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02-22-2013, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianSmith View Post
I honestly see something in the middle happening - I can see a scenario of Clowe signing for one year as a way to benefit both the Sharks and him .... if he really wants to stay here. Otherwise, he'll go for his pay day.

I don't necessarily see signs that he'd want to bolt - he still gets his ice time - 2nd line and PP, gets to occasionally play on the 1st line when they juggle.

The thought of actually signing a free agent 2nd liner this offseason still gives me doubts - we NEVER sign free agents of note unless they are already on our team.

...and who would we target? S Gagne? Horton? Ryder? McArthur? Filppula? Raymond? Weiss? Higgins?

In that list, I don't see us signing Horton, Filppula, and don't want Gagne. I don't think Raymond can fill a true 2nd line role - but the prospect of that being available to him may actually attract him. Same can be said for Higgins.

Ultimately, given our track record with FA signings, I'd simply rather sign Clowe for one more season, give someone like Hertl some more time to develop, as well as any other prospects, and go from there.
Again though, Clowe is actively making whatever line he is playing on worse, much as Handzus was doing last year. He's slow, defensively useless, and now isn't even creating offense (and it's not the first time he's gone for a VERY long stretch of slumping). He's also overated, will get paid by some gm who overvalues toughness and we simply cannot afford to match it.

The right answer is to trade Clowe + for a younger player with top-6 upside we can afford. Hagelin is a good example and Rangers fans seem open to the idea. There are options out there, but if Wilson waits until the offseason he's going to end up needing to trade more important long term assets.

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