OFFICIAL 2009 free agent thread
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05-15-2009, 02:32 AM
Bruin fan since 1975
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton Canada
in reality the team shapes up a bit like this...
up front we have Savard who is the straw stirring the drink now signed for this year. We have Krecji as an rfa and Bergeron signed for 2 more years. Then we have Hamil and Marchard finishing their first year in the AHL and projecting as future NHLers all around to play center ice. Soderberg would compete for a spot here if he comes over and Kessel does view himself as a center too still. There is a log jam here that will have to sort itself out some. Imo Bergeron will be a misused asset if continued to be used on a third line. There is a question of cap space and whether we can afford to have 3 centers making 13-15 mill between them
On the wing we have a lot of good yummy options. Ryder bounced back this year... assuming Sturm comes back healthy these two guys are both signed for the next couple and are good for 25-30 goals. Kessel is going to be used on the wing if he comes back and showed he is a bonafide sniper this year. Lucic can be monster when he plays physical and Wheeler ran out of gas but showed oodles of upside potential most the season. Kobasew gives us an honest effort there for a reasonable price on a third line. Then we all saw good things from Thornton and Bitz while Sobotka floats around ready to fight for a spot too.
Depth up front is DEEP!!!! and GOOD!!!! the only real problem is cost and the cap... chances are someone will have to go to make room for the others to stay... but we dont need to be looking to bring in any new lead horse. This group led the league in scoring this year. It is a very good group.
Recchi, Axelsson, Yelle are the UFA likely to be let go... but it will probably come down to cost if any of them might stay. All are useful in their own limited way if the price is right.
The hole is likely to open up for a third line center if one of Kessel/Bergeron are let go for cap reasons. I think that Bergeron started his career on the wing and maybe has to go back to the wing now until he regains his scoring touch if we are to maximize our value from him. Maybe he will come back to camp totally healthy after a summer off... if so, then perhaps Savard becomes the guy moved... but in any case, Bergeron makes too much to be left in a third line job I think. If Bergeron is let go then the team should try to find a decent checking line center that is affordable to replace him. Mike Peca or Manny Malhotra out of Columbus would be two guys that might fit our budget... or of course Hamil or Marchard might come to camp and win the spot... maybe Soderberg...
We can always address this issue after the season starts if nothing is worked out sooner too... so no real huge panick up front.
On the blueline we just saw Chara have a Norris season and Wideman showed he is definitely a legit top 2 guy in this league. Stuart proved he can be counted on as a good part of a good top 6 rotation and is improving. Hunwick is a RFA who showed some very good signs too.
Ward and Ferrence add alot of character leadership and it cant be overestimated how this clubs personality changed overnight at deadline 2 years ago when these 2 were brought in. Maybe one could be let go now in the interest of trying to find a legit number 3 type dman possibly?
Not sure what the future holds for Montadore and Hindy but Im guessing one could be back at the right price to serve as a number 7 next year. I dont really see any of the kids in the system forcing an issue and making the team but that could always change.
On defense is really the only spot that Id really be looking at all to address in the UFA market or through a trade.
In goal Thomas was mr everything this year so we are happy there... and Rask will be the backup if he can be afforded. If not we will grab someone off the bargain shopping list. In either case, Thomas is being paid now to be the man so he is going to be the man.
It really is all good. if somehow we can afford to bring back everyone then we pretty much need no one else. The club ran out of gas a bit... but still went to overtime in game 7 this year as we paid our dues. Next year no one is over the hill, and everyone of our kids gets a year better. We are a team on ascension and this will have been a great learning experience.
I wouldnt mess a huge amount with team chemistry. If we absolutely have to deal someone like Savard/Bergeron/Kessel due to cap... then try to get the good quality affordable number 3 dman we need back in the trade... then sign someone like Peca or Malhotra to plug the hole up front... thats about it for moves this team should be considering making
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