General Predators Talk Part III
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07-01-2013, 08:18 AM
What's the Pred say?
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted by
Being reported by several media that Poile has said in his post-draft that Yip and Mueller won't be back...
This was likely Yip's last NHL stop. He just doesn't have the speed and footwork to stay at the highest level. Mueller might could catch on somewhere as a checking forward.
Regardless, their departures take us down to 12 returning forwards, counting Forsberg and excluding Rask (who ended the year on the roster but likely won't start 2013-14 there).
I've been wondering who Poile has in mind, so I went through the list of free agents and plucked a few trade targets off the trade board and started working them in with our guys. The product of that is listed below. "Complements" are players who would have finished first or second on our team in points per game in 2013. "Supplements" would have finished third or lower, but not lower than sixth. For frame of reference, our top six by points per game:
C. Wilson - 0.76
P. Hornqvist - 0.58
S. Weber - 0.58
M. Fisher - 0.55
D. Legwand - 0.52
G. Bourque - 0.47
After that, I cut all players over the age of 33 (the assumption being that players at this age and under definitely have more than one good year of production left before decline becomes unpredictable). The list, thus trimmed, looks like this:
V. Lecavalier (last player to finish above Wilson)
D. Setoguchi* (last player to finish above Fisher)
D. Perron* (last player to finish above Legwand)
On the Complements list, the player who sticks out to me is the player at the very end - Damien Brunner. Brunner has really flown under the radar in terms of free agent hype after he tailed off at the end of the season. I think the physical intensity of the NHL is something he wasn't totally ready for, and I wonder if he wouldn't be better equipped to handle it on a second go 'round. Everyone else is likely going to ask for absurd amounts of money, but I get the feeling he could come on the cheap.
The Supplements are all solid players who would help our offense without necessarily giving us the explosive attacking boost we need. Horton will get a big payday based on his playoff performance. A team is undoubtedly willing to pay him $5-6M to play average regular season hockey and world class playoff hockey.
Ideally, we find the cap space to pluck a player off each list and become a Cup contender overnight (my preference would be Lecavalier and Raymond or Skinner), but the cap space and assets likely aren't there to get two players unless Raymond or Stalberg comes in on a deal realistic in regards to their contributions ($2-3M). But when has that ever happened in free agency? I suppose Kostitsyn could come off the salary cap, as well, but I think the NHL is going to stick us with the money even if he goes overseas.
Of course, we could always take a flier on a guy like Clowe or Bouchard, guys with long injury histories but very low price tags. That could be a classic Predators pickup, but only AFTER a major acquisition is made.
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