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02-12-2013, 07:10 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Something I suggested last year on LGK that no one seemed to like - yet seems to be where Dean and Sutter want to take this team - is using our center depth to, in essence, roll four lines that could all be considered second or third lines at their worst. We saw this last night in St. Louis, with our "fourth" line being Penner-Stoll-Lewis.
If the plan, which I think it should be, is to go forward with Kopitar-Carter-Richards-Stoll as our four centers, we need to play money ball on the wings. We could do this with youth (ex. Toffoli) or reclamation projects (ex. Gagne, Penner) or both.
Going forward this is our permanent skeleton under this philosophy:
Guys like Lewis, King, Nolan, etc. are all surely to be on the team next season, but all in bottom six roles. Once again, the lack of a true, natural LW in the system continues to plague us. However, Brown has shown that he can play a top line LW role, meaning we don't necessarily need to break the bank going after a top flight LW of Vanek/Ovechkin caliber.
Prospects ready to make the jump come down to Toffoli, a natural RW and likely good compliment on a Kopitar line where he can have a lot of room. This almost assures Brown gets moved to the left.
With all of that said, we're looking at something like this:
Assuming only Toffoli makes the jump and King/Nolan/Lewis don't lose their spot at any point, we're looking at a need for a first/second line LW to play with Carter and a bottom six LW to play with Richards.
As far as LWs go that fit this mold and may or may not be available at the deadline, via free agency, or a draft day trade, we're looking at a relatively short list.
Some of the big name free agents that would be attractive to Lombardi's type of player are Brenden Morrow, Ryan Clowe, and Guilamme Latendresse. Clowe and Morrow are likely to not be interested, seeing as how they've been fixtures on division rivals for years.
Other names that may elicit interest include:
Simon Gagne and/or Dustin Penner could easily play their way into renewed contracts, as well.
There's also a whole slew of RFAs that could possibly be had if the price is right, including Geoffrion, Hagelin, Paajarvi, Korpikoski, etc.
I believe this is absolutely the way to build the team going forward.
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