And what if it doesn't work? What if Eller isn't that much NHL ready yet, after all? What's your Plan B? Trading a draft pick to get a center at mid season, or just accepting that our team only have 2 scoring lines again?
Well, if you're going to "what if" everything, then there's no end to your open-ended arguments. There are always "what ifs" for every single player and nothing is a sure thing. However, I'll trust the judgment of Gauthier and company in evaluating players before giving in to worst case scenarists and doomsday nay-sayers, which you obviously are.
But we only have 11 forwards + Darche really locked into the lineup. With $1.7M left to spare if Price gets $3M.
Do you think ALL of those players will meet expectations? Do you think we will never have any injuries?
I don't really get it. There is room to add a Belanger/Moore without in any way affecting those other players. They will earn their ice or fail to, and it is only to our benefit if it turns out that Belanger/Moore is better than them and hence ends up playing more for us.
It is indeed really only the likes of Desharnais, Maxwell, White, Pacioretty who are affected. Yet there is still possibly a spot open to them, and there WILL still be injury opportunities, even then. They are all waiver exempt. I don't think we should be giving anybody a chance. It's up to them to seize it. I don't think any of them is better than Belanger/Moore at the present time. And our team should be prioritizing the present. It won't hurt any of those players to start in the minors again, if it comes to that. In fact, I'd lean towards saying it would be better for them anyway, since with or without Belanger/Moore, they'd still just 12th/13th forwards with us, and the added development time in the minors can never hurt.
Although it's all still a little bit silly to argue in too much detail about all this, since it still hinges on the perhaps-never-realized hypothesis that Belanger/Moore become desperate enough to take bargain salaries from us.
You have to look at it from Gauthier's standpoint. He's trying to build a team here, one that will have really good chemistry for years to come. You do that with cheap young talent that learns to play together from a young age. You don't build team chemistry with guys that get shuffled in and out every year. So as much as i think that belanger and moore are better players right now than lapierre, boyd, pyatt, etc., i 'd rather just go with the younger guys because they have a real chance to grow together and become better. And this is the perfect time to take this approach, because they've just had a great playoff run together and should have quite a bit of confidence. In Moore's case, they just decided that Boyd can be as good, or almost as good for probably a million less. In Belanger's case, I just don't see the point. He'd want to be, minimum, the 3rd line center. So where does that leave, Boyd, Lapierre or Eller? What kind of message does it send them? You can't just keep shuffling natural centers off to the wings and expect them to be as comfortable in that position. We should be giving them a chance a real chance to shine at their best position. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this one but I think all this "healthy competition" for a spot on the team has been counterproductive at times over the past couple of years. You have guys that have good seasons or post seasons, than come into camp and realize that if they're not amazing, they could be right back in the stands or even the AHL. A guy like Lapierre, for instance, shouldn't be worried about his spot on the team. He shouldn't have to focus on making the team each year, especially this year after the playoffs he had. At some point, the coaches and GM should give some young guys the benefit of the doubt and just pencil them in. So you bring in a guy like Belanger for instance, and suddenly doubt starts creeping in. What does it mean? Don't they think I can the job done? So then training camp begins and Lapierre starts trying to too hard, starts playing emotionally--starts making stupid mistakes. It's so psychological with pro athletes, you have to be very careful with them. So all this to say that bringing in too many veteran FA's is to me a mistake, and that it sends the wrong message to certain players. Guys like Lapierre, O'Byrne, and Pyatt have all proven enough to be on the team. Enough of the second guessing and spending 1.5M here, 1.5M there on guys to come in and solidify the team. Like i said earlier, you solidify when it becomes worth your while to solidify. The team is not a cup contender as of July 26th. Stop trying to add a player here and there as if we were one.