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10-19-2008, 03:01 PM
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My choice would be to keep him, but that's a boring answer so I voted for the 'Top 4 Defenseman' option.

If Gainey can pick up a veteran #4 at the deadline or sooner, it upgrades the defense severely, especially in case of injury. No longer will Hamrlik have to play a defensive role to cover the youthful mistakes of O'Byrne or the occasional blunders of Brisebois. Give him a guy like Brad Stuart or Karlis Skrastins and all of a sudden Guy can use Hammer in either way he sees fit: either let him pick his offensive game up by jumping into the rush, or play a similar role with the added defenseman to form an experienced shutdown pair.

The team has scoring, the team has center depth, and the team has farm depth. Enforcing is not a problem, nor is 4th liner depth. Goaltending depth would be a minor problem, but if Halak is traded to bring in that 4th defenseman, then it's upon Bob to flip an asset to bring in a veteran backup that can hold the fort if Price misses a game or two. Our biggest hole, in my opinion, is a stopgap in the case of injury to one of our top-two pairing defensemen. If one gets injured with that #4 present, then it's a matter of the players moving up a slot and at worst, it becomes a situation where the team has a strong top3 and an inexperienced bottom 3.

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