Yes, it is. And hey, I'm the guy who's saying we should sign Ott and Westgarth this summer, and that Babs needs to preach a tougher brand of hockey to his troops.
But the real priority should be addressing what's really killing us, which is goals, for and against. Every fan of every team will say this, but here it is anyway, because it's true: we need a top-four defenseman and/or a top-six winger. If our goal (pun) here is to win the Cup, we need some high-end help.
Also, I'm still not sold on the Vanek-to-Minny thing. Like I've said, it makes sense, but it's all just speculation. As far as I know, Vanek hasn't said anything about it. As far as I know, no one close to him or the organization has said anything about it. It all started with a local Minnesota guy (a reporter or pundit or something, I don't know exactly) saying, "Well, this would make sense." And now everyone takes it as a given that it's happening. It probably will happen. But let me pretend there's a chance he might come here. Don't take my hope away!
Look I'm not disagreeing with you I'm just trying to avoid another "Suter/Parise" situation. Players that really could help this team just aren't available I know it sucks and we are not used to it, but that is the sad reality. The point I'm trying to make is, why not have some "fun" during the rebuild/tool years and add tough guys? Most people will agree that this team isn't a Stanley Cup Roster (even if healthy). Believe me I sure hope you are right and maybe he is going to come here all I'm saying is don't your hopes up too high, because of the Suter situation. I really hope! Kenny has a plan B this time, if he doesn't get the UFA players he wants.
The thing about Neil is, he is a very underrated heavyweight fighter, the guy can throw and hang in with the best of them hell he even won against Orr, it just happens that he is a pretty decent fourth liner too so people think of him more like an agitator. I'm still impressed with the amount of balls Smith showed in accepting his challenge but the point is, he shouldn't have to be the one who is fighting Neil. After the Ottawa game a guy like Dmac or Kocur would have gone absolutely bonkers hitting and punching everything that moves, this is the kind of fire and teambuilding a team needs.
Is it really fair to ask a 38 old Bertuzzi to do it all? I don't think so and it's not like the current fourth line does provide anything, they aren't scoring goals aren't physical nor are they fighting so if I) could Kenny one thing this would be it. What does this fourth line bring? I've never been a fan of the Tootoo signing and probably never will be, but the guy has been used in the worst possible way either Kenny really believes in this PP is our enforcer crap (*cough* without the perfect human and Homer *cough*)relaly? Or Babcock has been missusing him.
In an ideal situation this off-season would see Kenny signing Phaneuf and Vanek, add Westgarth + Mcgratton/Orr but the chance of that to happen is very slim, so I'm trying not to dream big.
Personally I really don't know which task is the more difficult one, improving the top 6 or adding a #1 defender...but improving the overall grit/toughness/muscle is for sure doable.