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10-04-2003, 04:10 PM
  #11
spudboy
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Stumpel is the top six.

Yes, he is a replacement for Smoke.

DT said after the year was over he wanted to get a top six. He didn't say a replacement for Smoke and a top six.

As for defense, he said he was looking for a defenseman "with some bite", not a "banging" defenseman. Personally, I think this was his way of using the public to pressure Norton into signing (the alternative was other dman without jobs would start calling/faxing DT). Norton signed almost immediately after.

I have never worried about dmen since AM's first year. It's the one area he has excelled at. Forwards, on the other hand, have been severely lacking every single year, mainly because of a lack of talent, but partly because of AM making lousy choices on who he keeps and how he uses them. This year, though, the forward situation looks way better than ever, even with the injuries.

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