CNNSI are optimistic
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09-16-2008, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
First off, CNNSI should do some homework- it was 104 pts. I think we'll lose one key guy to free agency, but we'll see who. Safe to say 2009-10 will be a transitional year, which I wouldn't mind if it came after a cup I guess. We're still a largely unproven, untested team but with the offensive depth we have, a real hot defense and goalie will be needed to topple the Habs. Many Western teams can do that, but few if any in the East are capable of that (Pittsburgh and Philly remain the teams I feel uneasy with battling in a playoff series).
But if vets like Boullion, Dandy (soon perhaps?), Begin, Lang and Kosto are gone, we'll need a huge influx of young players to be ready plus some character to replace a bit of the grinding vet presence lost. Then there's contracts for a few others. If we let Kovy walk, we'd have to know one of our others can step into his role. Unless one or more of Pleks, the Kost Bros. or Lats does not have a monster season (in the vicinity of 80 pts. plus 35-40 goals), Kovy will be essential to re-sign.
Chippy will hopefully be up to the task after this year and he may even be our 4th line centre/winger this year anyway. And even Valatenko, Subban, Weber, White and Maxwell will have outside shots to sneak in. Gainey will know how to tinker with our lineup post 08-09, I am confident. All I know is that we won't quite be in the cap hell some teams have set themselves up for (ahem, Tampa anyone?). The budget has been managed quite well. Hell, look at how many teams, and what kind of teams, go over the cap during the off-season. Chicago, Calgary? Those aren't elite teams at this point.
Gainey doesn't gamble unless it's going to be a homerun like Sundin would've been. He's keeping things in check because he knows what the contract situation is. Gillette has put his trust in the right man and now we are all seeing the plan come to fruition. Hell I had doubts over the years about it (nothing compared to many I read who gave up on the eam time after time and were deaf to the claims that we were getting younger, better and building for a great future), but here it is.
I have the feeling that Kovy and Koivu will be reseigned for around the same money as they have now. Tanguay, Lang, Dandy, Begin, Bouillon and Kostopoulos will walk, which leaves us around 15-16 million to sign Komi, Higgs and Tender. We have PLENTY of room to keep the core, and if the salary cap rises again, we might even keep Tanguay. Gainey is no idiot. This team will be a contender for years (it's a 4 year window imo)
Expect a lot of rookies in the team for the 101st season
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