Defense going forward
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04-10-2012, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
A lot of you are way too eager to get rid of Kaberle, Diaz and Weber with the all-powerful "too soft!" argument. Never mind that they're the 2nd, 3rd and 4th scorers on this team from the blue line, so you lose a significant chunk of offense from the blue line. Never mind that they're all capable of playing the PP, at least on the 2nd unit, so to remove them is a hit to our 28th place power play. Never mind that buying out Kaberle would affect the cap for the next 4 years. The real question is, who do you replace them with?
If nothing else, these guys represent depth, and 2 of the 3 are very cheap. We had to use Fredric St-Denis in 17 games this season. He was the # 11 defenseman on our depth chart at the start of the year. 11th! And he had to come in to play 17 games.
Losing those 3 guys (plus Campoli) gives us this:
6-Bunch of AHL rookies (Ellis, Beaulieu, Tinordi)
This would require getting at least 3 NHL calibre D-men from somewhere, presumably from free agency, unless someone is actually suggesting we trade from our anemic forward group, or trade futures (draft picks or prospects) for some present help. Going into UFA season desperate to pick up guys to fill out the roster worked wonders in the past, didn't it?
Keep these guys. All of them. (Except Campoli, get rid of him). Get Kaberle on a workout program all summer - it's easier to get a vet to return to form than it is to hope some random signing will be both cheaper and better. Keep both Weber and Diaz, pencil them in as # 7 and # 8 if need be. They're cheap depth who will likely be needed at some point due to injuries, and they're both decent puck movers, even if claims of their "Too Soft!"ness are remotely important. To get rid of them for nothing or lose them on waivers would be ridiculous, and 2 years from now all the complaints about losing Beauchemin and Hainsey for nothing would be repeated for Weber and Diaz.
And for everyone who thinks one of Weber or Diaz have to go, why is it automatically Weber? The two are remarkably similar in size and stats. Diaz is 26 years old and apparently has a "higher ceiling". Weber is 23 years old apparently is crap. I don't get it. Weber is younger. Both played roughly 60 games, both had 16-18 points, both are 5'11" and around 194 pounds, both were a -7, both had 30 minutes in penalties, both had season-ending injuries. But Weber gets a cool nickname (Woe-ber, yuck yuck, congrats on the genious who came up with that) and is basically treated like a leper by fans.
Boston can ice Corvo for regular minutes. Ottawa can play Gonchar for 22 minutes a game. The Rangers have The Anton on the ice for 17 minutes a night and finished first overall. Chicago went out and acquired Oduya. Jersey traded a pile of assets for Marek friggin' Zidlicky. Phoenix got decent mileage out of Roszival. All of these guys aren't exactly in the Scott Stevens mold, and would be ostracized by Habs fans for being "Soft!". All are significant pieces on playoff teams.
To impose some kind of moronic rule around "Soft!"ness is ridiculous. Getting rid of all puck movers for slow useless guys who take a lot of penalties and cost three times as much as a Weber or Diaz will not help us.
I'll repeat it - we need one guy, relatively cheap, defensively minded, solid penalty killer, around $3 to $3.5 million to round out the D going forward.
Beaulieu, Ellis, Tinordi, etc.
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