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03-08-2010, 01:32 PM
  #26
mnwildgophers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp4516 View Post
Really been impressed with Sheppard lately. He's still way too tentative with the puck, but he's improved his defensive game two-fold since he last got regular playing time.

I'll never forgive JL and Risebrough for throwing Shep into the fire so early and playing him with such awful linemates. Any idiot could have seen he needed more time before he got to the show.

That said, I'm not ready to give up on him offensively. I think, with some patience, he could potentially center the 2nd line for us. He's got great vision and he's pretty good at keeping his head up. His hands just went to hell. He was never this poor at receiving passes and stickhandling in juniors or even as he first came up. His confidence was just so gone, I think it's slowly coming back, however.

Regardless, I still think we should try to work a trade involving Harding and David Bolland from Chicago. I absolutely love that guy and the way he plays. I think he'd be tremendous in between Latendresse and Havlat. We'd probably have to give up Harding and some sort of pick or prospect (Noreau?), but I think it's worth it. $3.375M cap hit thru 13/14 with Bolland.. great contract.
Well, I think that Chicago is the most likely of trade partners for us, and I remember hearing that we were pushing hard for Sharp at the deadline, but obviously, Chicago didn't want to lose him for their Cup run.

Either way, we need to find a center to play between Havlat and Latendresse that's not Brodziak or Ebbett. I give them credit, but they just aren't going to be the game-breaking center that we need. Maybe we can find one at the draft via trade this year since I think this year's FA class isn't a very attractive one.

Koivu will definitely need some new wingers. I agree, Bruno is fine on a line with Koivu, but I think they really need a winger that can finish. I don't know who it would be, or what we could trade to get one, but either way the 2nd rounder we got for the Belanger trade could be used to spice up a deal for a winger or centerman so I'm really liking the trade the more that I think about it.

This leads me to this question then, what do we need more? A scoring winger for Koivu's line or a center for Havlat and Latendresse? I can hope we can somehow solve both of these problems this offseason, but I don't find that likely. Obviously drafting well in the upcoming drafts will go a long ways to having worry about scoring, but elite talent isn't easy to come by. Hopefully Fletcher can pull something off that will solve both problems, but it looks like we will be picking about #10 in this draft.

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