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06-22-2011, 02:53 PM
Papa Bear
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
You are obviously watching with some kind of biased eye then. Because, he was in fact by in large our best defensemen last regular season. Here is a guy who is what 38 years old? And he steps up and plays first pairing minutes for a huge chunk of the year and eats them up like they are nothing. He finished at a +6 for christ sakes. Did he make mistakes? Of course, every defensemen does, especially one who is over-exposed. The guy has a good outlet pass, is experienced, knows how to play defense. The guy hasn't gotten less than 26 points in the last THIRTEEN SEASONS. A lot of people forget that he was our leading defensive scorer last playoffs with 9 assists in 19 games. And he seemingly never gets injured.

The guy is about as reliable a defensemen in the NHL as you can have. The guy has been rock solid his entire career, no matter where he played. Put this guy on the 2nd pairing with limited PK and PP time, and he is a dime for you.
How do you figure? Because he finished +6? Spacek finished +9. Even Wisniewski (sp) finished +4 with the Habs in just over half a season. He plays lots of minutes I agree, but that was out of necessity. Hal Gil, Subban (a rookie), and Wisniewski all played big minutes as well.

He got almost half of his points on the PP and that included a period when (inexplicably) he was used on the first unit instead of Subban. He was even taken off the PK near the end of the season. Oh and btw at 38, he is not going to get any better.

I am not saying that the Habs should not look to replace him because I sincerely believe that a team with 2 d-men coming off knee surgeries, 3 d-men with less than 200 combined NHL games played, and 2 d-men over 36 should not only rely on carrying 7 into the season.
What I am saying is that I would rather pay a younger, faster (or at least tougher) defenseman more money than paying Hamrlik 3 million. There are no game breaking forwards available in free agency this year and trading for one will be very difficult unless we are willing to part with one of our studs. So why not take advantage of the depth of the defense UFA market to strengthen that area of your team? Because the Habs cannot play a "puck possession", high paced game with Gill, Hamrlik, and Spacek banking a large majority of the pucks of glass most of the night. As the 8th dman, the Habs are missing either another puck mover / offensive type or a physical presence to back up Yemelin and make sure no one takes liberties on Price. Hamrlik is neither.

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