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07-04-2012, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pantherbot View Post
I would say our team is on par with last year's team as of this moment.

Kuba, improved Gudbranson, and improved Kulikov should more than make up for the missing Garrison so defense is about the same. Strachan likely replaces Ellerby as the 7th dman and that is arguably an upgrade.

For the forwards, our top line is the same except I think we'll see a better season out of Versteeg. He was playing hurt the last half, so that isn't the Versteeg we should expect which means there is upside to our first line. Him and Flash have also never been in first-line roles before, so I would expect last year's experience to help them prepare for this year.

Behind them, Samuelson will be missed, but I'm thinking Huberdeau should replace some of that and a healthier Upshall should be a benefit as well. Let's also not forget that Goc was very good when not hurt last season and a full season from him would be a big help.

In goal we may be a bit worse if Theo and Clemmer aren't able to sustain last year's form, but I don't think it will be drastically different.

Of course I'd like to add a first/second line center or a top-six forward, but the roster we have is comparable to last year's and has the potential to be better without some of the injuries we had and some improvement from our players (which is not that much of a stretch). Dineen also has another year under his belt which should be a plus. We were usually competitive, and I see no reason why basically the same team, having played a year together, would regress.

Sure I'm a bit worried that our division has improved, but it's not like we trampled our division last season and scored easy points, a lot of those points came from other teams that are now a bit weaker. Also, even if we weren't division champs, we still would have been in the playoffs. I don't think it's a stretch to say that, with our current roster, we have a good chance to reach 95 points and get into the playoffs again.

Anything else added to our roster from this point onward is gravy.
I agree.... I also want to throw my two cents in here. I don't think we're in a worse situation than last season. Honestly, other than Garrison,what have we lost?? Sammy was great on the PP but we have to remember it took him a month or two before he actually joined the team and played a full game due to injuries. We will miss Garry and his booming shot, but he decided to leave to go play with his hometown team so we can't blame Tallon for his departure. Kuba had very similar numbers to Garry, and he's done it more than one year. He's signed for two years,so it's not like Tallon signed another old timer to a four year contract.. He feels that Howden, Huberdeau, and possibly Bjugstad have a good chance at making the team and making an impact. We brought in Parros to help keep our players from getting mowed over, and he takes the spot of Barch, so we're okay there. We have Theo,Clemmer, and Markstrom and it seems like most people were okay with this because we didn't want to in any way insult Markstrom by bringing in Luongo and his bloated 10 year contract. I think our goaltending situation will be fine, as it is almost every year. Just like it's been mentioned, even though other teams have improved their rosters, we are also going to get a healthy Bergy,Flash,Versteeg and hopefully Theo. You never know what deals Tallon is going to make and if he actually has a chance at bringing in someone like Semin to improve our scoring depth.
As bad as it is waiting for Parise and Suter to make their decisions, I think we might be waiting until they do decide before Tallon makes more deals.

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