Thread: Speculation: Potential Offseason Acquisitions
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05-05-2014, 11:13 PM
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No UFA signings on defense are worth it other than Timonen if he returns for under ~$4mil. If anything, we should look at moving a defender or two depending on what moves can be made. Especially with the kids ready to break into the NHL like Gostisbehere and Hagg with Morin still in juniors.

Coburn ($4.5mil) - Timonen ($4mil)
Streit ($5.25mil) - Grossmann ($3.5mil)
MacDonald ($5mil) - L. Schenn ($3.6mil)
Gustafsson ($1mil)

= $26.85mil + $5mil from Pronger that must be accounted for over the offseason ... ridiculously expensive defense for their talent level... although defense-by-committee isn't a bad idea. No improvement since this past season which would make sense given what Holmgren has said, although he wouldn't pass up an opportunity to improve.

Streit should be used as the #1 PP guy, with Andy MacDonald and possibly Timonen/Gustafsson on the #2 unit. Shayne Gostisbehere, when he arrives, will likely see a permanent spot on the #2 unit - I like to compare Gostisbehere to Torey Krug in Boston where I think 'Ghost' can make an impact as soon as next season, although I wouldn't just give him a spot and would hope he sticks when he gets his call-up.

Grossmann, Brayden Schenn (and by association Luke Schenn), and the lower trade value vets like Lecavalier and Hartnell would seem to be the roster players on the 'hopeful' block. I'd like to see Couturier given the 2C slot and used in a more two-way role with Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read 5v5, while Giroux's line remains the dominant go-to line. Vinny Lecavalier is used as the 3C if Brayden Schenn is moved OR if Schenn'r becomes the option at first-line LW:

xxx (B. Schenn) - Giroux - Voracek
Read - Couturier - Simmonds
Hartnell - Lecavalier - xxx (Akeson)
Raffl - Laughton - xxx
Rosehill, Rinaldo

Read+Couturier already saw the 2nd most 5v5 TOI, next to Giroux. Voracek is clearly a top line player but using him with Couturier wouldn't be a bad idea either. Scott Hartnell was 5th in TOI 5v5 only because he played with Giroux and Voracek and he also saw top unit PP time, while Wayne Simmonds rounded out the top-6 and was a final member of the PP and deservedly so. Schenn, Akeson, Raffl and Lecavalier all saw significantly less 5v5 minutes than those in the top-6, although they all some special teams time.

Obvious needs:
a) 1st line LW ... somebody like JVR would be great (lol), although a big bodied plus-skater will be hard to find. If somebody like Patrick Marleau becomes available, I take a long look at him if I'm Holmgren. Brayden Schenn could easily be a 30-30 player in this league if he could fit on this line.
Ideal fits: Vanek, Marleau, Evander Kane, etc.

b) Top-pairing two-way defender ... unlikely to find somebody like this although something close who can put up some points would be great. I like Edler, Ehrhoff, Kulikov, and maybe somebody from Winnipeg like Bogosian or Byfuglien (although Big Buff wouldn't really help any defensive woes) although again somebody on our current defense would have to be moved and/or Timonen will likely have to retire in order for this to fit.

c) Improving the 4th line ... Jason Akeson and Scott Laughton are two possible mainstays on this club moving forward, hoping that Laughton is ready and Akeson continues what he did this past postseason. Zac Rinaldo is a liability and doesn't do much by way of two-way play or offensive contribution. Raffl-Laughton-Rinaldo would be bearable but I'd like to see Laughton flanked by two quality two-way players in order to ease his way into the NHL.

d) Finding where Vinny fits ... If Brayden Schenn isn't moved, Vinny becomes an issue both with fitting under the cap and having a logjam at centre. I do like Brayden Schenn but I think if he could allow the Flyers to acquire an elite talent at LW or a quality top-4/2 defender, I move him. If Brayden can fit with Giroux and Voracek on the 1st line, that will be a great option.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming months!

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