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05-06-2010, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
The problem is, we have a lot of money locked up in average/flawed defensemen:
Barker @ $3m is unproven, was overpaid by Chicago and could be solid or crap
Schultz @ $3.5m is a mediocre 3rd pairing guy with no shot who's horribly overpaid
Zanon @ $1.9m is a steal, shutdown shot blocker but no offense
Zidlicky @ $4m is market rate but a one-dimensional PP/offensive specialist
Stoner @ $550k is completely unproven due to injuries his whole career
If we just replace Burns with a warm body, in addition to our offensive system (codeword for horrible team defense, giving up odd man rushes and shorties left and right), we're going to look absolutely terrible next year.
Burns is the only skater in a Wild sweater who has the ability to take over a game. Backstrom would be the only other guy who can steal games for us. I love Koivu, but he doesn't just turn it on and completely dominate the flow of the game on his own. He capitalizes on chances created by trapping the other team in their end and cycling the puck with his linemates. Havlat and Latendresse tend to score off the rush or on a turnover, mainly chances created by the other team. But Burns can skate the puck up ice uninhibited and take the puck directly to the net on his own, has a great shot, and can move the puck pretty well if that's what he wants to do.
The key is for him to have a steady defensive minded D partner and to stay healthy. He also needs to pick his spots and use his teammates more...which sucks because half our team is garbage offensively. But when he rushes the puck and the rest of the team has no clue what's going on (like the first month of the season), everyone stops to watch him and it usually results in a 3-on-1 or worse coming back.
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