: News Article:
Predators sign Klein to 3 year, $4.05M extension.
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01-19-2010, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted by
There couldn't have been a worse time to announce this signing.
No kidding. I wouldn't have made that big of a deal of it during the off-season (except the money), partly because Hamhuis will be long gone, and we would have a better assessment of where our prospects were that would hep determine whether the signing was even necessary, which I think it was, but I don't like the money or the length at all. We gave him a 200%+ raise for three years in a season where he has been our worst defenseman (I can say this confidently based on personal observation, and not wild pseudo-baseball stat a math minor at Concordia came up with). That's not the kind of contract (length-wise moreso than cash-wise) you give to a player who should just be a stopgap for your more talented prospects, but I can't see him playing a major role on this team long-term unless Blum or Josi stall developmentally.
Of course, I could always be proven wrong and we have Klein turn into a consistent shut-down defenseman that makes all of us forget about Dan Hamhuis all together, but the kinds of mistakes he's making are really basic things that should have been weeded out of his game a long time ago. Looking up the ice before clearing the puck; not throwing the puck into the slot from behind your own net; not letting your man get by you along the boards; reading the flow of play and knowing when and when not to pinch in the offensive zone (although this is more of an instinctual thing)... all of these are things Klein has shown a need to work on. Most of this isn't really that new to his game, and he's had five years to weed that sort of stuff out of his game. I don't expect the guy to be perfect, but I do expect him to play his role with competency, and if he keeps at it, I will continue harping on him all season, in every GDT, just for Enoch.
As for Franson, his offensive talent has broken through, but the rest of his game still needs to catch up. All the complaints I had about his game still exist. It's a small miracle that he can stand up on his skates, let alone move on them. He still makes egregious defensive errors (as Dan Ellis will no doubt tell you), and he actually bounces off people when he tries to hit them (and it's hilarious to then watch 5'9" Bouillon turn the same player into a rag doll several shifts later). He's pretty much our own version of Kurtis Foster, which is good and bad. It's good because he'll come in handy on the second-unit power play, and it's bad because we can't trust him with any major amount of shorthanded ice time.
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