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Member Since 25 May 2007
Offline Last Active Jul 02 2015 08:01 AM

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In Topic: Sean Avery - Transition Season

21 June 2015 - 08:08 PM

That broadway story made me laugh. As a professional actor you see bloody hissy fits all the time from never-were's let alone has beens. And if the assistant is crying because of what he said, she needs to grow some chops because I've had far worse things said to me by people when I've not only been in the right, but also totally conciliatory. If it wasn't him and didn't fit his persona, it wouldn't be a story.


As for the broader issue, the sports world is full of people who didn't last because they didn't have the mindset to make the incredible sacrifices necessary to be a top level pro sportsperson, as much in terms of personality as lifestyle choices (due to the tedium of the dullness of many extremely professional but charisma-less teammates), and Avery is one of them. He played up to his panto villain too far, and pissed off the wrong people because he had the dangerous element of intelligence and imagination, but not nearly as much as he thinks. He always knew his role, but never knew the line, which is why things got tricky for him. That said, I've no doubt that his bad behaviour was blown out of proportion because he pissed off the wrong people, and things got into the public domain that would have been kept quiet had they been the actions of others.


The article is well written, articulate and thoughtful, but also demonstrates a characteristic lack of personal accountability for his mistakes. 

In Topic: What changes do you think we'll see with Blashill?

04 June 2015 - 07:12 PM

The D is an interesting situation because with free agents and promotions it could be very different, but equally it might be the same.


I suppose the biggest question is will the coach keep the Babcock tight positional play that has been reasonably successful or take a risk and go for a more offensive style? The answer to that will determine the futures of many players on the roster, including kindl, smith, weiss, jurco and possibly Pulks, all of whom would be keen to see the latter. 


One of the interesting questions for the new set up is can they get the playoff version of Brendan Smith to show up in the reg season. In the post season he has looked like a top 4 dman, but in the 82 games he can fluctuate from top 4 to #8 without warning. Kindl also has question marks...although he gets the easy ice time, his points to games ratio is not bad at all, and he is one of the few of our D who actually can hit the net on the PP, and he plays great stretch passes. Can they get him to overcome his indecision and lack of fight in his own end? Big asks, but either coming off would be a big help. Can Big Rig get his confidence back with a healed hand and actually look a top 4 damn? Will DD continue to progress? Will KFQ be able to maintain last seasons form without babs? Or might he even surpass it and re-find his offensive touch as seen in LA and Colorado? We know Marchy and XO can cope with Blashill, but can they REALLY step up?


And of course, one can assume KH will try to find a FA upgrade. Landing any of the current options creates spare assets. A trade for an upgrade seems unlikely, but the cap space of others may yet change that, especially from teams out west.


As for what I'd like to see...


If we can't get Green or  Franson at a reasonable price, i would consider Martin, Sekera or maybe even Erhoff or Meszaros (if cheap cheap) if we can swing send some other assets away for an upgrade. Otherwise leave along. Up front, Drew Stafford is an obvious option, Joel Ward as an outside choice but really there isn't much and I'd probably prefer to stand pat.

Again if we trade assets, maybe Shawn matthias, glencross,Justin Williams or possibly at a push Frolik come into, but only would be worth considering if we can shift others out to bring an upgrade on the back end.

In net, I can't see Jimmah leaving, so no change except possibly in GR.


If no trades or signings of note happen, I'd be tempted to shake up some of the lines. Tats works well with D but also with Sheahan so I'd be tempted to go with.


Z - D - Abby

Tats - Sheahan - Jurco

Franzen/Pulks - Helm - Nike

MIller, Glen, Ferraro






Of course Weiss and Kindl if not traded will rotate in, and I wouldn't be surprised if the former bounces back to complicate things no end!


But I would only do so on the basis of situational line rotation and fairly equal ice time for the top 3 lines. Its tricky because it would mean Tats/Sheahan/Jurco would be the only balanced line really. Nyquist has great chemistry with Zetterberg, but the only other person he seems to really have that telepathy with is Franzen and I can't see him coming back or staying back. Otherwise that's a good line because of Franzen's size, and Nyquist's speed taking some of the physical pressure of Z, but only really works if Z and Franzen can rotate central duties as I don't see Z as a full time center from here on in.

Dats can kind of play with anyone as long as there is at least someone providing good forecheck pressure. Pulks I can see moving up and down the line up until he finds a fit as his shot makes him a threat on any line that gets offensive zone time. 

Certainly the 4th line picks itself as the roster stands.


On the back end the only pair that works for both is KQ and DD, and I'm scared of having Kronwall and Ericsson together as Kronner's skating has declined and Ericsson's first 5 yards is SLOOOOW. Smith on the first line IS a massive risk, but he seems to play better when a) given more responsibility and b) with someone really smart! In an ideal world someone comes in alongside Kronner or Marchenko suddenly takes 3 steps forward. We all know our back end is horribly imbalanced and suffers from quantity over quality, so unless we get someone in from outside then there is no really satisfactory solution. I know Smith higher up the line-up might go horribly wrong, but if nothing changes roster wise, i'd prefer to take the risk first up and give him a chance and the confidence to utilise his strengths. Like many, I suspect he just doesn't have what it takes between the ears, but he does seem to switch on when pushed front row centre. As for PP, I only think smith works if we play 2 d- men and he can roam, effectively being a demi forward, so if the current set up works with the coaching changes I'd use him sparingly. I say utilising him there is less of a priority than getting the Pulkcannon in positions to use that slap shot. Our finn has much development to do, but he has the best slapshot and one of the best wristers on the roster and he WILL shoot, so if he's on the team that has to be utilised, and not too close to the crease. His release and ability to find space will never match Brett Hull's but he's the closest this club has seen since.

In Topic: Playoff Laughbreak video NSFW (language)

18 May 2015 - 09:33 PM

Shows just how common really unpleasant flying headshots and elbows were really not that long ago....Scott Stevens would have been a walking suspension....

In Topic: At What Point Does Holland Deserve Blame?

02 May 2015 - 10:22 AM

Comparing Z & D to Nyquist and Tatar is not helping anyone.


Zetterberg took his great leap forward at the age of 19/20, and by 22 was a more complete player than either of our new kids, and came straight to the NHL on a stacked roster.

Similar with Dats, who arrived with less hurrah, but his team-mates (especially one Brett Hull) were very vocal in saying that he would be a star.


Of course, both had the advantage of being able to develop under the radar to a degree due to the fact that that roster was bolstered by 6 guys who finished with comfortably over 1000 points, and Larionov who would have done had he been allowed over here before he was. And Chelli. And the grind line. And Homer. Apart from the bottom two pairing on D and in net  that was as good a roster as any of us have seen. I would imagine, if Tats and Nike were 3rd liners on a stacked outfit, the transition would be easier.


But ultimately anyone hoping our new euro kids will match the twins is only making a rod for their backs. As I've said elsewhere, if you want a comparison, they are basically slightly more talented versions of Slava Kozlov without the same playoff touch. Very good complimentary players who are unlikely to ever be core stars. But for a mid 2nd and a 5th, that's already far more than this organisation has the right to expect.

In Topic: At What Point Does Holland Deserve Blame?

02 May 2015 - 10:07 AM


You obviously didn't get the subtle joke.  To me, those three guys were the same person put into one.  Wouldn't know them if they walked into my room.  I never thought they'd be anything special.  Apparently, neither did Holland.  Also, we didn't get anything more than rentals for them.  


But yes, it was a step in the right direction to trade a few prospects and Holland did make those trades.  I wish he took chances like this earlier.  Just need better luck and intuition on who we take those chances on.  Legwand and Cole didn't pan out.     


I think you are being overly dismissive of the Swedish trio. All 3 may yet make decent NHL careers, and Jarnkrok and Backman were very highly thought of until they started to make noise about not being willing to do their two year stint in the AHL.


The maximum upside for all 3 is 2nd liner's in the NHL, and to my mind Jarnkrok would be ready for 3rd line duty here, but ultimately they were traded due to their unwillingness to do their time, and because all were made expendable by others passing them on our prospect chart. 


And they were felt to have value by other GMs..how soon did Jarnkrok get into the preds team? Sadly the players they were traded for turned out to be rentals, but both expressed a desire to stick around before things went sour. Legwand seemed to suddenly lose a step he hasn't got back, and Cole was looking a great fit before injury struck. If the latter can get fit he may come back at the right price?


Either way, I agree with the overall sentiment. When prospects who still have some value reach 21-22 and demonstrate that they aren't going to make the top 6 here any time soon, they should be viewed as expendable in the right deal. Like most, I was never happy with the Legwand deal, but appreciate it might have kept the streak going. The cole deal made much more sense, and until his injury looked a good one. But really if we are trading or even in the higher end FA market, we should be looking at guys no older than 32-33, unless they are coming for peanuts or are still great (like Alfie).