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-   -   #3 - Most Valuable Hurricane (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=670465)

Mossy Oak 08-06-2009 10:26 PM

#3 - Most Valuable Hurricane
 
Let the great debate begin. :laugh:


To date,

1. Cam Ward - 52.94%
2. Eric Staal - 84.44%
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OrioleWay 08-06-2009 10:28 PM

Right now is very very close, for me, between The Wizard and Pitkanen. I will vote for Ray but expect from Pitkanen to be most important player on ice next season after Ward and Staal.

For me, top 5 is this - Ward, Staal, Whitney, Pitkanen and Brindy.
Then Ruutu, Gleason, Cullen and Cole.

GIN ANTONIC 08-06-2009 10:30 PM

Gonna hold off voting for a bit. Need to think about this one. I encourage to people to state their cases for their picks. Hopefully that helps my decision.

Vagrant 08-06-2009 10:54 PM

Joni Pitkanen for me. There are very few players in the league that are able to play the bulk of minutes he does and with the quality of defense he brings to the table. Potentially one of the most underrated defenders in the league by virtue of his former Norris upside. He's a very quiet presence but his economy with the puck is incredible and his panic threshold is very high. Traditionalists would love to see him play more physical, but that isn't his style. He is a positional defender with angle anticipation and lane blocking capability. His skating is phenomenal and when he is out of the lineup, our defense is forced to become more balanced in terms of icetime and players in the lower pairs are exposed. Since what we're trying to determine is "value", which is fairly subjective, I think the fact that Pitkanen can play enough minutes to keep players like Niclas Wallin and formerly Anton Babchuk from taking a ton of even strength minutes is a HUGE plus in his column. He is a minutes eater with a strong skating stride and can adeptly handle either the powerplay or the penalty kill.

I have the feeling that we're going to see Ray Whitney become vastly overrated in this from a team MVP standpoint due to the impressive point totals skewing his value. Do not get me wrong, I am a huge fan of what Ray Whitney does for this team but there are several players that need to come off the board before Whitney. He is a soft one dimensional winger in his late 30's with stick skills to spare and a very strong powerplay presence, but to me that does not scream value. He plays one way hockey.

CioCio 08-06-2009 10:58 PM

Between Whit and Pitkanen for me. Whenever they're accounted for, Gleason's up.

clementnorman 08-06-2009 11:03 PM

pitkanen, my thought process was which player could this team least afford to loose. also thought about ruutu whit and gleason in no order tho.

Blueline Bomber 08-06-2009 11:05 PM

Went with Whitney. Guy's been underrated around the league for years and under appreciated, even by the own fanbase. Never gets much credit, because everytime he does something, it's overshadowed by the play of "big name" players.

For instance, the game against Calgary last season. He scores a hattrick, but all there is is talk about Cole scoring in his return game and how much chemistry he and Staal have.

Caniac4ever 08-06-2009 11:18 PM

I went with Joni... Tough choice tho as I think our Wizard is right there with him. Ray sees the game so very well and has the brains to be in the right place at the right time...

In the end tho, I think Joni is what this team has needed for awhile. He skates well, is calm under pressure, is willing to skate the puck into the zone(unlike all of our other d-men), and can play massive amounts of minutes. I think that he will only improve on his year from last year...

BanginLikeaBiscuit 08-06-2009 11:26 PM

My vote goes to Pitkanen.

His skating ability along with how many minutes he plays is such a valuable asset for our team. He plays in all situations along with putting up the points and playing a great defensive game. I agree with a lot of what Vagrant said, including about Whitney. While his scoring is a very valuable asset to the team, once you come to our end of the ice his value goes down. Another thing that goes into my decision is the fact Pitkanen is still a 25 year old, and will be the anchor of our blueline for many years to come. Whitney is 37 years old and has an expiring contract.

ChuckW 08-07-2009 08:09 AM

I'm giving this spot to Pitkanen, then Whitney just based on point production from last season. Who'd step up and make up for those 77 points? No one I can see.

Then for spot #5 I'll be posting a long-winded argument for Erik Cole. I hope you're all looking forward to that. :laugh:

Canes4me 08-07-2009 08:30 AM

This was a tough one for me, but went with Ray. He seems to make the players around him better no matter which line he is on. Joni should probably get this one due on talent and position, but felt Ray made the team better.

jbk ltd 08-07-2009 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vagrant (Post 20690114)
I have the feeling that we're going to see Ray Whitney become vastly overrated in this from a team MVP standpoint due to the impressive point totals skewing his value. Do not get me wrong, I am a huge fan of what Ray Whitney does for this team but there are several players that need to come off the board before Whitney. He is a soft one dimensional winger in his late 30's with stick skills to spare and a very strong powerplay presence, but to me that does not scream value. He plays one way hockey.

I don't disagree that Joni is deserving of a spot near the top and with the reasons folks are voting for him.

Vagrant, thanks for the pre-emptive strike on Ray Whitney, but I voted for him anyway. Not because I think his team leading points total "skewed" his value. Not because he was the only player not named Eric Staal to have played all 82 games in the regular season plus all of the post season even though he suffered from a significant injury that could have easily kept him out of the lineup on many nights during our stretch run.

I voted for him because in a year where the man wearing the 'C' obviously (IMO) struggled both on and off the ice, my personal observation was that Ray Whitney stepped up and very unassumably took leadership of this team on the ice, in the locker room (presumably, I wasn't there in person but from what I listened to and read he was a key figure there), at practice with the coaching staff, and with the media. That to me defined his value more than anything else he did statistically, which in itself was impressive.

GIN ANTONIC 08-07-2009 08:42 AM

I DON'T KNOW! My head wants to go with Joni, but those 77 points are just so hard to ignore. It's true that Ray is only good at a few things, but he is DAMN good at them. Stickhandling, creating space, passing, creativity, pacing the flow of play, making other players better. He does that so well, but it can't be ignored that he's pretty much a non-factor away from the puck or in the offensive zone. I don't think he's terrible defensively but he can't really play the body at all. For basically the reasons Vagrant mentioned, I'm going with Joni but it's only by a hair.

Sasha Cares 08-07-2009 09:17 AM

I chose Gleason, because to me, his play is more important than Joni's... He is not a superior player, but we NEED him to be the defensive rock this year if we are going to win... His position and smarts are going to be very important to the blue line this year... He and and AWard's defensive abilities might help free up Corvo and Joni even more...

StormCast 08-07-2009 10:03 AM

Definitely a tough call but I went with Whitney. Here's why:

- Every team needs scoring and playmaking from its tops six. Whitney can do both and is an especially good playmaker. When Staal and Cullen are one-two down the middle this ability takes on ever more importance. Whitney has averaged a bit under a point/game in Carolina and his low in assists, 36, is more than Staal had all of last year. Cullen has had more assists than goals only one time in Carolina and there really isn't another playmaker like Whitney who can play top 6 minutes.

- He can score at even strength, another essential trait from a top 6 winger. Aside from his first year here, where he was mostly a 3rd liner and PP specialist, the majority of his goals were at ES and his playmaking on the PP has been very consistent in setting up others from his halfwall position.

- Leadership. He has toned down his goofy side quite a bit and over the last two years he has become a better and more vocal leader. That's important after having lost Stillman's influence and the still-developing leadership of Staal. He has a calming influence it seems and is willing to speak up and speak out when Brind'Amour sometimes takes the less-is-more approach. He has had an unquestioned influence on LaRose's development too.

- I don't know what triggered but I saw more battle in his game last year than ever before. No, he hasn't developed a nasty edge and he still way behind his fellow Smurfs, LaRose and Eaves, in the hitting department but he much more consistently fought for pucks. In years past he gave up easily, wouldn't take a hit and seemed to be allergic to backchecking. It may have been the Maurice influence but to me, it was a noteworthy improvement. It has hardly made him a defensive stalwart but he isn't the liability he once was.

- He contributed a high level with an injury and without complaint. Not much was made of it and he never complained about it but he has a serious enough finger injury that it required a pin. I remember seeing the splint and bandaging on his finger in interviews for the longest time but he never made excuses even when he seemed to mis-hit the puck on a nightly basis (I initially thought he needed to have his eye sight checked).

caniac247 08-07-2009 01:31 PM

Had to go with the Finn in Pitkanen. He is the cornerstone of our defense and I think if we take him out we have no one to replace him. He eats up a ton of minutes, he's solid both ends of the ice, has got to be our best skater, and quietly gets the job done. This team will finally have that #1 defensemen we've been needing for years.

Mossy Oak 08-07-2009 02:31 PM

This is a rather tough choice for me between a few guys here, however after giving it much thought and tossing back and forth a couple times (literally), I have come to a conclusion.

First and foremost, i'll say Ray Whitney is one of if not the quietest most underrated, close to a point-per-game wingers in the game today. He has pretty well been a point per game winger (or mighty close to it) his entire career. If he could have been consistently healthy throughout his career, he could very well be one of (if not very close to) the games 1000 point wingers. I don't doubt that for a second. He is in my mind one of the better secondary scoring, complimentary wingers in the game today. I don't intend for that to be a knock on him, as on many teams he could lead them in the points column just as he did this past season and in 06-07' (When he quietly collected 83 points - good for 21st in the league which put him in company with the Sedins, Vanek, Datsyuk, Alfredsson, Marleau, Stastny, Cammalleri, to name a few. That is impressive.). I say secondary scoring winger and complimentary forward with caution as while he can display PPG pace, he isn't a typical 1st line winger who can grab the bull by the horns and lead the charge. Very quiet by nature on the ice, very complimentary to a top 6.

However, he isn't my choice. I say that because I believe there is another player on the roster who is more valuable in terms of the position and what they bring to that position and how it effects the team as a whole. And that player is long time Cane Nic Wallin.

(Kidding :laugh:)--- With that said, my choice for the 3rd most valuable to the team is Joni Pitkanen. I'll keep it as brief and to the point as I can. We don't have another defenceman on the team that brings the all-around defenceman's game to the ice that Joni brings. As a team, we went without it for a very long time. A fluid skater, sound positionally, good hockey sense, smooth hands, is not afraid to get a little dirty infront of the net in or after the play, can play the top PP unit (I believe he can be more successful and more of an impact there this coming season) and log top pairing PK minutes aswell as even strength minutes. For this team, and likely many others given the opportunity and comfortability with the team and lifestyle, he is a very valuable and reliable defenceman that can be leaned on heavily. Every team needs that one defenceman who can be relied upon in every aspect of the game, and for the Hurricanes that is Pitkanen.

Without Pitkanen, we have tremendous holes on the team in many crucial areas -Our transition game, Even Strength, PP & PK.

Every contending team needs atleast one very strong component positionally in my opinion - Cam Ward is that component in net, Eric Staal is that component at forward & Joni Pitkanen is that component on defence.

That's my take. :)

Citizen Cane 08-07-2009 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vagrant (Post 20690114)
Joni Pitkanen for me. There are very few players in the league that are able to play the bulk of minutes he does and with the quality of defense he brings to the table. Potentially one of the most underrated defenders in the league by virtue of his former Norris upside. He's a very quiet presence but his economy with the puck is incredible and his panic threshold is very high. Traditionalists would love to see him play more physical, but that isn't his style. He is a positional defender with angle anticipation and lane blocking capability. His skating is phenomenal and when he is out of the lineup, our defense is forced to become more balanced in terms of icetime and players in the lower pairs are exposed. Since what we're trying to determine is "value", which is fairly subjective, I think the fact that Pitkanen can play enough minutes to keep players like Niclas Wallin and formerly Anton Babchuk from taking a ton of even strength minutes is a HUGE plus in his column. He is a minutes eater with a strong skating stride and can adeptly handle either the powerplay or the penalty kill.

This. To me Pitkanen is a guy, maybe the player, who seems to (borrowing another sports phrase) always want the "ball" in a late-game pressure situation with the game on the line. I admit I may be unduly swayed by that NJ game 7 effort that personifies this, but I'm not sure there is another player on the team who both wants it in late-game pressure situation...and can deliver in said situation. Some guys want it but don't know if they can deliver.

I even gave him a vote for #2, even though I know its Staal, for that reason.

Old Uncle 08-07-2009 05:38 PM

For me, Ray Whitney edges out two or three other candidates who I am still trying to quantify in my mind.

CioCio 08-07-2009 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Uncle (Post 20697431)
For me, Ray Whitney edges out two or three other candidates who I am still trying to quantify in my mind.

If the playoffs weren't taken in account, I'd agree. Joni is a well-oiled hockey player and he can break up on a rush with seemingly tremendous ease.

Wolfpuck 08-09-2009 04:33 AM

I give the edge to Pitkanen because I'm biased towards the importance of well-rounded defensemen, and Joni is solid in all areas of the ice.


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