The Puzzling Question On What To Do With Sergei Gonchar-Contract Extension Edition
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05-12-2013, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Originally Posted by
I'm sure it has been considered. At this point however, it's a monumental and unnecessary gamble given our budget and cap space.
For one, we haven't seen Wiercioch a lot on the offside, so it's hard to project him there as an NHL regular. Then, even if he plays well, we'd be potentially moving him back to the lefthand side again next season if Phillips retires.
Secondly, there's the "pairing" problems. Virtually every combination of defensemen (Methot-Karlsson, Cowen-Gryba, Phillips-Wiercioch), (Cowen-Karlsson, Methot-Gryba, Phillips Wiercioch), (Methot-Karlsson, Phillips-Gryba, Cowen-Wiericicoh) has some significant downside given the lack of experience on the defensive side. Cowen, Gryba, and Wiercioch don't have 200 NHL games between them. A right hand shot 2nd pairing guy like Ian White could really help.
Thirdly, there's the issue of depth. Playing Wiercioch as a regular defenseman is fine, until there's an injury. At which time we remember that our success this year came from having Lundin, Wiercioch, Gryba, Borowicki, Benoit, etc.. as backups for a single position before the season even started. Assuming we allow Wiercioch to take Gonchar's minutes, who do we have as his backup and is that person ready to play 20 minutes a night?
Lundin/Benoit might be expecting more playing time than the Senators can offer and we'd be a lot thinner on the back end if they leave, having Wiercioch and Borowicki as a 7th/8th defenseman isn't the worst thing in the world if we can find a way to retain Gonchar or sign a quality short term replacement.
Forth, and most important, for once we have the budget space to sign someone. With so many players on bargain contracts we can fill the roster next season for something close to the cap minimum. For those keeping score, this is likely the worst roster the Senators will start next season with:
Greening - Spezza - Michalek
Conacher - Zibanejad - Silfverberg
Pageau/Hoffman - Turris - Condra
Kassian - Smith - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Gryba
Phillips - Wiercioch
That roster will cost around 46.5 in cap space, minus some bonuses. We'd have 20 million in cap space, LOL.
Ian White? No! No! No!!!
But I agree with much of the rest of what you say!
We need to resign Gonchar. It is a gimmee! He was so HUGE this year and we have 20 million in cap space. (15-16 million if Alfie resigns)
Gonchar is an all time great. He is the equal of Larry Murphy. So many similarities. Murphy was good at 39/40 on Detroit cup teams. Gonchar is sure good now. He is 2nd in ice time. I LOVE Methot. I LOVE Cowen. But I TRUST Maclean. He gives Gonchar consistently more ice time then them. With Karlsson or not. Playoffs or not. He is our 2nd D-Man! A ROCK this season! How can we NOT resign him? 1 or 2 years. If he is serious he will play for 2 years. Sign him. If he wants more than 2 years.... then maybe you let him walk.
The Penguins were upset with him the first year they signed him. Crosby's rookie year. He got 59 points. And everyone said he was so overpaid. After that year he was no longer criticized... Their D Stud. We sign him for 3 when no one else would give him 3.... only 2. (as rumour holds...) Ups and downs at first but still he was good. Then this year... he is a ROCK!
If he says he can play... sign him 1 or 2 years... Cheap as you can though. $4-$5.5 million depending how shrewd Gonchar is.
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