This is a Bad Hockey Team: Part 2
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02-01-2013, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Originally Posted by
Let's be realistic for a second. Talking about forward depth specifically, Erixon being a dman and not entirely NHL ready still, doesn't really count. We traded two forwards and got one back. Yes, of course 2 for 1 means less depth, but is that what caused this lack of depth? Really? Being one man down after the trade?
No. The poor choice of signings is what caused it. Rupp was a poor signing two years ago. He barely played last year and we had depth to bury him behind, so it didn't matter. Now he's a regular.
The depth that we lost, ignoring Dubinsky and Anisimov, was Prust, Fedetenko, Mitchell, Christensen. Let's say we replaced Dubi and Arty with Nash and Kreider. We replaced Prust with Asham. Big downgrade. We replaced Mitchell with Halpern; big downgrade. Mitchell killed penalties, was given a lot more ES time and actually could put up points. We replaced Fedetenko with Pyatt. You could call it a lateral move but Fedetenko was a bit quicker (scary, I know) and the overall better player, especially defensively. And Christensen... we couldn't stand him, but who would you rather have when injuries happen and we need someone to slot in? Christensen or Bickel? Or Newbury? And Kreider, for the time being, is a big downgrade from both Dubinsky and Anisimov. In the end, what do you get? A roster that upgraded one position while downgrading 4-5 others in a SIGNIFICANT way.
But how many of those downgrades are a direct result of the Nash trade and how many are poor decisions from Sather and Torts? Fedetenko signed in Philly for 1.75M. We paid him 1.5M the year before. Why would we elect not to bring him back at that price? John Mitchell had a .99M cap hit last year and makes 1.1M in Colorado. Why not bring him back at that price? Why did we make unnecessary changes to a team that was in game 6 of the ECF? I understand pulling the trigger on the trade, especially after Kreider's playoff performance makes it look like he can replace one of the two guys, but Fedetenko, Mitchell and even Prust (I'm sure we could have gotten him to take 2M or 1.9M or something - and yes, he'd be overpaid, but we would be SO much better) should all have been brought back, no brainer. We could have kept all three and only given a raise to Prust, and it would have only been a ~1M raise. 1.25M more on the cap to keep all three is not much. This team would have a lot more heart, a lot more cohesion and a Boyle, Prust, Fedetenko line would get 12+ minutes a game without fail, giving the other guys a rest.
Moveover, we kind of lost the identity that made the team so lovable in the first place.
We went from this tight knit, homegrown, young, high energy team that grew up in the system (or became what they are: Boyle + Prust in the system) to a top heavy junk yard team. After the first 5 names our roster is a bunch of scraps now.
I agree that the Nash trade alone isn't what the sole cause for our lack of depth - I thought our depth last year wasn't great, and it's gotten worse due in part to FA departures as well as the trade.
Nash and Kreider were supposed to replace Anisimov and Dubi in theory, but they were never really direct replacements for either of those players. Anisimov and Dubi had were versatile players who had the ability to play both wing and center, and they also played a solid two-way game. Our center depth took a hit without them and there's no one to replace Stepan when he struggles. As you mentioned, we also lost some of our identity as well.
I think we are on the same page here. The roster as constructed is flawed and I never thought I'd miss the likes of EC or Mitchell but they'd be an improvement over our non-existent spare forward and 4th liners right now. Kinda surprised that Sather isn't taking more heat for not addressing obvious issues such as a 4th line that is even slower and less effective than it was last year and the lack of a 6th defenseman.
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