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01-04-2013, 04:29 PM
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I agree that our defensive stocks seem at least on the upside with Siemens (who some say has regressed), Barrie, and Elliott (who some people also have suggested may have regressed).

I'm actually very disappointed that Rutkowski was not given an opportunity at least in Lake Erie. I thought he'd be pretty good, but admittedly, that was only going off reading reviews and looking at stats.

Gaunce was, is, and is going to be one of my favorite players. I really hope the guy does well and take that next step, but he, along with Elliott seems to have production problems in Lake Erie at the moment, and he's meant to be a puck moving defensemen, with a gritty side to him.

My main issue with the squad (defense), is the length of contracts. I personally think we have little options with Hejda. He's by no means getting better, but he sure as hell getting older, and being 37 at contracts end, and earning 3.25 million throughout is horrible. Plain horrible. No-one would take that on for what value he adds to the team.

I'm mortified we let Liles go for what we did. I don't buy this BS that he just "wouldn't have signed" at contracts end. Guess what, he's exactly the defensemen our team needed. He almost got 50 points that last season with us. He played PP time. He quarter backed the rush quite often.

I don't get it.

What do we do going forward though? It's going to take a lot of time, patience and persaverence just to "wait" for our young guys to develop. If you look team by team, other teams have potential rookies also set to make a name for themselves (Schultz for example), so who's to say our young guys are going to be better than other teams? We do need to be better than other teams, because we need to improve to contend. Pinning all our hopes on Siemens, Barrie and/or Elliott is a concern to me. Also, "waiting" for some magical button to make moves is another move that worries me.

At this point in our proud clubs point in time, what this playing group needs is certainty.

Our defense is, and has been our weakness for years. We've lost so many good players. Leopold could still be here. Boychuk could still be here. Liles could still be here. Shattenkirk could still be here. In my opinion, I thought having Cohen on our squad with guys like Yip & Shattenkirk could be beneficial. I loved what I saw with Cohen. The kid wouldn't even take any guff from Iginla !!

Anyways, I'm a negative nancy to be honest, so I hope I am proven wrong. I hope our defense is, and will become the envy of the league - because as of now, I think it's a farce, and to be honest, think it is currently the worst NHL quality defense in the league, on the back of people "hoping" our rookies can stand up, and dominate the game in years to come. People are suggesting Siemens could be Foote, and Barrie could be Boyle or Keith. Yeah, I'm negative, but that's the complete opposite. It's the same as Lacroix suggesting Anderson was the next Roy, Duchene the next Forsberg, and Stazz the next Sakic. I'm happy with people arguing my negative stand point, but these past players are generational players, of which, we have none at the moment.

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