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04-29-2005, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kimzey59
Pronger is on record(multiple times in fact) saying he wants to remain in St. Louis and would stick around even if we went into a full blown rebuild. The only reason Pleau hasn't signed him long term is that he didn't know how the CBA would pan out and was leery of giving a massive contract to any player(there are rumors that we wanted to sign Palffy but held off for the same reason).

I'll believe it when I see Pronger's name on a new 3-4 year contract. Until then I'm skeptical. And as I've said repeatedly in this thread, I think they should do their best to sign him, and when I suggest moving Pronger I'm only exploring St. Louis' options if they are unable to sign him.

Originally Posted by kimzey59
What about Salvador, Cajanek, Ryan Johnson, Rycroft, Matt Walker, Jamal Mayers, Reed Low, Eric Boguniecki, and Lalime? You may not consider our 3rd and 4th lines as "important" but to a team building on it's defense it is essential to have good defensive players spread throughout the lineup. These players form the base on which this team will be built. Our D core is very strong(4 NHL ready D men under the age of 28 with another 3 being extremely close) and very cheap(those 4 players costs us a total of 4.4 mil). Our goaltending is solid(you can argue that Lalime is a PO flop, but you cannot dispute that he is good during the regular season). We have 2 solid defensive lines(which costs a total of 4 mil. All this team needs is offensive talent, and there is plenty of that available on the FA market, not to mention our prospect pool which you clearly haven't looked at.
None of those players will play on any team's top two lines or top two defensive pairings. Half are borderline waiver material. All except Walker are around 30. These are the sort of cheap utility player that every team in the league has in spades. Rycroft and Cajanek are solid, average 3rd liners and Mayers is a good 4th line guy. These players won't win you anything unless you have something above them.

Originally Posted by kimzey59
This is pure BS. Shkotov, Sejna, Soderberg, Zakharov, Alexandrov, Aaltonen and Stempniak are all offensive players. Backes, McClement, Disalvatore and Greg Black all project as strong 2-way players with offensive ability. That isn't even mentioning Cajanek who is a very good playmaker(he was drafted and signed as an offensive player, his defensive ability has been an added bonus). If you are going to attack our prospect pool, LOOK at it first.
These guys are all third-rate prospects. Except McClement who may develop into a serviceable #3/4 center. Backes and Soderberg are raw guys with size who are years away, if they amount to anything. The rest are crap. Smallish Euro longshots who will all fall short in all likelihood. Every team has 4 or 5 of these guys. Greg Black? Good grief.

I know your prospect pool. It sucks.

Most of the guys you're listing are comparable to the Krikunovs/Gladskikhs/Nolans/Heeremas in Vancouver's organization. Rubbish.

Originally Posted by kimzey59
Lalime was considered a top 10 goalie before Ottawa's PO collapse. That isn't just "above average" , that is GOOD. You can certainly make the case that Lalime is a PO flop(which, BTW, there is a strong counter arguement to), but during the RS he is a good starting goalie. More than enough to make the PO's with in any case.
Lalime barely posted a .500 record in two of the last 4 seasons behind the high-powered Sens.

He was never considered a top-10 goaltender. At his best he was considered a middle-of-the-pack, 12-18 guy, except from Ottawa homers. His awful regular season last year followed by an awful playoffs has dropped him from there. I could name 20 guys I'd rather have starting for my team. He's a sideways move from Osgood.

Originally Posted by kimzey59
Since when are 2nd line shut down centers(ala Peca and Holik) "utility players"?(we have 2 of them)
Since when are top 4 D men "utility players"?(we have 3 of them, not counting Roman Polak who has that upside)
Since when are scoring line wingers "utility players"?( we have 7 of them)
Since when are starting goalies "utility players"?(we have 3 of them)
Since when are Scoring line centers with playmaking ability "utility players"?(we have 2 of them)
Since when are Power Forwards with scoring ability "utility players"?(we have 1 of them)

Really, if you are going to attack our prospect pool, do some research on it first.
You have one of the worst cases of prospect-itis I've ever seen.

Fitzgerald is the best defensive prospect you have. I've seen a lot of him, and he'll be a third-pairing banger if he makes it. #4-5 guy at best. Same with Walker. Wideman had a fine AHL season, but he's 5'11 and still a longshot. Polak I've seen a lot of as well, and he's underwhelming. I don't see what he does that will get him to the NHL.

Jay McClement will not be a #2 NHL center.

Goal you're decent, but Schwarz is really, really over-rated. Bacashihua has been a big disappointment. Barulin who knows.

Of your '7 scoring line forwards' Stempniak is the only one who looks worth watching to me, and hopefully has a strong transition to the AHL next year.

If you put together a list of the top 200 prospects in the NHL right now, Schwarz and McClement would be the only two St. Louis prospects to make it, and McClement would be down at the bottom end. The system is terrible. Only TB's is worse.

Originally Posted by kimzey59
Weight and Tkachuk have nothing to do with our PO hopes. In fact, odds are both will be released the second their contracts expire(I doubt we'll even pick up Tkachuks option). The reason we will remain a PO team is becuase we have one of the best Defensive teams in the league(note: I did not say D cores, I said Defensive teams. Our entire team revolves around a commitment to defense and we do it very well). We don't need all the flachy scoring that Ottawa and Tampa has, all we need is enough offense to consistently win 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 games. We will have enough Cap space(regardless of where the Cap is placed) to afford the kind of offense we need.

Actually, I can think of a half dozen off the top of my head(1 of which is in our Division) and another 10-12 that are relatively on par with us. I will be the first to admit that we lack the true "top end" talent that the "experts" like, but we are rebuilding this team in the NJ image which means you start with a solid defensive base(which we have) and add the offense later. We don't need to lead the league in scoring, all we need is enough scoring to win close games(which is not hard to do).
The 'NJ image' also involves scoring goals. NJ is consistently in the top half of the league in scoring, and led the league in goals in 2001.

If you think you can rely on Pronger, a good system, and average goaltending to take you to the playoffs, I think you're dreaming.

I don't see how you can't see that this team is sick. Under the age of 30, you have Jackman and Backman, and one of the worst prospect pools in the league. Even Detroit (the 'sicker team in your division') has Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Fischer, and a better prospect pool.

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