Seemed like a great guy and a great teammate for sure.
Obviously very small for a defenseman, but built like a brick. His nick name was the Cube and it fit because he was as wide as he is tall. Very strong for his size. He can occasionally lay out some real nice hits and is not afraid to drop the mitts every once in a while and can hold his own against lesser known guys.
However his size does limit him and makes it hard for him to clear the net or handle real big strong forwards, which can definitely be frustrating. Very frustrating at times.
His speed is one of his greatest assets; he is blazing when he gets going. Unfortunately though he has little to no offensive talent IMO. His shot is nothing out of the ordinary, and he doesn't utilize it all that well. He probably won't pass 20 points or anything, offense is not his forté. At all.
All in all I liked the guy, he was just paid way too much in Montreal which put a target on his back. But used as a bottom pairing defenseman he can really be effective still I think. I hope he is well received and wish him the best!
Alright, just got back from practice and this explains a few things and really seals the deal for me on our roster.
Blum has zero confidence right now and is honestly going through camp as if he doesn't believe he belongs there. Maybe it was being the centerpiece of trade rumors for the past two weeks or maybe it is just the speed of the game. I don't know what the reason is, but the one thing that is clear is that he needs to go to Milwaukee and play quality minutes there in a learning environment. Now before people get me confused...he is by no means a bust and still has a very bright future ahead. He just has to get his feet back underneath himself.
Franson hasn't been that impressive in camp and by breaking his nose fighting, he has lost his shot at making the team out of camp IMO.
Laakso has been our fourth best defender (Suter, Weber, Hamhuis, Laakso, then Klein) thus far in camp and IMO has made the roster unless he totally falls apart this week.
Sulzer hasn't looked as sharp as he was last season and that has been a disappointment, but he appeared to simplify his game in the second half of the game against Atlanta and play reasonably well, although not what he has shown before. Sulzer has a one-way deal this year, so I really don't see him getting sent down, but rather kept as the No. 6/7 defenseman to start the year with Bouillon fighting him for ice time.
Yonkman today seriously looked like someone with a major chip on his shoulder and was playing a very mean game out on the ice. I was honestly expecting Nolan to start another fight today. He just looked very upset and I was originally thinking that it was because he only got one exhibition game this week, but obviously it was due to the fact that Bouillon was in for a physical and that all, but slammed his distant hope of taking that No. 7 spot in Nashville.
Colin Wilson watched practice in street clothes (8 players didn't skate today) and about halfway through the second half of practice (10 AM to around 11:45 today) a short tanned looking guy with black hair started standing next to him...obviously...it was in fact Francois Bouillon watching practice...
Solid addition, rounds out the d-core, and allows guys to develop at their own pace rather than being forced into roles they aren't ready for yet.
I don't think it means anything as far as expectations of the younger guys. Blum might need a little more time, Franson needs another season or so and Laakso might even unseat Klein before the season is out.
They said before camp they'd like a vet D, now they have one, cheap too.
It doesn't change anything other than now we won't have 3 green defensemen.
Yonkman or Laakso
Bouillon adds the toughness that we need. Belak, Tootoo, Bouillon will be the top cops of this team. Laakso has had a great camp but Sulzer is on a one-way and that guarantees him a roster spot. Laakso/Blum/Franson should be top d in Milwaukee and log tons of mintues.
I like Yonkman as a 7th d because he is a character guy, you don't lose anything by sitting him out vs having Laakso/Blum/Franson sit. And he too can play in games like Columbus where we want to beat the piss out guys like Boll, Dorsett, Mirasty etc.
When have we not carried 7 defensemen, other than when injuries prevented it like last season towards the end when Sulzer was hurt.
We pretty much always have. But since they said they were going to pick up a vet, it looked like six if they didn't. So that can was kicked around here a lot this preseason. I was thinking Poile had even said six was a possibility, but I'm probably wrong there.
I'm going to like this guy. For those of you who didn't make it over to the trade board thread someone posted this 9 second clip:
Interesting development on the Francis Bouillon front.
The Predators are now saying that the veteran defenseman has been signed to a professional tryout agreement contract only, and that he will be reevaluated between now and the start of the regular season.
Preds GM David Poile had said Monday that Bouillon had been signed to a one-year, $750,000 contract, pending a physical.
Bouillon did pass his physical, but is still experiencing some discomfort in the groin/abdomen region, stemming from an injury he suffered in February of last season. It kept him out for the last two months of the season, and Bouillon was only able to play for a couple of minutes in the playoffs.
I like it. Much better option than bringing back DeVries or Chelios. I'm a big fan of FB, always played his heart out in Montreal. Most of all, I think he's "safer" than Sulzer at this point, assuming that's whose spot he just took.
Some may remember that he played briefly for us in 02-03, before getting claimed off waivers by Montreal.