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12-02-2003, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Gee Wally
Interesting. There's no doubt that Tarnstrom would come cheaper than Poti. He doesn't have the explosiveness and he's not as established. This is Tarnstrom's 3rd NHL campaign and he's never played more than 62 games a season. There should also be a concern about his durability.

Aside from that, like Poti, he's certainly not a strong defenseman in his zone. He can cough up the puck and his he doesn't use his size effectively (6-2, 205). Like Poti, he would lose many of the physical battles along the boards and down low.

On the positive side, once Tarnstrom (or Poti for that matter) gains possession of the puck in the defensive zone, he is pretty reliable about getting it out. He has pretty good vision on the ice and can read the play well. Poti is better at quickly transitioning and skating into the opening; but Tarnstrom can be effective.

Moreover, in the offensive zone, Tarnstrom can be a solid point man. He uses his hockey sense and vision to make good passes and hit the open man, plus he has a decent shot he can get on net. He would definitely be able to QB the PP. He can also make decent decisions when it comes to pinching and moving up into the play.

Overall, Poti is still the better overall package. If he matures his game and marginalizes his defensive lapses, he could be a top pair guy. Tarnstrom is like a poor man's Poti. He doesn't have the same kind of potential. However, the one thing that Tarnstrom may have over Poti is his overall hockey sense.

When it comes to the Bruins acquiring a puck moving defenseman, there really isn't going to be a perfect choice:

Gonchar - is no doubt the best of the lot, but who knows if he's really available. Even if so, he will cost a boatload. Rumor has it the price was a front line player, a prospect and a draft pick. That means Gill and Hilbert won't do it. Furthermore, Leonsis is not interested in a long rebuild. He wants a competitive product and will not settle for picks and prospects.

Hedican - a decent puck mover who is pretty reliable overall. Not as offensive as Gonchar or Poti, but effective. Rutherford has said he will make changes if the Canes don't turn things around, but that hardly means he will deal one of his top defenders. Still, if Carolina is out of it come February, it could be a different story. He would be more willing to talk prospects.

Hill - Not a fast skater, but he can run the PP and play the point effectively. He has a good shot and can get it on net. That aside, the thing that Hill would really add is his intangibles. He would instantly add veteran presence and leadership, the kind you can use to help anchor a defense. You wouldnt' get a smooth skater, but you'd get someone who's reliable at both ends of the ice who can be a good QB. Similar to Hedican, he won't be discarded in a fire sale.

Modry - he has good offensive instincts and can run the PP. Last season was one of his finest, but this season hasn't been. For a while there, he could have been had on the cheap. He was bad in his zone and not making things happen at the other end - like he's supposed to. But things have changed. LA has been playing well, and considering their onslaught of injuries, that's nothing short of amazing. Likewise, Modry has picked up his game. Surely that will make Taylor hesitant to mess with his roster.

Berard - I guess it's possible, but I don't see it happening.

Poti - will no doubt cost a lot. He's still considered enough of a front line impact player that Sather should be able to command a good return. I don't think Gill and Hilbert would do it, but perhaps Gill and Zinovjev. Either way, the Rangers have suddenly found their legs. Slats may not be itching to make a deal anymore.

Tarnstrom - He only makes a mil, so it's not as if his salary ranks up there with Straka's or Kovalev's. In essence, Patrick doesn't have to rush out and deal him. Moreover, he's playing well and one of the few guys who's making things happen out there for a team in dark times. If anything, they need him. With Straka gone, Lemeiux possibly gone for good and a roster of no-names, he's one of the few positives. That said, you could also say Tarnstrom may be at his peak value right now...

In the end, there is not a lot of simple choices out there. Supply and demand ensures you overpay for what you get. As Kirk said in his latest article, the Bruins have to weigh out the cost/benefit scenario. How much do they pay? And will the player actually make enough of a difference to be worth the price?

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