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The Staal Factor - Everything Staal(s)

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Oh, I think Khudobin is a legit #1, but the sample size is small. I also think Ward needs a change of scenery, but his play and the dollars will prevent it. This team could be in the cat bird seat for free agency if PK could stomach the compliance buyouts.

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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.

 

It will be interesting to see how the season goes. If we can make it out of the preseason without crippling or lingering injuries, I don't foresee motivation being a factor going in. I'm sure that everyone will try their absolute best to prove themselves to a new coach and GM. 

 

IF in fact JR was Eric's security blanket, appointing a new GM and coaching staff were probably the best thing that could have happen to the Canes. One wake-up call Francis can make today (for all I care), is not qualify Jared or get rid of him in any way he sees fit, if for no other reason than to just make a point. I'm sure losing Jared is not going to hurt the Checkers at all.  

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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.

Beautiful summation of exactly where I stand as well, Rem. Thanks. 

 

While I have supported sitting E down during his typical annual period of disappearance, I have also been very consistent in saying I want nothing more than for him to succeed again here. We've invested too much money for any reasonable person NOT to want that. I agree that Ronnie has likely laid things out for him, and think it's high time that happened; I doubt it ever did under JR.

 

So I am hopeful too that we see not only a newly energized Eric but an entire team that is playing like every game is a must win. In this league, and especially in our division, it is. 

 

LET'S GO GANES!!!

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It will be interesting to see how the season goes. If we can make it out of the preseason without crippling or lingering injuries, I don't foresee motivation being a factor going in. I'm sure that everyone will try their absolute best to prove themselves to a new coach and GM. 

 

IF in fact JR was Eric's security blanket, appointing a new GM and coaching staff were probably the best thing that could have happen to the Canes. One wake-up call Francis can make today (for all I care), is not qualify Jared or get rid of him in any way he sees fit, if for no other reason than to just make a point. I'm sure losing Jared is not going to hurt the Checkers at all.  

Agree 100 percent, and I must say, I think JR had a hard time ever getting out of the "gimmicky" mindset. But that I mean in moving a franchise from a place like Hartford to Carolina would make getting butts in the seats an overarching concern for any GM, and I'm not sure he ever lost it, even after the Cup win. I long suspected that all the talk about eventually having all the Staals here was more about gimmickry than hockey. That is not to take anything away from Jordan or Marc - they are both terrific players. But families are dysfunctional, and bringing one together on a hockey team is just scary as far as I'm concerned.

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With a new GM and coach, I think everyone, from Eric on down, knows they have to prove themselves where it counts. I'm willing to give Eric a little bit of a pass on last year because of the injury sustained in the summer, and frankly, the general malaise of the team most of the season. Can anyone remember so many players on one team having career worst seasons at the same time? I do think a lot of this is on Muller and his "system."

However, I hope the whole team comes in with a no more excuses attitude. Eric should be a 30 goal, 70+ point player, and he needs to lose the lazy penalties. I believe he can, and perhaps be the type of leader we need and have been lacking. If he plays like he did last year and we are not seriously competitive by the trade deadline, I would not be surprised to see him traded. At this point I'm choosing to be optimistic.

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Bluedevilcane: "I do think a lot of this is on Muller and his "system".

 

I was never sure what, exactly, the "system" was---but every player that was quoted

in an interview last year said something like " we play better and win when we play the system."

 

"The system" never seemed to take into account the other team. By that I mean a team needs to

be prepared for the particular team they play--and know how to use their strengths to exploit the

opponents weak spots. Of course basic hockey skills like puck possession, playing strongly

in all three zones will be stressed by Peters, I think. But he will likely prepare them for roadblocks

another team may put up. And my guess is he will slot our "23 individual contractors" into positions

that give them the best chance to do well. He seems to do his homework. I would also not be

surprised to see him change tactics within a game, when needed. I don't think he will look like

a " deer in the headlights"  And I think the GM will back him up !

 

I know he realizes he has two skilled "Staals" (in addition to Skinner, Semin etc) and it they feel

he sets them up to succeed and expects accountability from them---my guess is he will get it.

And if he plays to each players strengths----the rest will follow !

 

I hope I am right----you can all throw darts at me in the mid season, if I am wrong.!  :shakeshead:

Edited by UNCCaniac8

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