No deals unless we are selling a contract. As it gets closer to the playoffs the advantage we had most nights in effort goes away. And then it comes down to talent and we are lacking up front. We have a few top six players up front but mostly not. Combine that with a young D that is playing very well but cautious and you get few goals if any. This is NOT our year, but our year is coming if management handles the draft and the prospects correctly. Next year we will infuse a few young forwards who can score and within three years we will be as good as anyone.
Just don't mess it up by trading for a rental in an attempt to make the playoffs when we are NOT a Stanley Cup contender. And Sauer should not be on the block; he and McD are both rookies and I don't think a goal has been scored when they have both been on the ice since they were paired up.
The reality is this teams flaws have become more and more apparent of late:
1) No true #1 center
3) A lack of grit on the blueline
4) An anemic powerplay with no PP QB or shot from the point
2) A top offensive player who's not producing like a top offensive player
5) A bottom defense pairing who right now are not NHL defensemen
6) A second defense pairing who are not second pairing defensemen right now
8) A general lack of experience on the blueline 7) Too many guys who right now don't really serve a purpose
9) Redundancy in the lineup
All True, but I broke them up into 3 categories....
In RED are the things that I think can fix themselves in a reasonable amount of time (in my opinion we are still 1-2 seasons away from being CUP contenders depending on aquisitions and player growth anyway)
In BLACK are the things that appear need to be addressed outside the organization
In BLUE are the things that correct themselves if the things in black happen.
So if we can ignore the blue, and time can correct the red, that leaves our 800 lb gorillas...
I'm pretty sure everyone can agree on these needs, the problem is how they get solved. And thats why I brought up the trading of Sauer. Unfortunately I think people need to come to terms with some guys we like are going to need to be moved to fill our needs.
IF Brad Richards could be had in the offseason, there is no way we have the cap space to outbid anyone for a PP quarterback AND gritty defenseman. Pieces will need to be moved and I think the run at Byfuglein I mentioned earlier would be a boon to this team. He's gritty and can QB the Powerplay.
If Sauer, Grachev and a 1st doesn't get him, I'm still open to upping the anti because his cap hit is relatively low AND he'll be an RFA when his contract is up...
I think Brad and Big Buff alone immediately change u from pretenders to contenders, especially with the changes that will be made in order to get them.
Brad and Buff run the powerplay
Brad allows all the centers to bump down a line and more properly play at their level
Buff bumps all but Staal and Girardi down helping the D