Thread: Proposal: Trade Proposal: Anton Babchuk
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09-09-2009, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by blahblah View Post
I have no idea what the internal discussion would be on this guy. He's a project and the idea of him and Russell being the 5/6 doesn't fill me with joy. Having said that, he fills a need so the net result could very well be a gain. Perhaps a large one. Then again he could implode and end up being scratched.

What is this guys salary demands? If you can sign him for 2 or 3 years for a couple of million per, I think you can tweak the current roster and come up some of the cash to offset the dollars.

As far as desperation goes, I'm trying to be realistic. We've put together a decent group of d for 12.8 million, 27th in the league. Honestly, it's a testiment to the players and the coaching staff that we've managed to be competitive with that investment (if you take out Backman's money last year we were like 29th in spending) considering the teams floating around us with that level of investment as well. At this point, Howson has an obligation to the team, fans, coaching staff, and ownership group to resolve this issue. He's done a great job of patching together a group that can make us competitive, but he now has to finish the job. We got lucky on the injury front on the d group last year. When Klesla went down we could call on Methot. Not sure we can hope for that level or health or luck in the event of injury this year.

When you consider we are 30th in the league in spending on goaltending as well, that leads you to the conclusion that we've left ourselves exposed on the entire backend.

We have depth on Wing, but everywhere else we are simply treading water at best.

I'm not blaming Howson or the ownership group this situation. But there is a sense of desperation on my part. I can see the iceberg.

At the end of the day, are we really going to get the oppurtunity at anything better for the cost in near future? This is not my first choice, what we need isn't something that teams let walk.
Great post, I agree with a lot of it.

Babchuk made $1 million last year and turned down Carolina's offer of 1 year, $1.1 million and asked to be traded. The consensus seems to be that he would sign for $2 million at most, maybe less. Certainly the rift in the relationship is part of what made him not want to accept the qualifying offer.

Regarding him on the bottom pairing with Russell, I'd probably split the 6/7 duties between Methot and Russell evenly and also based on opponents. More physical games or against teams with high offensive talent that needs shut down, I'd roll Babchuk-Methot. Playing against most of the East and less physical teams in the West, I'd be fine with Babchuk-Russell. What I keep coming back to is the fact that a lot of the season was Russell-Backman on the bottom pairing with Methot filling in for Klesla and we were OK most nights. I don't see any reason to believe Babchuk will be a downgrade from Backman in any way.

Here's the thing, and you kind of alluded to it - we're not going to get a much better shot at a player to fill our needs than this.

Ehrhoff may have been better/more reliable overall but his price was also higher. A player you sign in this price range ($1.5-2 million) is going to have some problems, sure. But Kristian Huselius has his weaknesses and he makes nearly $5 million a year.

You're not going to get a player better than Babchuk that isn't also more expensive.

The only other option is to let our prospects develop, and that is a perfectly fine option with Moore, Regner, and others still developing. But you can't totally rely on your prospects to fill every single hole. Howson knows that, why else did he sign Huselius, trade for Umberger, and sign Pahlsson? Because you're not going to fill every need from the organization and you can't ignore glaring weaknesses forever. You'll always end up paying a little more through trade or free agency than you would developing a prospect. But one of the big advantages of signing Babchuk for, say, 3 years is that we aren't forced to rush Moore or Regner to the NHL based on needs. Maybe we could even afford to send Russell back to Syracuse again.

Last edited by Casework: 09-09-2009 at 10:44 AM.
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