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Canes-Fan-In-Montreal

Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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Wow, now we have people responding in one thread to something posted in the other. Ignoring NTC and oher obviousness. Etc. For the record, Whitney, Walker, Wallin with NTC, that's it.

Now we know what happens when Why yes I do know it all meets I'm opinionated and bored argue with me/mob mentality on the topic of Babchuk. :lol:

Time to step back a little maybe? How quickly we forget that JR can say one thing one day and the opposite the next. He has a valid point that Babs put himself in a weak position. JR holds his cards close, I think he has a viable plan for this. He probably saw this coming a mile away.

The only scary thing is next year is going to be twice as active! :)

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Assuming they backload Ruutus contract, that should leave about 1.5-1.7M for a D-man. Looking at the available names, I dont see a top 4 D-man for that money. I could definitely see JR going the reclaimation route and picking up Vaananen for 1-1.5M. I dont see Babchuk as a top 4 guy besides the fact we dont need 3 out of the top 4 guys being offensive minded. Vaananen has size, is defensive minded and is underachieving, sounds like a prototypical player for JR to pick up on the cheap. Pitkanen may need to get a minivan so all the finnish players can carpool in comfort.

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Wow, now we have people responding in one thread to something posted in the other. Ignoring NTC and oher obviousness. Etc. For the record, Whitney, Walker, Wallin with NTC, that's it.

Now we know what happens when Why yes I do know it all meets I'm opinionated and bored argue with me/mob mentality on the topic of Babchuk. :lol:

Time to step back a little maybe? How quickly we forget that JR can say one thing one day and the opposite the next. He has a valid point that Babs put himself in a weak position. JR holds his cards close, I think he has a viable plan for this. He probably saw this coming a mile away.

The only scary thing is next year is going to be twice as active! :)

roflmao, i agree. I am not in panic mode, too much time left before the season starts. You are right, we have a lot of folks whose contract is up next summer. that will be scary, real scary. hopefully JR will go ahead and sign Cam to a contract extension now and get a jump on things.

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I'll agree that a trade is possible, but not some of the guys you mention.

Whitney-a trade possibility if (big if) one of our young guns shows up big in training camp or early in the season. I don't see how Ray Ray gets traded before the season starts. He is one of our only consistent scorers. His salary would be a good amount to use on a d-man.

Cullen-also unlikely to be traded before the season starts. Brindy would have to come back and be the Roddy of old in order for Cullen to be moved. Also Sutter would have to be a big contributor.

Brind'amour-Nobody in the league is taking Brindy until he shows what he has left in the tank. The only way Roddy is moved would be if he has a resurgence and the Canes are sellers at the deadline. That isn't going to help now.

Walker-too expensive now for a 3rd/4th liner. Injuries have slowed him down. Has a no trade clause.

Corvo-you hit a possibility here but trading a good d-man at a reasonable salary isn't going to help us when we need defensive help. I don't see this one.

Kaberle and Wallin-come on. Don't go down that road again. Wallin isn't going to waive his NTC. Nobody would take Kabs on waivers (twice) last year and he has a NTC also.

My idea of some other guys who would be possible trade bait:

Samsonov-I like Sammy but he is another smallish forward who could be replaced in the lineup by a youngster, maybe. He has a reasonable salary and has had a resurgence in Carolina. A team looking for offensive help may consider him. Moving Sammy would save a decent amount to be used on a d-man.

Eaves-another guy I like and who I think is underated. He has struggled or the team has struggled in finding his role on the team. He has top 9 talent but hasn't stuck in the top 9. He's too expensive to play the 4th line and really isn't a special teams player either. If J.R. and Mo have decided that Eaves isn't a top 9 forward, I'd say he would be the first to go if a taker could be found but he wouldn't save a ton of money.

I posted a few pages back about our gradual erosion of proven scoring, but everyone got off on the Babchuk thing. I agree with most of your points here. The problem is that we have a slew of forwards who are really 2nd/3rd line guys. What we need is at least one more top line winger. We are fairly deep at forward (esp. if Eaves comes around), but not much top line talent. That also means trading for a top guy could be tough.

The one guy who has put up legit top line numbers who could potentially be traded is Whitney. But if we trade that much offense, we have to get bigger and younger, but also at least somewhat proven offense back (not a dman). Maybe if there were someone a bit disgruntled and we threw in a pick and prospect or something, but that might be a tough deal to find. BTW I love Whitney, but you have to give to get and he is going to have a drop off one of these next few years due to age.

Eaves can't have much trade value. I think he has underscored his way out of a trade. We have to see if he can finally put up some points next year (one of many "ifs" that we are counting on up front).

Maybe there would be some interest in Sammy, but what would we get back? Maybe Sammy and Whitney and a pick for some younger, bigger, top line winger? I don't know.

If JR even has a dream about a thought about a brief notion to trade Cullen it better be for another second line center. This is a guy who somewhat underperformed last year. It is also a guy who will likely have a better year this year and with Brindy being a major question mark, Cullen is probably the most important non-Staal forward we have. Trading him makes no sense whatsoever.

I agree with everything else.

This team is filled with very good 2nd/3rd liners and a couple of guys who are shaddows of their former selves. We really do need that true first line winger dang it. It will make everything else fall into place. Oh, and we need to sign Babchuk.

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This team is filled with very good 2nd/3rd liners and a couple of guys who are shaddows of their former selves. We really do need that true first line winger dang it. It will make everything else fall into place.

And therein lies the problem. We are loaded with 2nd and 3rd line players and not the one high talent winger to skate with Staal.

My thoughts on trading Eaves would hinge on whether J.R. and the crew have him slotted in as a 4th liner next season. If that's the case, trade him and sign Bayda on a cheap one way deal and save the 1 mil to be used elsewhere. He may not have great trade value, but if he's a projected 4th liner we don't need to get much in return.

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And therein lies the problem. We are loaded with 2nd and 3rd line players and not the one high talent winger to skate with Staal.

My thoughts on trading Eaves would hinge on whether J.R. and the crew have him slotted in as a 4th liner next season. If that's the case, trade him and sign Bayda on a cheap one way deal and save the 1 mil to be used elsewhere. He may not have great trade value, but if he's a projected 4th liner we don't need to get much in return.

It is a problem...but the same one we had at the start of last season. Now we have Cole and Jokinen for the full season and lose...who? Williams was mostly injured. Bayda and Sutter - solid 4th liners, but not a huge concern. Also have to make room for Conboy. A little improvement in our current forwards should be expected. Brind'Amour and Cullen had injury issues, Samsonov was slow out of the gate.

I was a little surprised we kept Eaves for the full season, especially when he ended up mostly a 4th liner. It was a good evaluation time, and he was good injury insurance that for once we didn't need. He's by far the most expendable. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone else willing to take a chance on him that can give him solid 2nd/3rd line plus special teams time and see if he really has it. With his cap hit, it isn't a huge gamble. The only other semi-obvious choice would be Samsonov, as you mentioned above. Seems unlikely with past history, combined with his value for us compared to cap number.

The one thing I do believe from what JR has said this off-season is that we wanted the team he had last year back mostly intact. Why not, look at the stats. 7 forwards with 40 or more points - how many teams can say that? (I really would be curious to know. Boston and Detroit I know...) 4 Dmen with 30 points - again, anyone? I suspect that potentially losing 2 of those Dmen is at the front of JR's mind. A top 3 forward would be nice, but JR doesn't buy those, he builds them. :)

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For what's worth I think that JR is going to sit tight for right now. If Bab's agree to play with JR's offer then that is even better for JR, nobody has signed Dennis yet and who knows how that is going to turn out. JR isn't going to sign anyone else at this point, and when start of practice begins he is going to look close at the "young guns" from Albany. Time will tell on who makes the roster, maybe one to two new players from Albany.

At the earliest JR might try something after trainning camp one he gets a better feel on who is expendable.

However I believe JR won't make a trade UNTIL the trading deadline and depending on where we are in the standings will dictate on what he will offer as trade material. He is figuring that standing "pat" should put us into the playoff picture and by that time he will know what is available on the market and what we can afford to give in exchange.

Just my 02 cents........

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It is a problem...but the same one we had at the start of last season. Now we have Cole and Jokinen for the full season and lose...who? Williams was mostly injured. Bayda and Sutter - solid 4th liners, but not a huge concern. Also have to make room for Conboy. A little improvement in our current forwards should be expected. Brind'Amour and Cullen had injury issues, Samsonov was slow out of the gate.

I was a little surprised we kept Eaves for the full season, especially when he ended up mostly a 4th liner. It was a good evaluation time, and he was good injury insurance that for once we didn't need. He's by far the most expendable. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone else willing to take a chance on him that can give him solid 2nd/3rd line plus special teams time and see if he really has it. With his cap hit, it isn't a huge gamble. The only other semi-obvious choice would be Samsonov, as you mentioned above. Seems unlikely with past history, combined with his value for us compared to cap number.

The one thing I do believe from what JR has said this off-season is that we wanted the team he had last year back mostly intact. Why not, look at the stats. 7 forwards with 40 or more points - how many teams can say that? (I really would be curious to know. Boston and Detroit I know...) 4 Dmen with 30 points - again, anyone? I suspect that potentially losing 2 of those Dmen is at the front of JR's mind. A top 3 forward would be nice, but JR doesn't buy those, he builds them. :)

I think Eaves is the odd man out here. You are right about his contract being low enough that it wouldn't be a huge gamble for a team and a heck of a bargain if he panned out. With the current crop of forwards here, it isn't in the cards for him to get time. I'd say Jussi took the spot that he could have held down. Maybe Eaves plus something (pick or prospect) for a defenseman.

I also think that J.R. is sold on our high powered forward being in the system and only a year or so away. That means no deals for forwards. I agree with your analysis of our forward situation should be a little better at the start of the season that it was last year although we still have a bunch of smallish 2nd and 3rd liners.

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I think Eaves is the odd man out here. You are right about his contract being low enough that it wouldn't be a huge gamble for a team and a heck of a bargain if he panned out. With the current crop of forwards here, it isn't in the cards for him to get time. I'd say Jussi took the spot that he could have held down. Maybe Eaves plus something (pick or prospect) for a defenseman.

I also think that J.R. is sold on our high powered forward being in the system and only a year or so away. That means no deals for forwards. I agree with your analysis of our forward situation should be a little better at the start of the season that it was last year although we still have a bunch of smallish 2nd and 3rd liners.

let's not forget to offer up a "free" Kaberle for anyone that takes the deal, we will get rid of him one way or the other.

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let's not forget to offer up a "free" Kaberle for anyone that takes the deal, we will get rid of him one way or the other.

I'm sure Billy Mays would have thrown in Kabs for shipping and handling.

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I'd avoid Paul Mara, if only because history's against him. He's only been a plus player with the Rangers, and with their defensive system, it's hard to tell what part that plays in his recent success. However, the fact that he was a minus (and a major minus) for most of the other teams he played with, I'd be wary against him.

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Sign Paul mara

While I agree with some of the others that would like to see Vaananen, what about Dmitri Kalinin? I admit I have yet to read of any interest from JR, but why not? Yes, he may have some injury concerns, but he could be a top 4 guy. He's only 28, relatively physical, and he made just over $2M last year. Carolina has to be an upgrade over Phoenix, right?

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For what's worth I think that JR is going to sit tight for right now. If Bab's agree to play with JR's offer then that is even better for JR, nobody has signed Dennis yet and who knows how that is going to turn out. JR isn't going to sign anyone else at this point, and when start of practice begins he is going to look close at the "young guns" from Albany. Time will tell on who makes the roster, maybe one to two new players from Albany.

At the earliest JR might try something after trainning camp one he gets a better feel on who is expendable.

However I believe JR won't make a trade UNTIL the trading deadline and depending on where we are in the standings will dictate on what he will offer as trade material. He is figuring that standing "pat" should put us into the playoff picture and by that time he will know what is available on the market and what we can afford to give in exchange.

Just my 02 cents........

I think you are probably right that this is what will happen. I don't think it is what should happen, but hey, JR is way ahead of me. On the one hand I can see how one could say, "Based on the playoffs we were the 3rd best team in the league, so why do anything at all? Then again after 06 we were the 1st best team and mostly stood pat and where did that get us? Does anyone really think we are an elite team as structured?

On the whole this is a talented bunch of forwards, but all of them except Staal (and maybe Whitney) have question marks. It would just be nice to add one more guy up front who is near his prime and doesn't have question marks to go with Staal. Then when a few of the question marks don't work out we're still a top team. (In 06 we had several guys like that: Brindy, Williams, Whitney, Stillman, Staal, Cole, and eventually Weight and Recci).

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I think you are probably right that this is what will happen. I don't think it is what should happen, but hey, JR is way ahead of me. On the one hand I can see how one could say, "Based on the playoffs we were the 3rd best team in the league, so why do anything at all? Then again after 06 we were the 1st best team and mostly stood pat and where did that get us? Does anyone really think we are an elite team as structured?

On the whole this is a talented bunch of forwards, but all of them except Staal (and maybe Whitney) have question marks. It would just be nice to add one more guy up front who is near his prime and doesn't have question marks to go with Staal. Then when a few of the question marks don't work out we're still a top team. (In 06 we had several guys like that: Brindy, Williams, Whitney, Stillman, Staal, Cole, and eventually Weight and Recci).

I agree with you but that self imposed ceiling cap by PK is putting the lock down on what we can or can't do. IF Kab does leave along with Dennis and maybe Babs that would free up some money and it would be interesting to see what JR would do. I guess it would depend on who's left(quality) by that time on the UFA list.... Some underachiever or injury prone player for around 2.4-2.7 mil a year.

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We should sign Max Afinogenov. He was washed up his last years in Buffalo and probably wouldnt want a tremendous amount of money. I remember another Russian who was the same (Samsonov) and that worked pretty well for us. Heck! Let em play together woohoooo the Russian connection. That would give Staal some wingers that actually have some hands. He an obvious skill guy with size and thats what we need, more flashy scoring punch and size. Look at the other teams around the league and the way they are building themselves. Enough with this grinding game. The league is about scoring depth. Look at the teams who went to the finals. Look at us when we won the cup. We have to many grinding fowards. Thoughts...?

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Boston looks like a great trade partner for us. I think that they're already at or near the salary cap and they haven't yet resigned RFA's Phil Kessel and Matt Hunwick. I wonder if we could pry Aaron Ward and Staal's old linemate Chuck Kobasew away from them with the right offer (that would have to include Babchuk)? Of course, I know I'm dreaming a bit about Kobasew. Ward could certainly become available.

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We should sign Max Afinogenov. He was washed up his last years in Buffalo and probably wouldnt want a tremendous amount of money. I remember another Russian who was the same (Samsonov) and that worked pretty well for us. Heck! Let em play together woohoooo the Russian connection. That would give Staal some wingers that actually have some hands. He an obvious skill guy with size and thats what we need, more flashy scoring punch and size. Look at the other teams around the league and the way they are building themselves. Enough with this grinding game. The league is about scoring depth. Look at the teams who went to the finals. Look at us when we won the cup. We have to many grinding fowards. Thoughts...?

From what I've heard from Sabres fans (on another board) Afinogenov has been doing poorly lately because he needs a run and gun system with lots of speed involved. He was a great player for the Sabres back in 06-07 when they played that style, but he hasn't been good lately since they've become more defensive. That doesn't encourage me since Mo's system is much more defensive orientated.

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Boston looks like a great trade partner for us. I think that they're already at or near the salary cap and they haven't yet resigned RFA's Phil Kessel and Matt Hunwick. I wonder if we could pry Aaron Ward and Staal's old linemate Chuck Kobasew away from them with the right offer (that would have to include Babchuk)? Of course, I know I'm dreaming a bit about Kobasew. Ward could certainly become available.

Hmmm.....I've been sitting on the sidelines watching lots of conversation about all the travails that we are facing and I've just got to jump in...So here's my two cents. First of all so much of this is all gamesmanship...by JR, by Ruutu's agent, by Babchuk....so we probably will see so much play out over the next 6 weeks that will prove some of us right and most of us wrong (both LaRose and Cole, for example were signed for several hundred thousand $$$ more than I would have guessed)....Secondly, we're sitting at a shade over $49 million ($49.067 according to nhlnumbers.com - and its tough to tell if that includes Ryan's, Conboy's, and Dwyer's $$$) with 18 players signed. So we have either a shade over $6 million to the cap (which we will never spend to) or, more realistically, about $3.7 to $4 million to spend to $53 million which I believe is JR's upper end, self-imposed cap. So there are a few of realities that we just need to face:

1) We're going to see Carson/Rodney/Borer as part of the last pairing or even part of the 2nd pairing. Yup, they're going to make mistakes, but all three proved to be quite servicable during their call ups and WAY TOO MUCH is being made of their "inexperience".... in the end they will be fine. I'm calling it right here and now....we will not see a new defenseman signed unless something dramatic happens.

2) Ruutu will be signed before arbitration....one thing JR wants is flexibility and arbitration is the antithesis of that. I'm looking for something like 3 years $10.5 million....and his name will continuously come up in trade talk, trade negotiations, and eventually he may be part of an actual trade...probably next year at or around the deadline or at or around the draft.

3) Babchuk will either accept his QO or actually get a 2 year deal (2 yrs. @ $3 million - $1.25/$1.75). The trade that becomes available is then Babs and Ruutu for a significant player plus either a pick or prospect. This trade might also be a Ruutu and the "rights" to Babs. Regardless, Babs becomes a trading chip all year long....if not this year then next. If he stays and plays with us, I think he continues his breakout and while JR may regret some of his posturing and treatment, in the end, he will prove to be a valuable asset that we trade and get significant return for.

4) The 1st line and the 4th line are going to be in flux all year long with Cole and Staal playing with one of either Boychuk or Bowman. One or both of the youngsters are going to make the team and play 1st line and 3rd line minutes. While I think that Ruutu will also see some 1st line minutes, I think Mo plays some "match up" hockey (we throw out a tough line of Cole/Staal/Ruutu against bangers like Boston/New Jersey). However, I also believe that both Eaves and perhaps Jokinen may get time on that line as both are due for breakouts. JR is going to ask Mo to showcase those guys and I think they will prove more than able to contribute (Jussi especially, who I believe can skate w/the Eric(k)s and has nifty passing ability). That also creates "tradeable" assets. The second line is going to be Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu and will really provide a balance of scoring and physicality. Again, this is a line I think you see Eaves on when Ruutu moves up to play 1st line time. LaRose will also see a bit of time on this line as he has chemistry here, but a line of Whitney/Cullen/LaRose is exceedingly small and could only work against the more "skilled" teams. The third line is, for the most part, going to be LaRose/Jokinen/Eaves and that line will be surprisingly productive from a scoring perspective. With Chad and Patty on it, they will also be a serious "pest" line. I suspect that Sutter gets some time on this line as well. The fourth line is going to be Walker/Brindy/Sutter with Brindy and Walker rotating up to the third line when LaRose and Eaves move up. The rookies will sit those games out or play 3rd/4th line time. Brindy and Sutter will see PK time w/Eaves and LaRose. Brindy will also see critical faceoff time.

5) Who is missing? You guessed it, Samsonov. Love him, think he's a heck of a player and once he got on track, he can make things happen. But, for whatever reason, he doesn't seem to play well with Staal (the line he should be playing on, IMO) and with the Jokinen signing, he becomes expendable. So I think while we'll hear Ruutu/Babs rumors, in the end, we'll see a Samsonov/Babs trade or Samsonov plus an asset trade at some point in time this year freeing up salary....which will get us our winger back in return (more like a true solid 2nd liner w/some 1st line potential - ala Ruutu)....we might get a pick as well, but....

This is all a guessing game, but I expect that we will see more "match up" hockey....not so much matching lines, but building lines to play against certain teams....Cole, Ruutu on the 1st line, Walker on the 3rd line....and Conboy as appropriate will get rolled out much more prominently against the more physical teams. I think that as the year goes on Sutter also sees more time (going from 6 to 8 minutes a game to 8 to 12 minutes a game)....he's a physical player and can play a shut down guy already. I think Eaves and Jokinen each get 15 to 20 goals...and Kaberle has a return to form as well....

Finally, one of the two rookies (Boychuk/Bowman) will stick and the other will get one more year in Albany (although with our team's injury history he will see plenty of time in Raleigh). In the end two or more of our AHLers will get NHL experience, contribute significantly, and be part of a Hurricane's team that reaches the playoffs again. Yes, that's what I said, the same basic team that got us to the playoffs this year takes us back next year....I for one am excited about that prospect.

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Hmmm.....I've been sitting on the sidelines watching lots of conversation about all the travails that we are facing and I've just got to jump in...So here's my two cents. First of all so much of this is all gamesmanship...by JR, by Ruutu's agent, by Babchuk....so we probably will see so much play out over the next 6 weeks that will prove some of us right and most of us wrong (both LaRose and Cole, for example were signed for several hundred thousand $$$ more than I would have guessed)....Secondly, we're sitting at a shade over $49 million ($49.067 according to nhlnumbers.com - and its tough to tell if that includes Ryan's, Conboy's, and Dwyer's $$$) with 18 players signed. So we have either a shade over $6 million to the cap (which we will never spend to) or, more realistically, about $3.7 to $4 million to spend to $53 million which I believe is JR's upper end, self-imposed cap. So there are a few of realities that we just need to face:

1) We're going to see Carson/Rodney/Borer as part of the last pairing or even part of the 2nd pairing. Yup, they're going to make mistakes, but all three proved to be quite servicable during their call ups and WAY TOO MUCH is being made of their "inexperience".... in the end they will be fine. I'm calling it right here and now....we will not see a new defenseman signed unless something dramatic happens.

2) Ruutu will be signed before arbitration....one thing JR wants is flexibility and arbitration is the antithesis of that. I'm looking for something like 3 years $10.5 million....and his name will continuously come up in trade talk, trade negotiations, and eventually he may be part of an actual trade...probably next year at or around the deadline or at or around the draft.

3) Babchuk will either accept his QO or actually get a 2 year deal (2 yrs. @ $3 million - $1.25/$1.75). The trade that becomes available is then Babs and Ruutu for a significant player plus either a pick or prospect. This trade might also be a Ruutu and the "rights" to Babs. Regardless, Babs becomes a trading chip all year long....if not this year then next. If he stays and plays with us, I think he continues his breakout and while JR may regret some of his posturing and treatment, in the end, he will prove to be a valuable asset that we trade and get significant return for.

4) The 1st line and the 4th line are going to be in flux all year long with Cole and Staal playing with one of either Boychuk or Bowman. One or both of the youngsters are going to make the team and play 1st line and 3rd line minutes. While I think that Ruutu will also see some 1st line minutes, I think Mo plays some "match up" hockey (we throw out a tough line of Cole/Staal/Ruutu against bangers like Boston/New Jersey). However, I also believe that both Eaves and perhaps Jokinen may get time on that line as both are due for breakouts. JR is going to ask Mo to showcase those guys and I think they will prove more than able to contribute (Jussi especially, who I believe can skate w/the Eric(k)s and has nifty passing ability). That also creates "tradeable" assets. The second line is going to be Whitney/Cullen/Ruutu and will really provide a balance of scoring and physicality. Again, this is a line I think you see Eaves on when Ruutu moves up to play 1st line time. LaRose will also see a bit of time on this line as he has chemistry here, but a line of Whitney/Cullen/LaRose is exceedingly small and could only work against the more "skilled" teams. The third line is, for the most part, going to be LaRose/Jokinen/Eaves and that line will be surprisingly productive from a scoring perspective. With Chad and Patty on it, they will also be a serious "pest" line. I suspect that Sutter gets some time on this line as well. The fourth line is going to be Walker/Brindy/Sutter with Brindy and Walker rotating up to the third line when LaRose and Eaves move up. The rookies will sit those games out or play 3rd/4th line time. Brindy and Sutter will see PK time w/Eaves and LaRose. Brindy will also see critical faceoff time.

5) Who is missing? You guessed it, Samsonov. Love him, think he's a heck of a player and once he got on track, he can make things happen. But, for whatever reason, he doesn't seem to play well with Staal (the line he should be playing on, IMO) and with the Jokinen signing, he becomes expendable. So I think while we'll hear Ruutu/Babs rumors, in the end, we'll see a Samsonov/Babs trade or Samsonov plus an asset trade at some point in time this year freeing up salary....which will get us our winger back in return (more like a true solid 2nd liner w/some 1st line potential - ala Ruutu)....we might get a pick as well, but....

This is all a guessing game, but I expect that we will see more "match up" hockey....not so much matching lines, but building lines to play against certain teams....Cole, Ruutu on the 1st line, Walker on the 3rd line....and Conboy as appropriate will get rolled out much more prominently against the more physical teams. I think that as the year goes on Sutter also sees more time (going from 6 to 8 minutes a game to 8 to 12 minutes a game)....he's a physical player and can play a shut down guy already. I think Eaves and Jokinen each get 15 to 20 goals...and Kaberle has a return to form as well....

Finally, one of the two rookies (Boychuk/Bowman) will stick and the other will get one more year in Albany (although with our team's injury history he will see plenty of time in Raleigh). In the end two or more of our AHLers will get NHL experience, contribute significantly, and be part of a Hurricane's team that reaches the playoffs again. Yes, that's what I said, the same basic team that got us to the playoffs this year takes us back next year....I for one am excited about that prospect.

Lots of interesting points. The only thing I'd offer up here is that while I agree there is an odd man out here, I suspect that that player is one of the more expensive ones. I suspect that if Ruutu's arbritation comes in between $3 and $3.5m and Babchuk is signed in the low $1m's for 2009-2010, then our budget goes up to $53m - $53.5m and that to get revenue sharing we'll need to come in around $51m. I suspect this means we'll be more interested in moving someone like Whitney -- one year left on his deal, $3m range -- who can get us under the cap and allow room for a Boychuck/Bowman to make the roster and see significant time.

I also believe that Cullen and LaRose saw some significant chemistry during the POs, so I suspect that they'll see more time on the same line.

That being said, I agree that we'll see more line-switching and matchup hockey, like we saw during the playoffs. I think a Ruutu - Staal - Cole line is definitely a "big" line but it leaves us a little less physical behind them, unless Brindy comes back strong.

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