Straka debating retirement
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06-07-2008, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York, New York
Straka has been an integral part of the team since he's been here and a true warrior. However, it is time for somebody else to take his spot. I think the Sjostrom comparisons might be validated defensively and hopefully on the PK and I would be pleasantly surprised if he is close offensively (which unfortunately is not saying much because Straka was a disappointment offensively for me). As I just mentioned though, Straka's offense is a killer. Sure, he works well with Jags, but he can't hit an open net and passes up shots left and right. He was easily the most frustrating forward on the team last year imo which is incredible because of all the great work he put in in other areas.
On other points, I wouldn't put Malone in my plans because (1) it's unlikely he'd leave Pittsburgh and (2) if he did, the amount of money we'd need to give him couldn't possibly be worth it. I'd focus my free agent attention on FRBO (Future Ranger Brooks Orpik lol) and go from there.
With the possible removal of Straka I think we might need to consider going with a less traditional "first line" system. For instance, I would suggest using Avery in Straka's spot, but I wouldn't match up him, Dubie and Jagr with most first lines right now. I think we should stop firmly declaring Jags #1 and split up ice time a little more to keep everyone fresh. We don't have Ovechkin, but we have a lot of pieces to the scoring puzzle and more even ice time could prove dividends. With that in mind, I'd sign a legit sniper to replace Shanny (my sights are set on Rolston) and hope that is the last piece we need for a more competitive offense. We saw that our defense was not as hopeless as many figured it might be, but we found out against the Pens that we can't count on it as a stopper. If we have an offense that can take more pressure off the D, I think we will do well. Of course, it all hypothetically sounds great like it did last year but there will need to be a better transfer to the ice for it to work like it does in my dreams lol.
I'd be happy with:
Dawes-Gomez-Rolston/Huselius (as I said, I don't have a traditional first line but I'm interested to see what kind of offense Gomer can generate with an improving Dawes and a quicker, more reliable sniper than Old Man Shan)
Avery-Dubie-Jagr (worked fairly well last season, but I wouldn't pin all my hopes on them being able to score when we need a goal)
Sjo/Korp-Drury-Cally (ideally, a strong-ish defensive line which would chip in 25 from Drury and 15 from each winger)
Sjo/Korp-Betts-Orr/Byers (I'd use Orr only when it's necessary to have a fighter and I'm hoping Sjo and Korp are kind of interchangeable based on who's more offensively competent)
In my ideal plan, we would trade Tyutin and Prucha for Pitkanen and sign Orpik and Mara to improve the defense (Staal-Orpik, Pitkanen-Girardi, Mara-Hutchinson/Potter/Backman) but even if that doesn't happen we would have a decent 13th guy on offense in Prucha and the potential of Backman (if he can just man up a bit) as [hopefully] a 7th defenseman. We'll see how it all goes on July 1st, though.
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