Well, Zetterberg was on pace to have one of his best years before his injury so I don't know about your comment their production "falling to the floor."
Abby on the top line is a hangover from the success of Homer there. it hasn't worked with Abby - hopefully Babcock sees that. But Helm is a different player and has yet to play on the top line. You pretty much quoted earlier comments to you the Helm so I feel i need to respond to the "hoodMy winked" and "monkeys nodding their agreement" comments. It's a very different thing to think trying Helm on the first line is worth a try then mindlessly agreeing with the organization. My preference would be Mantha on that top line, but he's injured. Jurco would be good in that spot, but I really like the T-S-J line and I'd prefer to to keep them together.
Stafford's would be a rental this year with one year left in his contract. I'd be for it if we traded Cleary and Andersson to have him for this year. If Stafford's a worthy pick up he's a UFA next year. Having Stafford would put up a road block for Mantha, Nestrasil.
1. Zetterberg's on pace to have a good season every year (almost). Who cares? Last year Alexander Steen was on pace to outscore Ovechkin for about 20 games. On pace really doesn't mean s***.
2. Prefer whatever you want. I'd prefer to actually have a top line winger (and not a third line center) on the top line. Also, as I've said a couple times already: Sure putting Helm on the first line "is worth a try". But this is a professional hockey team, running a business. If they don't have a better strategy for success than "it's worth a try", we're in trouble.
3. If Stafford is a rental he can't block anybody long term. Short term he wouldn't block anybody on the current roster because you'd have to trade to get him. One in, one out. Also, you could just waive any of Andersson, Glendening, or Cleary as well. Nothing about acquiring one guy would block those two. However, my point was mostly that he's been available for as long as we've been trying this stupid "bottom six grinder" to top line winger experiment.
4. Lets not go anointing Nestrasil some kind of up and comer just yet. He's (so far) yet to show he can even play consistently in the AHL, let alone the NHL . He had a good camp which is good. But if you're reluctant to take on a proven NHL player like Stafford because you aren't sure how that affects a guy like Nestrasil, then you've got some pretty funny priorities.
Look, all I'm saying is that if you need a top line winger...go get a top line winger (or promote one). Abby and Helm are bottom six players. No amount of line adjusting changes their skill set. If you want a top line winger who's biggish, physically tough, and can score ok...go get a guy like Stafford. If you want a guy who's fast, defensively responsible, and can score a little...go get Vrbata.
If you want bottom six grinders who are defensively responsible and chip in middling offense...go get Abby or Helm.
The organization is trying to turn them into something they aren't, and it's detrimental to the team.
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