*Kopecky, Abdelkader, *Leino, *Downey, *McCarty
Man oh man, this is going to be hard to sort through. So, let's start with the easy ones:
- McCarty - no place in the pro-organization...but he puts butts in the seats in g.r., so he might stick around.
- Downey - it'd be great to have him up for a few games here and there if we've got the money left to sign him after taking care of EVERYTHING else.
- Leino - RFA, needs at least one more season in g.r., still ahead of our next best prospect (ritola), and should be cheap enough to keep. Hopefully there's little to no competition.
- Kopecky - Helm's taken his spot in the everyday lineup, but I would rather see him out there than Maltby, and he should be cheap enough to keep.
Now, getting into the harder ones:
- Hossa, Samuelsson and Hudler - signing Hossa means no Hudler, and no Samuelsson. He sucked in the post-season, true, but can we forget that he led our team in goals during the regular season...or that he's a great defensive forward? Do you really think that we're better with Samuelsson and Hudler in the lineup than we are with Hossa and Abdelkader!? Hudler's a great offensive player, but he's so bad defensively that we had to put him on the 4th line with Draper and Maltby. Is he ever going to be able to hang in Mike Babcock's system? Samuelsson gets a snipe every so often, but he's a liability defensively and literally (6-2+) the biggest ****** on our team. Do you really want a third liner that can't hit, or play defense?
How about those legacies that are starting to hurt the team a bit? Not in terms of actually hurting the team ON the ice, but maybe in keeping other younger players OFF the ice, and with their CAP implications...
- Holmstrom - He's never been able to handle the puck, he's never been able to shoot, he's never been able to pass, he's never been able to skate, and he's never been able to play defense. He's been a PHENOMENAL player here because he's the greatest net-presence in the game. This used to make his lack of skills (mentioned above) tolerable. However, those skills have declined to the point where he's no longet a top two-liner. I no longer think that we can afford to have such defensive liabilities on the third line. Besides, Franzen has gotten so good in front of the net that Homer is no longer AS necessary.
- Maltby - If you think we're going to be better with Maltby out there instead of Abby of Kop next season...you're out of your mind.
***FINAL POINT*** - Maybe we shouldn't resign Hossa; but if we're not going to sign him, than it had BETTER NOT be at the expense of defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy. If you're asking me, I think we should resign Hossa...IF he's willing to take less than Hank...and let Hudler and Sammy walk. Our top two lines are the best in hockey. Its our third and fourth lines that are killing us. We don't need lazy, soft, defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy out there, we need hard-hitting, aggressive, energetic and defensively sound grinders like Pittsburgh and Anaheim have. Helm, Abby, Draper, maybe even Kop, maaaybe even Maltby...these are guys that fit the bill. Homer, Sammy, Hudler...these are not.
Lebda, *Chelios, Meech
I'm not sure how we're going to, but somehow, we need to improve back here. So, how about trading Rafalski? It's pretty obvious that his defensive skills (in particular, his speed)are in decline. He's starting to look like nothing more than an overpaid PP specialist. If we could trade him and another prospect (Lebda, Meech, etc.) for a bigger/stronger/faster/younger/CHEAPER number two defenseman that is a little more oriented towards his own blue-line, I think it would help us a great deal. Lidstrom's still got half a decade's worth of norris-level play in him, Kronner's getting closer and closer to that level every season, Stuart was playing as well as he ever had until game seven, Ericsson's looking like our next stud and Kindl's right around the corner...so to me, this is the only deal that makes sense. BTW - best of luck to assistant coach chelios, so long as it isn't in chicago or anaheim.
Ozzie had a rough start to the season, but he seems to have made some changes in his preparation that solved those problems, and he was stone-cold throughout the post-season. There's no reason to consider a change here. The one question at this position is whether or not Jimmy Howard is ready to take on the back-up role, or if we'll have to re-sign Conks (or a similar vet). It's not that important of a question...as we seem to have already gone in another direction long-term (McCollum) and conks was servicable last season...but it'd be a little cheaper to have Larrson as our number three goalie next season.
Edited by blueadams, 13 June 2009 - 11:21 AM.