Every team has at least one "enforcer" on their roster.I don't wanna hear that Abdelkader can be our enforcer.No.I don't wanna hear that our powerplay can be our enforcer.No.I'm sick of watching us getf****** knocked around night after night.GIVE ME Af****** ENFORCER!!!I KNOW I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT FEELS THIS WAY.
Tell me the last Cup champion that won with an enforcer regularly dressing in the playoffs.
I'll give you a hint. It was Tampa Bay and Chris Dingman in 2004. Five Cups won with no enforcer? All of those star players left unprotected still won Cups?
Go watch some MMA if fighting is what you want. Otherwise, shut your yap and appreciate hockey, whether it's a physical game or a finesse game. Both things are still hockey, believe it or not.
Rafalski is one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL. He also is underrated defensively (well above average), and his defensive game has declined since he joined the team. Realistically, he's one of the top 15-20 defensemen in the NHL, and he gets paid like it. Compare his salary to other defensemen making a little less or a little more. He's typically in their range, unless you look at a guy like Keith. But Keith signed as an RFA, so you would expect his salary to be less; UFA status will drive a player's salary up simply by its nature.
The one I would question seriously is Craig Anderson. Really? Yes, he played well for them this season. But he is far from the best goalie signing post-lockout.
Chris Osgood for pennies to play like Terry Sawchuk and Jacques Plante fused together for two consecutive postseasons? That's a pretty good one.
St. Louis signing Chris Mason after Nashville dumped him on the heap is a good one, given how well he's done for them and the number of games he's won for them. Very underrated, and worth all the praise given to Anderson in Colorado except Mason deserves it for multiple seasons.
Probably the best, though? June 1st, 2006: 28-year old undrafted free agent goaltender Niklas Bäckström signs a contract with the Minnesota Wild. He spent the 2006-07 splitting time with Manny Fernandez, putting up 23 wins, a .929 sv% and a 1.97 GAA in 36 starts. He played so well, starter Manny Fernandez was traded. Backstrom has been a consistent Vezina contender over the past few seasons. In his career he has played 230 games, posted a 119W-68L-30OTL record with 19SO, a .918sv% and a 2.37 GAA. Last season was his first season below .920sv% or above 2.33 GAA, and the first time he won fewer games than he lost (including OTL) so it is more than likely a fluke season.
And what about Rich Peverley at center? He's scored 110 points in 194 games between Nashville and Atlanta. He's made a total of about $2.5m in his career doing so over a total of about 3 1/2 seasons after signing his first NHL contract, and he's only signed for a cap hit of $1.325 this coming season. Savard may be a better player overall, but Peverly is the only forward who cost less than $10,000 per point last season (1 point per $8,864) and over his career he's scored about 1 point for every $44k, which is what Chicago got out of Patrick Kane this season and significantly less than most top forwards will give you. Think about it; if a $3.5m dollar second liner produced at that rate, he'd be scoring 80 points. A 7m dollar first liner would be scoring 160 points.
Definitely a better signing than Savard, despite the fact Savard is one of the league's top playmaking centers. Peverley is very underrated and is about where Savard was 4-5 years ago performance-wise.
Pretty much everyone has forgotten Bertuzzi was still being paid from his buyout from Anaheim - which was the only reason Bertuzzi was willing to sign for $1.5m in the first place, when he was easily worth twice (at least he was being paid it). That money went bye-bye this year, so you can't blame him for wanting to get paid even remotely close to what be is worth. Bertuzzie is a steal at his cap-hit, just like Samuelsson was at his when be was here - despite constant bitching about him (including me) - but guys at the $1 - 3m range bring just as many faults as they do assets, or else they would be paid a hell of a lot more.
So is a big-bodied skilled player with inconsistent but clutch scoring and even a decent two-way game worth a penchant for giveaways and bad penalties?
Or would you prefer someone who was a bit faster, but is more likely to score half as many points?
At that price give me A player like Samuelsson or Bertuzzi every time... And at least Bertuzzi will drop the gloves.
Catch 22. Last time we had a couple of guys who were more than willing to drop the gloves was 2008, and you see how that worked out. Yet, having a pure fighter on this roster doesn't seem to help. Dallas Drake and Aaron Downey actually contributed in other ways than fight (Drake more than Downey) and we cannot forget how happy we all were after Lappy leveled Lidstrom and had to eat fists later on, right? Plus, Drake was a huge part of our Stanley Cup run. Brad May is no Aaron Downey and Todd Bertuzzi was no Dallas Drake, it's obvious what has been missing since 2008, but to what extent do we need a tough guy? We've seen that May barely helped us at all in the playoffs and we never really got that Dallas Drake type player (thank you salary cap) when we needed him. That being said, I do believe we need a player that is more than willing to drop them, yet be out there for 60-70 games instead of 15-20. He needs to be able to skate, hit and fight and do it well enough that people are looking twice before they run Datsyuk or Hudler. Admittedly I don't really know too much about the guys being mentioned around this place, outside of recent research on Exelby. If we could land someone like Drake (if they are out there) it would really help this team, but as for a pure fighter who is gonna sit for 27 minutes a night and only play 15 games, I think we can pass on that type player...