Thread: Speculation: 2011 Off-Season Thread pt 1
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04-11-2011, 12:11 PM
  #67
BigG44
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Despite this being the 3rd time they've missed the playoffs, this is the first time I honestly feel like things will be worse before they get better. After the 1st miss, I believed the injuries just killed them, and they should bounce back the next year. After the 2nd miss, I thought there was some hope of Lehtonen playing well based on his play down the stretch. Anyone had to be better than Turco, and Joe already made it clear he was gone. Plus I thought young players would be able to step up and take a bigger role. Hell, I even thought/hoped Niskanen might get his **** together.

This time though, it's hard to find something to be optimistic about. I think the only logical thought at this moment is Brad Richards is gone. I was more or less convinced he was gone, but Razor saying this was probably his last game just sealed it for me. Razor doesn't say things like that jokingly, and they are made with more insight on the situation than most. Richards loss is great for Benn. Only in the sense that he's face with an amazing opportunity. He actually has to perform though, but I still have faith that he can.

Brad Richards wasn't perfect, but you're losing an elite player. This isn't a small loss. I wish he maybe fought a little harder at times or was better in his own zone, but it's hard not to look fondly on his time in Dallas. It's terrible that he's gone, and our compensation for losing him is likely just regaining the 3rd (and hopefully nothing more – do NOT re-sign him at the cost of a 2nd) Dallas will lose for Langenbrunner.

The only small victory is the lenders can't decimate the team anymore. The league will not allow them to cut spending. GM Joe will be forced to spend at least $7 to $8 million in cap space. They'll have that money to fill 3 or 4 forward roles and 2 on defense. The chances of them signing an impact player with that money is highly unlikely.

So, what happens?

Unless he's just god awful, you've got to go with Glennie in the lineup I think. You're not going to get better potential for goals for less money. It's perfect for the lenders, and I think that's going to be a big influence. They'll only have to pay him $900K, but his cap hit will be $1.65 million. Is this the right move? Well, I think in the long run yes. Bad teams play young players earlier. He'll have to develop in the NHL, which isn't always ideal, and it can even sometimes fail. I think this will happen though

I think they'll overpay two Bottom 6 forwards (a la Petersen and Barch last year) to help reach the Cap Floor. That makes me a little sick even thinking about that. Anyway, I imagine this will likely be familiar players. IMO, I think you give two-way contracts to Brandon Segal (if he's up for it), Aaron Gagnon, Colton Sceviour, and Ray Sawada. Each of them have a $750K NHL hit, and you figure out how to make the AHL money work for them. Those 4 battle it out for the final 2 roster spots. Wathier's minimal cap hit keeps him out of the running likely since Dallas has a serious need to reach the floor. He's probably a top option though for injury re-call.

That's $3.15 million in cap hits. By my best guess, Dallas would have $4,578,333 in cap hits to sign/trade for 2 defenders. I think looking at older defenders with 1 year remaining on their contract would be wise. I get the feeling though, like several others, Jeff Woywitka will return to the Stars. However, logically, GM Joe should give him no more than a 1 year deal. I don't even care if it's $1 or $1.5 million on a single year. I think it's inevitable he's back, and I guess there's no harm in forcing him and Fistric to earn minutes and games.

Is any of this ideal? Hell no, but this seems, at least IMO, like the path in the Stars future. This adds up to another huge unknown. Can Benn hold up as a true top line center? Will Glennie bomb? How the hell can that defense hold up? As good a season Lehtonen had, can he handle back to back years of heavy workloads? There are a ton of questions, and so many places that could crumble causing a terrible, terrible season next year. I truly hope the lenders eat heavy, heavy losses.

Morrow-Ribeiro-Glennie
Eriksson-Benn-Vincour
Ott-Wandell-Burish
Segal/Gagnon-Petersen-Sceviour/Sawada
Barch

Grossman-Robidas
Older Vet-Goligoski
Woywitka-Daley
Fistric

Lehtonen
Raycroft


Last edited by BigG44: 04-11-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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