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04-28-2004, 12:09 AM
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Too many variables to really make lineup plans, but what the heck. I don't see the need for as many free agent pickups as some. However, going the extreme rebuild route (no signees, plus lose Poti, Holik, Jagr, Dunham, etc.) isn't going to work either. This scenario would require dressing 14-16 rookies every night. We don't have that many NHL-ready rookies. I'm not sure if any team does. God knows what will happen when injuries hit.

Here's what I've got. Notes are on the bottom. Lines are left to right.


1st line: Lundmark - Demitra - Jagr
2nd line: Simon - (open) - Balej
3rd line: Murray - Holik - Barnaby
4th line: (open) - (open) - Ortmeyer

Lundmark: I think he needs to play LW to restart his career. He can play on a top line and not have to worry about taking faceoffs against the other teams' defensive ace. If playing on a line with Jagr and Demitra doesn't get his offense going, nothing will. Another option is playing him on Holik's wing, where he's played some of his best hockey.

Demitra: Doesn't have to be Demitra. But I think we need a top line forward with playmaking skills. Could be a UFA. Could be Lindros on a 1-year contract. However, I'd be happier trading for an under-30 player to fit this role and Demitra (along with several other players) fits the bill. He makes the players around him better and can shift to wing.

Simon: Rucinsky is another possiblity, but I think this line needs size and toughness (especially if Prucha is center) more than another scorer. Simon could be the big guy who crowds the net on the PP and makes sure not too many liberties are taken with the kids or with Jagr. He can also move up a line if Jamie doesn't work out, or play on the checking line if a young LW exceeds expectations.

(2nd line center): Open it up between Prucha, Immonen, Umberger and Moore.

(4th line LW): Wiseman? Giroux? I'd invite Josh Green back to camp and give him a chance to earn a spot. He looked much better this time around.

(4th line center): Betts has the inside track, but it could be Moore or LaRose.


(no specific pairings)


I'd say Pock and Kondratiev have the inside track. I'm happy with 3 vets/3 kids. If a vet (Poti) is moved, I'd sign a defenseman. I don't think starting 4 rookies is advisable, since you want to avoid a rookie-rookie pairing. I could live with 4 vets/2 kids with the tacit understanding that one of the vets will be dealt during the season. If a FA is signed, it should be a top-4 big pyhsical defenseman who can clear the crease and help the PK. No one has jumped out at me yet for a must sign though.


Haven't a clue. Might not be worth buying out Dunham's last year to get another guy since we are not in the running for a playoff spot this year.


2 (maybe 3) signees, a trade, and spots for 7-10 rookies in the Opening Day lineup.

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