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07-11-2012, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Originally Posted by
He's serious. He just happens to be really down on Stewart and really high on MacWilliam. He probably also thinks that Bozak is a good fit as a second/third line center, so I can understand where he's coming from. Two assets that he doesn't view as being very useful for a piece that fills a need and a prospect he's really high on.
Personally, I wouldn't do that deal. I think Bozak has some upside still left untapped, but he didn't see very hard minutes last year, and wasn't very good at driving the play forward in the minutes he did see. On the other hand, he does do some things reasonably well and he would probably be a better option at 3rd line center than Steen. I wouldn't move Stewart for that upgrade, though.
I'm not necessarily "really down" on Stewart, but I do think that Bozak would be a great fit for the Blues' third-line center position, and Bozak is signed for $2MM less than Stewart for next year. That $2MM can either go to sweeten an offer for a UFA on defense, or go into the pool for TJ Oshie's new contract.
It's true, I like MacWilliam a great deal. Big, physical defensemen from western Canada are always welcome on the Blues' roster as far as I'm concerned.
Plus, I like that he's a senior at the school where this year's first-round pick is an incoming freshman, because if they can develop any kind of chemistry, or a mentor/mentored relationship, that bodes well should Schmaltz decide to go pro after his sophomore season. MacWilliam will be ready to turn pro just in time for Peoria's late-season playoff push, and he adds another dimension to a roster that already features d-prospects Fairchild, Ponich, Shields and Cundari.
McRae and the draft pick are superfluous to the deal, really... I made this proposal in another thread, just Stewart for Bozak and MacWilliam, and did not get a negative reply from any Leaf fans, so...
TO gets the better player in the short term, but Bozak fills a hole on the NHL roster, and does it much more cost-effectively than any internal option the Blues have, save for McRae... and McRae may or may not be ready for prime time.
The prospect of developing a long-term pairing of MacWilliam and Schmaltz -- a pairing with size, power, and offensive upside -- is just intriguing enough to make me willing to surrender the better player in the short term.
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