Thread: Speculation: Off-Season 2013 - Part II
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06-24-2013, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 2014cupwinners View Post
So you say keep Purcell, Pouliot, Pyatt and trade Malone. In other words, you want a soft top six, along with a soft bottom six. Perhaps we can write the Boston Bruins a letter asking them to not hit our guys, because we don't want them to get hurt.

To address your bruins comment, if you watched the first Boston-Tampa game this year, the late loss that drove us Lightning fans around the bend, it wasn't the toughness that lost us that game. We were in it for 58 minutes. It was Brewer making a bad pinch/joining the rush while we were shorthanded (and Stamkos' shot missing the net). It was a greedy defensive mistake, and a Malone move has a possibility of improving our PK defense.

As stated in my last post, I love when Malone is fighting and cracking skulls in front of the net...and would happily keep him on the team if he was doing that. However, at $4.5m a season, frequent injuries, and having 0 fighting majors this season, I feel his role on this team could be filled with a cheaper, more effective Crunch player, especially with the way Panik played for TB while Malone was out.

Regarding bottom 6, I believe we agree on the 3rd line of w/Palat-Johnson-Panik. Not what I would call a soft line. That leaves Pyatt-Thompson-Crombeen for our 4th line. The same Nate Thompson who got Tampa's only Shanaban-worthy hit all season, and the same BJ Crombeen who led the NHL in fighting majors. While quality does not equal quality with Crombeen's fights, he is our enforcer for the time being, and does not make our 4th line soft.

Our top 6 is not what I would call soft either...regardless, they are not there to be tough. Our top 6 should be there to bring speed, make plays, and score goals. Stamkos, MSL, Vinny, Tedward, BP, and Killorn make up a good top 6. IMO, this group is not improved with the presence of Ryan Malone's recent play. If we can improve our team, and we have an odd man out (Pouliot), I am always for improving the team. As it stands, Labrie is a UFA, and I don't know if he cracks the bottom 6 if the 3rd line becomes Palat-Johnson-Panik. We were top 5 in goals scored this year, so I hardly say our top 6 needs improvement. I think Lightning fans would say the top 6 needs to be more consistent more than they need to "improve."

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