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04-07-2013, 08:43 PM
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The Core and the Future

I am sitting here watching the Devils and Sabres game and was thinking about this team and their future. I know it is really early to start thinking about next year and beyond with us fighting for a playoff spot, but I can't help but notice we have a lot of log jams coming up in the future. Right now I look at this team and consider the following players people I do not want traded or let go in any situation:

Henrik Lundqvist
Ryan Callahan
Derek Stepan
Rick Nash
Chris Kreider
JT Miller
Ryan McDonagh
Marc Staal
Michael Del Zotto

I understand that both Richards and Clowe will also be here for the long run as well, but these 10 players are the ten I personally consider the core of the team. Carl Hagelin is a player that I would look into trading to upgrade a different position. Assuming Clowe is brought back, there will be a log game at LW with Nash/Kreider/Clowe/Hagelin. Girardi is another player who I could not have more respect for, but seems like the type of player who will break down eventually. He is a free agent after next season and I would be nervous to lock him up long term. The reasons above are why I did not include Hagelin and Girardi in my core. The loss of Girardi would cause a huge hole at RD tho.

Now as I said before assume we bring back Clowe and both Kreider and Miller are ready next year, we are going to have some log jams. Just for argument sakes lets say that all the forwards are brought back next year, we would have the following players fighting for 12 spots.

Nash, Stepan, Callahan, Richards, Clowe, MZA, Brassard, Hagelin, Boyle, Pyatt, Powe, Asham, Dorsett, Kreider, Haley, and Miller. That is 16 players for 12 spots. How would your lines look? Right now I see the following:


Now we are left with Powe, Asham, Haley, and Pyatt. My first thoughts are that would be an expensive 4th line. Brassard at over 3 mil would be a lot, but where else could you possibly put him? Miller cannot be wasted on the 4th line. Next that would be a lot of money between Powe, Asham, Haley, and Pyatt to rid ourselves of this offseason without taking much back. I can see Asham or Haley coming back to be an extra forward, but could be hard dumping Pyatt and Powe off and not having to take money back. How would players like Clowe and Callahan feel being on the 3rd line? Seems to me like Brassard would be wasted on the 4th line. Seems with the way this roster is constructed there are going to be a lot of questions that will need to be answered. Would love to hear your feedback.

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