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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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lol I like LaRose but not as much as that couple that sits next to you I also have sit next to the people that want to trade Staal and other plays now I find that ridiculous as well. I think that we can agree on this one LaRose skates 110% every time he hits the ice and he doesn't take a shift off.

I agree but we both know that doesn't necessarily translate into a "big" payday. The Rat on Tampa Bay is probably the only exception (St. Louis). The only question mark for me is Columbus, who woulda thunk they would give Commie $3.5mil!!

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I agree but we both know that doesn't necessarily translate into a "big" payday. The Rat on Tampa Bay is probably the only exception (St. Louis). The only question mark for me is Columbus, who woulda thunk they would give Commie $3.5mil!!

Commodore's play with us certainly didn't deserve that amount, but he really found a niche in Columbus. He was +11, led the team in hits and blocked shots, and still put up 24 points. He hit a real cold streak in the 2nd half of the season. For a while, he was good for just about a point every other game.

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I'm kind of interested to hear all of you guys' opinions on these trades: -Babchuk for Bradon Dubinsky- and -Corvo for Chuck Kobasew-

Also, JR mentioned that there is no reason for Brind'amour to be here if he is a fourth line center. So, lets say after training camp, Brind'amour does in fact become a fourth line center, does that mean he will be traded? And if he is traded, what do you think the Canes could get in return for him?

Also, I just wanted to throw in that I really hope we can get Greg Zanon.. that would be perfect!

I don't see a Corvo for Kobasew trade happening. The B's might be willing to part with Kobasew, but only as a salary dump to fit in some of their FAs like Kessel...trading Kobasew for Corvo wouldn't reduce their payroll this year...they would want picks or prospects in return. For that reason I don't think the Canes trade for him.

Lose two offensive D-men for one streaky centre and one injury-riddled winger?

Pass.

I don't think Babchuk is any less "streaky" than Dubinsky...you could fairly make that claim about both players.

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If Rosie is re-signed then JR will let Bayda walk...

Rosie for $2mill? Absolutely not. How is it that Rosey's 30 points get him $2mill... but Seids and Babchuk BOTH had about 30 points from THE BLUELINE! Don't you have to give Seids $2mill for having about as many points from the blueline as Larose did as a forward? Also: Ruutu > Larose all day.

Edited because I cannot spell.

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I don't think Babchuk is any less "streaky" than Dubinsky...you could fairly make that claim about both players.
Agreed, but Dubinsky had three fewer goals than Babchuk and only six more points total. If you're trading a defenseman for a forward and losing goals, something is wrong.

We need an impact winger, not another second line center who is no better than Matt Cullen. Babchuk's not going to get us that impact forward in a trade, so we might as well hang onto him unless his salary demands are crazy.

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Commodore's play with us certainly didn't deserve that amount, but he really found a niche in Columbus. He was +11, led the team in hits and blocked shots, and still put up 24 points. He hit a real cold streak in the 2nd half of the season. For a while, he was good for just about a point every other game.

Not to be picky but wouldn't it be more accurate to say he had a hot streak at the beginning of the year then returned to his normal self. It isn't like he's ever been an offensive force in the league.

On LaRose I think it will be hard for him to get more than $2 million on the open market even though he scored 19 goals, mostly because of his size and he hasn't done it before. Maybe there is someone out there with cash to burn who wants him that badly but I'll believe it when I see it in this economy with the chance at a falling salary cap.

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Commodore was a solid dman for us. His biggest problem IMO was Lavi's system. Mike pinched all too often at the wrong times which would result in an odd man rush at a time when Ward wasn't as developed to handle those as he is today. I don't know if Mike felt pressure from Lavi to pinch or what, but a more conservative game is his fit. Regardless if it was Lavi's system or Mike's inability to detect when it was a good or bad time to pinch, that was his biggest problem. That, and taking bad penalties at bad times, which might also be related to bad pinches, but I just don't remember the nature of his penalties. I'll never forget how often he was in the box in the months leading up to the Ottawa trade though.

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Agreed, but Dubinsky had three fewer goals than Babchuk and only six more points total. If you're trading a defenseman for a forward and losing goals, something is wrong.

We need an impact winger, not another second line center who is no better than Matt Cullen. Babchuk's not going to get us that impact forward in a trade, so we might as well hang onto him unless his salary demands are crazy.

I don't know.. I honestly wouldn't mind keeping Babchuk and let him improve his defensive game. I mean, the guy did win a lot of games for us during the season. BUT, if we are to part ways with him, I'd rather get something in return for him. Dubinsky is probably the most we could get for Babchuk. I feel as if Dubinsky is a solid third line center, and lets face it, Brind'amour isn't going to be around that much longer. So, that means our team wouldn't be all that bad down the center --> Staal-Cullen-Dubinsky-Sutter. And who knows, Sutter could prove to be even better and move on up, which I think will def. happen one day.. just my two cents...

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Agreed, but Dubinsky had three fewer goals than Babchuk and only six more points total. If you're trading a defenseman for a forward and losing goals, something is wrong.

We need an impact winger, not another second line center who is no better than Matt Cullen. Babchuk's not going to get us that impact forward in a trade, so we might as well hang onto him unless his salary demands are crazy.

Trading for Dubinsky would allow Cullen to play wing on Staal's line. I know this isn't a sexy move, but I don't see the Cane's acquiring an impact forward this offseason.

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Trading for Dubinsky would allow Cullen to play wing on Staal's line. I know this isn't a sexy move, but I don't see the Cane's acquiring an impact forward this offseason.
Cullen looked very out of place at wing when it was tried on the past. Why would we want to repeat that? He's a center, not a winger.

I know the 'Canes aren't going to acquire an impact forward, so why waste assets adding to our collection of mediocre 2nd/3rd line players? In Dubinsky's three years of pro hockey he has scored 43 (AHL), 40 (NHL) and 41 (NHL) points

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On centers, I would keep Cullen. I think he was playing hurt and we have yet to see his best. Paying the $$ for a proven top 2nd line center ties up money that could be used towards a top winger. Plus, we don't know what Brind'Amour will bring next year. Some think he will come back with a vengence, I don't. He was starting to slip even before the knee injury and he will be another year older. I keep Cullen.

On Babchuk. The only reason I am ambivilant is that JR seemed not to be thrilled when he said Babs could take the qualifying offer or walk. May have been a negotiating ploy. Yes he dissapeared in the playoffs, and in general I like not renewing guys who can't produce in the playoffs (Cole), but Babs is still a fairly inexperienced dman, and the flurry of scoring he put up in the second half of the year was extremely impressive. If he gets his dgame and confidence up just a little it could be impressive. At least he would draw a lot of trade interest. Keep him.

My bold move would be to consider trading Whitney. I have been against this every time it's been brought up in the past because he is a proven, consistant scorer, and we have lost a lot of these over the past few years, but he is going to go Brind'Amour at some point as his age catches up with him and he may have trade value. He is a defensive liability and always a minus player, so if any of that offense slips that +/- could get notable. Also, if we are trying to add size...If he has little trade value, then I would love to see him back.

Winger for Staal. Yes, we need on more A list forward. We have lost Stillman, Williams, and the old Brindy. We need to replace at least one of them with a seriously productive forward. I want to see what Staal could do with a productive winger.

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Winger for Staal. Yes, we need on more A list forward. We have lost Stillman, Williams, and the old Brindy. We need to replace at least one of them with a seriously productive forward. I want to see what Staal could do with a productive winger.

It aggravates me to no end that we, IMO, are wasting Staal's talent by not getting him a top-line winger. But, I am under no illusion this will happen given our reduced cap.

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It aggravates me to no end that we, IMO, are wasting Staal's talent by not getting him a top-line winger. But, I am under no illusion this will happen given our reduced cap.

That kills me too. I don't think we are going to get our 7 mil a year value out of Staal without a top line winger. We have the salary cap space available to do it, but not under the P.K. cap.

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Cullen looked very out of place at wing when it was tried on the past. Why would we want to repeat that? He's a center, not a winger.

I know the 'Canes aren't going to acquire an impact forward, so why waste assets adding to our collection of mediocre 2nd/3rd line players? In Dubinsky's three years of pro hockey he has scored 43 (AHL), 40 (NHL) and 41 (NHL) points

The last time I remember seeing Cullen at wing for a decent stretch was during the 2006 playoffs when he played on Staal's line. I thought his style complemented Staal well and he did not look out of place.

Dubinsky is big/physical, defensively responsible, and has put together two straight 40 point seasons while getting 3rd line minutes...and he's only 23. We have different opinions of his value.

However, I'm not overly eager to trade Babchuk, and I'm open to to other ideas. If Cullen stays at 2nd line center, who is on Staal's line next year? What do you think the chances are that Babchuk stays with the Canes when he becomes a UFA in 2 years? Also, who will be the second and third line centers two years from now?

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The last time I remember seeing Cullen at wing for a decent stretch was during the 2006 playoffs when he played on Staal's line. I thought his style complemented Staal well and he did not look out of place.
Cullen played wing a lot early in the season this year and did very little.

As for those playoffs, that line did very little at even strength. 17 of Staal's 28 points and 9 of Cullen's 18 points came on the powerplay. They combined for 4 even strength goals (one of which was an empty netter) in 25 games.

Dubinsky is big/physical, defensively responsible, and has put together two straight 40 point seasons while getting 3rd line minutes...and he's only 23. We have different opinions of his value.
Cullen: 16:48TOI, 2:03PP, 1:32SH. 43 points in 69 games.

Dubinsky: 16:38TOI, 2:16PP, 0:59SH. 40 points in 82 games.

Cullen had a much better rate of production despite getting only 10 more seconds a game (with more SH time and less PP time). There's no point in moving him out of position in order to accommodate a center that is not better than him. We already have a logjam of second/third line forwards.

However, I'm not overly eager to trade Babchuk, and I'm open to to other ideas. If Cullen stays at 2nd line center, who is on Staal's line next year? What do you think the chances are that Babchuk stays with the Canes when he becomes a UFA in 2 years? Also, who will be the second and third line centers two years from now?
Staal's line: two of Whitney, Ruutu or Cole. I'd even put Samsonov there before I tried Cullen at wing again. Or we could try one of Bowman/Boychuk.

Babchuk: it depends on how much money we are willing to pay him.

Second/third line centers two years from now: it could be the same as next season, Cullen/Jokinen. Jokinen put up three straight 40+ seasons prior to this year and Cullen could probably be re-signed for not too much more than he's currently making.

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Okay, a few pages back I made a couple of comments about "strategy"...(willingness to trade unproven prospects and/or picks (with or without a current roster player) for young up and coming talent (I mentioned Chris Versteeg as an example)...but here is what I think I would do if I were GM:

1. resign LaRose to 3 yr deal ($1.5 mil, $1.5 mil, $1.75 mil)

2. sign Ruutu - 3yr deal ($3.0, $3.25, $3.5 mil) or just qualify him if he/his agent won't take that deal

3. sign Cole - either a 3 yr deal w/NTC ($2.5, $2.5, $3.0) or a 4 yr deal w/out an NTC (4 yrs at $11 mil)

4. sign Seidenberg - 2 yrs at $3.5 ($1.5, $2.0)

5. SIGN Babchuk - not just qualify him, but sign him to a 3 yr deal ($1.25, $1.75, $2.0)

6. sign Jokinen to his qualifying offer and then negotiate longer term deal before season starts*

Then I would use Seidenberg and/or Babchuk and/or LaRose as trade bait in a package that must include Kaberle and probably includes a prospect or pick (3rd or 4th rounder in '10). So a trade could look something like this:

Babchuk, LaRose, Kaberle, and a 3rd rounder for Versteeg and a 2nd rounder

You would free up almost $5 mil to sign Versteeg (RFA) and a stay at home defender....but actually I would probably bring up Carson and/or Rodney to fill the bill. Then our lines would look something like:

Cole/Staal/Versteeg

Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu

Samsonov/Jokinen/Boychuk/Bowman (my preference)

Eaves/Brind' Amour/Walker

Conboy (to fill in for the inevitable injury)

Early in the season I would make sure that Eaves and Walker tooks shifts on the 2nd and 3rd line as well or I'd give the 4th line closer to 8 to 10 minutes (ala Boston this past season).

The defense would look like:

Pitkanen/Gleason

Seidenberg/Corvo

Wallin/Carson or Rodney or new guy and move Seidenberg down to this pairing

Ward/Leighton

I would give our rising stars more time in the AHL (Sutter, Boychuk or Bowman - whichever didn't make the big club -, Terry, McBain, etc.).

As much as I like LaRose and what he brings and I really think that Babchuk will continue to improve, I think that they provide a short term answer to some of our salary issues, can help us get the sniper we need (if not Versteeg, then someone like him), and gets us into some discussions w/potential shut down D-men.

Now I know with all of the LaRose love on this board I'll get some flak, but I'm a believer in selling high; there's no guarantee that Chad's gonna keep up his scoring (and he only had 31 pts. total, I believe). And I do think that Babchuk is going to keep scoring....and get even better. So some team is going to get a steal there....but you've got to give a little to get a little...finally, we get Frank's salary off of the books...

We also get one or two of the Rats worked into our line up giving them NHL experience....well that's just my 2 cents worth....

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Cullen played wing a lot early in the season this year and did very little.

As for those playoffs, that line did very little at even strength. 17 of Staal's 28 points and 9 of Cullen's 18 points came on the powerplay. They combined for 4 even strength goals (one of which was an empty netter) in 25 games.

Cullen played wing on Brind'Amour's line early in the season...but I didn't think that was a good match for him.

I can't back it up with stats, but I felt that Cullen and Staal generated a lot scoring chances.

Cullen: 16:48TOI, 2:03PP, 1:32SH. 43 points in 69 games.

Dubinsky: 16:38TOI, 2:16PP, 0:59SH. 40 points in 82 games.

Cullen had a much better rate of production despite getting only 10 more seconds a game (with more SH time and less PP time). There's no point in moving him out of position in order to accommodate a center that is not better than him. We already have a logjam of second/third line forwards.

I agree that Dubinsky is not currently an upgrade over Cullen at 2nd line center...but that's not my reasoning in this proposal. It's more of an optimization as opposed to a comparison.

Staal's line: two of Whitney, Ruutu or Cole. I'd even put Samsonov there before I tried Cullen at wing again. Or we could try one of Bowman/Boychuk.

Ruutu-Staal-Cole would be two bangers and one finisher...none are effective at distributing the puck.

Whitney's minutes need to get managed to be effective throughout a full season...I think first line minutes & first unit PP minutes are too much to ask.

Samsonov didn't work well with Staal on the rush...he is too much of an east-west type of player...I think Cullen fits Staal better in this regard.

I wouldn't bank on Bowman or Boychuk being ready for first line duty.

Babchuk: it depends on how much money we are willing to pay him.

Let me rephrase the question - Given what we know about JR's budgetary approach, what the market value is for a defenseman who scores 16 goals, and the relationship between the two of them...would you predict that Babchuk sticks with the Canes once he becomes unrestricted? Yes or no? :-)

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I have to jump in with the moving Cullen to wing. Its not going to work. Cullen himself says he's more comfortable at center. Moving him to wing, you won't get his full potential. He struggles at wing and it shows in his play. He is much more effective at his natural position and this is where we need him.

I always thought Justin Williams was going to be that guy for Staal and thought we would get to see it action this season. But with the achilles tear and then getting traded, we never got to try. Boychuk will be that guy alongside Staal. Whether that's this year or next, he's the guy they got their eyes on. And don't be surprised if they do it this year even though he may not be ready.

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No to Dubinsky. He's good player, can score 20 goals, can fight, can hit... he will be superior in defence soon and i'm sure, he will be new Rangers captain, but we already have Dubinsky type in our roster - Sutter. Just give Brandy chance and wait. He should work to faceoffs ability.

If Versteeg will be here next year, i'm sure he will be on first line with Ruu and Staal. Cole will be on 2, with Cullen and Wizard. But if we want Versteeg, we should add our first pick in draft this year and maybe Bowman/ Boychuk. Chicago already have Larose-type - Broweur and Burish. Babchuk will not work for Blackhawks - they have yound def. core with Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, Barker and Hjalmarsson.

Idea for wing will be Hudler, imo. But we should move Walker and Kaberle. I really see JR should target defenceman and my dream is Hamhuis - big physical defenceman who play in Nashville ( we know very good them ) but i don't know his salary... other ideas for defenceman is Zanon, Matt Walker and Vandermeer. We really need stay-at-home defenceman who can play physical game, not puck-moving type.

Make a right move, JR. I believe.

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As much as I want to see Boychuk playing on Staal's line I just think we need to wait 1 or 2 more years then put him up there on the 1st line just to make sure that he is ready. I could be wrong and he could have a big break out season this year and if that is the case then I have no problem with moving Boychuk up to the 1st I guess we will all have to see how it plays out for him.

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As much as I want to see Boychuk playing on Staal's line I just think we need to wait 1 or 2 more years then put him up there on the 1st line just to make sure that he is ready. I could be wrong and he could have a big break out season this year and if that is the case then I have no problem with moving Boychuk up to the 1st I guess we will all have to see how it plays out for him.

I always think Bowman will be LW for Staal on first line. Zach will be next Wizard, Whitney replacement, LW for 2nd line. Maybe i'm wrong, don't know, but both ( Bowman and Boychuk ) will be good player.

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As much as I want to see Boychuk playing on Staal's line I just think we need to wait 1 or 2 more years then put him up there on the 1st line just to make sure that he is ready. I could be wrong and he could have a big break out season this year and if that is the case then I have no problem with moving Boychuk up to the 1st I guess we will all have to see how it plays out for him.

Boychuk likely won't be ready, but its not out of the norm for this org to rush a player. So don't be surprised if they opt to give him a go if players aren't re-signed and they miss out on free agency.

I always think Bowman will be LW for Staal on first line. Zach will be next Wizard, Whitney replacement, LW for 2nd line. Maybe i'm wrong, don't know, but both ( Bowman and Boychuk ) will be good player.

This past training camp, Boychuk impressed the staff and moved higher up in the depth chart. Not saying that can't change this training camp, but they've got an eye on Boychuk and he'll likly be the first one to break a spot.

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JR was pretty clear in his comments after announcing the return of the coaching staff that he wants to bring the same guys back. I think this is short-sighted, but hey, once Cole was added the deadline the team did turn around. Giving them a shot from Oct - Feb to prove their capabilities might be the right thing to do, and then consider making personnel moves at the trade deadline.

Personally I believe we're going ot have trouble competing with Washington with what we can put on the ice. Brindy/Wizard/Walker are not getting any younger and they continue to be key ingredients on this team. I think one or two of them should be moved while they still have value. You see the success of teams like the Pens and Blackhawks... those are young teams. We need to bring our younger players up and get them some experience.

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JR was pretty clear in his comments after announcing the return of the coaching staff that he wants to bring the same guys back. I think this is short-sighted, but hey, once Cole was added the deadline the team did turn around. Giving them a shot from Oct - Feb to prove their capabilities might be the right thing to do, and then consider making personnel moves at the trade deadline.

Personally I believe we're going ot have trouble competing with Washington with what we can put on the ice. Brindy/Wizard/Walker are not getting any younger and they continue to be key ingredients on this team. I think one or two of them should be moved while they still have value. You see the success of teams like the Pens and Blackhawks... those are young teams. We need to bring our younger players up and get them some experience.

I think we will be getting younger very soon. If we were to just get rid of Walker/Brindy/Whitney that would be a little disrespectful considering all they have done for this franchise. Obviously I think Whitney can still compete so I have no problem with him staying. Brind'Amour improved a lot in the end of last season, probably because his knee was finally at full health, so if he can play like he did the 2nd half and not the 1st half of last year I can stand to keep him with 3rd or 4th line duties. Walker has never scored a ton, but is a veteran guy who works hard and can stand up for teammates while putting the occasional point up. Let them retire on their own time, and when they do we will have Guys like Sutter/Boychuk/Terry/Bowman/McBain/etc... to step into their place. In the meantime those guys are playing in the AHL getting more experience, so I don't think there will be a problem.

You may be right about Washington, they are improving but I still don't like their goaltending that much. I don't think Theodore did that great, so we will see who gets more starts this year Varlamov or Theo. If it's Varlamov that will be good because yes he is a pretty good goalie, but he is still young and will take a while to develop.

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So does everyone agree then that getting a nice superstar winger (or something close to it) for Staal is absolutely out of the question for next season? What about the season afterwards, 2010-2011? Is JR just going to keep sticking our star centre with no-name wingers? Will we ever get to see someone like Gaborik speeding down the wing with Staal?

Knowing JR, I fear the answer might be a hardy NO. But I guess I understand...I mean we are a team with a self-imposed cap anyways. Yawn.

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