Thread: Center Depth
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01-16-2004, 07:58 AM
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I'm going the break with the onsensus and say we need improvement on wing before we need it at centre. I think Mike8's first instinct was right.

As for wing...
We have Bulis/Ryder, although Bulis IMO would be better suited to more of a 3rd line checking role while adding a little offense deeper into the roster.

Dagenais/Zednik. I'm happy Dags got his chance, if only to show his value. I'm still not convinced he will be in Gainey's long term plans if his 2 way game doesn't show improvement, although he shows signs. If we were loaded with more talent and grit up front, then Dags would be a definite keeper, instead of where he is, which could be on the NHL/AHL bubble.

Langdon/Ward. Ward has a spot as long as he keeps working and stays healthy (big question). I think Langdon needs to be on the roster, but that he shouldn't be in the lineup for much more than half the games. He doesn't have the skill to occupy a full-time spot.

Sundstrom/Dackell/Kilger: Of these 3 I would keep only Dackell. Not enough balance in any of their games, but Dackell is easily the most consistent grinder.

So I consider that we really only have have Ryder/Zed/Bulis/Ward and Dackell as go-to guys on every given night. Probably add at least one of Balej or Dags into the mix for next year.

Still not enough grit along the boards, considering who our centres are likely to be. IMO I see using some combination of Sundstrom/Kilger/Hossa, maybe a defenseman and some 2nd tier farm club talent to improve at wing.

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