Now we have a logjam at Defense too
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09-23-2003, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
It's an interesting signing.
Wilson is a capable NHL defenseman. He frustrated me in Buffalo with his unwillingness to use his size. He was a 6'6" beanpole for much of his early career who didn't have the strength that his size and weight indicated. He has better skill than he's being given credit for but he'll never be confused for Ray Bourque. He's not a top three but he's definately a top 6 guy and will fill that role in Phoenix.
A couple of ramnifications of this signing.
1) The liklihood of a prospect in Spiller or Knyazev making this squad is slim to none. They'll get some good minutes in preseason but their days as a Coyote are post CBA.
2) Someone is likely going. Money is likely on Todd Simpson or Suchy or possibly both. Both dropped a spot on the depth chart from this signing. Toronto seems to be a likely destination but there are numerous teams that are desperate for blueline help. Could this also be a proactive signing in lieu that they are likely to lose someone to the waiver draft? Probably the most realistic possibility.
3) The team is likely going to carry 7-8 d men on the pro team and rotate people through the press box. Hulse, Simpson, Suchy are the most likely candidates.
4) Blueline in Springfield is going to be good. Likely Springfield will play a 6 d man unit (I don't see that being a problem). Springfields signings will be sent down to the ECHL. Bezina and/or Schutte may be utilized at forward. Bezina was played as a forward during the World Championships so keep that in mind.
5) Just a macro comment. Barnett knows defense is his clubs achilles heel so he's got plenty of bandaids to help stop the bleeding. Keeping Numminen would have been ideal but Numminen didn't want to be here and quite frankly deserved a shot with a legitimate contender. I'm happy Barnett is being proactive but I do have concerns about Wilson's physical play but I'll withhold judgement until I've seen him play a couple games as a Yote. Eye does raise some legitimate points though. If he plays like he did in Buffalo then it truly was a wasted signing.
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