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biggssalvatore

The Czech Condor is back

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belanger did not impress me any at all. i think this was a good move since he apparently was not happy here. glad we have big joe back, he was always one of my favs. i say good ridance to belanger, sorry but he just was not as good i thouught he might be in the beginning.

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Did you guys see the interview with Ladd Thursday night? He said they need to get things straight in the locker room before they get it together on the ice. I think Belanger was part of the problem in the locker room. That is why he is gone and Joe is back. Joe is pretty comparable to EB in stats, and great in the locker room.

thanks...

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I like Big Joe's personality, but he's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow and doesn't use his body. Eric is quick and better with the puck. I hope it works out for us, I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. I read the Predators message boards and they are REALLY happy Big Joe is gone. I guess he never really fit in there. I was hoping for a better trade than this. But again, we will have to see, maybe this will be a good thing.......maybe :?:

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Just wantd to post a few quotes from the N&O:

"I was so happy," Vasicek said Friday night. "To come back to a place that I know; it's great to be coming home. It was up and down in Nashville and things didn't really work out. It feels like I was just on a long road trip."

JR talking about trades

"We didn't use any assets on defense and that's what teams are looking for," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We still have a surplus of defensemen, the obvious one being Anton. We are still in a position to make another move."

Speaking of his "slump" with the Preds

"I have no idea what happened," he said. "I thought I had a pretty good training camp but for whatever reason, it didn't work out."

On Vasicek v Belanger

Belanger, meanwhile, was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings along with Tim Gleason in the Jack Johnson trade on Sept. 29, but with eight goals never provided the offense the Canes were expecting from the third-line center position. Given the option, the team decided Vasicek's potential was worth another chance, with both players eligible to become unrestricted free agents this summer.

"If something happened to either Rod [brind'Amour] or Eric [staal], Joe has a better chance to jump up into that position and give us more minutes," Rutherford said. "We also feel he has some work to do to get his game back to where it should be, but this is the place to do it, where he's most comfortable."

The rest of the article is here: http://www.newsobserver.com/796/story/541761.html

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Well Joe is still yound, he likes it here, and he likes the people (fans and players) and they like him, so maybe he can get it back together and become a 45 point player a gain.

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I thought trading away the Condor was one of JR's better moves. Big Joe contributed almost nothing to the Canes playoff drive, and in fact when Lavi scratched him in the final game to play LaRose, I felt that move helped push the Canes over the top. Vasicek, for his size, shied away from trouble, didn't score much, wasn't a big play maker (a la Stillman), wasn't much of a backchecker, let himself get pushed around by smaller opponents, didn't stick up for teammates as an enforcer. In fact I didn't see any significant contribution. Cole is a lightweight by comparison but much more of a "power forward" than Joe was. Rutherford is floundering and adding mistakes on top of mistakes this season.

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I was very shocked when I read about this trade and was very against it, but now that i've had time to think about it, it might not be that bad of a move.

I really think this move was done more for chemistry then anything. Chemistry is lacking in the locker room. Belanger wasn't comfortable here. He said in December that he is starting to feel comfortable. The key word here is starting. And I think Forslund summed it up when he said you "trade a guy that had a hard time finding his identity on this team for a guy that you know what your getting out of."

Now with Jo back, and yes he is slow, but I would like to see him plant that big body in front of the net. If the goalie can't see the puck, he can't stop it. And face it, we have been lacking big bodies in front of the net. Willie did great in Montreal for Frankie's GWG and we need to do more of that.

Sounds like the guys are happy to have the Condor back and the Condor is happy to be coming home. Who knows maybe the Condor will embrace this 2nd chance and surprise us all. Kind of like Tanabe is doing.

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I second the earlier post that I'd rather have seen Cullen or Ward return.

How deep are the Canes now at center?

Their too expensive. And we have to re-sign Cam, Whitney and Walker after this season. And IMHO i'd rather have the likes of Whitney and Walker over Cullen. Now if there is a way to have these 2 plus Cullen, then I'd say hell yeah get Cullen here.

As far as Ward, he's replaceable with Gleason. He's younger and cheaper.

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I guess I'll throw my observations out there too.

Like most people I was surprised by the move and it obviously isn't the major one that everyone expected but it isn't the last one either since the D corps are still overcrowded.

Belanger: I like the guy's energy and determination but his early returns this year fizzled and he just wasn't adding much. He skates hard but doesn't have great vision on the ice so he doesn't make those around him much better. Like Cullen and has a slight build and can be knocked off the puck but unlike Cullen doesn't have the ability to be productive on the wing. As a result, he can too easily get rubbed out along the boards down low and the cycle game suffers.

The third line doesn't have the horses to outclass the opposition with skating, speed and skill so it has to function as more of grind line. Although he did a nice job planting himself in front of the net on a goal against the Leafs he just doesn't have the stature to do it regularly. When he got "promoted" a while back and skated with Cole and Stillman he basically failed his audition and the Canes knew he was more of 3rd/4th line role player than difference maker on the 2nd/3rd line.

Vasicek: It's easy to forget his contributions the last time he was healthy in Carolina. People write off his 45 points which lead a terrible team but on a percentage basis his points relative to the team's was impressive. The other knock on him is that he didn't do much last year or so far this year in Nashville. Fair enough but a deeper dive is in order.

Last year he started out on the wing with Staal, Brindy and Cullen as the top 3 centers. Many people think he is too slow for Lavi's system and he may be - at wing. At center he is no slower, although I'm not comparing skill levels, than Weight and Brindy. Stillman is slow but has great ice vision and positioning so he makes up for it. So it's not just about speed.

He's strong on the puck, has long reach and rarely (compared to Belanger) will get muscled off the puck. He's not a big hitter and not as physical as his size would indicate but his skill level as a scorer and contributions both in front of and behind the net could, and I emphasize, could be an upgrade over Belanger particularly on the PP unit even though Belanger was good on draws.

So when I consider all that I'm not convinced it was a great trade but I see where the upside could be and I'm not going to label it a bad trade. Time will tell but I think I can see what the thinking was and a rationale for it.

Somebody made a good point about comparing the negative reactions to Tanabe bashing. Some guys get labeled and will struggle to shed that impression with some fans. Other guys can play terribly and get a free pass, Hedican earlier this year comes to mind. Just my .02.

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Guess we'll see Vas's effort tonight. Then we can make judgements all we want :D

Like some fans refused to do with Weight and Recchi, I'm not going to pass judgment in the first few games.

I'll look at the bigger picture but if Vasicek plays more like he did in Nashville, even though he got shuffled around, I'll be critical of the move too. No trade can be gauged, good or bad, after just one game.

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I second the earlier post that I'd rather have seen Cullen or Ward return.

How deep are the Canes now at center?

Not very deep: Brind'Amour, Staal, and Vasicek, with Letowski (who is a natural winger) centering the fourth line.

I smell a Babs/Big Joe trade in the wind for something.....JR has two bungled messes this week and that ain't like him. Gotta come out smellin' like a rose some how with this crap!

I don't think Vasicek is going anywhere for a while. He's happy to be back, management is happy to have him back, and it looks like he'll sign with the Hurricanes again when his contract is up.

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Guess we'll be seeing Belanger around after all. In a Thrashers jersey.
Yes, with Belanger to Atlanta for a D-man, now the Belanger/Vasicek trade is making a lot of sense for Nashville. I wonder when it will for us??

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I don't see where Belanger does much for ATL, but who knows.
I agree. ATL has "issues" on defense as it is...and they trade away a guy that puts in 20+ minutes a game? Interesting.

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So to net this all out from last year....We basically traded Tverdovsky for Walker and Gleason right? I would say overall that was a pretty good deal at the end of the day.

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