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06-11-2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Dubinsky can be a first liner on a playoff team, just not a contender. Not unless there is tremendous talent all around the rest of the team.

Boyle could be a solid third liner, at C or LW, but I don't see him as a top-6 player unless he becomes a much better hitter (not quantity of hits, but how hard he hits) AND shoots much harder rather than flinging the puck as he does now. Unless both of these happen, he won't be a second liner. I expect him to be a solid third liner, no more.

MZA? I am not sold on him either way. He could be a second liner or he could fail completely, we'll have to see. Either way, I am not sure that Dubinsky-MZA-Boyle on the left wing gets us into Cup contention.

Now, if Kreider becomes a 30-40=70 player, then we are golden. But do we want to bet on that? I think we would be wise either drafting a LW in the first round or trading for a young left wing prospect (Erixon quality, obviously different style and for a greater return).
Personally, I don't understand the idea behind saying that Dubi can't be a top LW on a contender. Teams are built many different ways - even championship teams or contenders come in all sorts of flavors. I think people are writing Gabby off and therefore thinking that we need more on the top line than we actually do. If Richards comes this summer, a top line of Dubi - Richards - Gaborik, unless Gaborik has another enormously disappointing season, will be a very, very solid first line. Richards and Gaborik are elite scorers. Aside from last year Gaborik has always been a monster (career points per game of ~.89) and Richards has as well (career point per game of ~.93). On a line with those two, taking advantage of the space that they create and the respect that they command from an opposing D, I don't think its unrealistic to think that Dubi could go 30 & 30. Thats a formidable 1st line - an elite C, an elite RW and a 30g 30a LW. It doesn't get much better than that in a cap world. Even contenders don't have first lines that have an elite player in every position.

Second LW could be Wolski. I'd give him a shot. He'll have an off season working on his skating with Boyle and Underhill under his belt and he'll start the season being comfortable in a new city and having bonded a bit more with his teammates. There was talk of him being bought out so he knows that if he's comfortable in NYC and wants to stay that this season is the time to make it happen. He's got the talent. Hopefully this year he'll have the motivation. Put him with Step and Callahan - if he can't bust his balls to save his career while on a line with those two guys, pure heart and soul players, then its time to talk about finding someone else.

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