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10-02-2003, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruinaholic
I wouldnt wanna take on a 41 year old Francis, id make pitches to Mike Ricci,Kariya,Nedved,PErrault,Lindros,Primeau or Holzinger only at respectalble prices.
B's need to keep Murray,Rolston and Mcgillis IMO(and maybe Sandy Mac if he shows hes got something left, Knuble,O'donnel and all the others can walk cuz we have the prospects to fill there spots.
I think Ricci is a great player and I'd love to hve him, but I'm not so sure it would happen. First, he's the captain -- not to mention heart and soul of the Sharks, so I don't know if San Jose will let him walk. Second, his intangibles makes him a highly coveted player at a time when it's completely unknown whether the Bruins will even want to shop. That makes me think that if other teams want him, which they will, they would be willing to overspend no matter if it's on the eve of a new CBA. Lastly, his best role is really as a #3 center, not a #2. He is a great 2-way player but you really want someone who can anchor a second scoring line.

With the Bruins having Bergeron in the wings, it's possible they want a 1 or 2 year solution until he's ready. Figure he may be able to step in next season, but more likely he will need 2 years of development. So with that in mind, I thought of Francis. He is relatively durable, very intelligent, total leader and still plays a great 2-way game. But if his game has vastly diminished, there are other choices. Part of the equation may be whether the B's are looking for someone short term or not. Either way, they could look at Conroy, Primeau and Damphousse, all who could be effective #2 centers.

Conroy is smooth and has more intangibles than he gets credit for. If the Bruins lost Rolston but brought him in as the #2, I wouldn't be that disappointed. As long as someone could effectively slot in as the third line center.

Primeau has fallen from grace, but part of that is due to his role on the team and Hitchcock's dedication to defense. Still, he is mostly an up & down guy, not a playmaker. He can shoot and play the boards, so he would be best with a skater and a playmaker. This why he could be a good fit -- the B's are loaded with those types (Hilbert, Huml, Samuelsson even Zinovjev).

Damphousse is on the decline, but he has Cup experience and he can still be a savvy playmaker. He's not big or very fast, so he'd match up better with at least one big crasher who could shoot and a savvy quick skater.

The rest, well, Zhamnov and Nedved I question their heart. Zholtok and Johnson are better for the 3rd line. Nieuwendyk may be further diminished.

As far as new UFA wingers, if the B's keep Murray and Knuble, then they wont have much room left. With Samsonov, Ax, another year of Lapointe and a boatload of youngins, they should be set.

I do think they will need to keep either McGillis or O'Donnell. IF not, me thinks they will have to get someone else because they will need the veteran experience and presence on D.

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