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hockeybaby

We now have 2 wards on the team

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Now with our primary 6 d-men set, we gotta look to as which Rat will make the team. I think the most ready are Carson, Rodney and Borer.

Borers injury 2 years ago, coupled with the severe injuries from the wreck this year rule him out this early imo. I'd wager he will get at least 1 more AHL year.

That leaves Carson and Rodney. Carson may have more up-side but Rodney has played so positionally well he may be the "safer" bet for a team looking to contend.

This is a team that needs to win games 2-1 and therefore must be sound on defense.

The Stanley cup type of years were we played 4-3 games is long gone.

Our transition (Stanley Cup Year) from a team with as talented a set of forwards in the league (overall talent) to a team of blue collar work ethic and grinding is now complete.

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This is a team that needs to win games 2-1 and therefore must be sound on defense.

The Stanley cup type of years were we played 4-3 games is long gone.

Our transition (Stanley Cup Year) from a team with as talented a set of forwards in the league (overall talent) to a team of blue collar work ethic and grinding is now complete.

I'm hoping a better defense means our forwards can spend more time on the forecheck and focus less on backchecking, leading to more scoring. We have bulked up, but considering we still have Whitney, LaRose, and Samsonov, I don't think you can really say we are a full-on grinding team. Definitely moving in that direction though.

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I'm hoping a better defense means our forwards can spend more time on the forecheck and focus less on backchecking, leading to more scoring. We have bulked up, but considering we still have Whitney, LaRose, and Samsonov, I don't think you can really say we are a full-on grinding team. Definitely moving in that direction though.

Yes, but Larose can be catogorized into a grinder. He may not have the size to forecheck and beat the man with the body, but his consistent harrassment of defenders can be classified as grinding for sure. He is one of our most effective grinders.

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I can't remember too many more unanimous threads about a trade. I think for the price this was a good pickup. It certainly shows that JR is not posturing with Babchuk, he has clearly had it with him. Also points out that Eaves had nearly zero trade value at his current salary.

Our tendancy to bring back ex-hurricanes is remarkable. Is there some kind of record for that? It would appear inevitable that it is only a matter of time before Justin Williams returns.

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I can't remember too many more unanimous threads about a trade. I think for the price this was a good pickup. It certainly shows that JR is not posturing with Babchuk, he has clearly had it with him. Also points out that Eaves had nearly zero trade value at his current salary.

Our tendancy to bring back ex-hurricanes is remarkable. Is there some kind of record for that? It would appear inevitable that it is only a matter of time before Justin Williams returns.

I think the Devils have the record for that.

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I'm hoping a better defense means our forwards can spend more time on the forecheck and focus less on backchecking, leading to more scoring. We have bulked up, but considering we still have Whitney, LaRose, and Samsonov, I don't think you can really say we are a full-on grinding team. Definitely moving in that direction though.

I also don't see us as a grind team...we now have a legit checking line rather that 4 skating lines that we had in the Lav' "Run and Shoot" system. The size was needed as the league has morphed in terms of how the game is played now vs. right after the lockout. We now have the offensive minded D-Men (Corvo and Pitkanen) teamed up with solid D-Men (Ward and Gleason) and a really solid 3rd pairing in Wallin and Alberts. Offensive pairings could be:

Whit Staal Cole

Ruutu Cullen LaRose

Samsonov Brindy Jokinen

Kostopolus Sutter Walker

That, to me, is a formidable lineup that will sure as heck score more than 2 goals a game.

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I also don't see us as a grind team...we now have a legit checking line rather that 4 skating lines that we had in the Lav' "Run and Shoot" system. The size was needed as the league has morphed in terms of how the game is played now vs. right after the lockout. We now have the offensive minded D-Men (Corvo and Pitkanen) teamed up with solid D-Men (Ward and Gleason) and a really solid 3rd pairing in Wallin and Alberts. Offensive pairings could be:

Whit Staal Cole

Ruutu Cullen LaRose

Samsonov Brindy Jokinen

Kostopolus Sutter Walker

That, to me, is a formidable lineup that will sure as heck score more than 2 goals a game.

Factor in whats coming from the farm system at anytime and I agree with you both. Jr's biggest strength is his ability to constantly re-tool and adapt so as to never have to go into full re-build mode.

I also like the idea of Whitney getting a full season playing with Staal and Cullen, it'll do wonders for his numbers. I think he's going to have another big year barring any injury.

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I also don't see us as a grind team...we now have a legit checking line rather that 4 skating lines that we had in the Lav' "Run and Shoot" system. The size was needed as the league has morphed in terms of how the game is played now vs. right after the lockout. We now have the offensive minded D-Men (Corvo and Pitkanen) teamed up with solid D-Men (Ward and Gleason) and a really solid 3rd pairing in Wallin and Alberts. Offensive pairings could be:

Whit Staal Cole

Ruutu Cullen LaRose

Samsonov Brindy Jokinen

Kostopolus Sutter Walker

That, to me, is a formidable lineup that will sure as heck score more than 2 goals a game.

Last year, playing of the fourth line wasn't doing much for Sutter. I only see him sticking around if he ends up on the third line otherwise it would be better for his development to play in Albany where he will get more minutes.

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Although our defense is now much tougher, and we have a very legitimate grind it out/checking 4th line I don't think this makes us a grinding team at all. I think our revamped defense will make it so that our forwards aren't always having to bust their *edit* to backcheck knowing that our defense is extremely inconsistent in their own end.

I still feel this is an offensively potent team that with the addition of a legit 1st line winger could be deadly, not as deadly as the '06 team by any stretch of the imaginiation, but if the league isn't going to start letting games run like they did in the year after the lockout, then we had to adapt so that we can win games in other ways other than simply praying that our offense plays better than theirs.

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Well and this is why I am upset with Brindy, if your not paying your 3rd line center 4 mil we can bring in that top winger to play with Staal.

I really hope Brindy finds his game again this year, even at 37 or 38 we cant be paying a guy that much to be on the 3rd line.

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I hope so too Legend. In '06 Staal succeeded so much because with our team's offensive depth you couldn't just focus on shutting his line down. Now without a true legitimate second line center, we are going to have to get more scoring from our wingers and Staal must find some big time chemistry with his linemates without getting another big time threat to put with him on that top line.

In a dream situation I would've loved to see Brindy restructure his contract to free up money and then prove us all wrong about him with a full offseason of being healthy and come back strong anyway.........

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I hope so too Legend. In '06 Staal succeeded so much because with our team's offensive depth you couldn't just focus on shutting his line down. Now without a true legitimate second line center, we are going to have to get more scoring from our wingers and Staal must find some big time chemistry with his linemates without getting another big time threat to put with him on that top line.

In a dream situation I would've loved to see Brindy restructure his contract to free up money and then prove us all wrong about him with a full offseason of being healthy and come back strong anyway.........

I guess it depends on how he plays. If he comes back healthy, plays well enough to be a second line center again, and proves everyone wrong then we have that needed production from him and all is well. If he remains a third-fourth line center all of next season they should just tell him he won't make the team next year and hopefully he would have the dignity to retire and just take his place in the front office. I'm sure he doesn't want to play under 10 minutes a night for two more years, he is too much of a competitor. JR said right after the playoffs that Brind'Amour would have to prove his worth in training camp to even make the team this year. I'm sure it would even out in the end anyway in how generous of a job they would give him versus how long he holds out on his contract potentially (As in last years case) hurting the team.

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I am officially excited for the upcoming season. Count me in as another who is thrilled to see A Ward back. He sounds like a likable guy based on his interview. Well spoken and professional. Like a gentlemen, he knows that what happens on the ice is the past and he has long put the Walker incident behind him.

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I guess it depends on how he plays. If he comes back healthy, plays well enough to be a second line center again, and proves everyone wrong then we have that needed production from him and all is well. If he remains a third-fourth line center all of next season they should just tell him he won't make the team next year and hopefully he would have the dignity to retire and just take his place in the front office. I'm sure he doesn't want to play under 10 minutes a night for two more years, he is too much of a competitor. JR said right after the playoffs that Brind'Amour would have to prove his worth in training camp to even make the team this year. I'm sure it would even out in the end anyway in how generous of a job they would give him versus how long he holds out on his contract potentially (As in last years case) hurting the team.

I almost envision a similar scenario that took place between the Lightning and Dave Andreychuk a few years ago. They basically put him on waivers forcing him into retirement just because he simply couldn't keep up anymore.

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A Boston Radio station did an interview with Aaron Ward Monday, which is available here (starting about 2/3 through the show): http://www.wbcn.com/topic/play_window.php?...audioId=3904502

He discusses a number of things, some already covered in other interviews, and some probably more of interest to a Bostion audience, but none-the-less it's a good listen. He also discussed the situation with Walker, which may be of interest (please forgive any transcription errors):

That's done and over. He called me two days ago and we sat down and talked on the phone for about 20-25 minutes and hashed it out. And really, I'm not going to go into that stupid thing that "there's a code in the game", but we're teammates now. I'll give you a cliche - it's water under the bridge. That's the best way to describe it, because there's nothing I can do about it. It's over with.

I knew him prior to. He's a pretty honest guy. Between you and I, he was, as I came to find out, he was going through a tough situation. The same day he punched me, he found out his wife had cervical cancer. So maybe his head wasn't exactly in the right spot. And through all this, as I've come to find out, if you look at his interviews, he's accepted responsibility for it. He said, you know "it was my doing". We talked about it, and we're good right now. I'm excited to be his teammate now.

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after seeing Aaron Ward for a few minutes at The RBC Center for the Hurricanes Family thing I can only really think of one thing to say..

Scotty Walker, i Salute you.

Not because of the sucker punch or anything like that, but seeing Aaron Ward in Street clothes, the man looks like he could Benchpress a Cow....so for Walker to go at him like, knowing that mini-Hercules was going to be seeing him in the name game, deserves a tip of the hat.

and yes I'm glad Aaron Ward is back

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I think our ideal 4th line that could log 10 minutes a game against other teams top lines is : Kostopolous - Brindy - Walker

Then see which of the forward prospects are NHL ready and have them on the 3rd line. It helps to have Jokinen being so versatile, because if Bowman makes the team, he wings with Jokinen centering and Sammy on the other side. If Boychuk or Sutter make it, Jokinen can move over to the wing while they center the 3rd line. Or if Brindy is on the 3rd line, then I say Micheal Ryan centers the 4th line. I still think : Kostopoulos - Ryan - Walker is pretty darn good. Better than the cringe days of having Letowski and Larose when he wasnt very good on our 4th line. Painful...

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As others have said, Welcome back A.Ward! I was not happy to see you go but you are back where you belong now.

I think we have a very top notch team this season and I, personally, am expecting big things from them.

GO CANES!!!!!!

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