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01-22-2011, 11:46 PM
Seth Lake
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I think we are 100% adding a veteran center by the deadline. We were built with strength up the middle and were dominate the opening two weeks before injuries started completely ravaging our depth. After all the injuries we sit in 4th (I think), but haven't had more than a handful of games since the third week of the year with more than two of our opening night centers in the lineup.

I know people are tired of me harping on our four Opening Night centers, but the reason I do is that Lombardi, O'Reilly, Legwand, Goc matched up favorably with nearly every team in the league and allowed us to roll four lines each night.

Smithson and Spaling have stepped up and taken full control of the checking line role and Legwand has subsequently been fulfilling the duties of one of our two scoring line centers. Mueller has done a bang up job as the fourth line center (and earned multiple two-way contract offers this season if we don't re-sign him), but is a rookie and is still undersized for his game.

Lombardi is an unexpected bonus if he returns, but Poile's not going to bank on his return. Additionally, O'Reilly had a plate and screws put into his leg and had tendons fixed in his ankle. Unfortunately, despite his great start to the year...Cal is likely going to serve in the same role this season as he did last year during the playoffs as an extra forward.

I cannot stress enough, nor do I expect anyone to believe it till we see it, but ownership under Tom Cigarran's control is focused intently on bringing the Stanley Cup to Nashville for more than just the annual visit. Ownership wants championship banners being hung in the rafters, but will do it responsibly. Poile will have the green light to add this year for the playoffs and realistically how much he has to spend has everything to do with how many more sellouts we can provide down the stretch.

Arnott is not my cup of tea, but bringing him back to play in a scoring line role (4th line) with some PP time wouldn't necessarily be the worst option. This is Shea Weber's team. This is Barry Trotz's team. Arnott would not be expected to provide leadership necessarily, but he would be looked upon to bring playoff experience. There aren't many guys active in the league with two Cup rings and a Cup-clinching OT goal on their resume.

If Arnott wants to win another Cup before he retires, why not bring him back? I don't think it'll be an issue in the locker room and ultimately we've still got Dumont and possibly Sully to work into the lineup as the season winds down.

Wilson - Legwand - Hornqvist
Erat - Goc - Kostitsyn
Spaling - Smithson - Ward
Sullivan - Arnott - Dumont
ex: O'Reilly, Svatos, Belak
IR: Lombardi, Tootoo

If Sullivan can't go plug Svatos in there. I personally don't anticipate Lombardi or Tootoo to return this year.

Plenty of guys to build two PP units from and 7 guys for the PK forward units in there as well. Tell me how other teams stop our scoring with that lineup? Can it be done? Sure! But over the course of a 7 game series I think there's enough depth there to provide us a few goals every game to work with. Then it comes down to defense and goaltending...

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