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01-17-2006, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by trentmccleary
1- I agree completely.
2- IMO, Vermette's greatest attribute is his utility player quality a la Smoke. Spezza, Fisher and Kelly virtually ensure that he'll be the 5th center, which I believe is valuable... but ultimately replaceable. Maybe Smoke gets dumped and we find someone else, or maybe we keep Smoke for another year and delay filling that hole.
3- I don't think Glass or Guard have useful trade values atm. Best to keep them for now.
The forward core could probably be kept together for at least the next two seasons.
I'm hesitant to trade Lyamin or any half decently useful D-man in our system. The organizational depth does not look good right now. Chara, Redden and I believe Pothier are up this season. Phillips next season. And I think we need 8 NHL D-men for the playoffs... we have 7.
Lee won't be ready to fill in for any of those guys. Novak can probably replace Pothier. Then what? ... Platil? Malec? Ward?
Obviously, it's not all doom and gloom. We'll probably re-sign one or two of Redden/ Chara/Phillips. But there isn't a lot of room for error and another solid "Schubert-type" coming into to camp next fall would help.
Unless the cap goes up considerably and Melnyk is willing to add significantly to the payroll I don't see how we can quite keep the core completely intact, let alone keep Smolinski.
Spezza, Havlat, Schaefer, Hasek, Chara and Redden are all getting new contracts this summer plus a few others. That's a relatively huge bump in payroll so we'll need all the <$1M players we can find.

As for Lyamin, well after Chara, Redden, Phillips, Volchenkov, Meszaros, Pothier, Schubert, depth isn't that much of a problem. Players like Novak are fairly easy to find and sign. In any case there's nothing to show that Lyamin will be ready before Anikeenko, Platil, or even Megalinsky and Kudelka.

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