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02-19-2004, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
and Ward does play with Grit.
Well you can knock Ward for not scoring but the guy is another version of Begin, he tries on every play and bangs along the boards (when he is standing up lol)
I don't know what people expect here. Going into this year we knew we would be in a dogfight for the play-offs. Guess what we are. I am as enthusiastic about our prospects as anybody and more than most. But while Balej/Perez/Hossa/Higgins/Pleks/Hainsey/Milroy/Ferland are possibly the future, we already brought in Ryder/Ward/Komo. If we tried to play all of the rookies at once we would be worse off than we are now. Hamilton is in first but they aren't running away in the AHL.
Right now our top six in any order are Koivu,Zednik,Ryder,Bulis,Ribs,Dags. Out of this group there is really only one spot, Dags, (possibly two if Bulis goes down to the third line) that will be open next year.
Now of our bottom six we have Juneau,Dackell,Sunny,Ward,Begin,Langdon with Kilger,Perrault as fillers. Out of this group I would expect Ward, Begin, Langdon, Sunny to be back next year.
SO I think that next year you will see Balej moved up to the first two lines to replace Dags. If either of the two Russians Perez/Kas show something special in training camp then you move Bulis down to the second six. Which leaves an opening for one of Higgins or Pleks to move into.
On Defence you can put spots aside for Souray,Markov,Brisebois,Komo,Rivet the other spot will either go to Hainsey or god forbid another year of Bouillon.
This team next year will be better, but still isn't ready to win the cup. It will take a year of development by the rookies especially Komo and Hainsey. At the end of next year we can start thinking about adding a vetran for the play-off run. Its pointless getting one now. We aren't ready and I think its a waste of time giving up prospects for a Bondra/Gonchar who will be long in the tooth when the rest of the team catches up with the talent level of those two gentleman.
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