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2016 Off-Season Talk

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Juri Hudler was a guy I had my eye on too. One has to think he is just asking too much. A one or two year deal would be worth looking at I think. But, at this point, I'm not sure where he fits. Francis has essentially decided to go with Stempniak in that veteran short timer role. We have a pretty set top 9. Still, we would have mega depth for any injuries...or if Nesty or any other forward is not ready to go...

 

In the end, I really doubt we go that way because it would push a clear cut top 9 guy to the 4th line or press box:

 

Jordan, Nesty, Nordstrom, Teravainen, Lindholm, Skinner, Rask, Stempniak, Aho. That has to be the odds on top 9.

 

W/ PDG, Bickell, and Stahlberg all pushing up from the 4th ilne, and McClement there too.

 

That's already 13 guys for 12 spots.

I doubt that we go in that direction as well but I am all about depth. We certainly have the cap available and a one year deal if available would give us an insurance policy against injuries and also take some of the pressure off of the Yutes. I am probably on an island by myself but until AHO straps on the skates in an NHL uniform and proves he is ready for the big time I am holding off on counting him in a top 9 role. All indications and predictions say that he is ready and that he could be an elite player but until I see it with my own eyes I'm holding off on counting him on a top 9 spot. Peters has stated that he would be very surprised if he doesn't make the roster. I'd like one more insurance policy for another year just in case. :shock:

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We do have PDG is sort of an insurance as #13. He was on a 34 point pace, which is really not bad third line numbers. If Aho is not ready or struggles, they could send him down and slot PDG on the third line, still having Bickell, Stahlberg, and McClemment on the 4th. Beyond that, we could call a guy up for the 4th and bump either Bickell or Stahlberg up too. Alot could depend on what the deal is with Bickell. Can he still play? Clearly not at a $4 million level, but we don't need him for that. Two years ago he still put up 28 points, which is good for 4th line and OK for 3rd even.

 

Francis has also said he's holding a spot for Aho. It is a fair point though that he has to show it in the NHL But since he can essentially be slotted all the way down to the #9 slot, it is hard not to see him get a long look even if he doesn't do great immediately.

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This all got me thinking that sort of a bit under the radar, Francis has really upgraded our 4th line/one guy press box level.

 

We should be able to get around 14 more goals out of that part of the line up, probably more. And at the same time we got much bigger and harder to play against.

 

Last year:

 

Terry: 11 points in 68 G

Gerbe: 7 points in 47 G

Malone: 6 points in 57 G

McClement: 11 points in 77 G

 

Together they accounted for an entire season of 4th line games and combined for 35 TOTAL points between the 4 of them.

 

And only Malone brought physicality.

 

This year we should be able to get:

 

Bickell: 20 points

Stahlberg: 20 points

McClement: 17 points (he did 21 two years ago)

PDG: 20 points. (he was on a 34 point pace last year in rookie year, but played a lot on third line).

 

Assuming those 4 do that production from mostly the 4th line, that is 77 points vs 35 points.

 

Drop back to 70 for buffer, and you have 35 more points, and probably 14 more goals.

 

That is not insignificant. While the failings of the top part of our lineup got the most attention last year, the bottom failed too.

 

 

On top of that, we have Stahberg at 6'3" and Bickell at 6'4".

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I don't see PDG as a fourth liner. He either cracks the top 9 stays as an extra or plays in Charlotte. The days of putting a guy that doesn't fit the role just to keep him up with the team is over IMO. It could happen but we have other 4th line prospects if players acquired don't work out.

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The only thing I could see happening, and not a strong possibility, is a trade for Fleury from the Penguins. Send Lack and a pick or prospect the other way would free up $3M from the Penguins and give us an excellent goalie for only one more contract year over Lack. That would not "block" Ned if he is ready on time due to Cam's contract expiring at the same time as Lack's is due to anyway.

 

No...  Just no.  According to a TSA guy at airport Francis openly told him that Fleury is way too soft.  So if this is true (which I think it is)  I don't think Francis is interested in Fleury.

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Yeah, I haven't either.  So if it is true.  I wonder what he meant by that.  Did he imply soft psychologically as in a head case?  Or injury prone?

Edited by bluedevil58

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I wonder about Bickell. We are paying the guy. He's a big guy. The Hawks paid him to be a top 6 guy really, top 9 at least. We really just need him to bang on the 4th and maybe score a little. Is he not even up for that?

 

If not, I guess it would explain us getting TT I guess.

 

I agree that Peters and Francis don't really want PDG banging on the 4th line, but I do wonder if that line had some skill with Stahlberg and McClement, if we might not roll 4 lines more and still he'd be better off here. Plus, there are exactly 9 guys in the top 9 and if any of 9 is injured PDG would slide up. Otherwise we have 10 guys for the top 9.

Edited by remkin

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Looks like Kane may be available from the Sabres soon, or in 3 to 5 depending on the jury. I'm glad our guys stay out of the section of the newspaper.

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Hawks fans think Bickell is done, so I'm not expecting much from him, if anything.

I am not expecting anything out of Bickell either. Hope he ends up surprising us all.

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I'm cautiously optimistic that Bickell is going to be a contributor at least. Hawks fans do say he's done, but they have been trying to move that contract and most fans always think their guy was injured/underrated/misused/misunderstood before being traded, and then trash once he's gone. That is except for us with Semin. We thought he was trash both before and after.

Edited by super_dave_1

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The only thing I could see happening, and not a strong possibility, is a trade for Fleury from the Penguins. Send Lack and a pick or prospect the other way would free up $3M from the Penguins and give us an excellent goalie for only one more contract year over Lack. That would not "block" Ned if he is ready on time due to Cam's contract expiring at the same time as Lack's is due to anyway.

I have never been a fan of M A Fleury. I still remember the world jr fiasco when he lost the gold for Canada. I believe he is a mid range goaltender who has benefited from playing on a great team.

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Hawks fans think Bickell is done, so I'm not expecting much from him, if anything.

Anything we get from him would be a pleasant surprise. As I posted a few pages back, we did that deal for one reason only, and his initials are TT. Much better deal - and much cheaper - than anything we'd have gotten from Detroit for Datsyuk's hit.

 

Bickell *could* come all the way back, and I hope he can. But I don't think the leash is long. He's on the wrong side of 30 and is never going to play with more enthusiasm than the first few times he's back on NHL ice.

 

I think he still wants to bring it, but his health issues are dicey. I did some reading on vestibular disorders, which is what are now believed to be have been at the root of his struggles. Scary. If he looks shaky early, I could see us buying him out by Thanksgiving. With his concussion history it might actually make more sense, and since he played for BP in the past and knows his system, there could be an off-ice role for him.

 

It never hurts to have as many guys with rings in the org as possible.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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I have never been a fan of M A Fleury. I still remember the world jr fiasco when he lost the gold for Canada. I believe he is a mid range goaltender who has benefited from playing on a great team.

Fleury's a head case. I want him nowhere near this team. 

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Thanks top, you RonnieFrancise as well as BD58 all validated my thoughts on MAF (post 1721). All I've ever heard about him was glowing, but I just can't buy into that.

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I think he still wants to bring it, but his health issues are dicey. I did some reading on vestibular disorders, which is what are now believed to be have been at the root of his struggles. Scary. If he looks shaky early, I could see us buying him out by Thanksgiving. With his concussion history it might actually make more sense, and since he played for BP in the past and knows his system, there could be an off-ice role for him.

 

It never hurts to have as many guys with rings in the org as possible.

Looks to be very dicey. Even on the light hit he gave while with the Hogs in the video he looked dazed skating away. He's a physical type player and if he can't bring that game.....adios. He states he is good to go,we will see.  http://www.mystateline.com/sports/bickell-opens-up-about-head-injuries.

Edited by slapshot02

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Some random guy at the airport said he was soft.

 

So which is it - is he soft or a head case?

 

:lol:

Both and gives up soft goals....I was informed this from the guy who sells soft ice cream. 

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MAF would be a significant upgrade in our net. He plays on a team with shotty defense at best, and is generally in the top 10 in all goaltending stats. I refuse to dismiss Fleury when Cam's our best option.

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As far as MAF,  just think what his numbers would be if he didn't have all those stars in front of him. I don't know if he would even be a Checker.

Edited by winger52

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I'm not buying that super stars in front of him argument. There's been plenty of years where Crosby and Malkin have missed significant number of games, and he still put up elite numbers. He's also never had an elite defense in front of him either.

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