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04-09-2012, 02:45 PM
Mayor Bee
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To use your own top-10 from the year....

HM. Allen York - who drafted him?
10. Derrick Brassard. - who didn't trade him when everyone thought he should be dumped for anything?
8. Cam Atkinson. - who drafted him?
7. Derek Dorsett - who recognized that he could be more than just a fighter?
6. Mid-season acquisitions of Letestu and Nikitin. - who made the trades?
2. Jack Johnson. - who traded for him?
3. #1 Draft Pick, maybe. - as anyone else will point out, who's responsible for this?

Let's look at the following and consider them.
- Best defensive corps in team history. There's an actual first-pairing defenseman (Johnson), and possibly a second (Wisniewski) depending on structure.
- A strong crop of defensive prospects. David Savard and John Moore looked awfully good in extended tryouts at the NHL level.
- A lot from the 2012 draft. There are two first-round picks, two second-rounders, a third-rounder, a fourth-rounder and Mark Letestu, James Wisniewski, and a sixth- and seventh-rounder. Columbus has drafted extremely well since Howson took over, so I'd expect quite a bit to come from this year...and dividends have already been paid in the form of Letestu and Wisniewski.
- Guys coming back from injuries. Multiple key players missed a lot of time; that's unlikely to repeat itself again.
- Between the pipes. I ran some numbers in a plug-and-play type of setup (always dangerous) and figured out that there would have been a double-digit improvement in points this year had there been an absolutely average NHL goalie in net. A good NHL goalie would have been an improvement of 25 points. This was simply by swapping numbers, and not taking into account anything like the fact that the team would play differently with a different goalie in net.
- The trade that wasn't made. Rick Nash wasn't dumped for a bunch of futures and random prospects, no matter how large that total package may have been. The almost universal reaction aroudn the league was that the Rangers were offering too much for Nash, and that somehow it wasn't enough. The message was pretty clear, and that is that a move won't be made just for the sake of making a move or just to clear salary space.
- An actual season in the abyss. If a new GM were to come in, he would either make a bunch of moves without having any idea what Columbus has, or he would sit on his hands for a full season and try to figure out what he has. If a new GM comes in and his old team didn't think much of Calvert or Atkinson or Savard, what would happen? If one comes in whose old team was high on Mason, what would happen? Look at what Winnipeg did this year, making a grand total of three deals all season, all involving AHL-caliber players.
- The moves that must/will be made. If the worst draft picks that anyone can point out in the last five seasons are Nikita Filatov (who was salvaged for another prospect anyway) and Stefan Legein (same), with no less than three 6th-rounders who have already played NHL games, I'd say there's a pretty good guy overseeing the draft. If the worst trade was Jeff Carter (who was turned into Jack Johnson and another 1st-rounder), followed by...Glencross for Tarnstrom(?), I'd say that's a pretty good guy to have orchestrating the trades. If the worst free agent signing was Mike Commodore, then.....?, then I'd have to say that the free agency would be a positive as well.

So if you have someone with that type of overwhelmingly positive track record in every manner of player assessment, then I'm inclined to say that the remaining faults on the roster are going to be patched up pretty quickly with the least actually laid out in terms of assets.

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