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Old
08-11-2009, 02:35 PM
  #26
Blueline Bomber
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I don't think Babchuk threatened to go back to Russia, just that JR never gave him much of an option there. The quote was something like "Babchuk can take the QO or go back to Russia".

Now, Babchuk could have threatened to leave before that quote was released, but that's just guesswork. It's equally as likely that JR thought "I've got him between a rock and a hard place and I'm going to exploit that".

As for being a loner, it's hard to tell. He really wasn't a key player until the second half of the season (which I really don't think you can call a "hot streak"), so the media had no reason to talk to him until then. When he started really playing well, he gave quotes to the media, despite his broken English.

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Old
08-11-2009, 03:20 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
I don't think Babchuk threatened to go back to Russia, just that JR never gave him much of an option there. The quote was something like "Babchuk can take the QO or go back to Russia".

Now, Babchuk could have threatened to leave before that quote was released, but that's just guesswork. It's equally as likely that JR thought "I've got him between a rock and a hard place and I'm going to exploit that".

As for being a loner, it's hard to tell. He really wasn't a key player until the second half of the season (which I really don't think you can call a "hot streak"), so the media had no reason to talk to him until then. When he started really playing well, he gave quotes to the media, despite his broken English.
The JR quote I referenced was before that but there is no doubt he is trying to squeeze Babchuk. But he does that with all non-arbitration RFA's and then overpays them when he has to, just as he did with Cole. He wrung every bit of leverage from Cole who was only making around $1 million/year before he signed the $4 million/year deal that just expired. But yes, this case goes beyond that because he feels betrayed by Babchuk it seems.

It wasn't the second half of the season he lit it up, it was around 25 games or so (12 goals over that span), from about late in Feb. until the end of the year. What's interesting to me is how some will overlook the stretch of 20 games or so where he was terrible in the year he was sent to the AHL but place great emphasis on his goal scoring late this past year. To me, it speaks to his inconsistency.

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Old
08-11-2009, 04:11 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
The JR quote I referenced was before that but there is no doubt he is trying to squeeze Babchuk. But he does that with all non-arbitration RFA's and then overpays them when he has to, just as he did with Cole. He wrung every bit of leverage from Cole who was only making around $1 million/year before he signed the $4 million/year deal that just expired. But yes, this case goes beyond that because he feels betrayed by Babchuk it seems.

It wasn't the second half of the season he lit it up, it was around 25 games or so (12 goals over that span), from about late in Feb. until the end of the year. What's interesting to me is how some will overlook the stretch of 20 games or so where he was terrible in the year he was sent to the AHL but place great emphasis on his goal scoring late this past year. To me, it speaks to his inconsistency.
Actually, his play noticeably improved after being moved from the 3rd pairing with Wallin/Melichar to the 2nd pairing with Pitkanen. And that happened on January 15th, 38 games remaining in the season. It happened right after the Wallin/Babchuk pairing went a -3 in a 5-1 loss to Ottawa.

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08-11-2009, 04:29 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
Actually, his play noticeably improved after being moved from the 3rd pairing with Wallin/Melichar to the 2nd pairing with Pitkanen. And that happened on January 15th, 38 games remaining in the season. It happened right after the Wallin/Babchuk pairing went a -3 in a 5-1 loss to Ottawa.
Yes, but the hot streak I was referring to was the goal scoring (12 g in about the final 25 games). His defensive play did indeed get better with Pitkanen but we both know that it was because some of his deficiencies were masked.

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Old
08-11-2009, 04:35 PM
  #30
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Pitkanen's defensive play also improved while paired with Babchuk as opposed to his previous pairing, so it's not simply a matter of Babchuk's weaknesses being masked but more of having two defensemen that can play off each other.

But yes, in terms of strictly goalscoring, you can call it a hot streak, though I'd be more inclined to believe it's just Babchuk playing with confidence than a hot streak. Babs with confidence is a dangerous player. Without it, he's Melichar-lite.

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08-11-2009, 04:46 PM
  #31
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I wouldn't mind him on the Canucks as a plan B, if we can't get a tue puck mover.

But as many have stated, this is drastic overpayment.

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08-11-2009, 04:57 PM
  #32
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No thank you.

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08-11-2009, 05:07 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
Pitkanen's defensive play also improved while paired with Babchuk as opposed to his previous pairing, so it's not simply a matter of Babchuk's weaknesses being masked but more of having two defensemen that can play off each other.

But yes, in terms of strictly goalscoring, you can call it a hot streak, though I'd be more inclined to believe it's just Babchuk playing with confidence than a hot streak. Babs with confidence is a dangerous player. Without it, he's Melichar-lite.
It's worth noting that Pitkanen's improved play coincided with being moved to the 2nd pair from the first pairing so he wasn't out against the opponent's top line as much. Also it overlapped with Ward's improved play under the much tighter system Maurice used vs. Lavi.

We sure know how to beat a subject to death, don't we?

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08-11-2009, 05:31 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
Pitkanen's defensive play also improved while paired with Babchuk as opposed to his previous pairing, so it's not simply a matter of Babchuk's weaknesses being masked but more of having two defensemen that can play off each other.

But yes, in terms of strictly goalscoring, you can call it a hot streak, though I'd be more inclined to believe it's just Babchuk playing with confidence than a hot streak. Babs with confidence is a dangerous player. Without it, he's Melichar-lite.
Pitkanen was able to mask Babchuk's errors and make up for his mistakes, b/c he was that fast defenseman Babchuk needs to paired with. But by pairing him with Babchuk, we lost Pitkanen's offensive talents b/c he was unable to pinch and had to stay back to fix any mistakes Babchuk would make. We got Pitkanen for his offensive talents, not to babysit Babchuk.

Agreed that Babchuk is a monster when confident, but that confidance can change on a dime with him and its hard to get it back. One turnover, one mistake and the dude starts overcompensating creating more mistakes and errors and by the end of the period his confidence is shot and gone for about 20 games. Hence he finds himself back in the pressbox.

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Old
08-11-2009, 05:50 PM
  #35
LickTheEnvelope
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Originally Posted by KeslerKrony View Post
Maybe I'm misinformed, but isn't Babchuk one of the fastest players in the NHL? I thought he won some speed competitions on the Canes line-up.


No he's 6'5 and 215 lbs.

from Russianprospects:

Quote:
At 6"6 Anton Babchuk has an imposing frame. He has started to fill in that huge frame, increasing his weight to 202 pounds. Anton has already developed a nasty physical edge to his game that will only get stronger as he grows. Defensively Anton is a very good, hard hitter, able to deliver hits along the boards or out in open ice. Besides delivering the hits, Anton also effectively uses his large frame to block shots. He plays a strong positional game, able to keep the opponents in front of him. For a guy his stature, he is a solid skater with good speed and above average lateral movement, but still has room to improve in the skating department. According to a Czech hockey observer, Robert Neuhauser, Anton is a "smart player and is willing to join the rush
I agree with this other than "nasty physical edge". At the NHL level he certainly hasn't been "nasty".

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Old
08-11-2009, 08:46 PM
  #36
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Not really.

His value is low because Carolina pretty much dumped him after the season despite his 'career numbers', and even though he was a restricted free agent they could have easily signed. In addition, he's never come close to 16 goals before, and there is a general feeling he probably will not produce at that level this coming season. Thirdly, he's apparently asking for north of $3 million per year, which is going to scare a lot of teams off considering he is by all accounts relatively slow, not a great puck-mover, and soft defensively.

He's got a nice shot though. I wouldn't mind the Canucks taking a look at him if the price was low in assets, and we could sign him for a reasonable salary.
I'd say yeah, really.

You've got people right and left dumping on Zherdev and Babchuk because of perceived character flaws. Nevermind that their asking price is about what players with similar statistics on their teams would get. Intangibles mean a lot, but in this case it seems intangibles mean everything and stats mean nothing.

He's worth much more than the 1 million that Rutherford is offering due to some vendetta as well. He's not Tomas Kaberle but you can count on him to move the puck more often than not. His defensive flaws are similar to those of Ehrhoff, annoying for sure but not critical, and can be largely unnoticed if he's paired with someone solid defensively. He won't concuss opposing forward with bonecrushing hits, but he can be pretty good positionally, sort of like Tallinder. He's an excellent shooter on the PP. For some reason everyone is writing him off due to the cold streak that followed his hot streak.

He's 25 and just came off a season where he scored 16 goals and 35 points. Even if they all came in the same game he's still worth more than a borderline #5 defenseman, the equivalent of which is what all the offers here amount to. Defensemen with comparable stats, like Gilbert and Grebeshkov, get north of 3 million as well. Obviously he's not as good as those 2 yet, but I'd say he deserves 2.5 based on his play and potential at least. He's actually been pretty solid defensively until his meltdown in the playoffs, which, again, is a really small sample size.

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