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03-06-2012, 09:23 AM
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While the first half of the season was horrible, I think our waiver pickups partially helped the team turn it around and nobody can argue the team has been bad after January. While this recent play might be above average for this team, the first half was definitely below average. That's why I'd hesitate to blow this team up.

I'd like to keep Hagman in the team, if he will sign for a good price (which I think he would, especially if Selanne stays. Nick seems to like it in California). He's a perfect depth player in the way he can bring value both as a first liner and a 3rd liner.

Blake I wouldn't want to see next year, partially because of the overlap of "roles" with Hagman at a more expensive price and the decline of play.

Maybe sign Grabovski, if we can get a good price on him. Which I doubt, Anaheim probably he isn't on the top of his list and the way the FA market has had its prices rise the past few seasons, I'd be surprised if he gets a less then 5.0 contract.

I wouldn't really like to trade Ryan, since 1) we probably won't get his value back and 2) he's shown improved play (late) this season. He's a very good second-line player to have to spread the scoring and on many teams, he'd be a first line fixture easily. If and when Selanne leaves, we will need him to keep our second line lethal.

Right now I think Selanne will come back next season, par some injury. Even if he doesn't, we can keep Koivu as a good #3 center. If Selanne comes back, I think he should be slotted to the 3rd line also. We can't rely on him to do the majority of scoring anymore.

Of course it's hard to say how Etem and Palmieri will slot in to the lineup until we see the TC. But I think we definitely shouldn't expect them to shoulder a top-6 role. BB rolls the lines out more equally then RC, so even if a prospect plays on the 3rd line, he'll get enough minutes to ease into the NHL while not immediately playing against the opponents top D.

So maybe something like this:

Hagman - Getzlaf - Perry
Ryan - FA / Bonino (if no other) - Selanne / Etem / Palmieri (depending on TC)
DSP - Koivu - Palmieri / Etem / Selanne
Cogs - Pelley - Beleskey

I like this because it gives us options concerning the prospects. If one of them shines, Hagman can move down. Likewise if they fail, we can move Selanne (and possibly Beleskey) up. We'd also have depth, which we at least last season lacked.

Also, Bonino has shown a lot of skill lately and if he keeps progressing on the same way, there's definitely potential for 2C duty. Naturally free agency is and should be the first option, but if nothing is found, I'd at least want to try Bonino there during TC before putting Koivu there.

Only thing I'm afraid of next season is that if FA pickings are slim, we might have to rely more then necessarily is good on our prospects. If thinks pan out, great. If not, it might get ugly.

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