I don't see how you can say Howard is more reliable than Mrazek. They both have a few brain farts every game but Mrazek moves the puck so much better and helps the D more. I'd say they are about equal - its not as far in Howard's favour as people think.
One year! One year we can't get any of the over rated players and suddenly we can't get anybody ever again! Weiss and Alfie were the top free agents a year ago. We got them both! Can we please stop this "nobody wants to ever come to the wings again" thing? Seriously. We could end up #1 in the entire East this year. I have a feeling we'll be able to sign someone this season.
I'm not talking just about the Olsen twins a while back. I'm also talking about missing out on Dmen this offseason as well. Sure - we got Alfie but the connection to the Swedes helped there and he was looking for a last kick at the can. Weiss came in but Fil bolted...
We aren't the prettiest girl at the dance anymore - just gonna have to go about things slightly differently. Also you overpay in FA anyways so if you acquire through trade at least you have the ability to control the cost of some guys. Things got way out of hand in Toronto.
dirtydangles, despite not being as well established yet, they are still some of our top prospects. Between Sheahan, Larkin and Athanasiou, they will have no problem filling the top 2 center spots in the future. It doesn't matter how old these guys are or when they were drafted, the top prospects for any team are the ones that have the highest potential, not "biggest bust potential"... My "untouchable" list (may be different from yours) consists of 4 "can't miss" forwards (Larkin, Mantha, Athanasiou, Pulkkinen), a defenseman (Sproul) and a goaltender (Mrazek). Again, on top of that we already have, Sheahan, Nyquist, Tatar and Jurco up front, while we only have DeKeyser and Smith on the back end... That's eight potential top 6 forwards and only three top 4 defensemen...
Yeah I still think you are reaching on the AA prediction. I don't see him becoming a top 6 NHL C. He could be a 3C or MAYBE 2C but more likely pans out as a 2/3 winger in the NHL.
I really only see Larkin and Sheahan as future top 6 C's and neither likely becomes a legit top line C like a Z or Dats. How many teams have won the cup without a premier 1C recently? None - you could argue Boston doesn't have one but they are a different beast. The only way to get a 1C is through the draft and getting lucky. I truly think we need to add one more legit C prospect to the pool to feel comfortable going forward. This is the draft to do it with how deep it is at the C position.
Either way, I don't think I will convince you and you won't change my mind - and thats okay - because at the end of the day you and I aren't the ones making the pick on draft day lol.
Of our 24 forward prospects at least half play or have played C in their careers. We are fine up the middle.
I believe Nastasiuk and Campbell have played some C too, but I'm not positive.
I don't think any of those guys except for Larkin ends up a top 6 C at the NHL level. Its an impressive list nonetheless.
You never ask for a player to be injured - but I can't say I will miss Franzen while he is out. He has not been contributing of late and isn't really putting in the effort to make up for his dip in production.
1. Mantha needs to earn it first - guys like Nyquist, Tatar, Pulks worked very hard and produced before being called up - shouldn't be any different for this guy unless Holland magically decides he gets special treatment
2. There are so many guys ahead of Mantha if there is an injury - right now we have Franzen and Jurco on the sideline and Pulks is clearly ahead of Mantha on the call-up so its not likely that we see him up over those 3 unless we have a string of injuries somehow.
3. The wings will want him to spend time developing properly rather than player lower minutes in Detroit and bouncing around between teams.