Doubt that this happens. The Euros all have other leagues they can play in and will for one year. The NA players don't, so if it appears that the US and Canada are going to get hammered, pressure will rise and they will play.
Some have mentioned the amount of cap space we have this off season. yes that is true. But what good is it? None in UFA-there are only a couple of UFA's worth anything and the chances they all come here is slim. In other words, plenty of cash and no place to spend it. baring trades. Which we seem unable to do lately.
Franze a big goal scorer? LOL 1 season in 9 where he had over 30 goals. 1. That is not a big goal scorer, that is average. But he can be bought out, and hopefully that now happens. Get out from his terrible contract this summer.
2014 is a weak draft, but that doesn't mean there isn't talent. Last year there was 7 or 8 can't miss types, then 60-70 guys that all had a question about them but should be top 5 players on most teams in 5-7 years. This years draft has 3/4 can't miss types and about 35 guys that should be top 5 players on most teams. The depth just isn't here this year. Now 2015 looks like it will be better. That draft looks like it is very top heavy but we will see next year......
Right now we are 20-16-10 with 50 points. Under the old scoring are we even a .500 team? We could have as few as 40 points under the old scoring and be 26th in the league. yes I said 26th. if you look at win totals there are only 8 teams with fewer wins. There are 3 others with 20 wins. So just from a win total we are somewhere between 18th and 22nd. Now and this is real scary, where are we as a team without D and Z carrying us? That should run tremors of fear through every RW fan. The fact that they turn 36 and 34 before next season starts should set off red lights flashing everywhere.
We are not a great team right now. In fact we are not really a good team right now. We have to make player changes in a big way. We can't sit back and wait for 1 or 2 prospects to be ready every year and expect to get to the top of the mountain anytime soon.
Loves to hit and never stops moving. has a good heavy shot as well. At this point likes to skate through the D and force home the puck.
Ryan MacInnis 6-4/190 LH LW/C
Would you be surprised to know Al's son can shot the puck? He has all the skills to be a superstar, hasn't found the consistency yet. But he is only 18.........
Aaron Haydon 6-3/200 RH D
A true modile tough guy. No he isn't a scorer. But he loves to hit, fight, check, and has the speed and skating ability to get there and bring the pain.
Christian Dvorak 6-1/170 LH LW
Great skater and a great shot. needs to add muscle and strength. Currently he has to hang onto something in a stiff breeze and gets pushed off of the puck. But when he has time to shoot, he is deadly......
Ok boys and girls it is time to start thinking about the draft. before we get to the fun of who we draft, let's cover some other things first.
1. As of today we would be picking 14th. We have 50 points and there are 13 other teams with fewer points than us, 1 team with equal points but a game in hand. In other words-middle of the road again.
2. Quick review of last years draft. I loved and called for mantha in the 1st. the last week or so before the draft I started to doubt that we would take him if there, boy am I glad we did! Nat is the second round was also a good pick. The brain trust did a great job moving down and adding an extra second round pick, then IMHO completely pissed that pick away on Tuzzi. he was a 6th round projection t best, and there were tons of guys available for that pick that would have been better. other than that, a good draft. No reaches, covered all positions of need.
3. Ok let's talk needs. What does our team look like say 5 years from now?
We have a nice pool of G's to pick from. Howard's career will be near the end, Marzek should be in his prime, with JP close behind him pushing. In other words, G is not a position of need early in the draft. if there is someone they like in the last 2-3 rounds, then grab a G. otherwise wait until next years draft.
Dmen. Our strongest position. 5 years from now Kronwall and Ericsson will be at the end. But Kindl, DeKeyser, Smith, and lashoff will all still be 31 (Kindl) or in their late 20's. A nice deep core to work with. But it doesn't end there. On the LH side we have Almquist, Oullett, nedermol (speling), dehaas, Wheaton and McNulty coming. On the RH side we have marchencko, Sproul, Jensen, and maybe Nicastro on the way. No all of these guys will not make it. But 2 or 3 will. They are all also playing really well at the AHL level, which means we can make moves if/when needed-like now! Point is, we are really deep on D. have guys with size, speed, skill, toughness, RH and LH. A great young group that we can develop.
Forwards. This area is much more of an issue. There are of course 2 groups when talking forwards: grinders for the bottom 8 and top 6 scoring forwards. We have plenty of the fromer and very few of the later. Look at the grinder tyoes that could be here: Abby, helm, maybe Miller, Andersson, Callahan, McKee-for a$$ whippings, Nat, little Tuzzi, plus whatever additional picks we have over the next 2-3 years. Plenty of bodies for the bottom 2 lines. Now when it comes to scorers it is a little more interesting. I see 4 guys: Nyquist, tatar, mantha, Jurco, and that is about it as of now. yes frk and Jarnkrok could turn into something, but both have a long long way to go. Now when looking at the scorers, there are 3 issues here: 1. All are LHed, 2. None are true centermen, and 3. There are only 4 guys! this is and should be our main area of focus in the draft, UFA, and trades for the next couple of years.
Ok moving into the order. For now let's assume we finish 15th or so. It makes the math easy if nothing else. Our picks are then: 15th, 45th, 75th, 105th, 135th, 165th, and 195th if I have done my math correctly.
so, who are the guys that could/should be available for each of those picks? With a focus on RHed F when possible........ Stay tuned.......