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10-05-2003, 02:17 PM
  #3
Tao Jones
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I guess I am responding to Stevens saying it would be tough if Nieds left. If Nieds does win the Norris or even has high voting placement this year, he will have even that much more leverage. I agree that he is as important to the team as the Captain and Marty are. Another factor is Madden is entering his contract year this year also, boasting a '02 Selke trophy, a '03 Selke finalist selection, and a shot at another this year for leverage.

My intention is not to cause alarm here. I am just speculating on realistic options for Lou. I realize most of the team and fans do not even want to consider the possibility of losing Nieds, as the article states, but I don't think Lou is the type of GM to bury his head in the sand like an ostrich with his a$$ sticking out in the cool, frosty air.

As far as the Norris goes, I like the idea of rewording the terms to: Best Offensive Defenseman based on point production. When Stevens retires, name an award after him for simply: Best Defenseman. Since it is unlikely that he will win the Norris at this stage in his career, he would be remembered every year when the trophy is mentioned. Scott Neidermayer would be the first recipient of the Stevens trophy.

I also agree that Christmas is decision time for keeping or moving Elias and/or Gomez.

I would give Rasmussen and Rupp until late November to show consistency before moving them(to Albany in Rupp's case). If Guolla does not recover from his back surgery, and Darby is not ready, sign Rheaume if he is still available before the playoff elegibility deadline on Dec.1.

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