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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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I'm taking the off-season off from "GM Duty" thanks to my confidence in JR. After getting Jussi for two cardboard cutouts and a bag of used pucks from Tampa I'll let him drive into next season.

You do have to admit though that the guys running the Lightning are idiots.

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As for a big time scorer who could play with Staal, on my wish list is Nik Antropov. He's big (6'6" 230 lbs.) can play right wing, skates well and has tons of skill.

Um, Antropov does not skate well at all, he is one of the slowest players I have seen. I don't think we'll be in the bidding for him as he's valued very highly and will most likely get much more than we can play.

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Also whoever we sign or trade for to help fill the scoring void left to help out Staal will need to be a guy who can make the PP move. Our PP hasn't been great since we won the Cup, but it may have hit an all time low in this year's post season - another reason why it was so improbable that we won 2 series against great teams. Our 2nd PP unit in the playoffs consisted of Brindamour, Babchuck, Corvo, Seidenberg, Cole and a few other non-producers. That cannot stay the same. I also think that getting Cullen back at the point will help a lot, but we need another center, whether that be Sutter or someone else to come in and be able to center a 2nd PP unit so Staal can take the 1st and Cullen can go to the point where he helps run things and move the puck.

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There's a reason Cullen was removed from the point. He became a defensive liability back there. Teams realized there was a forward playing the point at all times, they pressured, and we spent the entire powerplay trying to prevent shorthanded chances, and failing far too many times.

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I don't have a huge problem removing him from the point in the playoffs because he was hurt at the end of the year, and I understand the logic about him being a defensive liability, but to be honest I think the other team's PK unit got more chances on their PK than we did on our PP regardless of who was back there the majority of the time. ;)

Also I second the decision to say no to Antropov. I've never been a fan of his and think he'd be a horrible fit on the Canes. A lot of size and I don't think he'd fit in with our play at all.

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One of the reasons given for Lavi's termination was that he gave up too quickly on prospects.

The reason I say this is for those of you being hard on Babs. During the regular season, he had the best +/- of our defensemen. He can score. So he had a tough time in the playoffs, and a tough time early on in the season. So?

The kid is developing still. I liken associated comments about Babs to threads like, "Cam is average at best". If JR listened to that kind of garbage, we would have traded Cam away too.

When Mo came aboard, he stuck with Cam...boosting Cam's confidence. Cam didn't need a threatening backup, he needed the support of his coach, which obviously he wasn't getting from Lavi. Lavi was using Leights as a threat.

Point? Re-signing Babs is very important. He will improve, he is a diamond in the rough...as another Caniac said. You don't throw him out just because he hasn't been polished yet. He made some spectacular plays, just not enough to outshine his lapses in the playoffs. While I agree that throwing Kabs in was right, that doesn't mean I don't have faith in the development of Babs.

I have a feeling Conboy will find a spot as a defensemen on our roster, to bolster Gleason's size and strength. I thought Pits and Corvo are fine. Our defense is an issue, but I think our current roster and prospects will develop further if given more time.

We need size and strength up front. Today we signed Pistilli, that is a start. He is 602/225, and can score. That is what we need. Few more guys with the size, strength, and skating ability of Cole to break through into the O zone. Those big guys can pester/screen goalies, and draw defensemen to deal with them that will free up our small guys to shoot away, and our d guys can shoot away. We need a big guy on each line. For this reason, I say keep Sutter down at the Rats and feed him lots of bread and beer. Once Sutter grows into his body, he'll be a big guy...he'll be 210 or better. We need to keep Cole, despite his 'absence' in the playoffs. Hope Pistilli makes the roster at camp, and maybe find some other latent undrafted size out there. Those players are out there, and they are cheap if you can find them. Scouting will be critical.

If I was the GM, I'd try to get Roddy to gracefully bow out to free up some more dough and roster room.

Centers for next year:

Staal

Cullen

Jokinen?

??????

Defensive Pairings:

Corvo/Gleason

Pitkanen/Conboy

Babchuk?/Wallin

Wingers: Ruutu?, LaRose?, Whitney, Cole?, Samsonov, Walker, ????????, ?????????

What to do with Eaves/Bayda?? You might have some bargaining ability there.

We'll know more by training camp, but we have some great prospects up in Albany. I think you should leave Boychuk, Sutter, Bowman and McBain on the Rats so they can play, develop, bond, and gain some weight......respectful weight. McBain will be the answer when Wallin decides to retire.

The question marks can be played with, I think everything else is set in stone.

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Conboy will be on the team but as a 12th/13th forward/emergency defenseman. There is no way he will improve his play enough to be on the 3rd pairing next year let alone the second.

And can we give up the Brind'Amour retiring stuff. The announcement was made today he never even considered it and JR seems to have no intention of doing anything. So can we collectively just deal with the fact he will be on the team next year? Please?

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We need a big guy on each line. For this reason, I say keep Sutter down at the Rats and feed him lots of bread and beer. Once Sutter grows into his body, he'll be a big guy...he'll be 210 or better.

Let me offer my services here. I am already 6'3" and 220 lbs of beer drinking big guy for any line. I've already grown into my body (and beyond). I'm only 45, so J.R. should give me about a 3 year deal with a NTC.

I can make sandwiches in the press box and hand them to Kabs and Conboy.

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Conboy is on a one way next year. He'll be a defensemen, cuz he is a far better defensemen than reserve winger. I think Seids is gone. Swap Babs and Conboy then.

I read what Roddy had to say, we'll see at training camp...lots can happen. This thread was....IF you were GM what would you do right?

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With the money from not resigning Ruutu, LaRose, Babchuk, Kaberle, Cole, Jokinen, spend on a decent offensive wing to play with Staal on the big top line. Someone big and known and who can consistently score. (Speed is a necessity). The other spots now open from the UFAs that leave will be filled with Sutter, Boychuk, Bowman, Rodney, etc. (We have really talented prospects that are on the verge of cracking a spot in the NHL Roster)

EDIT: That, or resign a few, and make a trade for a big guy who can play with Staal. We need to get someone else who can score 30 - 40 goals a season and take some pressure off Staal. :)

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Conboy is on a one way next year. He'll be a defensemen, cuz he is a far better defensemen than reserve winger. I think Seids is gone. Swap Babs and Conboy then.

I read what Roddy had to say, we'll see at training camp...lots can happen. This thread was....IF you were GM what would you do right?

I think you and I have pretty differing opinions of Conboy's talents. I think we need him for his toughness but his play at either forward or defense is lackluster and leaves something to be desired. Therefore I would much rather him be playing on the 4th line for 5-8 minutes a game than out on the ice as a defenseman for 15+.

And I totally agree the thread is if you were GM what would you do, but I think you got to look at the real life constraints that exist for the team. In other words when I play this game I like realistically look at the budget and if there are players that you know are going to be here then you have to take that into account. To me the interesting thing is trying to put the pieces together realistically, but I totally understand that doing that isn't as much fun for everyone else as identifying the teams weaknesses and actually making a major move to fix those problems.

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With the money from not resigning Ruutu, LaRose, Babchuk, Kaberle, Cole, Jokinen, spend on a decent offensive wing to play with Staal on the big top line. Someone big and known and who can consistently score. (Speed is a necessity). The other spots now open from the UFAs that leave will be filled with Sutter, Boychuk, Bowman, Rodney, etc. (We have really talented prospects that are on the verge of cracking a spot in the NHL Roster)

So your plan is to replace 65 goals of scoring with one guy who could get 40-50 and some players straight up from juniors? That is not a recipe for making the playoffs.

I love the fact we actually have some prospects to be excited about but they still need to develop in the AHL with the exception of Rodney and maybe Sutter. He's got enough AHL seasoning and it is to the point he needs to make the jump or we give up, but the rest of them could really benefit from a year in Albany.

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Ok, I'm late to the party, but here are my thoughts on the offseason:

JR wants to get the lineup bigger, he wants to get Staal a playmaker, and he is a value shopper.

Cullen gets moved to wing on Staal's line and JR trades Babchuck for a young center (Brandon Dubinsky or James Sheppard would be ideal).

JR wants to get some of the young guy's in the mix in order to continue development and to get cheap talent.

To make room for young guys, Corvo, Jokinen, and Samsonov are draft day trades(I like all of these guys, but something has to give)...the team gets picks in return (need to restock the system).

It would be nice if a couple guys would retire and quit stealing money from the Canes, but it ain't happenin...they are a terrible value and therefore untradable...not gonna name names.

JR's one UFA signing is a defenseman...again he is a value shopper and will not look a top tier guys...guys like Paul Mara or Nick Boynton would be nice, but an Ossi Vaananen type is more likely.

Cullen - Staal - Ruutu

Whitney - Dubinsky - Cole

LaRose - Brind'Amour - Eaves

Walker - Sutter - Bayda

Pitkanen - Vaananen

Gleason - Seidenberg

Wallin - Rodney

Ward

Leighton

Payroll would be in the 54 million area.

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I have never been a huge Babchuk fan, but the guy had 16 goals this year and 35 points. That is a very solid scoring season for a 5th or 6th defensemen. Not to mention at a +13. The guy probably deserves a shot next year if we can sign him to a decent deal. Those numbers are solid, despite him noticably looking lost out there sometimes.

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We're going to have a more pressing need to bring some of the kids up from the the Rats NEXT year. Lots of guys are UFA's next year, and Wardo is going to want a pay raise from 3 mil to 5-6 mil. We have time to be a bit more patient this year. Anybody know if this is the final year of eligibility on some of the entry level contracts on the guys that might be brought up soon?

Whether Babchuk is a part of this teams future or not, some people around here seem to want to give him away for nothing. If he doesn't go the KHL route, we should be able to sign him on the cheap. This gives us at worst a potential trading chit, and at best a guy with tremendous upside potential. The kid just turned 24 for Pete's sake, and he is already the favorite punching bag for half of this forum.

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I would say it is likely that LaRose and Ruutu both are resigned. Cole's future seems a little more up in the air, Seidenberg will probably end up elsewhere, and Babchuk will probably be sticking around. Lets assume for the sake of conversation that Cole and Seidenberg both don't come back. That leaves us with:

Centers: Staal, Cullen, Jokinen, Brind'Amour, Sutter

Wingers: Rosie, Ruutu, Whitney, Walker, Samsonov, Eaves, Bayda

Defensemen: Gleason, Corvo, Pitkanen, Babchuk, Wallin

Extras: Conboy has a 1 way deal, and you have to expect that at least one more of Dwyer, Ryan, Boychuck, Bowman, etc. will be around.

So, as others have said, the obvious needs would be a solid second pairing shut down D man as well as someone to put with Staal as a scoring threat. As far as D men go, assuming we are looking to pick one up in free agency and not via trade, my list of players to choose from in no particular order would be:

Bouwmeester- too expensive and likely not really an option at all...Mattias Ohlund- I like this option, assuming he does not cost us too much. He has solid size, was a +14 for Vancouver, and isn't too old...Hal Gill- Perhaps a year older than I would like, but adds some obvious size to our defensive corps and team in general which I would greatly appreciate. He doesn't bring much offense, but was a +11 this year...Paul Mara- Good size, and a relatively young guy compared to the rest of the free agent market. Admittedly I do not know a ton about him though...Mike Komisarek- Again, adds some size and would probably be an option...Ossi Vaananen- Another 6' 4" guy with solid numbers. Might be a little cheaper than some of the other options, but I'm not sure...Scuderi, Zanon, and Montador would be possible options as well, with Montador and Zanon perhaps being more economically possible...Then there is always the option of trading, but I do not know who we would try to deal for.

In terms of a scoring forward...I like the option of Mike Cammalleri- 39 goals and 82 points last year, and would definitely be a help on the power play (19PPG) which we could definitely use. Only 26 years old as well, however would be another small forward added to an already small team...Marty Havlat- Slightly bigger than Cammalleri, and a solid scorer in his own right with 29 goals and 77 points. Probably not quite the type of firepower that we are looking for, but as a second tier option I wouldn't mind seeing him in a 'Canes uniform...In my opinion the Sedins would be out of the question because they will want to stay together and there is no way we could afford both, but if somehow we could lure one of them away I would be interested...Other guys I might be interested in although I doubt we would have the cap room for another forward signing would be Comrie or Sykora...And finally, what about Viktor Kozlov? I know he was a Capital, but the guy would bring us some much needed size up front and is not a complete oaf for his size. I wouldn't want him as the winger to pair with Staal of course, but I think he would be a solid addition if there is any way we can afford him alongside another winger.

Thoughts? Obviously, I know very little about our cap room and the salary cap situation of the NHL in general. As a now 5th year young hockey fan, its nice to be on this board with some fellow Caniacs and hope we make some moves next year to improve this team! I would hate to see a repeat of '06 where we elect not to change a thing and it ends up setting us back for a couple of years. This team obviously overacheived, and if nothing is changed we will take a step back next year in my opinion. Lets go 'Canes!

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Whether Babchuk is a part of this teams future or not, some people around here seem to want to give him away for nothing. If he doesn't go the KHL route, we should be able to sign him on the cheap. This gives us at worst a potential trading chit, and at best a guy with tremendous upside potential. The kid just turned 24 for Pete's sake, and he is already the favorite punching bag for half of this forum.

Not sure if this is right markymark, but from what Mike Maniscalco said yesterday on the radio it seems as though Babchuk only has two options: 1) Go back to Omsk for a year or 2) Play for the 'Canes without much, if any, of a raise. I like his upside, and he put up solid numbers this year as I mentioned above. I think he will be important to this team either as a player, or as a trading option. Keep him!

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Not sure if this is right markymark, but from what Mike Maniscalco said yesterday on the radio it seems as though Babchuk only has two options: 1) Go back to Omsk for a year or 2) Play for the 'Canes without much, if any, of a raise. I like his upside, and he put up solid numbers this year as I mentioned above. I think he will be important to this team either as a player, or as a trading option. Keep him!

I think another team could put in an offer sheet for him but would have to be willing to give up draft picks.

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I would say it is likely that LaRose and Ruutu both are resigned. Cole's future seems a little more up in the air, Seidenberg will probably end up elsewhere, and Babchuk will probably be sticking around. Lets assume for the sake of conversation that Cole and Seidenberg both don't come back. That leaves us with:

Centers: Staal, Cullen, Jokinen, Brind'Amour, Sutter

Wingers: Rosie, Ruutu, Whitney, Walker, Samsonov, Eaves, Bayda

Defensemen: Gleason, Corvo, Pitkanen, Babchuk, Wallin

Extras: Conboy has a 1 way deal, and you have to expect that at least one more of Dwyer, Ryan, Boychuck, Bowman, etc. will be around.

Thoughts? Obviously, I know very little about our cap room and the salary cap situation of the NHL in general. As a now 5th year young hockey fan, its nice to be on this board with some fellow Caniacs and hope we make some moves next year to improve this team! I would hate to see a repeat of '06 where we elect not to change a thing and it ends up setting us back for a couple of years. This team obviously overacheived, and if nothing is changed we will take a step back next year in my opinion. Lets go 'Canes!

I get what your saying here, but in this case wouldnt standing pat be a good thing this year? Or, let me rephrase that.. holding on to our midseason replacements who made a big impact (Pitkanen, Jokinen, Cole). In 06 we picked up Weight, Recchi and Stillman, but Weight and Recchi both immediately left after the season. This year we picked up some RFAs and guys who need to stay. Jokinen has expressed an interest in staying and I hope he does.

I havent read the whole thread, so I'll probably say the same things as other people but thats ok.

A lot of people seem to think Cole will be leaving.. I'm not so sure. He struggled in Edmonton and when he returned to Carolina he revitalized his own play, and gave a shot of adrenaline to Staal as well. Yes he struggled in the playoffs, and JR even said his playoff performance was "disappointing", but I don't see how they could let him walk, especially if he can feed Staal. Is he the Cole of 4 years ago? Sadly.. no... he still has the speed, but the neck injury put a little fear in him and he doesnt take as many risks.

As far as Babchuk is concerned, it depends on what kind of game Mo/Francis/JR want to play next year... If they want offensive firepower and pinching defensemen who can score and a deadly PP, he will stay. If they try to change the game plan he may be gone.

I think Leighton will be on the trading block this summer, especially with Mike Murphy ready to come up from Albany. I don't think Leights really got the chance he deserved here, but some team will probably let him be a backup where he may get more playing time (30 or so games). Whether we trade for a player or a pick is up to the GMs.

Maurice I think will get resigned, based on what JR said about him and his performance in the press conference. Does he deserve it? yes.. he took a 10th place team to the ECF.

Most people are of the opinion that we need a playmaker on the wing who can feed Staal... Makes sense.. look at guys like Malkin and Backstrom who had record breaking years, with most of their points as assists to Crosby and OV respectively. Marty Havlat finished the year with 29 G and 48 A... but is a UFA off a 6M contract, so I doubt we can afford him. Marian Hossa will be available, but at 7.5M+.... again, not someone we can afford, Detroit will probably resign him. Leave it to JR to find some guy no one has ever heard off who turns out to be a star. Plus since we will have a late first round pick this year (like 28th) we might could trade that pick to a "rebuilding" team in the lottery to give them 2 first round picks and get something decent in return.. a semi-veteran player from the 2nd/3rd line.

JR is a master of making low level guys play their hearts out and making unknown players into stars, and restarting older players careers.. I'm sure he'll make a head scratching move this summer that turns out to be a dead ringer.

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I have always loved Cole, but lets just tell it like it is...The guy put up 19 assists and 2 goals in 35 games and was a -2. He had 8 of those assists in two blowout wins against Tampa and the Islanders. That means he had 11 assists and 2 goals in the other 33 games he played here. He had no points in the NJD series, and 2 in the BOS series. As the 'Canes went down the stretch, Cole got worse. In our final 27 games, Cole had a whopping 10 assists and 0 goals, 4 of those assists coming in the Islanders rout. The guy is awesome and I have always been a fan (I have a Cole jersey for goodness sake) but if we are going to be honest with ourselves those numbers are substantially worse than a guy like Brind'Amour (24 points after Cole's arrival, including 9 goals) who was playing at best 3rd line minutes. I don't see how you can take a guy who put up those kind of numbers while playing for a contract and expect him to be a top line player, or even a second line player. We all love Cole, and I know everyone is going to argue with "but he hits people and takes up space in front of the net and etc. etc." but in reality the money would clearly be better spent elsewhere so that Staal can get some help from someone who will actually produce.

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JR is a master of making low level guys play their hearts out and making unknown players into stars, and restarting older players careers.. I'm sure he'll make a head scratching move this summer that turns out to be a dead ringer.

Yeah, somebody like Jeff Hamilton?

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I think Leighton will be on the trading block this summer, especially with Mike Murphy ready to come up from Albany. I don't think Leights really got the chance he deserved here, but some team will probably let him be a backup where he may get more playing time (30 or so games). Whether we trade for a player or a pick is up to the GMs.

not to be a nit-picker here, but Murphy is still in the juniors - he'd have to REALLY REALLY REALLY impress at camp to get even a back-up job next year - look for him in Albany next year, but not Raleigh...

what we really need is to find the second coming of Scott Stevens to counter the NHL's man-crush on Crosby/Malkin, and Ovenchicken (read that as clean open ice, career altering, concussing hits ala Shane Willis et al.) but a positionally perfect, shot-blocking D-man (like Wesley) will do... I said it last summer, our D is to offensive-minded!!

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Apparently, talks between Zanon and Nashville have stalled. There's the defensive defenseman we need. Quietly does his business, blocks shots, physical, and best of all, flying under the radar.

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not to be a nit-picker here, but Murphy is still in the juniors - he'd have to REALLY REALLY REALLY impress at camp to get even a back-up job next year - look for him in Albany next year, but not Raleigh...

I agree. Leighton is a reliable backup, a whole lot better than what we had before (Grahame), but definitely not someone that any org in the NHL would currently think using in a platoon

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