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06-22-2008, 06:20 PM
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Our situation

Here's how I see it now...

Bringing in Hossa, trading for Kovalchuk (not gonna happen), or signing two of Huselius, Rolston, Ryder and even Prospal (especially if Jagr returns) mitigates a horribly average D. Firepower value. Yet it works vice versa... getting Campbell, Redden, trading for Bouwmeester, kind of makes it okay to go with average offense (signing only one of the aforementioned).

Then there's the middle ground where you can manage Liles or Streit and Stuart along with Ryder, Rolston, or Hossa and a couple support guys like Brunette or Stillman (Straka replacements).

I think the best thing to do now is get at least one RFA forward (I still say, and mark it, every young RFA d-man WILL re-sign with their clubs). So we have Perry, Bernier, Vermette. ANA will match anything for Perry below 6M per... I'm not sure why everyone thinks they can't... they've got room to work with. Will the Sabres trade Bernier, one of the few big players with any promise on the team? It'll probably take an offer sheet of 4-5M (which they COULD match, but likely wouldn't) to get him... please keep in mind, these offer sheets would mean high draft picks for the next 2 years. Vermette really can't be matched over 3M.

Our best options are to trade for an RFA forward, sign one and sign two of Stuart, Liles, Streit, Orpik and Smith... or... sign two or three of them and sign one forward... or trade for Souray, Pitkanen, Kubina, McCabe, Ohlund, sign one of Orpik and Smith and have a little more leeway as to what you do up front.

I really think we need that no. 1 d-man... and as far as crease-clearing guys go, cheaper options are available in Kurt Sauer (COL) and Vandermeer... isn't Hale a UFA also?

We can do without Prucha, Backman, of course, and even Tyutin can be replaced (his cap hit creates an issue for what he is right now, plus, he's the guy we can most afford to deal with any value whatsoever). So we should really focus on trading for Bernier or Vermette. Sadly, dumping Prucha has become an off-season priority in my mind. And I officially HATE the signing of Drury now... a 180 in a year for me.

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