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12-14-2011, 04:35 PM
Talks to Goalposts
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
The thing with centres is our best forward prospects are all Cs, not high end ones but Leblanc, Bournival and Eller are all two way Cs with second line potential. The only winger prospect we have is Gallagher, and I'd be very surprised if Gionta and Cammalleri finish their contracts in Montreal.

We could definitely use a big scoring C but good luck trading for one of those. We don't have the assets to trade for a Getzlaf or Mike Richards without giving up everything.

I'd much rather roll with Plekanec, Desharnais and Eller and try to flip Cammalleri for a guy with a better contract who actually contributes during the regular season than trade Pleks + AK + a ton of prospects for a center just because he's a 6'3" Canadian.
Leblanc probably plays RW in the NHL and Bournival is either a LW or a C. Meanwhile, after Leblanc the majority of the top forward prospects are RW (Gallagher, Kristo, Palushaj, Avstin). Long term I think the centers in the NHL are going to be the guys to go with (Plekanec as the 1, Desharnais and Eller spliting the 2 and 3 duties) while the veteran wingers get eased out.

If they can hold onto Kostitsyn I'm reasonably comfortable with the forward group moving forward. They don't have an elite scoring talent (although Pacioretty might become that) but its deep and has a good two-way game 5 on 5 plus can score with the man advantage. The prospects they have in had should be good enough to at least keep the depth strong and replace out veterans like Gionta as necessary.

For the next couple of seasons the defense is my bigger concern. Even if Markov is back to form the middle group of defensemen needs to come together. Either Emelin becomes a solid top 4 and Gorges stays and or Kaberle rebounds heavily or they'll need to get outside help to get to the next level. If Markov doesn't come back or is much diminished a lot more work will have to be done to find a solid top-pairing guy to take some of the load off of Subban and Gorges.

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