kloubek

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  1. Both of those lines should be able to produce, but: 1) We are relying on Larsen for that first line. 2) Neither Larsen nor Edler are likely to be the true pmd we need. Id suggest Hutton is likely to get in the mix, though at this point he isn't the pmd either. How good this team is this year will rely heavily on our young guys improving, and the unknowns (Larsen, Rodin) contributing. If all the stars align, we could actually be a pretty good team this season. Not great, but good - and again I must state my confidence in us making the playoffs regardless.
  2. Juolevi will not be thrust into the NHL right away. At most, you have a small chance of seeing him play his 9 games. The pp will not be near the top of the league, but will be greatly improved over last year. Edler is expendable if Larsen can qb the pp. Otherwise, we are relying on hutton for all our scoring. Sedin production is completely dependent on whether they have continued chemistry with Eriksson, if they remain on the same line, if they didn't age considerably in the off season, and if we can help them not tire out by actually having secondary scoring. In any case, the 100pt seasons are behind them. We are consistently underestimated by the "experts", in that they believe management has no direction, and that we don't have enough talent to compete. I strongly disagree with both, but we are hardly a powerhouse. At best, we make the playoffs and win a round or two. And for me, that's a successful year after being subjected to last season.
  3. I am optimistic, as I was some time ago, that Benning is doing an excellent job of putting together a younger, and talented list of players who can or will be able to play an excellent bottom nine. Defense is in good shape. Goaltending is in very good shape. Not sure how we are going to get the top line talent after the Sedins, but there is at least a couple of years to try to find a way. We are relying on Boeser perhaps too heavily, let alone considering how we'd fill at least a #1 center role if Horvat doesn't get there. I am also optimistic about us making the playoffs, as well as having a team that is going to be far less frustrating to watch than we witnessed last season. And really, if that what we get, as fans, after having to ensure last season, I'd say that is a resounding success on Benning's part.
  4. I agree that we shouldn't be building a team around the Sedins. We need top line talent, and I'm not convinced that resides in any players we currently have in our system. (Though with Boeser and Horvat, it is at least possible). However, if the Sedins are willing to extend for a year or two, and we utilize them for our 2nd line, I believe they can still play a huge role in a possible cup contending team. I believe are defense and goaltending will be good short term, potentially excellent in a couple of years. Same with our goaltending. If we are able to develop players worthy of legitimately playing a 1st line role, then we look to be a team that can actually compete for the cup in maybe two years time. If we can't assemble that first line, or if the Sedins choose to retire immediately, our rebuild will take far longer.
  5. Wow.... Did this thread get derailed by those focusing whether a tank is required to build a winner. As we found last draft, your position guarantees little in a draft. And even if you hit the first or second overall, he needs to develop into the player you hoped. And if that happens, you still need to build a fantastic team around him. And if that ALL happens, then you have a potential Stanley cup winner. That's a lot of what ifs. The bottom line is that while tanking has a high chance of helping a rebuild, there are no guarantees, and it isn't the only way to rebuild. (Though it IS the least sportsmanlike, for what that's worth)
  6. Absolutely on board with that, Nex. Looking forward, I'd say our defense is probably rebuilt. 1st line with Eriksson should be very good. 2nd line is so-so. 3rd line should have excellent. 4th line should be very good. It all amounts to a team that is good enough to make the playoffs, but not likely to compete long in them. The future holds a lot of promise, but a few serious needs in the 1st line which may or may not get addressed by development. Our young guys have to hit, and a couple have to hit big. If that happens, and the Sedins sign a short extension, we could be an excellent team very soon. If young guys don't hit, and Sedins don't extend, there are so-so years to come.
  7. Barring serious injuries, we will make the playoffs. First, we brought in Eriksson, who by himself is going to score waaayyy more than vrbata. Count on minimum 15 more goals. That already wins us several games more through a season. We have a couple of wild cards which may or may not work out in Larsen and Rodin, and to a far lesser degree a bunch of new younger guys. All the younger guys we had before are likely even better now. Virtanen (if he makes the team), Horvat, Etem, Gaunce, Hutton, Tryamkin, Markstrom should all be improved. This will possibly be offset a bit by the Sedins slowing down, but should still be far in our favour. It is unlikely we are going to be hit with as much injury as last year, and if we do, we have better depth to compensate. Our defense is noticeably better. We have far more physicality now, and our guys can focus on the roles they should be, instead of trying to do it all themselves. This isn't hopeful thinking guys. The team is better in many facets, and with so many one goal games lost, even if half the above points ring true we are going to win noticably more games than last year. I'm much more excited for this season than I was the last.
  8. I'll admit that it is optimistic, but there are signs to the potential. The key is having at least most of your defensemen playing very, very well in their particular role, and aren't just "decent". Tanev - In the top 5 shutdown defensemen in the league already. Hutton - Had an excellent rookie season. Still unknown if it was just a lucky season, but has a high ceiling and should be a very good puck moving defenseman if he develops as hoped. Not what I would call a long shot, but still a question mark. Tryamkin - We needed this guy, and every team does. A huge defender who can crush opponents and clear them from the net. He's already what we need, and will only get better. Guaranteed NHL defenseman if he improves his conditioning, and will be one of the best hitters in the game if he isn't already. Stecher - Said to be potentially an excellent offensive, two-way defenseman who was very highly sought after before he signed with us. I'm going to be following his play in Utica closely. Question mark for sure, but oozing potential. Juolevi - Personally don't have a good idea of what we have in this guy, but if he was picked 5th overall in a deep draft, I imagine that Benning sees something great in him. A guy like Tkachuk was almost guaranteed to be a first line player, so Juolevi must be truly a standout. Highly likely to be at least a strong, mid pairing NHL defenseman at minimum. Gudbranson - Perhaps the weakest talent of the group in their prime, but does bring noticeable physicality. My personal opinion is that, while a good defenseman, he's stats don't show him as being particularly great at actually defending. Will need to be used wisely. Edler - Has never reached his ceiling, and after his first few very good years has played as a shell of his former self. I imagine by the time the rest of our guys reach their prime we no longer have him in the lineup, but if we do, he'd be bottom pairing. I think this in itself says a lot, as he is currently top pairing for us. Then there's Subban, who has a wealth of offensive ability but needs to put it all together, and gain the strength required to actually be able to defend. Yes, he's a big question mark as to whether or not he can play in this league, but I imagine the same questions were asked of a guy like Krug. Personally, I think we WILL see Subban in the league, and though he will always have shortcomings (no pun intended) I think he has a chance to be a standout scorer. Huge upside, but huge question mark for sure. So yes, I might be optimistic, but I believe by claiming these are "rag tag long shots" that you are being highly pessimistic.
  9. Way too much, and not a chance I give up boeser in that deal. At least he plays a harder nosed game. We need a scoring winger, but not for possibly more rounded 1st liner, PLUS our first, plus extras. I think a sweeting of the above proposed deals could be happen, but you gotta supply a deep package if you don't want to give up the assets we must keep. Fact is, many teams are better stocked with bigger talent they can afford to lose, so our deals look broad, but ultimately weak.
  10. I'm thinking Tampa would be much more inclined to lose Filppula. He is paid more (though likely around the same amount once Palat gets his new contract), is older, and had an even worse year.
  11. I have zero hopes of Granlund becoming a top six guy. To me, he's a 3rd line center at best, in his prime. Nothing we couldn't have out of a guy like, say, Gaunce. I'd happily add him to the deal. And since Benning loves giving out 2nd's, we could give them our 2nd from Columbus as well. I really don't know what it would take to pry Palat out of the hands of Tampa, but I don't think the proposed assets would be close to getting it done. Add in a guy like Granlund and the 2nd, and perhaps we're getting closer. (And ONLY because of their cap space issues and the fact he will require a new contract, plus it looks like Palat took a step back last year. The year prior, he was darn year a point a game player)
  12. What a crappy tool then. They should have included those who were exempt as a result of free agent status.
  13. Thanks for that Sid. Nice tool. (The link, I mean.) Protect: Sedin, Sedin, Eriksson, Sutter, Hansen, Baertschi, Horvat, Edler, Tanev, Gudbranson, Markstrom Expose: Burrows, Dorsett, Rodin, Granlund, Gaunce, Etem,Zalewski, Megna, Chaput, Grenier, Rendulic, Sbisa, Larsen, Biega, Pedan, Billins, McEneny, Miller, Bachman There are a few players in the exposed list I'd like to see more of, but none that you could say are likely to be a huge loss. (At least at this point. Who knows what Rodin and Larsen might be able to bring to the table)
  14. Are we talking toughness, checking ability, or fighting ability? For toughness, I think we are somewhat ok. People may label players like the Sedins and Eriksson soft, but they really aren't. Overall, I think we are generally ok, and don't have any Raymonds on the team any longer. For checking ability, we are a bit lacking in the forward positions (forechecking may not be our forte this season), but have more than enough in the back end. I'd like to think an all-out hit from a guy like Tryamkin is worth about the same as 2, 3, or 4 hits that players usually receive. Virtanen will help the cause as he gets inserted into the lineup as well. For fighting, we are certainly lacking. We have a couple of willing combatants, but nobody who is our "goon" who can win fights regularly. Gudbranson is probably the best but even he only wins slightly over half the time. But in today's league, I don't think having a guy out there on the ice who can fight but do nothing else is what teams are looking for. So is this the "next move" Benning and co. need to do? I'd say not at all. The "next thing" that is needed is to get a winger to shore up our secondary scoring, and add more checking ability into that forward lineup.
  15. It is extremely difficult to know whether or not a young defenseman will be a gem or not. Look at Hutton: He's well on his way to being a top offensive defenseman, and nobody expected that of him. Also on the NHL roster side we have a freakin wall in Tryamkin who is almost certain to be an nhl player as well. On the Utica side, Stecher is extremely well regarded, and almost guaranteed to be an NHL defenseman - but again, we are unsure of his ceiling. Subban is the opposite in that he has a high ceiling, but who knows if he will be able to translate that game to the NHL or not. I am actually quite excited about Stecher, and Subban too IF he can withstand the rigors of the NHL, as his offensive game is very, very good. And, of course Juolevi should be a middle to top pairing guy for us as well. Yes, most of our prospect defensemen are not exactly likely to be amazing players, but we're really not in a horrible position either, with at least 2, and possibly 3 guys who appear to likely to be moderate to high impact players in the NHL. The rest are toss-ups to me, but even if *none* of them hit, we're still in decent shape. Keep in mind that besides not yet having a #1 pmd, our defense on the Canucks is fully stocked as it is - all with players who deserve to be playing in the NHL. Most of the time you have at least one young player who isn't making a huge impact, but there to gain experience and develop at this level. We don't have that. Nah, I'd say we are fine. Our biggest issue right now on D isn't depth, but rather not having the PMD. Hopefully Hutton will continue to improve at the same pace, and might be that in the next year or two.