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06-16-2013, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Originally Posted by
I don't agree 100%, in terms of other teams, that could use a Filppula, Weiss or Ribeiro, but as far as THIS team goes, there are no suitable UFAs. Weiss an Ribeiro, and even Filppula, are very good but are small playmakers. So are Stepan and Brassard (also, Weiss and Ribeiro, like Brassard, aren't good defensively... Filppula is average). Best centers available, and signing one would make us a predictable/beatable team. We could trade Del Zotto for Gagner, then sign him. He's a bit better-rounded and more tenacious. But stll small/easily shut down.
I didn't mention Conolly, because I don't see him leaving Toronto, but he's very similar to Ribeiro and Weiss (assuming Weiss hasn't totally lost the edge.
In a Conference with 1-2 punches like Crosby-Malkin and Krejci-Bergeron, I think we need at least 3 well-above average centers to have the edge. Last season, we had 1. Before that, Richards and Stepan were both above average, and Dubinsky and Anisimov, along with Boyle, were dominant shut-down guys.
We're on pace for somewhere in-between the last two years. Between Brassard and Stepan, we should have to good centers, barring injuries. But ony 1 shut-down guy, again, in Boyle. Ideally, we'd get a J. Staal, or even a 2006 Handzus or 2000 Holik
. Maybe Dave Bolland or Matt Cullen?---someone that can handle a checking role well and still create.
Because Richards, by all indications, can no longer provide either one of those services. On the other hand, hope springs eternal, maybe he'll be decent.
Why buy him out and essentially replace with, say, Ribeiro (~$6M cap-hit), who will make our center-ice a bubble-wap doormat? Same for Weiss, Conolly, Filppula.
So we're between a rock and hard place with Richards, who, when he's out there, looks to be a Phaneuf away from paraplegia. Then we can't buy him out. I say do it and really look.
Que mas? Zubrus can play C... not a bad option, but how much? Boyes is not leaving the island anytime soon. Nor Bozak Toronto.
Best skaters available are Horton (listed as, but not a C + always injured) and Streit (big right-handed shot could make up for an unproductive bottom-six, which we'd probably have with or without Richards).
I say, offer Clowe 1yr @ 5 and try to get Duchene. Let Zuccarello go, someone will offer 4/16 for him. He won't do anymore piecemeal stuff, book it.
Stepan was our best two way center by far last year. he's becoming a shut down center.
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