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#46 Red_Storm

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE(Tangledheart24 @ Mar 9 2008, 11:25 AM)

I think our forwards next year will be (and I am not using the whole lines thing...)
Staal, Cole, Brindy, Whitney, Williams, Cullen, Walker, Samsonov, Letowski (you HAVE to keep him because of the PK), Ruutu, Eaves and Brookbank.

As 'decent' as Brookbank has done playing forward due to our injuries, the guy is (and plays like) a defenseman. As an UFA, I would think the Canes FA signing efforts will be elsewhere...but if Brooksie would take $550k/yr or so, he'd be worth having back.


#47 Red_Storm

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:41 AM

Rather than worrying about who will be on what line because we know (especially with this team sad.gif ) there will be injuries (after all, how many games did we play all of our planned start-of-the-season lines this year?), I was just looking to see what was needed to fill the roster’s 13 forwards (assuming we’ll carry 2 goalies and 8 d-men).

Here’s whose under contract:

1. Brind’Amour
2. Cole
3. Cullen
4. Hamilton
5. Staal
6. Walker
7. Whitney
8. Williams

Analysis: The team would like to do something with Hamilton, but a taker is unlikely. If he can’t be moved, he’ll likely be a fairly expensive (for this team) healthy scratch at season’s start. Some would say we’re really deep at forward and can trade Cole, etc., but Brindy and Williams are both coming off major knee surgery – Williams for the second time – so who knows what kind of players they will be. Walker, Whitney and Cole are all guys that can and do miss significant stretches of games, so lots of depth is needed to maintain an offensive-minded team.

The Restricted Free Agents:

1. Eaves
2. LaRose
3. Rutuu

Analysis: JR didn’t trade for Eaves and Rutuu just for this season, so they will be signed. That ‘may’ leave LaRose the odd man out, but team’s do try to keep their RFA’s if they can play because they’re cheaper than alternatives. So, LaRose likely gets some sort of offer.

If LaRose is signed, that gets us to 11 forwards with slots for 2 more. Here are the unrestricted free agents:

1. Aucoin
2. Bayda
3. Letowski
4. Samsonov

Analysis: There’s no way that JR will not make a pretty earnest attempt to sign Samsonov after the way he has flourished under Lavi. I’m going to assume that somehow they will get it done. That leaves one spot for Aucoin, Bayda, and Letwoski. That’s a tough choice at the moment, but none of the three are show stoppers, so they could all walk and JR looks for a FA or a minor trade (like the one that brought in Hamilton). Would Aucoin or Bayda accept a two-way contract? Likely not, but that would be ideal. Of the three, I’d pick Aucoin to re-sign; but the Canes likely favor Letowski.


#48 Red_Storm

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:02 AM

QUOTE(Erock Block @ Mar 10 2008, 09:45 AM)

Why isn't anyone talking about moving Brindy? He's old coming off a major knee injury and look how staal plays when brindy is not in the line up. Nothing aganist Brindy but staal doesn't really take over when he is there.

Probably no team will reasonably trade for Brindy (or Williams) until they are proven healthy in actual game play. I think there are no trade clause issues too.

However, I would love to see a returned, healthy Brindy in the line-up playing MUCH fewer minutes. Staal has shown he can play and excel with true first line minutes. I'd like to see Brindy's minutes drop to the 18-19 range instead of the 22-23 minutes he'd been doing. Even prior to the injury, Brindy was not playing hockey with much 'jump', perhaps due to overplaying him.



#49 Red_Storm

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE(deeboy @ Mar 11 2008, 08:43 AM)

The first domino to fall in this situation is Sergei Samsonov. If he's willing to accept 2-2.5 mil a season for a multi-year deal, we're doing that every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Justin williams has a reasonable contract throuth 2011, right? That means that Cole is the most likely candidate to go. I like him too, but we can't keep everyone. He and Samsonov are the same age, and Sammy just brings more to the table, IMO. Not to mention if we get Sammy for the price I mentioned, we'll save 1.5 million a year, right?

Of course, if Sammy signs elsewhere its a moot point. I think he's staying though...

I suspect you have the right sequence of events. However, I do not think Cole is going anywhere until it is known that Brindy and Williams are fully able to play at NHL speed. Because if they are not, there goes our 'glut' of forwards and Cole's services will be critically needed.


#50 Red_Storm

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE(remkin @ Mar 13 2008, 08:13 PM)

Brind'amour, assuming he fully recovers, will still be a very strong two way center. What this recent run has shown, however, is that we don't need him in the sense that we can't win, or play well without him.

I still think we will be better off with him, but I think that the coach felt like he needed Brindy out there nearly all the time, hence the big minutes. That has been disproven. I think that Brindy would have been better this year and will certainly be better next year with fewer minutes.

If he recovers fully and drops back to the 3rd line, he would be the best 3rd line center in the game. Certainly makes us stronger.

Nice post and I generally agree. I'd posted earlier about having Brindy's minutes, assuming he returns to form, drop to the 18 or so range from the 23 and more he'd been doing. Lavi has often used an approach you could call Line 1A (Brindy) and Line 1B (Staal), then Line 3 and 4 with the 1A and 1B lines serving near equal minutes at even strength compared to other teams where there's more of a drop-off between the first and second lines. On top of those minutes, Brindy was then doing double-duty usually on both the first PP and first PK units.

With Staal showing he can play and excel at the minutes, maybe Lavi can have a Line 1 (Staal), Line 2a (Brindy or Cullen) and 2b (Brindy or Cullen), Line 4 approach where there's not much minutes difference between the Brindy and Cullen lines, but Staal plays the true first line minutes. Brindy could slide to the second powerplay unit or drop off of the PP all together in certain game situations. Those changes, I think, could cut 5 or minutes of ice time and keep Brindy fresher.

#51 GeneHart2

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:31 AM

This should be easy....Who can't get it done in the playoffs?

#52 storm-rider

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:00 AM

The 4th line will sort itself out but the primary focus should be on the top 9 forwards.

The simple math is that there are inarguably 10 top 9-caliber forwards. Nobody in this group of Staal, Cole, Whitney, Brindy, Williams, Samsonov (UFA), Cullen, Walker, Eaves (RFA), and Ruutu (RFA) is 4th line material and it would be an absolute waste to have one of them there.

If Samsonov walks, then it's problem solved with no trades although his skill set is a perfect fit. However it plays out, one of the guys above will not back. That is a lock.

The Canes are still in the bottom 3 in goals allowed and top 3 in goals scored. Either through a trade of one of the F's listed or through Samsonov's departure, the Canes need that salary slot to go towards raises and another Dman. My guess is that Ruutu's similar physical contributions to Cole and Cole's $4 million salary could make him the odd man out. Ruutu doesn't have Cole's speed or goal production but he is a better puck-handler by far, better passer and is more versatile in being able to play any F position.



#53 storm-rider

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 06:00 PM

QUOTE(CANIAC4LIFE91 @ Mar 9 2008, 05:49 PM)

honestly i think we could let Eaves go.. he hasn't really impressed me yet and i think i'd rather keep Cole, LaRose, and Samsonov


You would seriously keep LaRose over Eaves? No doubt Eaves hasn't lit up the scoreboard, but he has played almost as solidly in all 3 zones as any player over the last few games. Watch him on the backcheck and the smart decisions he makes with the puck. He is one of the few forwards who will willingly block shots.

LaRose will always be a fan favorite but there is no comparison in terms of overall talent level.

#54 storm-rider

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:42 AM

QUOTE(davidrabbit @ Mar 12 2008, 07:54 AM)

Brind'Amour, prior to his injury, played as if worn down. He was forced to play a lot of minutes, and a lot of IMPORTANT
minutes due to Staal's pedestrian play early in the season. Staal has since turned the corner as far as elevating his play.

Rod never has been a speed merchant, where he is missed is on faceoffs, particularly defensive zone faceoffs. It would
make a lot of sense to slide him into 3rd line duty next year. It would cut his minutes, allow him to be more a defensive
shutdown center that you trot out after one of your top 2 lines has justed scored (to prevent the opponent from quickly
getting the goal back). And, of course, the penalty kill.

With Staal centering a top line of Whitney and Cole; Cullen centering Samsonov and Williams; and a 3rd defensive line of
Brind'Amour with Ruutu and Eaves. That would push Walker to 4th line RW with LaRose and maybe Aucoin/Letowski.

Walker would be an expensive energy guy, but his trade value is small compared to a Cole or a Williams.

The real question is what JR plans to do with Wesley, Hedican and Kaberle. I believe Kaberle is entering the final year of
his contract. Do you let him return for the last year or buy him out? Do you give Wesley another contract (based on his
play) or encourage him to retire because of his age? Same with Hedican.


I think it's always been the case the Brindy has been over-relied upon and it wasn't ever related to Staal's play. He has always logged tons of minutes and his prominent roles on the PK and PP have typically caused the TOI numbers to look even larger. Sure he has always been the first option on draws and that leads in part to his high minutes but I do agree that the time might have come for a 3rd line role.

There is no way all 10 of those forwards is back b/c there isn't enough room for them all. Walker would be a total waste on the 4th line and with the impending raises guys wll get there still would be a need for a fairly pricey Dman even if Wesley and Hedican are both gone. Personally, I doubt both with be gone and Kaberle has 2 years left on his contract which means no buy-out.

If Samsonov is re-signed I really think it means Cole will be dealt for D help. That then might trigger other blueline actions but unless there is a lingering or new injury to the forward corps, I can't see how all 10 would be back.

#55 NoGoodHockeyBum

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:04 AM

This is a great problem to have......but I see no reason to contemplate the future just yet. We have a lotta hockey to be played yet this year. Let's see what shakes out first and then do the "guessing" game. All I know is that I'm glad I don't have to make the decisions of who goes and who stays. That is gonna be one tough job.....good luck JR!!!!

#56 king_caniac

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:38 PM

Trade Cole and/or Larose, pick up a good dman. The forward talent on this team (when healthy) is ridiculous. We need to shift some of that to the backend. JR should be able to pick up someone good, I have a lot of faith in him.

#57 king_caniac

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE(CANIAC4LIFE91 @ Mar 9 2008, 05:49 PM)

honestly i think we could let Eaves go.. he hasn't really impressed me yet and i think i'd rather keep Cole, LaRose, and Samsonov


So in the 6 games that hes played with us, the first two being well under 10 minutes of ice time, he has 3 points coming off of a bad shoulder injury into a new team. I like the guy so far, he creates a lot of opportunities, and when he is healthy is easily a 20 goal scorer. Chad Larose is barely a 20 POINT scorer when he is healthy.

#58 king_caniac

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE(HurriFame @ Mar 9 2008, 09:02 PM)

Heres a trade I have just thought up.

Cole for
Jack Johnson(LA Kings) and 4th round pick.

Now, I know we just got rid of Johnson but he has VERY VERY good potential and we need a player with potential on our blue line.



Won't happen, first of all we would have to put up more, and second of all Johnson has made it pretty clear he doesn't want to play for us.

#59 king_caniac

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:23 PM

QUOTE(IceFrog999 @ Mar 9 2008, 11:24 PM)

But, he's still got 4 more games to show me something.



Well I wouldn't count his first two games, 6 minutes of time just to get him back into the flow a little bit. But he has 3 points so far in 6 games, I'd say its good considering that he came to a new team in the middle of an injury. Keep in mind he is VERY young and has so much upside its crazy.

#60 king_caniac

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:00 PM

About Brindy...

I really think he needs to be the 3rd line center next year. Staal and Cullen are earning their way into the top 2 center spots and Brindy is just not what he used to be. Granted, he is the leader of our team, but you don't have to center the first line to be captain.

I think he should be placed on the third line, it would keep our third line legitimate and I still think he can set guys up pretty well. I'm kind of torn on whether or not he should be our top PK center though, I really think it depends on how well he comes back from this injury.




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