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01-20-2014, 08:25 PM
  #285
Appleyard
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In regards to defence the big problem is that we now have 6 #3-5 D men.

That problem can be rectified with a good two way D man slotted in the top 4, and done so cheaper than going and ruining the team for a true #1... but it will require 2 guys being acquired I believe. I think they get someone in FA quite honestly... being the Flyers... but with Kimmo likely retiring (and still probably being our best D man) that means another hole is opened.

Looking realistically:

Coburn
Schenn
Streit

are the three guys likely going no-where. So:

xxxxxx-Coburn
Streit-xxxxxx
Schenn-xxxxxx

is the puzzle really... the #6 is not too big a worry, 14-15 mins a night if the right other two are found.

Now looking at the FA's: Girardi, Nikitin, MacDonald and Niskanen are the only ones who could be realistic top 4 answers for several years. Orpik is ok... but just a Grossmann upgrade really as he could only be paired with Streit most likely. Gilbert and Russell are ok as well... but not my preference, and too weak on the backend to fit.

MacDonald and Girardi I would not be in the slightest worried about. They are currently doing fine in top 4 roles... regardless of what over critical fans say. Nikitin has been awful this year... but has the pedigree and skillset to be decent. Niskanen has his problems... but he is decent.

Apart from those guys it is 1-2 year placeholders in Boyle and Markov.

If they can nab Girardi or MacDonald they are players I would be happy to see on the 2nd pairing. Both play very, very hard minutes already, and while they are not perfect are both decent 2 way D who PK. If they can get one of those two I would be pretty ecstatic.

Niskanen and Nikitin move a puck ok, can play 20mins, but are not exactly consistent and have question marks, neither really PK either.

xxxxxx-Coburn
Streit-Girardi/MacDonald
Schenn-decent #6

looks pretty nice.

That gives you Grossmann and Mez who are expendable so long as they can either plug in Markov or Boyle on a short deal (which will be un-friendly cap wise, though cheaper than current config) or go after a decent 1b in a trade.

Ehrhoff or Edler are likely the only two available to my knowledge. They will cost. If you can somehow get one without giving good prospects or a 1st you do it... but no idea how that can happen!

But

Ehrhoff/Edler-Coburn
Streit-Girardi/MacDonald
Schenn-decent #6
#7

would be a very good 6 IMO. And probably less expensive as the D is this year. (~15 million for 3 already have + a #6 and #7... then 5m for Girardi or MacDonald, 4m for Ehrhoff or 5m for Edler... gives you 24-25million on D, while atm they are at almost 29 million for the 7.)

If they could somehow do that it would be great... maybe shift Grossmann and Mez for picks and use the picks + a forward to get Ehrhoff or Edler? Grossmann would likely command a 2nd + later pick, no idea with Mez.

All a pipe dream... but hey!

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