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12-14-2012, 10:57 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Rarely Sober
I think people are evaluating the Coyotes side of things through the scope of fantasy hockey. Eberle would lead the team in scoring. There would like be more points, overall, in replacing Yandle and Hanzal with Eberle and Gagner. All of this is true.
The Coyotes have not enjoyed success by being a team with great fantasy value on the roster. They win because they are maddening to play against. They are a boa constrictor of a team. Keeps you close until you slip up and than chokes you out. Very difficult to play against. Martin Hanzal is as important a gear in this machine as any other player we have. Substituting Hanzal would Gagner makes us tremendously easier to play against. We instantaneously become an extremely soft team. Doan and Hanzal are the only two physical presences in the top six that help us not get completely run over night after night.
Do this deal and we've only got Doan left. Beyond that it is Eberle, Vrbata, Sullivan, Gagner, Vermette, Boedker, and Korpikoski anchoring the top nine. That is not a team that wins hard fought battles and playoff rounds. I know it probably sounds ridiculous to non Coyotes fans that one guy, Martin Hanzal, can change the complexion of the team so much, considering his offensive output, but it is frankly undeniable.
People tend to emphasize the loss of Whitney and point to it as a reason why Vrbata will become ineffective. There is a reason why both Vrbata and Whitney resurrected their careers in Phoenix. That reason is largely Martin Hanzal. He does every single bit of actual work for the entire line. Makes life pretty easy of guys like Whitney and Vrbata.
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