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About kloubek

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  1. That makes the most sense to me: I think Horvat is ready to step up to the 2nd line. His point increase last season seems to back this up - especially considering he didn't play consistent top six minutes the whole season That puts Sutter where I think he should be. He's not quite a 2nd line center, but he's an awesome 3rd line center, and can continue to play in a defensive role as well.
  2. I do think there were players available to bolster that 2nd line wing. Most recent was Hudler. He certainly wasn't the big winger Benning sought, but when nobody was left that was the perfect fit, he would have at least helped our previously anemic scoring. Prior to that, I feel a player like Brower would have been a good fit. With all that said, that doesn't mean he didn't try for either, as there we certainly other teams in communication with both. When I heard Benning felt he might get his ideal fit by trade, I knew it was unlikely. We just don't have the assets we can afford to give up. All in all, I feel this is still a better team than last year. There is more depth, more competition, more size, and our budding players are one year older. But most of all, the team is supposedly 100% healthy going into camp. I say again that I strongly feel we make the playoffs this season. No, we don't compete for the cup, but at least now we appear to be heading in a direction closer to that goal.
  3. Absolutely true - though intelligence isn't something that can be taught. You can have a player mature, and you can have a player become more experienced. But I think that players who are truly standout have a combination of many attributes, and hockey IQ is almost always one of those attributes. And unfortunately, I haven't seen Jake stand out in that regard whatsoever. But you are certainly correct. If anyone thinks that simply based on mediocre stats in his first year that Jake doesn't have a chance to become an very good player, they need to give their heads a shake. Nobody thought he was likely going to play that year in the NHL, but he looked strong so management decided to see what he could do. In retrospect he ended up being rushed into the NHL too early, but certainly shouldn't be considered indicative of what we can expect from him going forward. My gut tells me that Jake is going to be a 2nd line winger with somewhere around average 2nd line stats, but one who has the ability to hit better than almost all other 2nd liners out there. Really, I believe the comparisons to Lucic are pretty accurate. And if that is indeed what we end up with, I'd say he was a fine pick considering our draft position.
  4. Rightfully so. I think it could be potentially damaging to his confidence to throw him into the NHL in his first year of pro hockey. Besides that, we really don't need to take a chance on him performing right now. Tryamkin is likely to be in the lineup, and if Larsen also proves worthy, we already have one too many defensemen who are perfectly capable of playing in NHL. I think Stecher is going to be a real solid player. Maybe or maybe not a star, but solid at the very least. Let him get a taste of the pros before he makes it to the big league.
  5. Thanks for the summary, as I don't have time to listen to it. So he says Baertschi/Horvat are a pair, and also says that Baertschi may play as 2nd line LW. Does that mean he expects Horvat to take his likely rightful place as 2c - thereby pushing Sutter down to 3c?
  6. All excellent points, and it is indeed too early to say who will have to go. If our guys like Pedan don't work out or if Larsen is unable to contribute, or Tryamkin doesn't impress like I think he will, then there is no point in moving anyone because we need that depth to put forward reasonably competitive pairings. Luckily, I feel we have enough depth to believe we will be ok no matter what. I singled out Sbisa because, unless he completely breaks out this season, he's likely the most expendable. He has so far shown not a ton of skill in any respect, and we simply don't need either a 3.6m player either sitting in the box, or on the ice, playing nothing but an above average physical game. As for Edler, at least he would garner a return for a player we could use. But with a defence already less than a scoring powerhouse, I'm not sure we can afford to lose what will likely be around 30 points. That is, unless Larsen surprises me and makes that amount up... and hopefully more. (Dreaming) Maybe for Barrie I'd trade Edler....
  7. I think one year in Utica would do Stecher some good. We simply don't need him right now, with all the competition going on for the lower pairing roles. I think he's going to be a solid player for us, but no need to rush it. Same with Juolevi and Subban. I believe if Tryamkin is as improved as Bang Bang Boogie indicates, then it would be a huge mistake to leave him out of the lineup. He needs to earn the spot, of course, but keeping him out of the lineup both makes our blueline far smaller, as well as exposes the risk of losing him to his out clause, as he already indicated he doesn't want to play in Utica. To me, the big question mark is whether Larsen can make an impact with our club. If he can, then the same thing I said when we acquired him remains: Who is the odd man out? My belief then and my belief now is that player is Sbisa. And unless we want Sbisa's 3.6m/yr sitting in the press box, it makes sense to find a trading partner for him.
  8. I was initially one of those people who didn't think about it, and undervalued his worth. But when you do look at the relatively obscure defensive numbers, the guy is an absolute beast. What was it I heard.... 5th best in the league in reducing scoring chances or something like that? Sure it is exciting to have a scoring powerhouse. (Which, even with another forward, we wouldn't have) But if you're letting in extra goals at the same pace, there is little point in making that tradeoff - especially considering many GMs may be reluctant to pay dearly to acquire a player like Tanev, where the stats are more difficult to define on paper...
  9. I really wish everyone would stop trying to include Tanev into trade suggestions. His ability to shut down the opposing team is undeniable, and we don't have any other players who properly fit that role. And no, the numbers show Gudbranson is not it. I think nearly every team needs an elite shutdown defenseman to be successful; it's a great asset to have. Would it be nice to have a star top six forward? Absolutely. But scoring can also be comprised of a well balanced team. Since we are lacking tradable assets, I'm really interested to see how Benning intends on bolstering those positions - both for the remainder of the Sedins' tenure, but especially after.
  10. Stecher appears very smart, and his timing in making passes seems excellent. No, he might not be a physical presence but the same could be said of a player like Tanev. Yet, Tanev plays his role so well that most of us forgive him for not being particularly physical. Now that we have guys on our blueline like Guds and Tryamkin, it allows other players to play to their strengths rather than having to do it all. Guys like Hutton and Stecher should be able to play the way they are most effective. I would argue that Stecher's best position is on a DIFFERENT line than Hutton, save for the power play, where wall-stopping size and strength isn't nearly as important as it is on 5vs5 play. And Subban - I'm rooting for this guy to make the NHL. Even for the minor leagues (which can make some players look better than they really are) his offensive prowess is impressive. He needs to put on enough size and find his defensive game as to not be a liability. If he can do that, I see him as having real dark horse potential. (No racial pun intended there).
  11. Me too. Tryamkin is the guy I was perhaps the most excited to see after the offseason to see how much he improved. Assessing him is somewhat unique, as with many players you don't really know what they bring to the table until they fully develop. While his ceiling may still be in question, the size and strength he brings is quite evident already. Also unique to Tryamkin is that we know exactly what he needs to do to be successful in the NHL. The first and main thing is that he needs to kill it in the conditioning department. If he can do that, I think he showed enough last season to indicate his size buys him at least a bottom pairing position on virtually any NHL team. If he can then add to that, like utilizing his big shot, then he positions himself well to creep up the depth chart. As soon as I watched him play, I penciled him into our lineup. Though lots of people are questioning if he will even be in the lineup, to me it is a no brainer that he should be. (If his conditioning is up to par). Size like his is uncommon, and is the kind of x factor you pray for. We don't exactly have a big team, so excluding him from our lineup strikes me as being a big step down.
  12. This has to be the most balanced, knowledgable commentary on our team I've seen in years. Besides some disagreement on line combinations, and minus the scepticism on our chances to make the playoffs, I think he is dead on. I'll say it again... this team is going to surprise some so-called experts. Injury pending, as he mentioned.
  13. No, we didn't tank. I do believe the individual drive of some players was not there though. Had we not amassed the injuries, we stood a reasonable chance of making the playoffs. Once that seemed unlikely, our team didn't at all try to continue pushing for it. Not a dedicated tank as much as a lack of effort. That, combined with key players not in the lineup, and you hit rock bottom. This team is going to surprise many "experts" this season. No, we won't vie for the cup but this will be a far better season than last.
  14. Sweden has an excellent defense, and Edler is an above average defenseman. Nuff said.
  15. Happiness. I voted this for two reasons: 1) Without it, all the other things are useless. Ie: What's the point of good health and money if it doesn't make you happy? 2) I suffer from depression. As such, happiness is the one thing that has and will continue to elude me for my entire life. I fully understand what it is like to live without it, and even though I have the majority of the other things on the list in spades, I really barely care about those things.