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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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I love Chad but Eaves deserves chance. He is better player, seriously. \

Based on what? Eaves had a stint on the first line this season and didn't do much of anything. Rosey not only put up more points, but brought more intangibles (effort, physical play, etc..) that Eaves doesn't bring. Eaves is a physical player who has talent, but I think Rosey proved his spot on a roster last season, Eaves has yet to prove himself in anything.

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A couple things:

1. Eaves would have to prove himself better than Chad to have JR not re-sign LaRose. That hasn't happened.

2. If LaRose is re-signed, he'll be on the line with Cullen, whatever line that is. Those two have chemistry that you don't break up.

3. McBain's completely unproven. Since we're not in a dire defensive situation, he should get a year in the AHL to develop a little more. I say should because JR's known to rush prospects.

4. Vaananen's a possibility, he's got the Finnish connection and he's a great penalty killer. He was also put on waivers, so if JR was interested in him at all, there would have been talk then.

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McBain is unproven? Yeah but experience comes with games. Looks other teams - they give a chance to young unproven rookies, kids works hards and results comes. You can't expected from 20 years rookie to play like Lidstrom and have + 20. This is not going to happen. I want to see Pitkanen on pairing with Hamhuis and Burns with Gleason but this not happen too. If JR will choose between McB, Rodney and Borer, i prefer Jamie. But first, we should see how they play on camp.

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Based on what? Eaves had a stint on the first line this season and didn't do much of anything. Rosey not only put up more points, but brought more intangibles (effort, physical play, etc..) that Eaves doesn't bring. Eaves is a physical player who has talent, but I think Rosey proved his spot on a roster last season, Eaves has yet to prove himself in anything.
Eaves spent something like one and a half games on the top line at the beginning of the season before he got demoted.

I posted this on another board and am copying it to here:

People talk about LaRose's 31 points as if he had the best season ever and blows away that "****** hockey player" Eaves (as I saw him described on another 'Canes board), but forget that Eaves has seasons of 14g+18a=32pts and 20g+9a=29pts (in 59 games) while getting much less ice time than even LaRose did this season. When LaRose was 25 (Eaves' current age), his career high in goals was six.

Eaves doesn't offer LaRose's speed/tenacity, but what he does bring is an actual shot rather than just the ability to collect opportunistic garbage goals...such garbage goals that I fear may dry up for LaRose and cause him to come back down to earth offensively next season. Eaves' hits actually accomplish something unlike LaRose who just bounces off most his checks.

Eaves is also the smarter defensive hockey player despite LaRose's ability to generate ridiculous amounts of shorthanded scoring chances (approximately .01% of which are actually finished on). LaRose is an effort penalty killer who rushes the pointman and either causes him to turn the puck over/rush a pass, or completely loses position and causes a scoring chance for the other team. Eaves is a better positional player who doesn't chase the puck as much.

Ideally neither of the two would be on the second line. That should be Justin Williams' spot. But outside of one career season for LaRose in a UFA contract year (HUGE RED FLAG!), Eaves has the better track record of producing offense while getting less ice time and being two years younger. The organization has already decided to pay Eaves $1.4M/yr, so why not give him a chance to see what he can do? Why pay LaRose similar money if you think Eaves can accomplish the same thing? Or has Rutherford given up on Eaves after one bad year? Is he destined to rot on the 4th line?

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You're right, experience comes with games. That's why you give any spot available to those who have played more games, because they're more experienced. First, you give the spot to any current NHL-caliber defenseman, since they've proven they can handle the increased play of the NHL. Then you give the spot to the AHL defensemen, because while the AHL is a step down from the NHL, it's a step up from college play, which is where McBain has spent most of his career. McBain isn't some highly touted draft pick, like Schenn or Johnson. He's a good young defenseman with the potential to be better. You don't ruin that potential by throwing him into the fire.

As for Eaves, his icetime shifted throughout the season, usually depending on who we were facing and what the score was. And yes, he spent very little time on the top line, because he played himself off the top line. It's not like his demotion was unwarranted. He wasn't helping the line he was on, showed no signs of improving his play, and lost his spot to better players.

Eaves's career looks better, until you realize that the seasons he put up the most points were 05-06 (where scoring around the league was heightened, on the league's highest scoring team no less) and 06-07 (when he was on a team that went to the SCF, and thus, surrounded by good talent). If you're talking red flags, look at the fact that his play has dropped off dramatically from those two seasons, unlike LaRose, who has improved every season. A young player should be getting better as his career progresses, not worse. To make it even worse, Eaves has been putting up those numbers getting PP time, a luxury LaRose was never given.

And yes, LaRose and Eaves have a different style of play. The majority of LaRose's goals in his career are indeed opportunistic rebound goals. And that's a bad thing? How many times have you watched this team play and been so frustrated because the opposing goalie is giving up huge rebounds and no one's there to cash them in? LaRose has the uncanny ability to disappear until those opportunities present themselves. You want a perfect example of doing just that, look at the 4/2 game against the Rangers or his goal against Buffalo on 2/15. I'm not sure if it's because of his size, but most of the time, he just gets lost in transition and isn't spotted until it's too late.

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If Rosey is signed, training camp will determine the pecking order of the lines and thus where Rosey and Patty land. They will both have to prove themselves when the season starts. I'm not going to get into the debate of who should get the ice time and who shouldn't. I'm not suggesting the issue is dropped because both sides of the debate have good arguments, but really training camp is going to answer those questions for everyone, signing Rosey aside...

I seem to remember Chelios saying that North Carolina shouldn't have a hockey team. How's that for leadership? Granted it was years ago, but still. I don't think Chelios would really bring anything to the table other than another body to shift around the depth chart.

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If we can resign Cole at low second line money and play him on the second or even third line then great, maybe he'll suprise and show us what he used to be able to actually produce. But if Cole ends up on the first line, then JR did not really do much to improve the team this offseason.

I am a guy who at the end of 07-08 thought LaRose would never be a scorer. But I must have seen a different LaRose than some of you this year. This guy has skills. He's not Sidney Crosby, but he makes plays with his stick as well as his effort. Those were not all garbabge goals. You just don't garbage goal yourself to 20 goals in the NHL at 5'9". If you watch him carefully on the PK it is not just effort, he makes a lot of clever little plays to get the puck out. On his skating he looks like a pee-wee. Just leans forward and tries to keep from falling on his face. He is the most graceless skater on the team. Overcoming that and his size is made up with largely with effort but also with stick skill and a sense for the puck.

Eaves is that guy that everyone who knows a lot more hockey than me keeps on saying that he has everything you need, just hasn't been able to put it together here. I trust their judgement more than mine, but at some point the guy needs to put up some points. I would take LaRose over Eaves in a heartbeat. LaRose makes plays.

Seidenberg. Like to see him back, but he was on and off and not worth overpaying for.

Babchuk. Definitely has the potential to be great offensively. If JR can't get along with him. Then sign him, showcase him and get value for him in a trade.

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You're right, experience comes with games. That's why you give any spot available to those who have played more games, because they're more experienced. First, you give the spot to any current NHL-caliber defenseman, since they've proven they can handle the increased play of the NHL. Then you give the spot to the AHL defensemen, because while the AHL is a step down from the NHL, it's a step up from college play, which is where McBain has spent most of his career. McBain isn't some highly touted draft pick, like Schenn or Johnson. He's a good young defenseman with the potential to be better. You don't ruin that potential by throwing him into the fire.
Agreed with this, though McBain is our 4th-best prospect (and best defensive prospect) according to Hockey's Future's rankings. I'd like to see him spend at least a year in the AHL to learn the pro game. I think he's got by far the most potential of any of our D prospects, but he's also by far the youngest of any of the guys we have signed. I really think our other prospects aren't that good and will merely serve as placeholders until McBain is ready.

As for Eaves, his icetime shifted throughout the season, usually depending on who we were facing and what the score was. And yes, he spent very little time on the top line, because he played himself off the top line. It's not like his demotion was unwarranted. He wasn't helping the line he was on, showed no signs of improving his play, and lost his spot to better players.
1.5 games is not enough to show what you can do. I don't think Eaves got a fair shot throughout the season to prove himself as an offensive player. He spent a large portion of the season on the fourth line, almost never played on the powerplay, and had to play on his off-wing a lot to accommodate the other right wingers we have. Compare his treatment to that of Samsonov's. Samsonov got some 50-odd games on the top line despite doing little in the way of scoring (though his stickhandling was fun to watch!). Samsonov was never demoted until the Cole trade and always played on the powerplay.

Eaves's career looks better, until you realize that the seasons he put up the most points were 05-06 (where scoring around the league was heightened, on the league's highest scoring team no less) and 06-07 (when he was on a team that went to the SCF, and thus, surrounded by good talent). If you're talking red flags, look at the fact that his play has dropped off dramatically from those two seasons, unlike LaRose, who has improved every season. A young player should be getting better as his career progresses, not worse. To make it even worse, Eaves has been putting up those numbers getting PP time, a luxury LaRose was never given.
You're right that those stats came in mostly inflated scoring years and on great teams, but the most ice time he averaged in those seasons was 12:29. LaRose got 15:08/game this season and spent large portions of the season on scoring lines even though he didn't get PP time. Also, Eaves' stats were still good even if you remove his PP points; he only had 6 PP points in each of those years.

And yes, LaRose and Eaves have a different style of play. The majority of LaRose's goals in his career are indeed opportunistic rebound goals. And that's a bad thing? How many times have you watched this team play and been so frustrated because the opposing goalie is giving up huge rebounds and no one's there to cash them in? LaRose has the uncanny ability to disappear until those opportunities present themselves. You want a perfect example of doing just that, look at the 4/2 game against the Rangers or his goal against Buffalo on 2/15. I'm not sure if it's because of his size, but most of the time, he just gets lost in transition and isn't spotted until it's too late.
It might be a bad thing because those goals could dry up. His previous career high before this season was 11. It may be just me, but nearly doubling your career high in goals during a contract year as a 26/27-year old is a bit alarming. He still did better than Eaves in that category and that can't be ignored, but I'm trying to project the future, which is very important with long term contracts. If we sign LaRose and he comes back down to earth, then his contract is just as bad as Eaves' is if he doesn't improve.

When LaRose was Eaves' current age, his career high in goals was 6. Coincidentally, that was the exact number that Eaves scored this season. If you forget that Eaves ever played his first two seasons and cracked the NHL as a 23-year old instead, the last two seasons are right on track with where LaRose was at that point. Good defensive play/PKing/energy, but not much scoring.

I may be overrating Eaves' offensive abilities based off a few good seasons, but the kid was a 1st round pick in a great draft, did well in his first two seasons as a 21-22 year old, and I don't think his potential has dried up at barely 25. Even if he doesn't score, he provides great defensive ability and a physical presence for his size (second among our forwards in hits last season). My dream, though, is that we acquire a real Top 6 winger so that neither of these guys are forced to play there.

I have absolutely nothing against LaRose and that he could very well repeat this past season or even improve on it. I just think Eaves has a higher upside and that there's no point in paying both big dollars. The organization seemed to make a choice between Eaves/LaRose last offseason when they decided to shell out $1.4M/yr for Eaves while giving a relatively cheap one-year deal to LaRose. That may or may not have been the right decision (time will tell), but that's what happened and we have to plan accordingly.

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Well, Eaves didn't suddenly go from the top line to the 4th. He was demoted from the 1st to the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd, etc. And then when Maurice took over, he was given his chance once again and still managed to work his way down. He was given a lot of leeway this season, mostly because of the new contract he signed and because of his potential. But he never showed much in the way of offense, at least, from what I ever saw from him. He's great defensively, yes, but it seems like he can turn his offense on and off at will (the Washington game where he landed two sniper shots is evidence) and he's decided to almost permanently keep it in the off position.

Even when Eaves's new contract was signed, one of the main reasons why it was such a good deal was because it was low enough that he could be used as tradebait in case he didn't work out. I'm fine with giving him a little more leeway, because as you said, he's got a pretty good upside. But he's got to show something at the camp or during the preseason games if he wants to play big minutes. Spending half the season without a goal isn't a good way to do that.

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Well, Eaves didn't suddenly go from the top line to the 4th. He was demoted from the 1st to the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd, etc. And then when Maurice took over, he was given his chance once again and still managed to work his way down. He was given a lot of leeway this season, mostly because of the new contract he signed and because of his potential. But he never showed much in the way of offense, at least, from what I ever saw from him. He's great defensively, yes, but it seems like he can turn his offense on and off at will (the Washington game where he landed two sniper shots is evidence) and he's decided to almost permanently keep it in the off position.

Even when Eaves's new contract was signed, one of the main reasons why it was such a good deal was because it was low enough that he could be used as tradebait in case he didn't work out. I'm fine with giving him a little more leeway, because as you said, he's got a pretty good upside. But he's got to show something at the camp or during the preseason games if he wants to play big minutes. Spending half the season without a goal isn't a good way to do that.

Agreed with all of this. If he's here, I hope he comes into camp and has a great preseason. If not we may be able to trade him as you say.

The Washington game and the goal against Phoenix (where he danced around the defender to create a 2-on-1 with LaRose and then sniped it past the goalie) is part of the reason that I'm still holding out hope for Eaves. He supposedly has the best wrist shot on the team (according to Cam Ward), but struggles to put everything together. A lot of young players struggle to use their tools properly and some never learn, but I think Eaves will as he's done it in the past. I also think some of his injuries in the past (shoulder in particular) may have affected his game.

I would not like to give up on someone with Eaves' natural skills and have it come back to bite us. If he can put it together and find a spot on a line with a playmaking C, he'll score 25+. We already gave up on Ladd and he's playing pretty well in Chicago (got Ruutu in return so that was a even trade, but we still traded a 4th overall power forward not even four years after we drafted him).

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Just means we drafted the wrong player. Unless Ladd really improves, he's not worth a 4th overall, even if that draft was particular weak.
Ladd put up 49 points with very little PP time and a +26 rating this season. I agree that he wasn't worth a 4th overall, but I still think he could become a 55-60 point player given the right opportunity. Giving up on someone like that can be a mistake, but luckily we moved him when he still had high value and got Ruutu in return.

I'm afraid Eaves may have killed his trade value by having two poor offensive seasons and a slightly high salary (he makes $1.7M in the final year of his deal). We might be able to get a pick of some sort in return, but I wouldn't except a Ruutu-esque player to be coming back. Ladd was very cheap, 22 years old and an RFA (so Chicago could have just walked away from him if he didn't pan out).

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The +/- is misleading, since I believe he was shutdown forward line fronting the defensive pairing of Keith and Seabrook. Anyone's going to wind up a major + with those two backing them, especially when you've got a natural goalscorer in Havlat on your opposite wing. Might also explain the increased assist amount. Ladd was being misused here anyway. For whatever reason, he wasn't clicking with the system.

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The +/- is misleading, since I believe he was shutdown forward line fronting the defensive pairing of Keith and Seabrook. Anyone's going to wind up a major + with those two backing them, especially when you've got a natural goalscorer in Havlat on your opposite wing. Might also explain the increased assist amount.
Agreed that he did benefit greatly from his teammates, but he still faced top opposition every night and faired well against it. Even if he's not scoring, he'll be a pretty good defensive forward. Late in the season and in the playoffs he actually played on a line with Pahlsson after he was acquired.

Ladd was being misused here anyway. For whatever reason, he wasn't clicking with the system.
10 minutes a game will do that to you. It's hard to produce when your linemates are the Adams Family or Trevor Letowski and you're getting 15 shifts a game. He was playing pretty well on a line with Samsonov right before he was traded (JR did the right thing by moving him then as he likely would have come back down to earth and lowered his trade value). I would have liked to see Ladd under Maurice's system, but I have no complaints with Ruutu.

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You don't think Chelios could be a leader?

I don't think it'd be the type of move we'd make, nor one that would fix any of our problems, but Chelios could be a great veteran leader to any young defenseman. He's played the game for so long, he's got to know the ins and outs of it.

Sorry- but I disagree. He could give them pointers that can just as easily come from Wesley.but I would not want him teaching them some of his other (dirty) traits.

Just my opinion.

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I heard in an interview a while back hes only interested in original 6 teams. That counts us out.

could you imagine chelios and chara on the same pairing for boston? that would be like shaq and lebron getting together...wait...

*sarcasm alert

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First let me say that I haven't given up on Eaves. I like his hustle and he's been bounced around so much from line to line, I don't really know what his potential is.

But, if J.R. and Mo have decided he is a fourth line player, they need to trade him for anything to get rid of his contract and resign Bayda or promote a youngster. His contract isn't so big that he couldn't be moved especially if we weren't looking for a lot in return. Do any of you not think that he wouldn't fit in on Detroit's team and we know they are looking for some low priced talent? I don't really want to see him go, but if all he is going to get is fourth line minutes, it's too much money for that. Things like that are choking us financially now (end of the season a fourth line of Walker, Brindy, and Eaves for 6.9 million).

IF management has slotted Eaves in as a fourth liner, make a trade, sign Bayda and save a million dollars. That's a big if to me because I'm not certain that he isn't a top 9 guy if you get the right fit, and I don't think the right fit for him is beside Brindy.

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could you imagine chelios and chara on the same pairing for boston? that would be like shaq and lebron getting together...wait...

*sarcasm alert

More like Shaq and a 50 year old Micheal Jordan :)

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The Eaves/LaRose debate is an interesting one. Eaves has the better potential and skill. LaRose finally started showing us that he can score. And I did find myself at times saying "where did LaRose learn that".

JR had an interview with Team590 yesterday and he said these agents are throwing around goofy numbers. I have no doubt in my mind that Larose is looking for Eaves money and more. You have to ask yourself, is he really worth $2M or more?

And before anyone says well Eaves isn't worth his contract, keep this in mind POTENTIAL. GMs are known for giving money to guys with potential. Eaves was a first round draft pick, does have a wicked wrist shot, and his ceiling of potential is higher than LaRoses.

Then you have LaRose. Cut by Detroit twice. Sat in 2 drafts (14 rounds total) and never once heard his name. This is the first year he actually showed some promise. Do you take the chance that he finally found his stride at 27 and he isn't some flash in the pan and offer him $2M or more?

LaRose doesn't have that potential tagged to him, so I think JR is going to have a hard time paying LaRose $2M or more. I think JR has his ceiling at $1.75M. Some GM out there will give LaRose $2M because they can afford to do so this team can't. And knowing JR, he is thinking that Eaves can easily slide into LaRose's spot if he doesn't take his offer.

To make a long post short: JR will not bend over backwards to get LaRose signed knowing he has Eaves on the sidelines.

One thing I've learned about JR in these past 8 off-seasons. He has a set number and he won't go over that number. He may play around with the years or throw in one of those lovely NTC he loves to dish out, but he rarely ever goes over his number unless he absolutly has to have you and with Eaves right there waiting, LaRose is not a must have, he's a i'd like to have.

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I'd actually say this was the 2nd season in a row he's shown promise. The 07-08 was cut short by the leg injury, but he still managed to put up decent points in 58 games. And if you compare the stats from the 07-08 to this past one, he's improved in just about every category. Obviously, he put up more points, which is a plus, but his play in other statistics has improved as well.

       07-08     08-09
GP:      58        81
PIM:     46        35
S%:      9.1%      11.1%
GvA:     14        19
TkA:     24        49
HPG:     1.25      1.49
BSPG:   .25       .53

He played more games, but took less penalties, had a very little increase in giveaways (which comes with playing 23 more games), but a large increase in takeaways. He hit more often and blocked shots more often.

My confusion lies with calling LaRose's past two seasons a possible "flash in the pan" (which they very well could be), but insisting that Eaves can return to the form of his first two seasons. Isn't it just as likely that those two were "flash in the pan" seasons for Eaves? Obviously, Eaves has much more potential than LaRose, but if the choice came between Eaves playing at 50% of his possible potential and LaRose playing at 80% of his, the choice is obvious.

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My confusion lies with calling LaRose's past two seasons a possible "flash in the pan" (which they very well could be), but insisting that Eaves can return to the form of his first two seasons. Isn't it just as likely that those two were "flash in the pan" seasons for Eaves? Obviously, Eaves has much more potential than LaRose, but if the choice came between Eaves playing at 50% of his possible potential and LaRose playing at 80% of his, the choice is obvious.
I think Eaves' first two seasons are less likely to be a flash in the pan than LaRose's past two seasons because of the respective age they scored them at. Eaves was 21-22 in those years, LaRose 25-26. Both of LaRose's seasons came in contract years, while Eaves was still on the first/second year of his entry level deal.

Also, I know LaRose didn't get the PP time Eaves got (which was barely second unit time), but look at the ice time. Eaves was buried on a great offensive team and played a shade over 12 minutes a game, while LaRose played on a team with relatively weak winger depth (at least at RW this year, where it was basically Ruutu and nobody else unless you count the games Walker/Williams ineffectively played) and got 14-15 minutes a game. Is LaRose really playing on a line with players like Whitney and Cullen on any other team? It shows a team weakness when one of your "second line wingers" is barely cracking 30 points, regardless of how much PP time he got. His 19 goals were great, but 12 assists playing with two 20+ goalscorers?

I wouldn't pay LaRose anything more than the $1.7M Eaves is making in the final year of his deal. Anything more than that and you exit "third line" money and start to enter "second line" money...and LaRose is not a second liner. A budget team - especially one with a number of bad contracts already on the books - can't afford to overpay for third line talent without it coming to a detriment to their top six.

I think we've all fallen in love with these hard-working bottom 6 players and want to keep them here but forget that we have a pretty average top 6 due to some players declining (Brind'amour) or being shipped out of town due to money/injury reasons (Williams). Brind'amour-Williams was basically our second line for three years and both those guys might as well be gone. Even had Williams not been traded, I don't know if he would have ever been the same. Stillman was moved so we could get a Top 4 defenseman in Corvo (who is extremely important to the team) so that trade is justified, but the other two we lost for nothing unless Cole gets re-signed.

Let's look at the Top 6ers we have signed for next season:

Samsonov - should be good for 50+ points based on how he played the last 2/3rds of the season and playoffs. Average second line winger when you take into account his lack of physical/defensive ability. He tries really hard but he's just too small to hurt anyone with his hits and he's clueless in the defensive zone.

Whitney - scored 77 last year and led the team in that category, but is 37 and could decline. Based on his PP ability, he should be good for 60+ points assuming he stays healthy. Above-average first line winger but could see a decrease in production.

Cullen - has never scored 50 points in a season before, though has been on pace for that the last two seasons. Two seasons over 20 goals in his career. Good defensive player, but in the end is an inconsistent offensive player. Average second line center.

Staal - He produced a ton at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs, but in the end he scored a total of 75 regular season points. Is wildy inconsistent. He's gotten a lot better defensively, though, and now can be trusted in key defensive situations (even though he can't win a face-off). Above-average first line center.

And that's it as far as legit Top 6 guys go unless I am forgetting or underrating somebody. Ruutu is RFA so I'm not listing him as what LaRose gets (or does not get) could effect what we have available to give to Ruutu. Two good first liners (one of whom is 37) and two average second liners does not make a great Top 6, even with Ruutu likely coming back. He's just another second line winger despite all the intangibles/grit he brings.

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I wouldn't pay LaRose anything more than the $1.7M Eaves is making in the final year of his deal. Anything more than that and you exit "third line" money and start to enter "second line" money...and LaRose is not a second liner. A budget team - especially one with a number of bad contracts already on the books - can't afford to overpay for third line talent without it coming to a detriment to their top six.

You nailed it right there.

How many times has someone on this board or other boards say "player X" isn't earning their contract. Staal got blamed for not earning his $8M contract when that contract doesn't take effect for another 4 months. Eaves isn't living up to his contract. Samsonov is making more than he should. We are crazy for paying Walker $2.5M. and the list goes on and on.

But people are now willing to pay LaRose, $2M or more, a 3rd liner who put up decent numbers in contract years. I could hear it now when next year LaRose goes 15 games without putting up a point.

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Out of curiosity, has anyone in this topic actually said they'd be willing to pay LaRose 2m+, or does this all stem from the rumor that Detroit might pay him that much, if they're interested in him at all?

I'm fine with paying the amount that Eaves is "earning", and probably would go a little higher, but if another team is willing to overpay him, the team's got no choice but to let him go.

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