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They retained nine of their top ten scorers from the previous season, a season in which they had the best record of every non-playoff team in the NHL. They could have rested on the belief that guys like Marek Svatos, Paul Stastny, and Wojtek Wolski would continue to improve and make their team better this season, a belief that likely would've proven correct. However, they decided to make the moves for Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannen to insure that their team would be better next season and to insure that their team would return to the playoffs.

When you look at the offensive potential of Dainius Zubrus and the toughness of Mike Comrie, they could have been two players that could have made this team better. We take a risk on a player like Jeff Hamilton who, if he doesn't produce like we think he can, will negatively affect the production of our entire third-line. Andrew Ladd and Scott Walker have already shown in the past that they are only as productive as the center that feeds them the puck.

Sakic and Hejduk were the only two key holdovers from the Cup years so it was time to reload and they had the money to do it. They made the major moves they did to win the Cup next year, not just return to the playoffs. The Canes felt their core could make another run, only one year removed from a Cup. They are entirely different situations.

Aside from the fact that Comrie is about as "tough" as Ray Whitney, meaning hardly at all, please explain who those two are the missing ingredients? If you overpay Comrie to center the 3rd line, and he decides he actually wants to put an honest effort into it, where would Zubrus play and who would he replace?

Keep in mind too this is the same Zubrus who never scored 20 goals before until he and Ovechkin played on the same line. The same Zubrus who in Washington frustrated the team to no end for seemingly taking every other game off. Yet these guys are the missing ingredients? Sorry, I'm not even close to buying that.

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I still say...

Our top scoring defenseman missed over half last season (Kab), one of our top forwards missed half (Stillman), a puck moving Olympian missed 2 months all total (Hedican), our goalie was in his first year as a starter (Ward), our Captain was in intense pain the last half of the season with a foot issue, our newly acquired young stud defenseman missed over a month (Gleason), our top power forward returned to the ice after a broken neck for his first season back, and our team with a short rest played nearly the entire first month on the ROAD due to the state fair etc...

AND WE STILL NEARLY MADE THE PLAYOFFS?

Yea, we should disband the entire team.

We arent perfect, but JR would be crazy to make wholescale changes this offseason. Next year... maybe. But not now.

I think that sums it up quite nicely. Not entirely true. Staal could have put a little more effort sometimes, but I'm willing to blame getting married on that one. That, and Grahme was left out to dry sometimes.

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On the ice, though, they were essentially equal to the Hurricanes. Their main losses were a third-line center (Brett McLean) and a defenseman (Ken Klee), much like our main losses were a third-line center (Josef Vasicek) and a defenseman (David Tanabe). They still went out and signed two of the top free agents on the market in Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan. While I never would expect the Hurricanes to make a move similar to that, I expected them atleast make some type of move to improve a team that missed the playoffs one year ago. Instead, we retained basically the same roster that under-achieved last season and have pinned all of our playoff hopes on the current roster "feeling" like they want to win this season. If they couldn't feel motivated after an offseason with the Stanley Cup, I find it hard to believe they'll feel any more motivated after an extended offseason where the front office did little to help them.

Are you serious?

Do you think Comrie would want to come here and play 3rd line minutes? JR was interested in him. JR was also interested in Handzus. Handzus felt he wasn't a 3rd line player and wanted no less than 2nd line minutes. JR was interested in Todd White, White signed with Atlanta where he will get 1st or 2nd line minutes. To get these top guys, who do you put on the 3rd line, Brind'Amour, Staal? Its not that JR didn't try to get some of these guys, its just that they didnt want 3rd line duties.

And as far as you don't think they will be motivated, well I think only they know if they will be motivated. But from what I've heard them say, they'll be motivated and they'll be ready for next year.

And frankly I'm glad JR has the confidence in our core that they will come back and have that desire. He's giving them a challenge and a challenge they will want to take on.

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They retained nine of their top ten scorers from the previous season, a season in which they had the best record of every non-playoff team in the NHL. They could have rested on the belief that guys like Marek Svatos, Paul Stastny, and Wojtek Wolski would continue to improve and make their team better this season, a belief that likely would've proven correct. However, they decided to make the moves for Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannen to insure that their team would be better next season and to insure that their team would return to the playoffs.

When you look at the offensive potential of Dainius Zubrus and the toughness of Mike Comrie, they could have been two players that could have made this team better. We take a risk on a player like Jeff Hamilton who, if he doesn't produce like we think he can, will negatively affect the production of our entire third-line. Andrew Ladd and Scott Walker have already shown in the past that they are only as productive as the center that feeds them the puck.

Handzus' agent said he didn't want to come here because he's not a third liner. Why would Comrie or Zubrus feel any different? It's not just us wanting to sign players, it's them wanting to sign here.

Colorado's situation is completely different from ours. They had tons of cap space and budget room. Us signing Smyth and Hannan at a combined $10.75M/yr would have put us a few million over the cap. Just signing one of them would have put us a anywhere from $2M to $4M over our budget. They have all this extra room because they lost Blake and traded Tanguay for Leopold last season to save money (which also means that there's an open Top 6 wing position for them to offer to UFAs, which we don't have) in addition to losing Forsberg the season prior.

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They retained nine of their top ten scorers from the previous season, a season in which they had the best record of every non-playoff team in the NHL. They could have rested on the belief that guys like Marek Svatos, Paul Stastny, and Wojtek Wolski would continue to improve and make their team better this season, a belief that likely would've proven correct. However, they decided to make the moves for Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannen to insure that their team would be better next season and to insure that their team would return to the playoffs.

Why were the Avs able to sign these two? They had the money. How did they have the money? They're a large market team and didn't have to limit themselves to a self-imposed cap the way the Hurricanes do. If the Canes had more money available than around $2.5-3 million, I'm sure they'd have made a bigger free agent splash.

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I still say...

Our top scoring defenseman missed over half last season (Kab), one of our top forwards missed half (Stillman), a puck moving Olympian missed 2 months all total (Hedican), our goalie was in his first year as a starter (Ward), our Captain was in intense pain the last half of the season with a foot issue, our newly acquired young stud defenseman missed over a month (Gleason), our top power forward returned to the ice after a broken neck for his first season back, and our team with a short rest played nearly the entire first month on the ROAD due to the state fair etc...

AND WE STILL NEARLY MADE THE PLAYOFFS?

Yea, we should disband the entire team.

We arent perfect, but JR would be crazy to make wholescale changes this offseason. Next year... maybe. But not now.

I think that sums it up quite nicely. Not entirely true. Staal could have put a little more effort sometimes, but I'm willing to blame getting married on that one. That, and Grahme was left out to dry sometimes.

i agree with both statements 100% and dont forget we missed 2 olympians with hedican and kaberle ( 3 if you count gerber )

i am not expecting a lot of changes in the offseason

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The way I see the Hamilton signing and not getting a higher priced center is the matt cullen theory. After getting Cullen's career year out of absolutely no where it is possible that he believes he can do it again. (See trading for Belanger). This generally isn't a very effective way of doing business, but when you work with a budget and salary cap sometimes that's the only way to do it. Also, if they are going to sign a defenseman it better not be Brad Stuart.

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The way I see the Hamilton signing and not getting a higher priced center is the matt cullen theory. After getting Cullen's career year out of absolutely no where it is possible that he believes he can do it again. (See trading for Belanger). This generally isn't a very effective way of doing business, but when you work with a budget and salary cap sometimes that's the only way to do it. Also, if they are going to sign a defenseman it better not be Brad Stuart.
It has nothing to do with the budget. No proven point producer is going to want to come anywhere so they can play on the third line (unless it's a deadline trade where they are coming to a cup contender, like Weight did), so JR has to find unheralded players who he thinks can do the same job.

Comrie's agent said he wanted to be a first-line center somewhere. Handzus' agent said he wanted to play in the Top 6. White will probably be the first line center in Atlanta. We cannot offer players positions that are not available, so they sign elsewhere.

Comrie got a one-year deal at $3.375M with the Islanders, where he will be the first line center. If all goes to his plan, he should get around 70 points and net a long-term contract contract at $4-5M/yr next year. Why in the world would he come here, get around 40-50 points and greatly reduce his earning potential?

Comparing Hamilton last season to Cullen in 03-04 doesn't make sense. Cullen had 6 goals and 19 points that year (in 56 games), Hamilton had 18 goals and 39 points (in 70 games) this past season. If Hamilton manages the same rate of production as he did last year, then you've automatically got a "Matt Cullen career year." JR is not signing some 20 point grinder.

I put that in quotations because Cullen's career year really wasn't one. He had 49 points in 05-06 and his previous career high was 48, set in 01-02. It was more of a reclamation project.

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Good points all around. No one does want to be a third line center in free agency if you feel you are a top two line player. My problem with Hamilton is that he is going to be 30 when the season starts, and he's only played 1 full NHL season, for a truely terrible team. Another problem is that in the minors he always had more goals than assists. That doesn't bode well for him playing with guys like Ladd and Walker who aren't playmakers either. Line shuffling is always possible, but I personally prefer playmaking centers to goal scorers.

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because the fans on here, unlike yourself, would like to see this team get BETTER in the future. we are not content with being stagnant in this offseason. While just about everyone around us is getting better, a team that didn't even make the playoffs last year is just sitting on their hands. I don't like that, I don't like it at all. Yes, we might play well next year, but I'd like to add a couple players to jumpstart that process.

By sitting on our hands like we are, we're basically telling the fans that we were content with how last season went and we really are not striving to get better. That worries me.

WOW, who peed in your wheaties? :rolleyes:

personally, I think the line-up looks good. I think we have a good group of guys and they are going to come out fighting this season!

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After watching the Vanek circus today, I'm so glad our roster has been settled for the most part. No crazy deals, no questions about a player's worth, no fans or reporters making a mess out of the situation. Our place has been calm, stable, and good-to-go!

Good points all around. No one does want to be a third line center in free agency if you feel you are a top two line player. My problem with Hamilton is that he is going to be 30 when the season starts, and he's only played 1 full NHL season, for a truely terrible team. Another problem is that in the minors he always had more goals than assists. That doesn't bode well for him playing with guys like Ladd and Walker who aren't playmakers either. Line shuffling is always possible, but I personally prefer playmaking centers to goal scorers.

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i think one of the 4th liners will be scratched to insert SEIDENBERG into lineup.WESLEY HEDICAN need to retire,and the remaining group are average but capable.this team needs a standout dman cause right now we aint got one. HUTCHINSON BABCHUK are fine callups but not for long haul. damn u JACK JOHNSON

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i think one of the 4th liners will be scratched to insert SEIDENBERG into lineup.WESLEY HEDICAN need to retire,and the remaining group are average but capable.this team needs a standout dman cause right now we aint got one. HUTCHINSON BABCHUK are fine callups but not for long haul. damn u JACK JOHNSON

i disagree with you...wesley is the man dude; without him our D would be bad off.he puts his body on the line and tries his hardest everyshift... johnson is a loser...seidenberg should be behind hutch bc hutch is a good defencemen that needs a chace to get some icetime...if we play him i think he will be something great

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