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11-23-2004, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by renberg
Hitch will probably go back to a rigid system if he brings a batch o new players on board. If he goes with vets by re-signing Zhamnov, Malakov, etc he may free wheel it a bit more. The defense will make the difference. He tends to use a system that builds from the net out. If he has vets there then he'll allow the forwards more freedom. Remember he might be using Nittymaki in goal quite a bit.
At this point, I can't see Malakhov being re-signed. I'd love to see Zhamnov back, just because of the chemistry he and Gagne had down the stretch.
Before using Frank in goal quite a bit, they have to figure out what to do with Burke. Then they will opt to play Esche for 55-60 games if possible. I don't know how much "quite a bit" is, but I doubt it'll be an evenly shared workload or anything. Yes, Niittymaki looked good last year, but that was over 3 starts... I'd love to see how he does over 15-20 games though, because I believe he is on his way to being a solid goalie for a while.

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