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Law-Dawg

Off Season "To Do" List

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Yeah...dump Grahame and Tanabe. Would be nice to keep Wesley and Hedican...for leadership, but with reduced ice time.

Get Stiller and A. Ward back.

It is always tough when good guys go, but I have been pretty pleased with the new additions.

I've heard talk of JM Liles coming...might be a good fit.

JR does deserve credit this year.

We need some backup to Ward...and yes, he does need to take his game up a notch or two...

08-09 will be good.

Conversations between JR and the Following:

John Grahame..."First door on the left is the Exit, John. Thanks for your time"

Brett Hedican/Glen Wesley..."Guys, you both have been invaluable to the organization. Glen, we will hang #2 in the refters for you. Your consumate professioanlism, hard play and years of service to the organization will be valued for years but it is time for us to move on, rebuild the blue line and see what some of the younger guys can take on."

David Tanabe..."David, this is a business and we're in the business of trying to win games, we wish you the best in your recovery, but we have to move on without you."

Tim Gleason..."Tim, you're wearing the A on your sweater next year, let's see what you can do."

Dennis Seidenburg..."Dennis, we loved what you did when you were healthy, get some rest and then get ready to see some serious ice time, we want you in the best shape of your life come September."

Sergei Samsonov..."Here's a 3 year deal"

Rod Brind Amour...Rod, this is your team and you will wear the "C" for as long as you want. That being said, we loved what Eric did when you went down and we loved how the troops responded to his leadership. Tell me what you think..."

Eric Staal...Eric, Rod has something to give you...this is your team now, let's see what you do with it.

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I like your ideas, though I could deal with Wallin staying he doesnt seem terrible to me. As for goalies Ty Conklin is a UFA, Pascal Leclaire is a RFA, and Cristobal Huet is a UFA. However I dont see us getting Huet/Leclaire to come be our back up since theyve been starters for most of this year. I could see us landing Conklin however considering he was usually the back up, and is cheap as mess! Heck maybe he could even challenge Cam which would make him work even harder.

Ward doesn't need to be starting next season he needs somebody to chase after so he can get better.

He hasn't had to worry about being a back up with Grahame. I think a new #1 will make Ward work harder.

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Ward doesn't need to be starting next season he needs somebody to chase after so he can get better.

He hasn't had to worry about being a back up with Grahame. I think a new #1 will make Ward work harder.

Are you suggesting replacing Ward as the #1? Just curious if I got this right.

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Ward doesn't need to be starting next season he needs somebody to chase after so he can get better.

He hasn't had to worry about being a back up with Grahame. I think a new #1 will make Ward work harder.

Are you suggesting replacing Ward as the #1? Just curious if I got this right.

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It'll be Cole. Williams has has multiple 30 goal seasons, and was on track for another good season. Cole helps us get those penalties, but you have to figure his value is up now... sell high, buy low.

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1. Re-sign Gleason, LaRose, Letowski, Ruutu, and Samsonov.

Not exactly sure what the line-up would look like, but:

Whitney / Staal / Cole

Samsonov / Brind'Amour / Williams

Ruutu / Cullen / Walker

LaRose / Hamilton / Letowski

2. With those moves out of the way, the team would still have about $10 million to spend up to their yearly self-imposed salary cap. Use that money to improve the defense in free agency. Not through the return of older players (Commodore, Ward, etc.), but through the acquisition of new players who may still have alot left in the tank. Two guys that come to mind are John-Michael Liles and Ron Hainsey.

3. Address the goaltender situation. Free agency is rather weak at goaltender this year, so this may be the situation where the team looks to a trade to make an impact. Fredrik Norrena is someone that I think could fit here and could be acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets rather cheaply.

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Are you suggesting replacing Ward as the #1? Just curious if I got this right.

I'm saying put some more fight in him.

Get a vet goaltender and start him early.

Make Ward want to get better.

As a #1 you usally get used to it, and when you get put at #2 you want to fight back for #1.

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I don't think JR should stick with the "diamond in the rough" routine again this year. It didn't work with Hamilton. He needs a proven defenseman.

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Corvo was brought here for a reason. Eaves was a throw in player.

Nope. After the trade Murray said that Eaves was the guy who got the deal done. He said something along the lines of "I didn't want to trade Eaves, but the deal wouldn't have gone through without him"

That's not a throw in.

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Thats called an incentive laden contract and I believe they're reserved more for the older vets like Shanahan to help circumvent the salary cap. Dont know what the actual rules are about them.

Samsonov should stay consistent if the system and his center stays in tact, its custom made for his style of play. I see hin re-signing here at a reasonable price.

Alright, I've looked it up and asked around, and here's what I've found.

The incentive contracts only apply to:

a) On a rookie entry-level contract, or

b ) A 35+ year old veteran signing a single year deal, or

c) A veteran with 400+ career NHL games that spent 100+ days on Injured Reserve the previous season. Also must sign a single year deal.

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Alright, I've looked it up and asked around, and here's what I've found.

The incentive contracts only apply to:

a) On a rookie entry-level contract, or

b ) A 35+ year old veteran signing a single year deal, or

c) A veteran with 400+ career NHL games that spent 100+ days on Injured Reserve the previous season. Also must sign a single year deal.

Hehe, Im not right that often but give me some credit here ;)

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Alright, I've looked it up and asked around, and here's what I've found.

The incentive contracts only apply to:

a) On a rookie entry-level contract, or

b ) A 35+ year old veteran signing a single year deal, or

c) A veteran with 400+ career NHL games that spent 100+ days on Injured Reserve the previous season. Also must sign a single year deal.

Hehe, Im not right that often but give me some credit here ;)

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Here's my thoughts.

First this assumes keeping JR and Lavi, which we should.

1. Veteran, capable backup goaltender. Face it, we would have made the playoffs both of the last two years if our goaltender had ranked in the middle of the pack in GAA and SV %. Despite all of the other problems, when Cam plays well we win, when not we lose. Many teams have had to turn to back ups who have had great runs. Gerber was a back up prior to coming here. Cam has progressed, but unevenly. If he finally arrives next year, great, but if not this is the most important insurance policy we can have.

2. The defense. I see all of these posts saying basically keep all of the forwards that have played for us this year. That is flat out impossible. We have had around 20 different forwards this year. Don't beleive it? Ladd and Stillmann were traded, but that still leaves: Williams, Ruutu, LaRose, Brind'Amour, Eaves, Samposonov, Cole, Staal, Walker, Whitney, Cullen, Bayda, Nolan, Letowski, Hamilton, Aucoin, Brookbank, and Conboy, AND we have Sutter in the wings. And when the lesser known players got ice time we started winning. We don't need 9 top scorers, we need at least one line like the Walker and the Rats line to cycle the bejesus out of it. We need a 4th line that checks and hits and can kill a freaking penalty. We need to trim some forward payroll and get help on the back line.

Part of our turn around was Corvo adding skill to the back line. What a huge difference that made! We need at least one more offensive defenseman, and one more solid stay at home bruiser mininmum. We will probably have to find one more body to really overhaul the back line, though Borer could come up.

Trade one or two big name forwards for a big name dman or two. "cough-cough: Cole".

Imagine:

Big name D man - Gleason

Corvo - Solid Stay at home new guy

Seidenburg-Wesley (yes the guy is so danged good at positional D, I would take him back)

Borer (maybe Conboy?)

Now that means saying goodbye to Kaberle, Hedican, Wallin. Long time vets, great service to the team. Probably get little to nothing for them. What does that tell you? Bye guys, thanks for your service.

3. In a way the forwards will sort them selves out. It terms of must keeps from the impact side of the house there are few. Staal is obvious. And for me Cullen is as well (hopefull a summer off will clear the concussion issue). Brindy is a must keep also. This sounds weird, but the guy is a two time Selke winner and great leader. The key with Brindy is to lean on him less. This is Lavi's fault. He must cut Brindy's minutes. Let Cullen get more minutes. In a perfect world I would drop Brindy to the third line. The guy will be a monster third line center. That has us mega strong up the middle.

On the wings we must keep Sampsonov. Yes, he could regress, but dang, just watching him can be worth the price of admission. He breaks down a defense by himself. He back checks. He must stay.

Every other wing is expendable. What?? Sacralige!! No, we need to keep some, but if we can move someone for that big dman, then anyone in theory can go. I know, the NTC etc, but Stillman had one too. We are coming off two seasons of no playoffs, maybe someone wants a change of scenery. The most obvious candidate is Cole. Big salary clear, and supposedly still coveted. The problem may be caution over his low production this year. Ironically that may make it hard to get fair value. But some skilled forwards are going to have to go. One thing the end of this year showed is that effort and energy and attitude go very far in Lavi's system. To some extend forwards are interchangable. Certainly below the top 2 lines.

One approach might be to go with 2 high powered offensive scoring lines of our top 6. Then put Brindy on the 3rd line with Walker and Eaves. And have that third line cycle till the cows come home. Then put energy checkers and physical guys on the 4th line to hit and kill penalties. SO:

Cam plus solid backup

New Stud Offensive D - Gleason

New Solid Stay at home- Corvo

Seidenburg-Wesley

Borer (Conboy)

Sampsonov-Staal-Williams

Whitney-Cullen-Ruutu

Eaves-Brindy-Walker

LaRose-Letwowski-Brookbank

This leaves: Bayda, Aucoin, Hamilton, Cole, out. Obviously this includes a Cole trade for the big O Dman and free agency pickups of a back up goalie and stay at home d man. If Sutter is ready he could center that 4th line.

Hamilton, Bayda and Aucoin will bring next to nothing in return, so the are just released or sent down. By the way, I love what Bayda and Aucoin brought this year (though Aucoin couldn't win a face off if his life depended on it), and I could see a scenario that trades yet another name forward for more d help and plugging one of them back in. Hamilton: bust. Move on.

Well there. If I were the GM. Thankfully for the Canes I am not.

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I like what you're saying, but I would make some changes.

I'd keep Brind'Amour centering the 2nd line. And put Williams back with him, they just have way too much chemistry to seperate right now. I would however, cut back on Brind'Amour's minutes. Instead of sending Brind'Amour out for the first PK unit, send Staal, etc. Use Staal as your go to guy. He's gonna have to take that responsibility in the next few years, might as well get him trained now.

Here's how my line up would be:

Whitney-Staal-Ruutu

*Whitney is like your Stillman, he's smart and can set up plays. Ruutu is physical like Cole and can open space up for Staal.

Samsonov-Brind'Amour-Williams

*Both Williams and Samsonov have an undenying chemistry with Brindy, let's see if it carries on.

Eaves-Cullen-Walker

*cycle boys

LaRose-Letowski-Brookbank

*LaRose and Letowski are good PK guys and bring the energy night in and night out. Dress Brookbank for the teams where an enforcer is needed. Other times go with 7 D to keep those guys fresh.

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I like what you're saying, but I would make some changes.

I'd keep Brind'Amour centering the 2nd line. And put Williams back with him, they just have way too much chemistry to seperate right now. I would however, cut back on Brind'Amour's minutes. Instead of sending Brind'Amour out for the first PK unit, send Staal, etc. Use Staal as your go to guy. He's gonna have to take that responsibility in the next few years, might as well get him trained now.

Here's how my line up would be:

Whitney-Staal-Ruutu

*Whitney is like your Stillman, he's smart and can set up plays. Ruutu is physical like Cole and can open space up for Staal.

Samsonov-Brind'Amour-Williams

*Both Williams and Samsonov have an undenying chemistry with Brindy, let's see if it carries on.

Eaves-Cullen-Walker

*cycle boys

LaRose-Letowski-Brookbank

*LaRose and Letowski are good PK guys and bring the energy night in and night out. Dress Brookbank for the teams where an enforcer is needed. Other times go with 7 D to keep those guys fresh.

I agree with your proposal... I also see you lost Cole.

BTW, Have you come up with a new username for the next year? My bet it would be TimmyLaroseFan. :)

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I agree with your proposal... I also see you lost Cole.

BTW, Have you come up with a new username for the next year? My bet it would be TimmyLaroseFan. :)

Yeah unfortunetly I believe its time to let Cole go. I see Williams and Cole as the odd men out, but Williams IMHO is the better all around player, not to mention he has a better contract and when its time to negotiate he doesn't make you wanna pull your hair out. So if I had to choose one over the other, I would pick Williams.

And yes somehow next season I will have to incorporate Timmay into my username.

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I agree Cole needs to go. He really doesn't play as hard as people think and he is not good on the defensive end. Also, he is still young and very tradeable at this point and some GM will bite. Frankly I think he will have a short career as he is one good check away from never playing again.

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Yeah unfortunetly I believe its time to let Cole go. I see Williams and Cole as the odd men out, but Williams IMHO is the better all around player, not to mention he has a better contract and when its time to negotiate he doesn't make you wanna pull your hair out. So if I had to choose one over the other, I would pick Williams.

No question you take Williams over Cole. I see them as pretty much a wash on the offensive end. WIlliams better hands and better pure scorer. Cole is a better skater and is better on the Power Play.

However, Williams kills penalities and is miles ahead of Cole on the defensive end and also in the effort catagory.

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If Cole would start crashing the net like he used to, I'd say keep him. But right now, he just seems to stop a couple feet past the blue line and put a harmless shot on goal. He just isn't playing like he used to, so I guess it is time to say goodbye.

Brookbank does not deserve to be on the 4th line. While he can hit and get in fights(which i really don't care about), he adds barely anything else to the team. While I understand that anyone in the AHL has to be somewhat good, he just isn't good enough for an NHL team.

I would really hate to see Aucoin and Bayda go. I have been hoping to see Aucoin called up for a long time and now that he's been up for a while, I think he has earned a spot on this team. Bayda as well.

Some D I would like to keep:

-Kaberle - He has really stepped up his game this last half of the season. He's playing like he usedto, he is making much smarter decisions on the PP and playing a lot better defensively.

-Gleason - An obvious one. He has earned a spot on this team.

-Seidenburg - Playing well on the PP and defensively. Just needs to rest that ankle.

-Corvo - duh.

I see Hedican and Wesley retiring this year.

Samsonov must stay. We have got the jackpot here, this guy is amazing.

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I loved seeing Aucoin, Bayda, and Letowski at the end of the year this year, but we need to limit ourselves with the tiny, energy guys. If Hamilton and Cole are packaged somewhere I could see Aucoin centering the 4th line and maybe Bayda or Letowski sliding in somewhere else. Letowski was great killing penalites, but with Staal and Cole working the PK some with Rod, Justin and Chad back then I think we are set because we really were good on the PK at the end of the year.

Cole is one of my alltime favorite Canes players, but he really either needs to step his game back up to '06 form or we have no real use for him anymore. He's still got a lot of trade value, and is difficult to negotiate with. He's still got all the tools, but mentally I think he's too scared to go all in and crash the net like he did when he was great and I can understand that, but we need that top notch scoring threat or else we can use him to help our D.

Corvo, Wallin, Gleason I all think are definetly back. Kaberle could be, but he could be traded or dumped somewhere just as well. Seidenberg was great earlier in the year, but we may need to keep him as our 7th DMan just to keep his development up and provide some depth. Hedican is most likely gone, but Wesley very well could be back. I think we will see either Aaron Ward back or another FA or from a trade from Cole and that we will see the Canes look to insert Casey Borer into the lineup.

I want to see lines like:

Whitney-Staal-Ruutu

Samsonov-Brindy-Williams

Eaves-Cullen-Walker

LaRose-Hamilton/Aucoin-Brookbank/Conboy

OR

Whitney/Ruutu, Staal, Cole

Rod, Williams, Samsonov

Walker, Cullen, Ruutu/Whitney

Eaves, Hamilton, LaRose

(presuming Cole stays)

Until we see if Cole is traded, or Kaberle is dumped somewhere then I don't even want to try and guess what our D pairings may be.

We also need to get a veteran goalie who can still put us in position to win the game and help to guide Cam. Grahame was simply awful this year. Cam may be able to start 20 + game in a row eventually, but he still needs to mature. The last part of the season I really think he began to regain his Conn Smythe winning form.

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Agreed with much of what's been said here...but I think Aucoin is not coming back to this team, he's 29, never played a full NHL season, in a contract year and there's this 19 year old kid named Sutter who's playing in Albany right now who will most likey take Aucoin's spot next year.

Whitney Staal Ruutu

Samsonov Brindy Williams

LaRose Cullen Walker

Bayda Sutter Letowski

Send down/let go of Brookbank and get a stay at home D-Man who can whomp others when we need the Enforcer on the ice.

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