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12-14-2009, 07:02 PM
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Let's talk 'The Transition' - 2010/2011

I have been pondering a few thoughts quite a bit in the last week or so and I thought it would make for a good discussion. We've got a young, exciting group of kids in Albany who look to make the transition to the big club full time next season.

I'll start off by listing what I think could potentially be on our roster, then ask a few questions I have been tossing around.

Let's just say we do land a top 2 pick and get one of the prize picks in Hall or Seguin.

Forwards that could be on the team next season,

Staal, Hall/Seguin, Ruutu, Cole, Sutter, Boychuk, Bowman, Tlusty, Samson, Jokinen, Kostopoulos, Dodge, Chaput, LaRose, Brind'Amour, Samsonov. Angelidis & Blanchard will be 25 & 23 years of age to begin the season, they've got AHL experience under their belt and could possibly be ready for a checking role aswell.

A few quesitions...

That is a whopping 16 forwards, subtract the potential addition of Hall/Seguin and we're still at 15.

Brind'Amour - What happens here? Does he retire? Do we buy him out? Does he actually come back to finish out his contract and does JR allow that to happen? It would be a shame for Brindy to take a spot from one of the kids who deserves it and derserve to be here, especially in the bottom 6 where Dodge or Chaput, or both could be.

Samsonov - What does this guy really bring to the table? We've got guys like Tlusty, Boychuk, Bowman and potentially Hall or Seguin who can all play LW and all need to be in the top 9 for obvious reasons. In my opinion there will be no need for Samsonov and there is no need for him to be a road block in terms of taking a position from one of the kids. Either a trade, if that's even possible, or a buyout has to be in order in my opinion.

Let's look at the potential top 9... - Staal, Ruutu, Cole, Sutter, Boychuk, Bowman, Tlusty, Jokinen, Samson. If we get lucky and have Hall or Seguin, that adds to it. Pretty good, young depth.

Chuck Kobasew - UFA July 1st. I'd still like the guy on this team for one, to see what he could potentially do with Staal, but aside from that I think he'd be a solid guy to have and one JR has always wanted. Does JR somehow make way for him? If he doesn't re-sign in Minnesota, I think it could make an interesting topic come the offseason.

What will we get in return for some of our season ending UFA - Whitney, Cullen, Corvo to name the most attractive. If we get prospects who can make the jump next season... again, this will add to the mix if they're forwards. I personally think JR should focus on defensive prospects, we're fairly thin on the blueline.

Taking a look at the blueline...

What we know -

Gleason, Pitkanen & Alberts are locked up. Carson looks like he could handle a bottom pairing role. That leaves 2 top 4 positions open. Does McBain jump in? Thats a question mark and unknown right now. We'll see how he develops the rest of the year and how he looks in training camp next year I suppose. As of right now it doesn't look like he would be ready for top 4 duty. Cam Barker would be a nice fit, so would Dan Hamhuis, a UFA in July.

A potential blueline I wouldn't mind seeing,

Pitkanen, Gleason, Barker, Hamhuis, Carson & Alberts.

The Goaltending -

I think goaltending is pretty well set with a tandem of Ward & Peters.

What do you see the roster looking like next October? Who makes 'the transition'? Who does JR cut ties with? Potential signings you'd like to see?

A lot of these questions are obviously to be answered another day, but it's fun to speculate, think about, share opinions on, etc.

Last edited by Guerzy: 12-14-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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