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06-15-2009, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I think Homer has slipped below Sammy and Hudler, sorry to say, healthy or not. Without his net front play, there's not much else there. I also rank Stuart ahead of Rafalski (!!!!!!!!) and Kronwall-- just a bit since Kronner is very effective offensively. Rafalski just seemed too much of a defensive liability whenever there was a good forecheck. Not as bad as Schneider, but teams seem to know how to expose him. He's great on the puck control and moving it though. Is he $2-3 million more better than Kronwall or Stuart? Hmmm.
You asked regardless of their contract status But, still, yes. Though I think it's a bit unfair to compare Kronwall's contrac to either of Stuart or Rafalski, as it was signed at an entirely different point in his career. Would we be able to sign Kronwall for $3m right now? I doubt it.

With Homer and Rafalski, I think injuries have to be considered. Homer went through hernia and back troubles in the regular season and was getting shots to numb his knee throughout the playoffs. I can see an argument that Homer will never be reliably healthy again but, if he is healthy, I think he's far more than just the crease guy. He's also one of our most physical players, consistently engaging in physical battles deep in the oppositions end - something we were screaming for in the Pittsburgh series. And Rafalski was playing with a herniated disk. And he got burned how often? He had a horrible regular season, but he was there when it counted and gave us a very good run.

To me, Sammy's a good 2-way player but without any special niche on the team. I really like the guy but he isn't overly impactful. And Hudler is, well, Hudler. He puts up points but his physical attributes have severely limited him. Maybe he'll evolve past it but, right now, he isn't.

Originally Posted by sarcastro
Leino is also what, 25? And he has not even scratched the surface of his potential. It's unlikely he will be a ppg/gamebreaking player, but I really believe that with 15 minutes of ice time a night, some time in the top 6, some PP time (basically Hudler's ice time from this season), he could at least match Hudler's numbers.

Also, Maltby is not the safe defensive player he used to be - he has been either a -8 or a -9 in each of the 4 post-lockout seasons, whereas the 4 seasons before the lockout he was +15 or better every year.

Some of us are guilty at times of seeing the Maltby or Draper or Homer from 8 or 9 years ago when we think about their play - in reality, these guys have all slipped a LOT, whether it's from age or injuries or both.
I have no doubt Leino could rack up points next year and I've basically penciled him into Hudler's spot myself. But that's next year. This year the guy still made numerous low quality/high risk decisions when he was on the ice that we were lucky to not get burned on. Maltby might be far far less explosive, but he's also more reliable. The same with Draper and Holmstrom.

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