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The Staal Factor - Everything Staal(s)

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What it means is that 70 points are meaningless if your team doesn't get to the dance, and this team, under Eric's on-ice leadership, has done so just once. He is the 6th-highest paid forward in the league - $9.25 million next year - but the only one among the top 20 highest-paid forwards whose team did not make the playoffs. And what you call an injury Rod Brind-A'Mour would have called a hangnail. If he wasn't ready to go he should have sat out and got healthy, and if he was ready to go, no excuses.

 

Year after year, management (management which is now thankfully gone) and many fans have made excuses for Eric. It's time he leads, puts up numbers and plays at a level worthy of his mammoth salary. If moving him to the wing increases his chances of doing that and our chances of winning, why would we not do it?

 

Why does every player discussion end up here?  Those that are critical of players accuse anybody that has anything positive to say are "making excuses".  Anything that doesn't support the idea that "Player X is useless and should be shot" has to be attacked.

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Why does every player discussion end up here?  Those that are critical of players accuse anybody that has anything positive to say are "making excuses".  Anything that doesn't support the idea that "Player X is useless and should be shot" has to be attacked.

Please point out, SuperDave, where I said anything about shooting anyone, or attacked anyone. And while you're at it, explain to me how the incessant chorus of "Eric just doesn't have the right guy on his wing" is not making excuses for him?

 

Look through my posts, and you'll see that I repeatedly have said I want Eric to be successful here, and have only mentioned a trade in terms of him perhaps needing a change of scene to regain his dominance. What I'd like to know is why, whenever someone is critical of player performance - a perfectly reasonable topic among fans of any sport - you try to make it something more than that. 

Oh,  I have no problem moving him to wing and bumping Jordan up to 1C. I think that'd be a phenomenal line. I think I misunderstood what your overall point was, I thought you were saying we should trade him. The only thing that would keep a 12-11-28 line from happening is not having a competent 2C. I don't think Lindholm is ready for that right now and I wouldn't put Nash there either. 

I'd be okay with starting out the season with Nash there, as I think that line earned a shot at second-line status with its performance and obvious chemistry last year. See my earlier post regarding possible lines.

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I am certainly not making excuses for Eric.  My point is that no excuses are needed.  He is our best player and one of the best players in the league.  The reason we have not succeeded is because we don't have much else, or at least we didn't until now.  Now, I think we are only a few pieces, and an effective coach, away from being a competitive team.

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I wonder what the stats were on Staal-Staal-Semin. I will admit I just don't see it. The line needs a guy to go muck and get the puck and then finish. That's what Tlusty did. Jordan is not a finisher. Also, there is no classic playmaker. Semin can pass with the best of them but his shot is so deadly, that one really doesn't want him passing as a first and second option. 

 

Then it opens up weakness down the middle. No way to I like Nash as a second line center. He has not performed to that level and I do not have confidence that he will. He's shown strides. He's made some nice plays and scored some nice goals, but you need your second line center to make points. More than 24 points. Lotkionov....well he's out for a while. He was a very interesting possibility but he needed to prove consistency, and coming off an injury will be challenging. Third line or even 4th to get his legs then see, but definitely NOT second. 

 

If we could find a top line playmaking center for Eric and Semin that would be ideal. But that is probably a pipe dream. A second line center? More possible, but has it's own problems. Vinny? Forget playing any defense. Who? If somehow, Francis could trade for, or pick up a 1st or 2nd line Center we can move Eric. If we do it before then, I just don't see it, but am willing to learn.

 

The only other way I can see it is if Linholm is ready to play 2nd line center. I think Linholm will have a great year this year, but I think he is one more year away from that. 

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Please point out, SuperDave, where I said anything about shooting anyone, or attacked anyone. And while you're at it, explain to me how the incessant chorus of "Eric just doesn't have the right guy on his wing" is not making excuses for him?

 

Look through my posts, and you'll see that I repeatedly have said I want Eric to be successful here, and have only mentioned a trade in terms of him perhaps needing a change of scene to regain his dominance. What I'd like to know is why, whenever someone is critical of player performance - a perfectly reasonable topic among fans of any sport - you try to make it something more than that. 

 

It's the same general argument we have seen over Ward, EStaal, and JStaal.  Anybody that says that Ward has faced a ton of shots is guilty of making excuses.  Anybody that says EStaal is a good player that just had a down year is guilty of making excuses.  There was once even a list of "excuses" here for JStaal.

 

I stand by my original post on the issue.  No, you didn't want to shoot anyone.  There are times that I hate internet forums, and yes, I know I could ignore it.

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. . . And what you call an injury Rod Brind-A'Mour would have called a hangnail. If he wasn't ready to go he should have sat out and got healthy, and if he was ready to go, no excuses.

. . .

I'm going to bypass the whole E discussion except to comment on his injury.

 

You do realize that a 3rd degree MCL sprain means that the ligament connecting the femur and tibia is completely torn, right?  It's a little ridiculous stating that Brindy would consider that a hangnail.  E has missed only 17 games over 10 NHL seasons; I think his durability speaks for itself.

 

Oh, and I don't buy the "he should have sat out until he was 100%" argument, either.   If E or Semin had sat out last year until they were 100% they would have received even more criticism ("we're paying this guy millions,he should be out there doing whatever he can to help the team").    

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I'm going to bypass the whole E discussion except to comment on his injury.

 

You do realize that a 3rd degree MCL sprain means that the ligament connecting the femur and tibia is completely torn, right?  It's a little ridiculous stating that Brindy would consider that a hangnail.  E has missed only 17 games over 10 NHL seasons; I think his durability speaks for itself.

 

Oh, and I don't buy the "he should have sat out until he was 100%" argument, either.   If E or Semin had sat out last year until they were 100% they would have received even more criticism ("we're paying this guy millions,he should be out there doing whatever he can to help the team").    

 

Excuses, excuses

 

:sarcasmalert:

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It's the same general argument we have seen over Ward, EStaal, and JStaal.  Anybody that says that Ward has faced a ton of shots is guilty of making excuses.  Anybody that says EStaal is a good player that just had a down year is guilty of making excuses.  There was once even a list of "excuses" here for JStaal.

 

I stand by my original post on the issue.  No, you didn't want to shoot anyone.  There are times that I hate internet forums, and yes, I know I could ignore it.

I'm with you on that, there are times I do too :)

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I'm going to bypass the whole E discussion except to comment on his injury.

 

You do realize that a 3rd degree MCL sprain means that the ligament connecting the femur and tibia is completely torn, right?  It's a little ridiculous stating that Brindy would consider that a hangnail.  E has missed only 17 games over 10 NHL seasons; I think his durability speaks for itself.

 

Oh, and I don't buy the "he should have sat out until he was 100%" argument, either.   If E or Semin had sat out last year until they were 100% they would have received even more criticism ("we're paying this guy millions,he should be out there doing whatever he can to help the team").    

Maybe from some, but not me, particularly as a guy with chronic knee issues my whole life. I didn't complain when Justin Williams took as long as he "kneeded"  :) and would much rather have a guy play healthy - especially one getting Staal's kinda money. If the worst happened, we'd be in the same boat as the Flyers are with Pronger - at TWICE the cap hit to boot.

 

Contrary to the popular cliche, "A (insert name of star player here) at 80 percent is as good as most other players in the league at 100 percent," I'm sorry - no. Even if it were true, we're not paying him 80 (or 60 or 70) percent of his salary, so why would we want (or accept) 80 percent of our value? Either sit out and get healthy or, if you're showing up at the rink, be sure your a$$ is ready to rock and roll.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Never. 

 

I thought that was the consensus and from there the talk shifted Staals.

 

As far as knee injuries go, I had the same injury Eric had, and it ended my baseball career about the time it was really jump starting.  I was a catcher.  I can tell you it wasn't a hangnail.

 

If Eric can play the wing and help the team I'm all for it.  But with the talk of not being active in FA, I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Top Shelf, Im with you, if you  not at 100 percent, dont be playing... And i wouldnt mind seeing EStaal at wing..

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If he didn't play through the injury, you guys would be complaining that he was home nursing his "hangnail".

 

On the thread drifting, it's the summer and it happens.

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Never. 

 

I thought that was the consensus and from there the talk shifted Staals.

 

As far as knee injuries go, I had the same injury Eric had, and it ended my baseball career about the time it was really jump starting.  I was a catcher.  I can tell you it wasn't a hangnail.

 

If Eric can play the wing and help the team I'm all for it.  But with the talk of not being active in FA, I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Then let's start a new thread about E Staal's injury.  Where is the Adninistrator when you need him?

Edited by g105

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Why not just change the name of this thread to "general" Staal talk?

 

That is, if it's really a big deal.  But, not a bad idea either.  I could see that thread being pretty popular.

 

Lot's more to talk about this summer vs. last, and I'd just rather read an opinion than worry too much about going off-topic. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I have seen plenty of Sutter and Nash.  No matter what last year's stats indicate, Sutter is a much better player in my eyes.  I love the way people can take a small sample size and leap to conclusions.

SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!

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I think changing the title of the thread is probably a good idea. The original question still stands if anyone else wants to address it, but it also allows folks to share their thoughts on all the brothers.

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Maybe from some, but not me, particularly as a guy with chronic knee issues my whole life. I didn't complain when Justin Williams took as long as he "kneeded"  :) and would much rather have a guy play healthy - especially one getting Staal's kinda money. If the worst happened, we'd be in the same boat as the Flyers are with Pronger - at TWICE the cap hit to boot.

 

Contrary to the popular cliche, "A (insert name of star player here) at 80 percent is as good as most other players in the league at 100 percent," I'm sorry - no. Even if it were true, we're not paying him 80 (or 60 or 70) percent of his salary, so why would we want (or accept) 80 percent of our value? Either sit out and get healthy or, if you're showing up at the rink, be sure your *edit* is ready to rock and roll.

 

Sorry t-s, I hope it doesn't feel like I'm picking on you, but some of your logic just doesn't make sense to me.  "Even if it were true, we're not paying him 80 (or 60 or 70) percent of his salary, so why would we want (or accept) 80 percent of our value?"  You're paying the player whether he's hurt of not.  Using the same logic, if a player is out rehabbing until he's 100%, we're not paying him 0% of his salary, so why would we accept 0% of our value? 

 

To me it's

  1. not an "either / or" proposition
  2. ultimately an organizational decision more so than the players

In a sport like pro hockey or pro football I've heard that once the season gets underway most players are playing hurt to some degree or another.  The question is, at what point is a team better off with a healthy "sub" over a hurt "starter" while that starter takes time to rehab to 100%?  The answer is going to vary in every situation depending on how much the injury detracts from the starters contribution, how good the sub is, the teams positioning with regard to the playoffs, etc.  And imo, it's the organization's responsibility to make that call, not the player. I mean, isn't the coaches primary responsibility to utilize the resources available to him so as to maximize the teams performance?  I don't leave that decision (and subsequent blame) up to a player.

 

Again, sorry if it feels like I'm targeting you.  I'm passing on the whole E debate, but when you compare a torn MCL to a hangnail, it sounds like an unwarranted insult rather than a valid discussion point.

:)

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Sorry t-s, I hope it doesn't feel like I'm picking on you, but some of your logic just doesn't make sense to me.  "Even if it were true, we're not paying him 80 (or 60 or 70) percent of his salary, so why would we want (or accept) 80 percent of our value?"  You're paying the player whether he's hurt of not.  Using the same logic, if a player is out rehabbing until he's 100%, we're not paying him 0% of his salary, so why would we accept 0% of our value? 

 

To me it's

  1. not an "either / or" proposition
  2. ultimately an organizational decision more so than the players

In a sport like pro hockey or pro football I've heard that once the season gets underway most players are playing hurt to some degree or another.  The question is, at what point is a team better off with a healthy "sub" over a hurt "starter" while that starter takes time to rehab to 100%?  The answer is going to vary in every situation depending on how much the injury detracts from the starters contribution, how good the sub is, the teams positioning with regard to the playoffs, etc.  And imo, it's the organization's responsibility to make that call, not the player. I mean, isn't the coaches primary responsibility to utilize the resources available to him so as to maximize the teams performance?  I don't leave that decision (and subsequent blame) up to a player.

 

Again, sorry if it feels like I'm targeting you.  I'm passing on the whole E debate, but when you compare a torn MCL to a hangnail, it sounds like an unwarranted insult rather than a valid discussion point.

:)

Pick away, Lake :) But no, it doesn't feel that way at all.

 

I think - always have - that the distinction organizations make between concussions and other injuries is crazy. If Eric's injury was as severe as some are suggesting, there's no way he should have been on the ice until it was better. Yes, we'd still be paying him, yes, we'd have likely missed the playoffs. But by playing him, the organization (if indeed they made the decision) added the risk that it would wind up with their franchise player permanently disabled - and that indicates a serious problem of managerial judgment, something many observers believe JR to have been guilty of in other cases for quite some time.

 

That said, while I wouldn't put it past JR to have pressured Eric to play with his injury, I don't think that's what happened. I think Eric got back from Worlds with his injury, got thoroughly checked out, was told he was fine, and said so himself. Press reports tell the same story, so if he (or the org) chose to hide or minimize what in fact was a serious injury, that's a problem.

 

Taking all that into consideration, we can surmise one of two things happened: Eric either wasn't ready to go (the injury excuse for his lackluster performance that some here are offering) or, he was - and the Canes, under his on-ice leadership, missed the playoffs again. (Which is NOT to negate the other moving parts which played a role that failure. Hockey is a team sport and it takes a team to succeed. But neither does it change the fact that under Eric's captaincy we've made the playoffs exactly one time.)

 

Let's look at the first possibility: Eric was hampered by his injury and it affected his performance. You think it's up to the organization to determine whether a player's contribution while injured is enough to warrant his inclusion in the lineup. Meaning that if Eric was hampered by his knee injury all year and kept lacing 'em up, it was because someone (or ones) in the org felt his contribution would still be enough to help the team win. It certainly was on New Year's eve, so that argument has some merit.

 

Let's look at the second possibility: Eric was ready to go but his on-ice leadership and contributions did not translate into enough wins to make the playoffs. Meaning he needed to be held accountable at various points in the season, but someone (JR) blocked the coaching staff from doing so. The reasons why that might have happened are varied (ticket sales, "favorite son" status, whatever) and unimportant for our purposes here. What matters is whether the coach was undercut, and given Muller's departure and the comments coming out since, the argument that he was also seems to have some merit.

 

Regardless which actually happened, though, the bottom line is organizational failure. If Eric was playing with a potentially career-ending injury all year, that is an organizational failure to protect its investment, and whomever green-lighted him (Friesen, his doctor, JR or all of the above) was complicit in that failure. If Eric was healthy and failed to lead his team to the playoffs again, he needed to be called to account, whether that meant less time on the PP, healthy scratches, or some outright benching, yet these did not occur.

 

That JR is now gone is the best news, regardless which of the above scenarios was true. It indicates to me that the page has (finally) turned and our $9-million-a-year player will face the same accountability as his franchise-player peers on other teams. And for a Captain - especially on a team that is now being led largely by two of the league's best ex-captains - I have to think "accountability" means: You give 100 percent every shift, you earn your franchise player status and you lead based on your on-ice performance. I think that's what Muller - also a much-respected former Captain in this league - tried to do, and he was thwarted.

 

Based on the Forslund interview, it seems to have been made clear to every player before they headed for their post-season distractions that personal accountability of each player is the new paradigm in Raleigh. By its very nature, that kind of accountability, to succeed, must begin with the Captain.

 

As an aside, if Eric was injured as seriously as some are suggesting, this team is indeed fortunate NOT to have made the playoffs, because an injury like that generally will not withstand the rigors of playoff hockey. We might well have wound up in the Pronger situation with Eric, and for a small-market team like ours, that in itself could do major damage to the org. 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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The problem is that Eric is, when healthy, and on his game, the best player on the team by far. Semin has more dazzling skill, as does Skinner, but Eric is, when on, the whole package. No one else has put up 100 points. And he is our first line center. And for most years since 2006, he's been one of our only first line players and we've been weak behind him at second line center ever since Brind'Amour's game went away. 

 

I guess I'm saying, why do we play Eric when he's not on his A game? 

What would it look like not to? 

Even last year in all of it's misery and Eric's worse year ever, he was solidly our top point producer. 

 

It is a dilemma. People want to strip the C, put him in the press box, but if that doesn't work, you've devalued your biggest asset, and tee'd him off so that, like, say a Kessler, he is now demanding a trade. 

 

One thing I'll say about this organization, very few have demanded trades out of here. 

 

Anyway, it's a tricky proposition. The fact is that a guy like Eric is the meal ticket. He is a rarity. A guy with the physical ability to be the dominant superstar on a team that needs them. I can see how bad performances from Eric would be really more difficult for management to deal with than we think, especially before last year. 

 

Here's the positive. Here's a possible good end result of last year:

 

Sometimes it just has to get that bad to get better. Have to hit bottom as it were. Have to get so bad and cluttered w/ negativity that you just clear the decks, take a new hard look and try from a cleaner slate.

 

JR is gone. Muller is gone. Francis is not happy with Eric's performance last year. Francis brought in a coach that will not put up with it. Francis will back that coach (it's easier now that Eric has run through 3 coaches, but still). Eric has probably been humbled at least some (I'm not saying he's an arrogant guy, but after being the man for so long, at some level you just have to take it for granted). I'm sure Francis has shopped Eric. I'm sure Francis has had a heart to heart w/ Eric that went something like: 
 

"Do you still want to be here? Do you have it in you to lead this team? I want you to realize your vast potential. We will only go as far as you take us. BUT, we need to go far. So if you are not getting it done, I will have no choice. Peters is going to push you. If it comes down to you or him, I'm going with him. But I'm betting on you getting it done. Let's get it done!"

 

If the problem was mostly between the ears, then I believe this really can, even will work. 

 

But I have been wrong before.

Edited by remkin

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Over the past 5 years it is now known that Eric had a good relationship with JR and JR kind of shielded Eric from the coaches.  Basically Staal had a "DO not mess with me" label on him.  If a coach had an issue with Eric then the coach was eventually replaced due to losing the team.  Just look at Maurice and Muller as prime examples.  Because Eric was never really called out by a coach because of his lazy play this ended up costing JR his job in the long run.

 

There has now been an entire overhaul from the GM on down.  RF strikes me as a no none sense GM since he knows what it takes to win a cup.  If Peters has a problem with Eric I am confident that Eric no longer will have the GM protecting him.  This will be an interesting season.  I have high hopes that Staal will be motivated and have another 2006 showing.

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SD, you mean like many on this board who believe Khudobin is an NHL #1 goalie after 36 games last season (the most he has played in a single season anywhere)?

 

That's a very good observation.  Khudo may be a real #1, but it will take this year to see for sure.

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Put me down as noting Khudobin as a NHL #1 goalie on this team. Yes.

 

Two years from now we will hopefully have the new Canes goalie prospects knocking on the door for playing time.

 

But for now Ward looks to have lost it and we have no depth in Charlotte.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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