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10-23-2006, 04:55 PM
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Kukkonen is the best of the Hawks d-corps right now--Seabrook,partnering with Kukkonen is a solid pairing--I would say that Kukkonen is playing at the level of a #2 or #3 NHL D-man and Seabrook is at a #4 level--thus on an elite team they would be only a 2nd pairing anyway --Cullimore is worse than a 7th and doesn't belong in the "new NHL" ,Keith has NOT PROGRESSED from last season and may have REGRESSED --in any case he's no better than a 6th-7th d-man,Aucoin is playing at a 5th d-0man level and not worth the $4million avyear they are paying him ...thus overall this is not a good enough d-man crew ...IF Barker can come back and play at at least a #3 or #4 level that should still help AUCOIN out better than Cullimore or Richmond and provide a 2nd more or less solid pairing to add to Kukkonen-Seabrook....unfortunately that still leaves 2 # 6-7 d-men (Keith +Richmond ) which cannot work = both not big enough to handle low cycle game--
Bringing up Byfuglien would help both in the physical dept and offensively--but they need another vet d-man instead of partnering him with Keith or Richmond...though if they put BUF with Vandermeer --that should be physically good enough for a 3rd pairing (though Vandermeer is a #5-6 d-man only anyway)...

THUS--even if they did all this,they won't have a contender status #1-2 pair...Kuk-Seabrookwould be de-facto #1-2 pair (even though they are really a #2-4 level) thus it would be a 1C pair rather than a 1A pairing...Barker-Aucoin would be a de-facto 2C pair instead of a 2A pair (since they are probably a #3 and a #5 level) and Byfuglien Vandermeer would be a #3B pairing (both being legit #5-6 calibre) --I'm not sure either D. Keith or Richmond can handle a low cycle and not cost the Hawks goals--so they'll need someome else for 7th d-man unless they can upgrade to a vet better than Vandermeer to help the 3rd pairing--so that Vandermeer relegates to 7th d-man...and Richmond+Keith go back to the minors or are traded...

Last edited by hawksfan50: 10-23-2006 at 05:14 PM.
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