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To Trade, or not to trade

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4 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

 

I'm not getting into a plus/minus debate, we just disagree on how we view Faulk.  But regardless, any deal that involves Faulk/Landeskog will still leave us with too many LWs and not enough D.

 

 

I suggested that we should've traded traded for Duchene, who wouldn't have cost Carolina any roster players, has severely outscored Landeskog, and covers a position of weakness.  Your response was he was a toothpick (who he's roughly the same size as Skinner and Crosby), and/or was of the same mold of a two-way center like Staal.

I purposely avoided the +/- because we do indeed view him differently. As for Skog/LW, he can and has played center and both sides.

 

Who were you willing to give up for Duchene? That's the sticking point: Fans tend to want the world back in exchange for nothing. The only reason Duche was finally moved (for nothing!) this year is that his sh*t meter was full and his agent told Joe so, you can book that. Joe had to take whatever he could get, which indicates we could have gotten him too. The fact that we weren't in the conversation at that point supports the notion that neither RF nor BP felt he was worth even some of our prospects, given that he has only two years left on his deal, is a borderline #1, and what he'll be demanding when it's time to re-up. I can easily imagine RF's rationale: Why give up what's seasoning in my barn when I can make a play for him in two years if I choose, without giving up anything?  

 

I asked for proposals because I am more interested in who everybody here is willing to give up. I think that is RF's conundrum: He likes what he has both here and in CLT enough that if the scoring doesn't come at the NHL level (and it's showing signs of doing so finally, thank goodness), he's going to have to let go of a roster player, maybe two, to get a true top scorer, regardless of whether its a wing or a center. And to bring back that kind of guy, his GM is going to want the guy(s) we give up to have at least a couple years left on their current deal, preferably more.

 

I think RF believes enough in what he's got to wait until there is no other choice but to make that deal. But in terms of centerpiece guys he can offer who have some term left, his options are limited to Rask (which I think he'd do reluctantly), Faulk, or Jordan. Pesce and Slavin are peas and carrots; neither is going anywhere. As far as guys he might throw in as sweeteners, those too are limited: Ryan, Nordstrom, Jooris, Dahlbeck, PDG, or maybe a mid-level prospect. I think the rest of the NHL roster is safe for the foreseeable future.

 

But whether we as fans like it or not, Jordo and Faulk, from a what-can-we-get-in-return POV, are ticking time bombs; the former because once he hits 30 next September his value begins dropping, and the latter because after this season, he has just two years left on his deal--and we're gonna have other D that needs to get paid. 

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2 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

I purposely avoided the +/- because we do indeed view him differently. As for Skog/LW, he can and has played center and both sides.

 

Who were you willing to give up for Duchene? That's the sticking point: Fans tend to want the world back in exchange for nothing. The only reason Duche was finally moved (for nothing!) this year is that his sh*t meter was full and his agent told Joe so, you can book that. Joe had to take whatever he could get, which indicates we could have gotten him too. The fact that we weren't in the conversation at that point supports the notion that neither RF nor BP felt he was worth even some of our prospects, given that he has only two years left on his deal, is a borderline #1, and what he'll be demanding when it's time to re-up. I can easily imagine RF's rationale: Why give up what's seasoning in my barn when I can make a play for him in two years if I choose, without giving up anything?  

 

I asked for proposals because I am more interested in who everybody here is willing to give up. I think that is RF's conundrum: He likes what he has both here and in CLT enough that if the scoring doesn't come at the NHL level (and it's showing signs of doing so finally, thank goodness), he's going to have to let go of a roster player, maybe two, to get a true top scorer, regardless of whether its a wing or a center. And to bring back that kind of guy, his GM is going to want the guy(s) we give up to have at least a couple years left on their current deal, preferably more.

 

I think RF believes enough in what he's got to wait until there is no other choice but to make that deal. But in terms of centerpiece guys he can offer who have some term left, his options are limited to Rask (which I think he'd do reluctantly), Faulk, or Jordan. Pesce and Slavin are peas and carrots; neither is going anywhere. As far as guys he might throw in as sweeteners, those too are limited: Ryan, Nordstrom, Jooris, Dahlbeck, PDG, or maybe a mid-level prospect. I think the rest of the NHL roster is safe for the foreseeable future.

 

But whether we as fans like it or not, Jordo and Faulk, from a what-can-we-get-in-return POV, are ticking time bombs; the former because once he hits 30 next September his value begins dropping, and the latter because after this season, he has just two years left on his deal--and we're gonna have other D that needs to get paid. 

 

My point about Duchene was that he was traded without the need of giving away a roster player, so there was no need of giving up anyone.  They got a likely late 1st, late 2nd, and a future 3rd with some B-level (at best) prospects for Duchene.  We could've matched that, and likely offered an even better package.  And giving up a couple of picks and lesser prospects for a Duchene at 2 years is well worth it.  And for what it's worth, Duchene has primarily played at Center, but some RW, which are positions of bigger concerns. Also as far as your comments indicating RF or BP didn't want Duchene, it was clear the asking price this past offseason was Hanifin, which wasn't going to happen.  But it was clear that the asking price went down significantly as the season progressed, and RF was nowhere to be found.  And if you think it's clear that RF didn't want Duchene, how do you think he feels about Landeskog?  His name was listed as available, and was heavily pursued by Boston and LA.  Carolina's name was much much more linked to Duchene than Landeskog.

 

As far as who to or not to trade, we don't fully know who's available, and at what cost.  Couple examples.  The JVR situation is kind of weird, because Toronto sees themselves as contenders, but I don't think they get a roster player back if they decide to trade him.  They're pushing the cap, they're going to have to give Nylander a significant pay bump after this season, then it's Matthews and Marner's turns the season after that.  I think JVR could be had for a B-level prospect and a 2nd if he were to be traded, but I think it would be in Toronto's best interest to just keep him and lose him for nothing if they want to contend.  Another name is James Neal.  LV has far exceeded expectations this year, but the speculation is still that they should let go some of these players for futures.  So he could possibly be had without giving up a roster player.

 

And I think RF's time has been up as far as making big moves.  He's played great small-ball so far, which in hindsight we needed to do more than I initially thought, but the needs of this team have been clear now more than ever.  Big names have been on the move recently.  And while we are sitting here arguing about semantics, other teams are getting better, and are making the big moves that RF isn't.

 

And as much as you may not like it, Jordan and Faulk are staples in our organization, and aren't likely going anywhere.  I can see maybe Faulk being traded, but definitely not Jordan.  Our organization has a history of not trading guys like that away.  

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13 minutes ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

And giving up a couple of picks and lesser prospects for a Duchene at 2 years is well worth it. 

Clearly RF didn't think so, or he would have made the deal. I get your point that in the end, it didn't take a roster player (probably because Duche has less than two years left), but where we seem to depart is on whether Duchene is a bonafide #1. And if that's not certain and we already have a #2/borderline #1 for the exact same money (Jordo), I don't think RF is inclined to go get another. He has said all along he wants a true #1, but there's maybe 15 in the league--and you're not getting any of them for prospects.

 

23 minutes ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

And if you think it's clear that RF didn't want Duchene, how do you think he feels about Landeskog? 

I think we won't know until RF a makes deal, whomever it brings back. And I do think one is in the works, though probably not for Skog, as much as I'd like to see him in a Canes' uni. I think he is a versatile and heavy player the likes of which this team needs, much more than another finesse guy when we already have Aho, TT, Skinner, Lindholm, Rask, etc. (I also find it interesting that you don't want "another LW" if it's Skog, but JVR, an older LW, is fine.)

 

32 minutes ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

Our organization has a history of not trading guys like that away.

Under JR, yes. (Though when he did, we knew they'd be back!) But there's a new sheriff who is determined not to run the org like JR did, and he really can't, given the way the game has changed. Teams are younger and faster, and with so many games being decided by a single goal, defensive lapses are very costly. I have a hard time imagining Jordan retiring a Cane at 36 years old--or, given their glaringly better D play, that when the time comes to make room in the D-corps payroll, Faulk stays over Pesce or Slavin. If we disagree on this too, okay. But with all the guys we have to pay and the big #2C-types we have in development, I think RF has set things up so he can move guys out as they reach their 30s, unless they are still contributing. Thanks to free agency few players have organizational loyalty, and organizations must adopt the same approach if they want to stay relevant. Maybe Jordan will be one of those who continues to play at a high level and plays out his deal, then skates into the sunset. If so, fantastic.

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1 hour ago, top-shelf-1 said:

Clearly RF didn't think so, or he would have made the deal. I get your point that in the end, it didn't take a roster player (probably because Duche has less than two years left), but where we seem to depart is on whether Duchene is a bonafide #1. And if that's not certain and we already have a #2/borderline #1 for the exact same money (Jordo), I don't think RF is inclined to go get another. He has said all along he wants a true #1, but there's maybe 15 in the league--and you're not getting any of them for prospects.

 

I think we won't know until RF a makes deal, whomever it brings back. And I do think one is in the works, though probably not for Skog, as much as I'd like to see him in a Canes' uni. I think he is a versatile and heavy player the likes of which this team needs, much more than another finesse guy when we already have Aho, TT, Skinner, Lindholm, Rask, etc. (I also find it interesting that you don't want "another LW" if it's Skog, but JVR, an older LW, is fine.)

 

Under JR, yes. (Though when he did, we knew they'd be back!) But there's a new sheriff who is determined not to run the org like JR did, and he really can't, given the way the game has changed. Teams are younger and faster, and with so many games being decided by a single goal, defensive lapses are very costly. I have a hard time imagining Jordan retiring a Cane at 36 years old--or, given their glaringly better D play, that when the time comes to make room in the D-corps payroll, Faulk stays over Pesce or Slavin. If we disagree on this too, okay. But with all the guys we have to pay and the big #2C-types we have in development, I think RF has set things up so he can move guys out as they reach their 30s, unless they are still contributing. Thanks to free agency few players have organizational loyalty, and organizations must adopt the same approach if they want to stay relevant. Maybe Jordan will be one of those who continues to play at a high level and plays out his deal, then skates into the sunset. If so, fantastic.

 

I've never said Duchene was the bonafine #1 we're all looking for, but he is a clear, undisputed upgrade at center over what we currently have.  You want us to wait for one of those 15 players to magically become available?  Good luck with that.  Hey, there's been speculation John Tavares maybe potentially wants to come here.  But the likes of McDavid/Crosby/Malkin/Backstrom/Stamkos/Matthews/Eichel/Seguin/Kopitar aren't going anywhere.  We are in year 4 of this rebuild, so playoffs need to be looking more likely than not.

 

And for what it's worth, I don't want JVR, I was just using his name as an example.  I want the next forward we acquire to be a center that can score.  An interesting name that is likely available is Alex Galchenyuk.  He fits the mold of that young forward.  He has size, and has shown ability to crash the net.  He was on a 55-60 pt pace last year, and nearly reached 60pts the season prior.  MTL is hesitant to sign him long term, and he's been in Claude Julien's doghouse so far, which explains his subpar numbers.  I don't know what it would cost, because it appears Montreal's in a world of trouble, and has multiple needs.  I'd be down if we acquired Galchenyuk, even though he's far from my 1st choice.

 

And RF too has shown hesitancy to make deals.  I'm sure you will agree that he waited a year too long to trade Eric, as we could've gotten more value for him.  He waited til the deadline, of his contract year, with declining numbers to move him.  I will say I was impressed that McKeown came up and held his own.  If he could establish some consistency, than ultimately I could see Faulk moved.  Which btw, I've never been completely against trading Faulk, but it would have to be for the right player, and I don't think Landeskog is that player.  If we weren't going to give Faulk up for Taylor Hall, no way does RF give him up for Landeskog.  And the problem is, without Faulk, our certified #3 is Hanifin, which I don't feel all that comfortable with.  Lots of things to consider.  

 

I'm not going to even entertain the thought of getting rid of Jordan, because it's just not going to happen.  

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Right now, in my mind, with Jordan playing so well would have been this:

 

Duchene > Rask

 

That ship has sailed, and in the long run it may well be best. But man could we use Rask on top of his game.

 

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5 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

I want the next forward we acquire to be a center that can score.

Just curious PK, why a center? Three years ago that was a legit need, but now we've got Aho, Rask, Lindholm, Kruger, Staal, TT, Jooris, and Ryan, all of whom can play center--with Wallmark, Roy, and Kouk on the way. What difference does it make if the scoring comes from the wing? I'm not asking facetiously, I'm really interested in why that's important to you.

 

5 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

I'm sure you will agree that he waited a year too long to trade Eric, as we could've gotten more value for him. 

I don't agree at all. As much as I wanted Eric gone, you can't move a guy with an NTC if he won't go, and JR's acquisition of Jordan pretty much made it a lock that Eric would stay 'til the bitter end. This is one reason I want to move Jordan while he still has value, and I think RF will. It doesn't have to be this year or next, and if he keeps playing like this, it shouldn't. But none of that changes the hockey business fact that once he's on the wrong side of 32, we're looking at little return at best, assuming he'll waive--and a potential buyout if at worst. 

 

Honestly, I think RF is doing everything right. He's been very clear that he's not going to make a deal because we all think he should. I'm not the one who mentioned the 15 1Cs--he did. I;m very happy that he hasn't rolled the dice on a lesser light at a high price. And thought I totally get the fan frustration - it's festered for the better part of 10 years - the fact is that four years into the job, he's put the team in a position that, if it's firing on all cylinders, it will make the dance. That hasn't happened yet, but in the last few games it's gotten palpably closer, and the best sign (to me) is that guys are visibly upset now when they lose. That's been a very long time coming for this org, and it indicates that, to a man, this roster knows what it has to do to win, and believes it can do it.

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5 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

Just curious PK, why a center? Three years ago that was a legit need, but now we've got Aho, Rask, Lindholm, Kruger, Staal, TT, Jooris, and Ryan, all of whom can play center--with Wallmark, Roy, and Kouk on the way. What difference does it make if the scoring comes from the wing? I'm not asking facetiously, I'm really interested in why that's important to you.

 

I don't agree at all. As much as I wanted Eric gone, you can't move a guy with an NTC if he won't go, and JR's acquisition of Jordan pretty much made it a lock that Eric would stay 'til the bitter end. This is one reason I want to move Jordan while he still has value, and I think RF will. It doesn't have to be this year or next, and if he keeps playing like this, it shouldn't. But none of that changes the hockey business fact that once he's on the wrong side of 32, we're looking at little return at best, assuming he'll waive--and a potential buyout if at worst. 

 

Honestly, I think RF is doing everything right. He's been very clear that he's not going to make a deal because we all think he should. I'm not the one who mentioned the 15 1Cs--he did. I;m very happy that he hasn't rolled the dice on a lesser light at a high price. And thought I totally get the fan frustration - it's festered for the better part of 10 years - the fact is that four years into the job, he's put the team in a position that, if it's firing on all cylinders, it will make the dance. That hasn't happened yet, but in the last few games it's gotten palpably closer, and the best sign (to me) is that guys are visibly upset now when they lose. That's been a very long time coming for this org, and it indicates that, to a man, this roster knows what it has to do to win, and believes it can do it.

 

Why a center?  Because we are a perimeter team, and most if not all of the good teams get primary scoring from there centers.  And you look at the top scoring wingers in the league, they all have great centers to play with.  You look at our weak link in our forward crop, it's clearly Ryan.  You mentioned all of those names, but only 3 are NHL centers Staal/Rask/Kruger.  Lindholm has been tried and failed there, RF flat out said Aho isn't ready with no time frame,  TT wasn't impressive at the position, and Ryan/Jooris are elite enough for a contending team.  Could you imagine how much better Skinner would look if he finally had a C he could play with?  We honestly don't have time to wait for a prospect to turn into a 50+ player.  If we were to upgrade maybe say Rask for a true #1 center somehow, I'd be more than happy to bring up one of those prospects and have them play 3C, but it ain't going to happen.

 

I don't think the Eric Staal sequence of events went the way you think.  I think we kept offering fools gold where we'd start playing well in January to make it look like we're close to contending, only to poop the bed in February.  I think that's why RF held onto Staal as long as he did.  Then as the deadline approached and playoff chances diminished, RF met with him and basically said he's going to move him.  And Eric, knowing wherever he went was likely to only be a temporary stop, told RF that he wanted to play with his brother in NY.  Which is fair because that's an instance where the NMC was created, as a reward for dedicating yourself to an organization instead of trying to play GM.

 

Overall, I think we're set for now on the wings, and the center position is just too important of a position to be weak in.  I think it's a joke that Derek Ryan is playing for this team in the capacity he is.

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12 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

 

Why a center?  Because we are a perimeter team, and most if not all of the good teams get primary scoring from there centers.  And you look at the top scoring wingers in the league, they all have great centers to play with.  You look at our weak link in our forward crop, it's clearly Ryan.  You mentioned all of those names, but only 3 are NHL centers Staal/Rask/Kruger.  Lindholm has been tried and failed there, RF flat out said Aho isn't ready with no time frame,  TT wasn't impressive at the position, and Ryan/Jooris are elite enough for a contending team.  Could you imagine how much better Skinner would look if he finally had a C he could play with?  We honestly don't have time to wait for a prospect to turn into a 50+ player.  If we were to upgrade maybe say Rask for a true #1 center somehow, I'd be more than happy to bring up one of those prospects and have them play 3C, but it ain't going to happen.

 

I don't think the Eric Staal sequence of events went the way you think.  I think we kept offering fools gold where we'd start playing well in January to make it look like we're close to contending, only to poop the bed in February.  I think that's why RF held onto Staal as long as he did.  Then as the deadline approached and playoff chances diminished, RF met with him and basically said he's going to move him.  And Eric, knowing wherever he went was likely to only be a temporary stop, told RF that he wanted to play with his brother in NY.  Which is fair because that's an instance where the NMC was created, as a reward for dedicating yourself to an organization instead of trying to play GM.

 

Overall, I think we're set for now on the wings, and the center position is just too important of a position to be weak in.  I think it's a joke that Derek Ryan is playing for this team in the capacity he is.

If Eric would only waive to play with his brother in NY at the end of his deal, is it not also plausible that he wasn't waiving before that, and leaving the brother who came here specifically to play with him, until he essentially had no choice? Unless management made conditions here intolerable for Eric, he wasn't waiving until refusing to do so made him look completely selfish, which refusing at the end of his deal would have. But if RF made him uncomfortable, he risked ******* off Jordo. The bottom line is that RF was handcuffed by JR's boneheaded trade and two boneheaded deals--and one them is still in force, and whether we like it or not, it will have to be dealt with. 

 

TT has had looks at C but has never been tried for any length of time, and the way he's going now I wouldn't move him. BP said he won't play Lindholm at C, but he's still taking face-offs, and has been instrumental, along with Williams (a wing, I must note) in giving us a net-front presence this year. So BP can say he's not playing C, but if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... well, you know. And that's what has changed in the NHL more than anything else: the game is so fast that it far less (traditionally) positional. C's have to be able to play the wing and vice versa, and the fact that BP has taken great pains to ensure that every line has two guys who can win face-offs is testament to that. As for Aho, RF said at the end of last season that he is "probably a year or two" from playing C. I'd like to see him there right now, but it's not up to me.

 

I agree that Ryan is the weakest link at C, but that's why he's been on one-year deals since we got him. I think he is a solid 4th line NHL center and PK guy with some playmaking chops. He also goes to the net. But I'm hoping he and Kruger switch roles at some point in the near future.

 

I've enjoyed the discussion, PK. We clearly have some areas of agreement. I think the org has taken great strides under RF, and that the ship is pointed in the right direction. If Rask, Lindholm, and Aho can start scoring consistently like we've seen them do in fits and starts up to now, we'll be fine.

 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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How I see who is available:

 

Florida- Isn’t going to trade anyone we want 

Edmonton- wants to add

Montreal- do they go into rebuild mode?  Chucky is still there. 

Buffalo- has to be our best shot with ROR if he is available. Although doubt it.

Arizona- do they have any worth getting on offense?  Im not counting the ELC guys.

 

everyone else is still in the mix.

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13 hours ago, gocanes0506 said:

How I see who is available:

 

Florida- Isn’t going to trade anyone we want 

Edmonton- wants to add

Montreal- do they go into rebuild mode?  Chucky is still there. 

Buffalo- has to be our best shot with ROR if he is available. Although doubt it.

Arizona- do they have any worth getting on offense?  Im not counting the ELC guys.

 

everyone else is still in the mix.

Ryan O Reilly is a very interesting thought. I guess I missed that he was available. He may not be an elite 1C, but he is a 1C, and would be a huge upgrade over Rask or Ryan. He would be a long term commitment as he has this year and 4 more on his contract. The interesting thing about his contract is that it was front loaded, so it declines as it goes on. This is perfect for us. The big hit is this year and next ($9 million and $8.5 million), but drops to $6 million for the three final years. Plus Francis isn't interested in short term fixes anyway. That was the main knock on trading for Duchene.

 

He is overpaid for his production this and next year, but he is still a very good player, and a center at that. If he's available, part of it probably is because of that contract. The team getting him will get a big contract. But we can eat a big contract if we want to. And the main meal is just 1 year plus this one.

 

He is a very consistent producer. 20G, 55-60 point pace almost always. He is currently .76 ppg and 27 goal pace. Last year he was the #27 best center in the NHL in points per game played. Yes, low end 1C numbers, but our best center was Jordan at #62. Given our depth everywhere else, and that elite 1C's almost never get traded, this guy would probably end up being fairly massive for us. O'Reily-J. Staal-Rask would be pretty strong. Then add Aho, TT, Lindholm, Skinner, Williams eventually Stempniak on the wings? Wanna really win now?

 

If we picked up a guy like this, we'd also have to look very long term. Maybe we'd think, "yes, but what about when Necas busts onto the scene, or Aho is ready to assume the 1C mantle?" Still seems like a good problem to have. First, Necas probably isn't a 1C for a couple of years, after which ROR's salary drops to $6 million. Second, even if Necas is a true 1C, we can go Necas, Jordan, ROR down the middle, move Rask to wing or to another team. Given our strength on wing, and our young D, we'd be pretty dang set for a long time.

 

I know that we are all gun shy about these big contracts, but ROR is 26 years old, and with the last three years at $6 million, it would be almost like paying cash to the Sabres for the next two years. And he is uber consistent. Not sure if he has a NMC.

 

I wonder what it would take to make that move? Buffalo has to be pretty close to realizing that they are still in rebuild, so maybe a deal stuffed with picks/prospects? I have to think that big contract would work to our advantage there as Buffalo would love the cap space, and love to ditch the big contract in another non playoff year.

 

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1 hour ago, remkin said:

Ryan O Reilly is a very interesting thought. I guess I missed that he was available. He may not be an elite 1C, but he is a 1C, and would be a huge upgrade over Rask or Ryan. He would be a long term commitment as he has this year and 4 more on his contract. The interesting thing about his contract is that it was front loaded, so it declines as it goes on. This is perfect for us. The big hit is this year and next ($9 million and $8.5 million), but drops to $6 million for the three final years.

 

This season is 1/4 done, so the hit this year would only be $6.75m . . . I wonder what it would take to get him here?

Edited by LakeLivin

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11 minutes ago, LakeLivin said:

 

This season is 1/4 done, so the hit this year would only be $6.75m . . . I wonder what it would take to get him here?

 

Gocanes, when was there rumor that he might be available? I guess it would start there.

 

Buffalo does seem like one of the few teams that is already essentially out of it though, and could in theory make a rebuild type move now.

 

I'm guessing they would expect a pretty decent return for him.

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On 11/18/2017 at 10:43 AM, top-shelf-1 said:

If Eric would only waive to play with his brother in NY at the end of his deal, is it not also plausible that he wasn't waiving before that, and leaving the brother who came here specifically to play with him, until he essentially had no choice? Unless management made conditions here intolerable for Eric, he wasn't waiving until refusing to do so made him look completely selfish, which refusing at the end of his deal would have. But if RF made him uncomfortable, he risked ******* off Jordo. The bottom line is that RF was handcuffed by JR's boneheaded trade and two boneheaded deals--and one them is still in force, and whether we like it or not, it will have to be dealt with. 

 

TT has had looks at C but has never been tried for any length of time, and the way he's going now I wouldn't move him. BP said he won't play Lindholm at C, but he's still taking face-offs, and has been instrumental, along with Williams (a wing, I must note) in giving us a net-front presence this year. So BP can say he's not playing C, but if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... well, you know. And that's what has changed in the NHL more than anything else: the game is so fast that it far less (traditionally) positional. C's have to be able to play the wing and vice versa, and the fact that BP has taken great pains to ensure that every line has two guys who can win face-offs is testament to that. As for Aho, RF said at the end of last season that he is "probably a year or two" from playing C. I'd like to see him there right now, but it's not up to me.

 

I agree that Ryan is the weakest link at C, but that's why he's been on one-year deals since we got him. I think he is a solid 4th line NHL center and PK guy with some playmaking chops. He also goes to the net. But I'm hoping he and Kruger switch roles at some point in the near future.

 

I've enjoyed the discussion, PK. We clearly have some areas of agreement. I think the org has taken great strides under RF, and that the ship is pointed in the right direction. If Rask, Lindholm, and Aho can start scoring consistently like we've seen them do in fits and starts up to now, we'll be fine.

 

 

I've enjoyed the discussion as well, and I've been busy at work and trying to get computer certifications to respond lately.  I think we do agree on more stuff than not, other than our opinion on Faulk and the need for a true offensive center.  I think from on-ice to the front office, we appear to have a more legitimate organization.  JR controlled so much say so as GM and President, and his moves (or lack thereof) over the years stunted our team's growth.

 

As far as Eric goes, I remember the exit interviews the two seasons prior to him being traded about his uncertainty with Carolina.  The message was clear when RF and BP came onto the scene that he wasn't going to survive another coaching change.  And each season except maybe one, we clamored on to hope that we were a lot closer to being a playoff team, so RF erred on the side of caution and kept him around longer than he should've.

 

As far as moving players around at C, the problem is is that it still leaves void in our lineup, and is not a long term solution.  That's why we've never seen consistency out of our C assignments with Lindholm and TT.  Furthermore, the two of them were just not that good at it.  Lindholm started out last season as a C, and registered 1pt in the first 20 games of the season.  You call Turris and Duchene toothpicks (even though they are both at or above 200lbs), but TT's maybe 180lbs.  And one of people's biggest complaints about BP is his lack of running consistent lines.  Playing musical chairs with players at center will just cause more line adjustments that won't last, and it still won't make these current players crash the net more.  Both Kruger and Ryan are 4C's, so switching roles would be a wash.  Neither can generate the offense we need.  The offensive is fine now, but I've seen this before.  There will be a point where we're going to struggle again, and not having another scoring center is just one less person we can rely on.

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Today on XM there was speculation about Buffalo possibly trading Evander Kane since his contract is up and he's going to want to get paid in his next one (he's currently on a 47 goal pace). And that they need to buy out Pominville, but not about trading O'Reily. Though in the conversation Patrick O Sullivan kind of dissed O'Reilly a little as "not that great, or not elite" or something like that.

 

I think that the combination of Kane's UFA status at the end of the year and his, uh, history, both extracurricular and injuries, make him a poor fit for us. But O'Reilly makes a lot of sense to me. He also makes a lot of money and if they want to re-sign Kane, they might look to move him. Plus Buffalo needs D.

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O'Reilly would easily be #1 on my list of candidates if available, even though I feel like he's overpaid, but no way does Buffalo trade him.  At this point, both of him and Eichel are low end #1C's.  And they're at year 7 or 8 without making the playoffs, and I think they look at him as part of the solution and not the problem.  And to top it off, they have a lot of big salaries.  If I were them, I'd extend Kane, and trade one or both of Okposo/Reinhart.

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5 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

The offensive is fine now, but I've seen this before.  There will be a point where we're going to struggle again, and not having another scoring center is just one less person we can rely on.

I hear that, and don't disagree that we need a scoring C. I just think that among all the C's we have now and those in the barn, one is a guy who can be as "on" as Jordo is now when Jordo is not going this well. My money's on Lindholm, but I haven't given up on the team getting Rask's meds right (!) and him breaking through.

 

TT (and Aho) are absolutely what I call toothpicks, but they've also got skills that negate that to what I believe is a greater extent than does Duchene. Plus they know our system. I have to think that's at least part of RF's calculation: "Does the guy I'm looking at offer a different-enough dynamic than what I've already got to justify the deal?" I've just never believed Duche does that.

 

The way TT came right back from what looked like pretty bad injury at around the 5-game mark suggests there's a toughness there that would let him eventually become a 3rd line C (on a team with "no numbered lines"). If Jordo and Lindy (or Rask) can together comprise the C-corps of lines 1 and 2, I think the org can be successful until the crop now seasoning in CLT is ready.

 

None of which is to suggest we shouldn't make the right deal for the right player at a fair price. But I have to just trust that a deal meeting RF's definition of that has not been available, since he's the guy pulling the trigger. 

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2 hours ago, remkin said:

I think that the combination of Kane's UFA status at the end of the year and his, uh, history, both extracurricular and injuries, make him a poor fit for us. But O'Reilly makes a lot of sense to me. He also makes a lot of money and if they want to re-sign Kane, they might look to move him. Plus Buffalo needs D.

That alone is why I don't want him...it would have been like possibly trading for another Kane a few seasons ago, with all his extracurricular baggage ;)

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