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06-12-2010, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spring Hill, TN
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Are we a better team if......

With the draft and free agency coming up and many unanswered questions, what moves will make us better for the upcoming season and the near future?

If we stand pat with the roster we have now and re-sign Hornqvist, Franson and Boyd, we lose a lot of blue line talent. We'd end up losing Hamhuis who's a big minute eater and a pretty good 2nd pair guy. We'd also lose Grebs who we gave up a 2nd round pick for. We'd also lose Bouillon who was a good veteran presence on the blue line.

If we want to keep Hamhuis and/or Grebs, salary is going to be needed to be traded away. Although they have NMC's, the comments made about Arnott and Dumont may have been put out there to maybe push them out of the organization. If they are acceptable to being moved, that would free up $9.5 million in salary. Team that with about the $2-3 million we have now to re-sign guys and I think we can re-sign Hamhuis and/or Grebs, while taking care of of Hornqvist, Franson and Boyd.

So the real question becomes are we a better team with Hamhuis and Grebs on the blueline while losing Arnott and Dumont up front or are we better if we keep Arnott and Dumont and go with youth on the blue line? Realistically, Arnott is gone after next year anyway and Dumont is gone in two years while Hamhuis and Grebs would probably be signed for 3-4 years each. While some claim we can't afford to pay 2nd pairing guys big money, who would we rather have getting that money, vets who are on the decline or guys just hitting their prime?

If Arnott and Dumont are jettisoned, we'd look something like this up front:

Legwand, Wilson, Goc and Smithson at center

Wings would be:

Sullivan, Hornqvist, Erat, Ward, Tootoo, Spaling, Boyd, O'Reilly, Belak and basically some competition in camp from guys like Thuresson, Santorelli, Anderson and Geoffrion.

The blue line would look a lot like this:

Weber, Suter, Hamhuis, Grebs, Klein and Franson with Sulzer or Blum as the number 7 or floater between here and Milwaukee.

Obviously Rinne in net with a veteran back up.

If we lose the defensemen our lineup is more like this.

Arnott, Legwand, Goc and Smithson at center.

Wings would be:

Sullivan, Hornqvist, Erat, Wilson, Dumont, Ward, Tootoo, Spaling, Boyd, O'Reilly and Belak at wing.

The blue line would look like this:

Weber, Suter, Klein, Franson and some combo of Blum, Sulzer, Laakso and even possibly Yonkman.

Once again Rinne in net and a veteran backup.

While the second lineup has a bunch more firepower up front, the blue line weakness really scares me. The first lineup lacks the firepower but has a much more stable blue line. The first lineup would signal more of a youth movement and turn the team over to guys like Weber, Suter, Hornqvist, Wilson and to a degree Legwand and Erat with Sully being the elder statesmen. Really tough because Arnott and Dumont would have to agree to any trades of course so a lot of this depends on them.

Maybe something is done in between these moves where we keep one of Arnott and Dumont and re-sign Hammer or Grebs but not both. That may give us the best of both worlds, still some good fire power up front while keeping the core of the blue line together.

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