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06-03-2010, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SFKingshomer View Post
Kopitar took the time to learn the defensive side. Kovalchuk still floats.
This is a misleading statement.

Its not like Kopi took it upon himself to learn defense. He did what his coach told him to do and his GM challenged him to do, damn near condemned his career if he didn't learn defense.

Who ever told Kovalchuk to learn defense? No coach or GM in Atlanta had the balls to do that. Murray and Lombardi would. They wouldn't bring Kovy in and cowtow to him. They would bring him in with the condition and understand that he will not play Kovalchuk's game, but rather, the KINGS' game.

Which brings me to system. System is everything for defense. Take a good defensive player and put him in a system that isn't built around defense, and that seemingly good defensive player all of a sudden won't look so hot. It is a player's job to play the system of his team, and Atlanta has never had a sound defensive system in place. Not to mention enough sound defensive players to support the scoring. Or goaltending... or much else most of the years. Or an identity, much like the Kings, oh, 4 years ago. Hell, 3 years ago.

Put Kovalchuk, a guy who is determined to win and has the competitive fire and skill to burn his opponents, in a sound defensive system that he spends a training camp and a season learning and adjusting to, and watch out. That's when you have a deadly combo.

Kovalchuk would be one of two top forwards. Getting Kovalchuk does not negate Kopitar being a dominant and defensively sound #1 center, and in a few years, even better than Kovalchuk overall and being a true #1 forward. Getting Kovalchuk doesn't stop us from getting a good 2nd line center. Maybe not a Malkin/Crosby combo. But there aren't a lot of Malkin's lying around.

You worry so much about the cap, and paying 3 players over ~7 million or over.

Well how by gosh did the Wings get by with Lidstrom making 7.5, Datsyuk getting 6.7, Zetterberg 6.08, AND Rafalski @ 6?

Or the Pens, with Malkin and Crosby at 8.7 and Gonchar and Fluery at 5?

Or Philly, 4 forwards @ 5 million or over, and 2 defensemen over 6.

Chicago is about to have almost 20 million tied up in their top 3 forwards, along with Campbell and Keith taking up almost another 13. Now will they have some issues this summer with the cap? Yes. Will those issue turn them into a crappy team? Highly doubtful.

Because their top players are worth the money.

Now you can argue that Kovalchuk isn't the kind of player to give that money to, and while I would strongly disagree with you, that is a reasonable stance to take. The stance that adding Kovalchuk would dismantle the team in such a way that we would lose more important players is a fallacy. You need to expect paying 25-30 million for your top 4 or 5 players. Its the way it goes, and its the way to stay competitive. If you aren't willing to fork over money for talent, and just want to fill the team with cheaper and ultimately less talented options, you aren't going to remain a contender for very long, if at all.

I can't operate under the assumption of paranoia and worse case scenario. Be wary of it, of course. Be smart, of course. But I just can't see a cup in the future of a team that is run with thoughts of doom on the horizon.

Woah.... that was a lot more than I intended to write.

JDM is offline   Reply With Quote