I'm not sure if any of you watched many games or if you only watched the USA or Canada games. But as i am off work at present with the same injury as Z, i got to watch almost every game. What I did see was every nation play at least twice and I got a good look at some players that we wouldn't see normally. A few players did make an impression on me. Although there were some highly skilled players many of them would be considered to be undersize to stake a claim for an NHL roster spot. To see if any of our opinions on these olympic players match or differ drastically i'd like to enter the scenario that a new NHL franchise has been given the go ahead and the new team can pick 2 players from each of the 12 olympic roster's that took part in Sochi. The roster will consist of 3 NM, 8 D and 13 FWD's of which 4 must be center's.
I never said Grabner was available. I'm saying given the choice Id take him over Vanek. He's 4 years younger has a another 2 years on a $3m a year contract which is over $4m a year less than Vanek is on and will want. He is being way miss-used by the Isle's. He has a great set of wheels with elite level speed, plus a good goalscorer in a scoring role. I just feel you'd get more for your $ by getting Grabner in a trade and using him to compliment his skill set than you will by signing Vanek as a UFA, at the $7m+ he is going to demand. Just my opinion thats all no suggestion thats what the Wings should do.
before the Olympics start ill just suggest signing AK Bars Kazan top 2 D men (not happening I know) which would help us address the Fwd issue.
Yevgeni Medvedev and Ilya Nikulin, offer both 2 year deals. Let Quincey walk, use Smith and Kindl with a roster forward Andersson to get the top scoring forward we need. Split the saved $ with the release of these 4 players and give that to the 2 Russian D's. ie $4'100'000 each year for 2 years.
This will give us a 2 top D that could play from 1-4, so we could go with Kronwall & DeKeyser, Medvedev & Nikulin and Ericsson Lashoff/ Marchenko.
Just a thought, doubt it would happen as the Russian guys have never left their shores, maybe Pav could sweet talk them into coming over.
Just for a bit of fun I thought about the scenario that, what if the kids had started from the start of the season instead of the current 4 vets that are out of the lineup. Due to being injured,scratched or demoted. So without further ado here are the results of my findings, which can be classed in anyway you want to judge them.
I have taken the current stats of Bert, Dan, Sammy and Stephen and compared their projected totals for 56 games against those of Gus,Riley and the 2 Tom's projected outputs.
At their present scoring rate after 56 games the combined vets have a total of 37 points, 18+19 . This moment in time they have played a total of 148 games for 26 points with a -35 rating. Which would be -50 over the combined 224 games. Broken down, Bertuzzi 8+6 -20, Cleary 4+5 -12, Weiss 4+4 -9 and Samuelsson 2+4 -9. Not good eh?
At the other end of the age scale we get a more happier outlook as fans.With the projected combined total of 126pts, 58+68. At present they have played a combined 111 games for 63 points with a +12 rating. This would be projected to be a +22 rating for the combined 224 games. The kids personal stats project as Nyqvist 24+18 +9, Tatar 16+13 +6, Sheahan 11+24 +7 and Jurco 7+13 even rating. This looks alot better overall for the team in general, i know these are hypothetical but which ever way you look at it all, the stats are more positive for the kids.
I know most of the spotlight has fallen on Gus and Tats but i think Riley and Tomas have done outstanding with Riley surprising me the most. Jurco will become a top top player and the thought of him and Mantha on the same line could be a very dangerous line for years to come.
Full steam ahead guys, and lets hope a couple of our D prospects can have the same sort of impact next year.
looking at our roster and the prospects coming up for next year the only requirements I feel we need are a genuine top 2 defenceman and a scoring/powerforward. Many of us on here will agree, but can we aquire these through FA come the summer? I can't see the type of player we need on D in the coming FA season. There are some solid 3/4 type players available but that isn't what we need, the RFA pool has some interesting candidates but I doubt their clubs will let them leave their organisation. Justin Schultz, Erik Gudbranson, PK Subban, Dimity Kulikov and Cody Franson head the list.
Are any of these top 2 players that would help our team? The only player I see being on the market is Kulikov as all the rest will be re-signed by their clubs. Although a great skater, he lacks size and has been a - rating every year in the NHL. Maybe that is a harsh judgement as he has played on the Panthers team that has struggled (except v us!) since he has iced for them. He ices 20+ mins a game for the Panthers and usually against the other side first line. Would be an upgrade on Kindl,Quincey but that isn't our priority need.
The only way we get that 1/2 guy for next season is to trade for him. What can we offer thou, a roster player is a given and maybe one we don't want to loose but you have to give to get and that is the problem.
My 3 choices would be S Weber, V Hedman and B Seabrook but we know none of them are going to happen.
More of a choice in the forward UFA list. One player who I always thought would do well for us is Milan Michalek, he
is a big body but not very physical and not as defensive responsible that is a must for Babcock. He seems to be struggling for the Sens this year, maybe a change of scenery is what is needed?
Thomas Vanek, now he is the right handed scorer we need but I feel he'll price himself out of Kennys range, and I doubt that Ken will want to pay anyone more the Z and Pav. Possible but unlikely.
So plenty of options out there but which way Kenny and the top brass go is anyones guess, I just hope he doesn't overpay for some over the hill player as he seems to do just lately!
its like Kenny has held his hand up and admitted he made a complete b##ls up with the signing of Sammy. If he had given him a deal worth $1.5m per year then maybe it wouldn't have been so bad but $3m a year was a major overpayment.