierly new brain trust leading to a more focused and ready E, combined with a few improvments (Semin's wrist, Lindhom, Faulk and Murphy growing up another year) really could lead to this team finally realizing that stuff I wrote a year ago.

 

Or not...

 

But at least if not, the need for the blow up will be pretty hard to argue against.

 

Still, this is optimism time, and I can't help myself. I'm with you. This team has a LOT of guys with ability and a LOT to prove. A new coach and GM that seem to be on target to lead that motivation.

 

Dang, how much are plane tickets to Vegas? I have some bets to place.

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I'm curious to know what would be a reasonable expectation for the team that we are putting on the ice this year?  Do you feel like there will be a significant improvement based on the moves that we've made or will we be about the same?  As always, I look forward to the start of hockey season!  

 

Unloading Ward at the trade deadline to allow us to spend $$$ on an elite blue liner come free agency.

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That would be interesting. Could Semin/Tlusty find the same or similar magic w/ Jordan? Is Lindholm ready for the top line? I still just swtich the wingers around to recapture Semin/E./Tlusty and put Skinner and  Linholm w/ J, but that's me.

 

I really liked how J's line looked last season  when Tlusty and Semin skated as his wings. For the brief time they were on that line J's line looked like and played like (IMO) a scoring line. But it did leave E exposed and pretty much on his own.

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It's interesting that the Canes are bringing 5 goalies to camp but left out John Muse in favor of Drew MacIntyre.  They're both career AHL goalies with almost identical stats but Muse is 5 years younger (26 vs. 31).  And he had a good season in Charlotte last year.

 

"Went 27-18-0 to set a club record for most wins in a single season. None of the other eight goaltenders the team used during the season won more than four … Had four separate winning streaks lasting five or more games … Tied for fourth in AHL victories and ranked fifth with 1,305 saves … Tied for third in the AHL with a career-high five shutouts … Went 4-for-4 in the shootout, stopping 16 of 20 shots."

 

I can see bringing in the 2 young'uns (Altshuler and Nedeljkovik) to see where they stand, but I wonder why MacIntyre instead of Muse?

Lake, haven't heard much on Muse at all. I know he didn't finish strong last year going .500 over last 16 games including loosing his last 6. Expected to hear more this off season.

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I'm back after a brief hiatus, and I'm again aligned with those who are optimistic at this juncture. I believe that these Canes are going to be the real sleeper team this year, for one reason alone. That reason is the effect of the complementary "mindset" of our new GM and HC. While it is true that none of us knows what goes on behind closed doors and in the bowels on the PNC Arena, on more than one occasion last year, I caught sight of Rod Brind'Amor, and he was not a "happy camper". Sure, this might have only been a reflection of his personality to never accept defeat, but I seemed to sense that it went much deeper.

 

In my mind, although the past 2 seasons, the full 82 games this last year, and the shortened one the year before, were pathetic, I fully believe that had we not had extremely critical personnel injured around the same time, we could have at least been in the playoffs. Thus, to me, the real downfall to both of these miserable endings was not with the constitution of our NHL team, but rather players we brought up.

 

Now I know that many have constantly criticized those who "use injuries as an excuse", but the obvious is these were not just "injuries", but "injuries involving many or all of our most KEY players". I just do not believe any team can sustain that without some drop off in their production.

 

Of course, I understand that part of our success this year must depend on avoidance of key injuries this year, but that not withstanding, if Peters is the task master he appears to be, and he truly has Ron Francis' blessing to use "ice time" as his tool, than I think there will be unification of the collective will of this team to pull us thru.

Edited by KJUNKANE

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I really liked how J's line looked last season  when Tlusty and Semin skated as his wings. For the brief time they were on that line J's line looked like and played like (IMO) a scoring line. But it did leave E exposed and pretty much on his own.

 

Could really have 1a and 1b if we did that.

 

I guess the real question would be the top line. Skinner and E. have not had the chemistry of say Semin and E. The real question to me, and I am a very big Lindholm fan, is whether or not Lindholm is ready to face number one D pairings and produce on the top line.

 

If he is, though, that would be intriguing because Skinner/E might work better with a playmaker in the mix. After all, that's really why Semin/E. worked: Semin went all playmaker up in here. Linholm will absolutely be that guy eventually....is he ready? It wouldn't shock me and it looks like Peters wants to find out sooner than later.

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I'm back after a brief hiatus, and I'm again aligned with those who are optimistic at this juncture. I believe that these Canes are going to be the real sleeper team this year, for one reason alone. That reason is the effect of the complementary "mindset" of our new GM and HC. While it is true that none of us knows what goes on behind closed doors and in the bowels on the PNC Arena, on more than one occasion last year, I caught sight of Rod Brind'Amor, and he was not a "happy camper". Sure, this might have only been a reflection of his personality to never accept defeat, but I seemed to sense that it went much deeper.

 

In my mind, although the past 2 seasons, the full 82 games this last year, and the shortened one the year before, were pathetic, I fully believe that had we not had extremely critical personnel injured around the same time, we could have at least been in the playoffs. Thus, to me, the real downfall to both of these miserable endings was not with the constitution of our NHL team, but rather players we brought up.

 

Now I know that many have constantly criticized those who "use injuries as an excuse", but the obvious is these were not just "injuries", but "injuries involving many or all of our most KEY players". I just do not believe any team can sustain that without some drop off in their production.

 

Of course, I understand that part of our success this year must depend on avoidance of key injuries this year, but that not withstanding, if Peters is the task master he appears to be, and he truly has Ron Francis' blessing to use "ice time" as his tool, than I think there will be unification of the collective will of this team to pull us thru.

 

The thing is that 2 years in a row we have blamed our non playoff picture on injuries.  There is a thing called depth and good teams that win have that.  You say we lost due to injuries I say we lost due to lack of depth and an incompetent GM.  Eventually there will be a point where you can't just blame things on injuries.

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The season is sneaking up on me.  I looked at the calendar and just now realized that the first preseason game is this Sunday!  I can't add any in-depth analysis for this upcoming season, but here are some things I'm looking for through untrained eyes...

 

 

-Possible breakout years for our young stars:  Faulk has already proven himself as a serviceable defenseman, but I'm really interested in seeing how Lindholm and Murphy develop this year.

 

-Goalie Situation:  While I'm scared I'll reignite the same old goalie discussions, I feel this is make or break for Ward.  I'm pulling for him, but in the last 3 years since I've been following the team, he has had significant injuries derail his season.  Dobby, even with the small sample size and all, has done well and got player of the month last January.  Ideally, both of them will be healthy and will push each other to performing great.  Else, I feel this may be Ward's last season as a Cane.

 

-Slow Start?:  I can't remember where I heard/read this but someone said that it takes about 20 games for a team to get used to a new coach/system.  The good news for us is that of the 8 regular season games in October, only 1 of them is against a playoff team from last year.  Hopefully we'll win a lot of these games, but at least we'll be breaking in our new system against lesser opponents......at least in theory.

 

 

Overall, I don't think we'll make the playoffs, but if our old GM and coach were really the issue, we should see improvement and possibly a playoff run in the next couple of years.  Either way, Canes hockey is right around the corner! 

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For what it's worth NHL.com is going to "preview" us tomorrow. From what I can see they've been pretty positive so far, so may not get the usual disrespect. If we do...all the sweeter when we take everyone by surprise!

 

BD, I do think that point of no more excuses is here. This team has a very managable set of opponents lined up for the first 15 games followed by 8 brutal games. That could be a set up for an early shake up if things start badly. Of course it can be hard to make a move that early, so it might lay the groundwork, but I have little doubt the Francis will not give this group a long leash.

 

I'm still pretty sure that part of this getting the band back togehter is the belief that they can do it, but part of it was that no one offered bumpkiss for our pieces, and Francis was not going to start his reign by giving away stars for nothing.

 

 

But when I say we have a bunch of guys with a lot to prove, we really do. And these guys want to prove it to each other, the new coach, the new GM's and the world. Here's what I envision them saying:

 

Jordan: I'm worth the money. I can make more offense happen than you've seen so far. I want to prove that and stay w/ Eric. Lord knows I can already put up a great plus minus playing all the top centers in the league.

 

Semin: I am still an elite player. I'm not only worth 7 mil, that is a bargain for me. Watch what I can do on a good wrist. Go ahead, keep understimating me and maligning me. I'll just keep making everyone around me better.

 

Faulk: I am ready to be a solid top pairing D man. Last year was up and down, but in case you didn't notice I put up some numbers. Oh, and in case you also didn't notice, "I'm ONLY 22". NHL dmen are said to peak at 29. 29! You ain't seen nothing yet. Did I mention I'm only 22? And I don't turn 23 till the end of the season.

 

Skinner: I'm ready to not have a concussion. Before that last one I was starting to use my linemates more and I will do that better this year. I may never win a Selke, but I am working on my d. But let's face it, what you really want to see is me chasing 40 goals. Watch for it.

 

Wardo: You've all written me off. If you only knew what I've been through to get my game back. I have as much to prove as anyone. I need to prove that I am still a number one NHL goalie. I'm finally healthy. I'm ready. Just wait.

 

Khudini: (please imagine Russian accent) I was a top 5 goalie in save % and I still have to fight for my job? Fine. I should be number one because I am the best. You'll see.

 

Boychuk: What else do I have to do in the AHL? Answer: nothing. I have to do it in the NHL. Give me the chance. I can help the PP, and I'm better than any #9 winger option you have. I was a mid 1st rounder for a reason. I have learned my craft in the AHL (did I mention I was #1 in the AHL in scoring?). I have paid my dues. I have bulked up. I can back check far better than...say Skinner at least, I may not put up 40 goals in the NHL, but how would 20 from the third line grab you? Face it, I have the most to lose if I don't prove it. This time really is the last shot.

 

Lindholm: So you still want Nich ahead of me huh? Well just keep this in mind. I was 18 last year. I was moving not only way way up in class, but down in rink size, which just amplifies that extra speed of the game. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, I hurt my shoulder at the very start and still by the end fo the season, I was making plays and starting to put up points. Just watch what I can do at 19. There is a reason I was the #5 pick in one of the best drafts.

 

Tlusty: (how could I have waited this long to get to him). Remember when I was on a near 40 goal pace? OK, even I have to admit, maybe that was a bit flukey, but I am better than last year. In fact I was also looking much better towards the end of the season. The coaches know I do the little things, but i can also score. I can dig the puck out and if I get to going back to the net, you will be surpised. Oh, and I'm on a "show me" one year deal. I am very motivated. Put me in a scoring role and I'll get you 25 goals and 45 points, or more.

 

Gleason: You know I was once a critical piece to this team. Last year was a nightmare, but my head is clear and I am ready. Even if you put me on the last pairing I can handle that seemlessly. I am a leader. I will stick up for my teammates and if you've looked around this team we are thin in that area. I may not be my old self but I am a steal at bottom pairing money.

 

Murphy: I'd just like to remind you all of that thing Justin pointed out about being 22. Except I'm 21. NHL dmen peak at 29. I've played a grand total of 52 NHL games and 4 of those were emergency call up duty straight from Juniors. (yeah, that's how bad it got that year). OK my plus minus is not great, but I am a kid. That will come. But watch me break down a defense. Watch me learn to quarterback a PP. Do we need any of that? I am better defensively than you think, and I will make this team by learning to limit my mistakes while blowing you away w/ my offense. I will prove I belong in the NHL,

 

And last but far from least (and there are others with things to prove too) but....

 

Eric "The Captain" Staal. I will show you that last year was a statistical anomoly. But let me just ask one thing. How many guys in the NHL would like to have the worst year of their career and still lead their team in points? But I digress...

 

I will never say that the knee was a factor, but....well I just said I wouldn't say it. But I will say that Muller and I got to a place where it just was not working. I could say more but let's just say that one of us needed to go.

 

I will prove not only that I can pull my points back to my last non major knee injury level. I will also prove that I can lead this team. I love JR, but probably needed him to move on also. I know I was on the block. And am still listed as a top trade possibility. I will prove that is not necesary. I want to stay here and lead this team. I wanted my bro to come to Raleigh and they did it. I know this is probalby my last chance to prove that was a good move. I am ready. I am chomping at the bit. I've learned some stuff. I have new chance. I've been training like a mad dog. This is the year I get back to form and lead this team forward.

 

 

 

At least that's what I hear in my head. :woohoo: .

 

 

 

Just like to appologise to TSA and the Hurricanes for using up lots and lots of bandwidth today. I'm just getting so worked up!

Edited by remkin

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Interesting line combinations, but they do make sense to me as well.  Gives Jordan some offensive weapons, and now teams have to pick their poison. Like the idea of a 1 and 1A better than 1, 3A and 3B.  Let it roll Bill.

 

Skinner-Eric-Lindholm

Tlusty-Jordan-Semin

Gerbe-Nash-Boychuk

Malone-McClement-Dwyer

 

Interesting D-pairings based on the groups as well.  Looks like Murphy is going to be given a chance right out of the gate paired with Sekera.  I figured he would start with Hainsey, but what do I know.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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The thing is that 2 years in a row we have blamed our non playoff picture on injuries.  There is a thing called depth and good teams that win have that.  You say we lost due to injuries I say we lost due to lack of depth and an incompetent GM.  Eventually there will be a point where you can't just blame things on injuries.

For once, bd58, we agree!! Do you not see that I wrote "Thus to me, the REAL DOWNFALL to both of these miserable endings was not the constitution of our NHL team, BUT THE PLAYERS WE BROUGHT UP". What part of that do you not get? Yes, I've mentioned injuries and the scope of the players involved, but as you so insightfully point out, did acknowledge that a dirth of depth magnified that even more. As to the comment "incompetent GM", that of course logically follows and goes without saying, however some of that blame must also be shouldered by the AHL coach who also failed to develop his charges to take the place of our injured ones. Edited by KJUNKANE

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I see it as being a complete lack of NHL quality players in our prospect pool.  This falls back into drafting.  For years JR threw away draft picks as if they were candy for potential fix me now situations that never panned out.  At this point in time we're probably better off unloading half our prospect pool (Terry, Boychuck, etc) for proven NHL 4th line grinders because then we would know at least we're getting a guy that can put in minutes at the NHL level.  Or maybe Daniels has got to go.  Who knows!

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I see it as being a complete lack of NHL quality players in our prospect pool.  This falls back into drafting.  For years JR threw away draft picks as if they were candy for potential fix me now situations that never panned out.  At this point in time we're probably better off unloading half our prospect pool (Terry, Boychuck, etc) for proven NHL 4th line grinders because then we would know at least we're getting a guy that can put in minutes at the NHL level.  Or maybe Daniels has got to go.  Who knows!

Complain about quick fixes and throw out a quick fix solution? Darned if that don't beat all.

Look, the prospect thing is a long term fix that is going to take years of drafting and development to fix. Getting some 4th liners doesn't address that at all.

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So I've been thinking on prospects and Boychuk in particular. 

 

Yes, he's 24, which is getting a touch long in the tooth for a prospect. But here's an article that suggests that NHL forwards peak at 28.

 

When NHL players peak: Hockey metrics - CBC News - Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News

 

So Boychuk, if he could put up close to 20 goals, would still have 3-4 years to peak. Sure, he may not be an All Star, but we really just need him to be an effective 3rd liner at this point. And he has learned to back check. Despite his size, he is a -3 over 96 NHL games on some minus teams.  

 

The guy led the AHL in scoring, sure it's the AHL, but it's not rec. league. 

 

So people say, its the AHL, look at his NHL numbers. Heck he's only put up 9 goals in 96 games. This is true. He does still have to prove it in the NHL, but "games played" is not really fair. Minutes and role are pretty important. Games spent on the 4th line should be subtracted. I've seen 19 second 4th line shifts. A lot of guys pad their numbers on the PP too, and while he saw some PP time last year, overall he hasn't seen that much for a scorer. 

 

The thing is our prospects come up from the AHL and the coaches pretty much tell them, we want to see your defensive game. Show us you'll back check. Then they get few minutes on scoring lines, and even when they do they're trying first by all means to make sure they get back (so they don't get sent down or minutes even more reduced). 

 

None of this proves Boychuk will score, especially with Gerbe and Nash, but he might. I'm really thinking he might. Anyway, like with almost everyone on this team, we'd get no return, so we're better off giving him one last shot. 

 

I've just got a sneaking feeling he'll contribute more than some think.

 

Edited by remkin

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I disagree completely that we don't have any NHL-quality prospects in the pipeline.

 

If you don't look with blinders on, one should realize that the issue (or problem, if you prefer) is that many of the more promising players are still a few years out.

 

We've drafted a lot better over the short term, but that hasn't caught up to those times when we traded away our picks for quick fixes or to get rid of bad contracts, or just drafted poorly.

 

So, it's not fair, or even accurate for that matter, to generalize and say we have NO NHL-quality prospects in the organization.  Unless of course, you evaluate the team with one eye behind your back.

 

We keep adding to the scouting staff.  There's a commitment here, see it?

Edited by coastal_caniac

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