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Building a Roster for 2011: Step #1. A center

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Old
03-02-2011, 04:50 PM
  #51
HogtownSabresfan
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Originally Posted by ImpressedDAHagent View Post
i'd rather find two capable centers then pay richards that big 7 plus million.
He wont be that cheap. Let's get more $3-$4million nothings. it's worked so well.

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03-02-2011, 04:52 PM
  #52
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I'd try to trade for Malkin.
His value is low at the moment I guess.

Pomineville, Ennis and Pysyk might be a decent package which could land us malkin.
Is that a joke?

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03-02-2011, 07:42 PM
  #53
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There are other options not mentioned....

If the Stars resign Richards, an extreme possibility, they might move Riberio.
Ribiero is a lateral move to shedding Connolly - the team would not be any better IMO.

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If you are the Kings, depending on how this season pans out, they might be willing to move Stoll, as they have a legit #1, and the top prospect in the league...Schenn, and most of all they would go after a player like Richards, Spezza, etc.
I'd like Stoll but I'd see him being more effective in the # 2 slot, which means that Roy would once again be relied to be the team's top center.

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If the Rangers pony up for Richards, they'll be in a little trouble signing their young guns....possibly a shot at RFA Dubinsky.
With Sather, anything's possible but I'd be surprised if he doesn't realize how important Dubinsky is for them. Sure, they'd have Richards but then the rest of their remaining centers are all # 3 or lower.

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Could take a shot at Malone in Tampa.
But Malone's a winger - and an injury-prone one at that. With his price tag, is he really the type of player the Sabres should go big-game hunting for?

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Weiss has been mentioned all over in trade talks.
Weiss is another lateral move to Connolly IMO - an underachiever that puts up points in non-pressure situations. It also made me cringe when I heard TSN say that Weiss has stated being happy in Florida, despite missing the playoffs now for 6 years. He doesn't seem to be the kind of competitor the team should add.

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I'm sure the Canadians would love to move Gomez, and if we could say trade a bad contract back, how bad would he be as our #2 behind Roy?
Gomez seems to be declining in recent years - I can't see him being the answer though he would be an improvement over Connolly.

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Originally Posted by SabresFanNorthPortFL View Post
Yeah, if the Sharks do their typical playoff exit, our owner has said he wants to win, yes....crazy but he could make a play for say Thornton???? Yes, totally crazy but they have tanked every year so maybe they listen.
I'd rather target Pavelski.

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Ottawa might move Spezza.
He puts up points but he is in the same complacent mindset that Connolly, Weiss, and Ribiero are IMO.

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Valarie Fitiapldi has always interested me in some way....
He's one I'd be interested in....

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Originally Posted by SabresFanNorthPortFL View Post
I'm sure Stansy has had his feelings hurt and the right "wow" deal could land him. He's 25 and just about a ppg player. You could put franchise tag on him.
...but after Richards, he's the one I really dream of the Sabres targeting.

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03-02-2011, 08:01 PM
  #54
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Do they need a first line center or just two quality 2's... particularly guys who can skate and defend? Could they try building their mid-line depth in the summer, let the offense continue to flow through the wings, and try going with a shutdown approach for their pivots? Just a thought we know who will be available this summer....

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03-02-2011, 08:58 PM
  #55
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Do they need a first line center or just two quality 2's... particularly guys who can skate and defend? Could they try building their mid-line depth in the summer, let the offense continue to flow through the wings, and try going with a shutdown approach for their pivots? Just a thought we know who will be available this summer....

Well, that strategy has worked pretty well since Roy went down, right?

In the offseason, replace Connolly with a good two-way pivot and work on bringing in a decent 3rd line center. I almost wish we took Kelly over Boyes with that 2nd round pick.

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03-02-2011, 09:17 PM
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Do they need a first line center or just two quality 2's... particularly guys who can skate and defend? Could they try building their mid-line depth in the summer, let the offense continue to flow through the wings, and try going with a shutdown approach for their pivots? Just a thought we know who will be available this summer....
Good question - but one could say the Sabres have been trying to get by since their last true # 1 center (Briere) left by using two # 2s (Roy & Connolly) and it hasn't yielded much success.

I also wonder if relying on the wings to spark the offense like they've done in recent years has led to the modest totals many of the wingers have posted - and that having a true # 1 85-90 pt center would rejuvenate some of the wingers to better production. Pominville hasn't been the same since Briere left and Vanek seems like the glass is always half-full in terms of maxing his potential. If Vanek had a playmaker like Richards, does anyone think he wouldn't hit 45-50 goals?

There haven't been many championship teams that I can think of that didn't have strength and depth down the middle.

Chicago-Toews, Sharp
Pittsburgh-Crosby, Malkin
Detroit-Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Anaheim-Getzlaf, Perry
Carolina-Staal, Brind'Amour
Tampa Bay-Lecavalier, Richards
New Jersey-Gomez, Arnott
Etc.

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03-02-2011, 09:42 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Good question - but one could say the Sabres have been trying to get by since their last true # 1 center (Briere) left by using two # 2s (Roy & Connolly) and it hasn't yielded much success.

I also wonder if relying on the wings to spark the offense like they've done in recent years has led to the modest totals many of the wingers have posted - and that having a true # 1 85-90 pt center would rejuvenate some of the wingers to better production. Pominville hasn't been the same since Briere left and Vanek seems like the glass is always half-full in terms of maxing his potential. If Vanek had a playmaker like Richards, does anyone think he wouldn't hit 45-50 goals?

There haven't been many championship teams that I can think of that didn't have strength and depth down the middle.

Chicago-Toews, Sharp
Pittsburgh-Crosby, Malkin
Detroit-Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Anaheim-Getzlaf, Perry
Carolina-Staal, Brind'Amour
Tampa Bay-Lecavalier, Richards
New Jersey-Gomez, Arnott
Etc.
Anaheim had Getzlaf and Andy Macdonald, Perry's a winger.

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Old
03-02-2011, 11:46 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Good question - but one could say the Sabres have been trying to get by since their last true # 1 center (Briere) left by using two # 2s (Roy & Connolly) and it hasn't yielded much success.

I also wonder if relying on the wings to spark the offense like they've done in recent years has led to the modest totals many of the wingers have posted - and that having a true # 1 85-90 pt center would rejuvenate some of the wingers to better production. Pominville hasn't been the same since Briere left and Vanek seems like the glass is always half-full in terms of maxing his potential. If Vanek had a playmaker like Richards, does anyone think he wouldn't hit 45-50 goals?

There haven't been many championship teams that I can think of that didn't have strength and depth down the middle.

Chicago-Toews, Sharp
Pittsburgh-Crosby, Malkin
Detroit-Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Anaheim-Getzlaf, Perry
Carolina-Staal, Brind'Amour
Tampa Bay-Lecavalier, Richards
New Jersey-Gomez, Arnott
Etc.
Couple of things.

1. By any reasonable measure Roy is a #1`center.

2. We succeeded when Briere was here not because he was a #1 center but because of the depth we had, in particular our center depth.

Roy gets some very undue beatings on here. He was thrust into the #1 center role after the co-captains left. In 07-08, with two linemates struggling to adjust to their top line status, yet was pretty effective. Putting up 81pts in 79gms, played in all situations and averaged 21mins a night. But he still needed some work on his agme.

Its worth noting neither of Drury or Briere came close to played that many minutes. Drury averaged around 18-19min and Briere was a tad over 19min. Obviously thats due to the depth at center those Sabre teams had. There wasn't a demand or need for them to average 21min a night with the amount of quality centers they had.

Roy played more than he should have those first 2 years because Connolly couldn't stay healthy. In the first season he handled it ok but in the 2nd season (08-09) it led to the bad habits in his game getting worse. He tried to do too much. But its understandable since he was essentially all we had at center with Connolly out or injured.

In 08-09 Roy had 28g 42a 70pts -5 and 100 turnovers playing 21:12 a night. Last year (09-10) he was able to clean up his game a bit in large part due to Connolly playing the entire season (73gms). It allowed Roy's ice time to be cut (his atoi was 19:23) and the results were positive. He had cut his turnovers down to 68 from 100, improved his +/- and he was able to maintain the same production from the year before (26g 43a 69pt +9) in the reduced ice time.

This year Roy had taken more strides in his game while staying at the roughly the same ice time he was getting last year (19:32 this year).


Having Roy as part of a 1-2 punch (preferably a 1-2-3 punch) at center should be pretty effective. We had only 1 full solid season out of Connolly in the last 3 years and we made the playoffs while winning the division. I know that wasn't the only reason. But it was a pretty big one.

Its a false arguement to compare what Roy has done as the the #1 center the last 3 seasons to Briere' tenure. Briere had Drury,Connolly and Roy as his support at the position. In the last 3 seasons Roy has had Connolly for half of 2 of them, then Goose and Mair. Hardly a fair comparison right there and thats before you get into the overall depth and talent of the teams.


Last edited by joshjull: 03-02-2011 at 11:54 PM.
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Old
03-03-2011, 12:09 AM
  #59
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Agreed with josh....

Even when we had Briere/Drury, we didn't have a bona fide #1 center. We had two 1b/2a-types, along with Connolly & Roy, who at the time would've been 2/2b's.

Assuming we let Connolly walk, I'd rather see us pick up two more good centers (Stoll/Fleischmann/Laich/Handzus) than spend big on Richards or pay out the you-know-what for Stastny.

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03-03-2011, 12:17 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Good question - but one could say the Sabres have been trying to get by since their last true # 1 center (Briere) left by using two # 2s (Roy & Connolly) and it hasn't yielded much success.

I also wonder if relying on the wings to spark the offense like they've done in recent years has led to the modest totals many of the wingers have posted - and that having a true # 1 85-90 pt center would rejuvenate some of the wingers to better production. Pominville hasn't been the same since Briere left and Vanek seems like the glass is always half-full in terms of maxing his potential. If Vanek had a playmaker like Richards, does anyone think he wouldn't hit 45-50 goals?

There haven't been many championship teams that I can think of that didn't have strength and depth down the middle.

Chicago-Toews, Sharp
Pittsburgh-Crosby, Malkin
Detroit-Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Anaheim-Getzlaf, Perry
Carolina-Staal, Brind'Amour
Tampa Bay-Lecavalier, Richards
New Jersey-Gomez, Arnott
Etc.
I wouldn't consider Chicago's center depth all that great. I means Toews was a beast for a period of time in the playoffs, but Sharp is a natural winger, and isn't any better of an offensive player than guys like Roy, Pominville or Vanek. Bolland was a solid 3rd line center, but that's about it. They had good depth down the middle, but far from elite.

Anaheim and New Jersey's center depth weren't anything special either. And didn't Zetterberg play on Datsyuk's wing for most of their '08 playoff run?

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03-03-2011, 12:28 AM
  #61
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can I get a list of a few RFA top centers coming up? Either this summer or even next?

Idk where I could find without going through each team... That might be an ideal way to go, all be it maybe dirty. Pluck someone who is up against the cap a bit? Plus they will obviously be young.
here ya go....here's a list of RFA forwards after this season...it also lists their current cap hit

http://www.capgeek.com/free_agents.p...F&fa_type_id=1

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03-03-2011, 06:42 AM
  #62
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How about Martin Hanzal in Phoenix? 6'5" 220 and 24. We;d have to pry him away but that type of size would be nice, especially as he hits his prime. Mid 30's point totals in his first 3 seasons, he could be right in line for a break-out. Look how nice the Briere from Phoenix turned out.
His ability to screen the goalies on the PP is just amazing - something that would allow us to move Vanek to a spot where he actually can shoot the puck. He's also very sound in the defensive part of the game (mainly used as their shutdown center) and just above 50% on the faceoff. I'll take him on this team.

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03-03-2011, 07:13 AM
  #63
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Plus really, how many teams have truly number one centres in their line-up?

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03-03-2011, 07:24 AM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Good question - but one could say the Sabres have been trying to get by since their last true # 1 center (Briere) left by using two # 2s (Roy & Connolly) and it hasn't yielded much success.

I also wonder if relying on the wings to spark the offense like they've done in recent years has led to the modest totals many of the wingers have posted - and that having a true # 1 85-90 pt center would rejuvenate some of the wingers to better production. Pominville hasn't been the same since Briere left and Vanek seems like the glass is always half-full in terms of maxing his potential. If Vanek had a playmaker like Richards, does anyone think he wouldn't hit 45-50 goals?

There haven't been many championship teams that I can think of that didn't have strength and depth down the middle.

Chicago-Toews, Sharp
Pittsburgh-Crosby, Malkin
Detroit-Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Anaheim-Getzlaf, Perry
Carolina-Staal, Brind'Amour
Tampa Bay-Lecavalier, Richards
New Jersey-Gomez, Arnott
Etc.
I'm a long-proponent of having center strenghth (pre-message board days even), but with the limited market, is it possible to put adequate depth in place in the middle while still searching for that dominant #1 type? I think it is, given the guys who may be available this summer. While the UFA list for 2012 isn't much better, having the depth in the middle could afford them the opportunity to either move a piece in a deal for that coveted pivot OR wait for one to be freed up when a team needs a change.

The other item missing in your list is the presence of true shutdown guys -- off the top of my head looking at that list, Anaheim had Pahlsson, Jersey had Madden, Chicago had Bolland, Brindy served in that roll with Carolina.

I'd like to see the Sabres find an elite #3 and/or a good #2. Bolland might be a cap casualty in Chicago as an example. That would allow them time to both assess Roy's recovery and continue to shop for an elite level center talent (or even more rare, move up in a draft to nab one who bucks the dev cycle to break through by 19/20 years old).

Right now, Richards is seemingly the only option followed by someone we're far too familiar with in Connolly and then a couple guys who seem better on the wing (Laich, Fleischmann). UFA is going to be a hard-sell. Statsny would be ideal, but again, the Avs have no reason to move the kid. It will take persistence, a stocked farm system, and a bit of luck to get one shy of the tried and true method of various Eastern contenders (Caps, Pens, Bolts) or even the origins of the Wings rise.... all of them nabbed premiere centers high in the draft because they sucked statistically. And not just sucked, but sucked with good timing. Since it's clear Regier is not moving in the strip-down/build-up method, they're going to have to find people like what Holmgren did in Philly --- draft/develop well and sign good UFA's.

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03-03-2011, 09:18 AM
  #65
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For me, at least, the playoffs would be a bonus this year after the start. I'd like to make it, and once you get in, I think Buffalo could do some damage. In the end, I don't think anyone believes this is a cup contender. Playoffs sure. But, for me, the focus is on next year

What we have right now for next season:

Vanek-Roy-Stafford
Hecht-XXX-Pomniville
Ennis-Adam-Boyes
Gerbe-Gaustaud-Kaleta

Myers-Sekera
XXXXX-Leopold
Morrison-Butler/Weber

Miller
Enroth

RFAs, as of now, I am ballparking Stafford at 3.5 and Sekera at 2.0. Weber, Butler, and Gerbe at around 750k

So, assuming a cap of around 60 million, i have us at around 48 million. Our strength is depth on the wings. Weakness is still top end talent, center depth, and a true partner to play with Myers.

However, with around 10-12 million to play with and an enthusiastic new owner, I think that can be addressed.

In order to address the center issue, you are looking via trade. None exsist on the UFA market.

So, the availability of players is going to be almost exclusively based on salary cap struggles and a few other factors (age, performance, etc)

So, realistically, based on this:

http://capgeek.com/charts_index.php?...ary_cap_thou=0

Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago are your likely targets.

A few thoughts on possible players:

Briere - getting older, 4 years, 19 million left on his contract and a 6.5 cap hit. Has a NMC, but I don't think it'd be a problem to get him to wave it.
Malkin - 4 years, 8.7 million year. Coming off major knee surgery. Also, many of the front office has ties to Pittsburgh, so we are dealing with some insider knowledge.
Staal - Again, the pittsburgh connection. Less likely to be moved simply because his salary is considerably less.
Bolland, Chicago. - Don't see the fit here. A bit overpayed for his production, but brings alot to the table.

Of the three, Malkin represents the biggest risk as well as, IMHO, the most likely. A deal would probably be something of this ilk:

To Pittsburgh: Stafford, Hecht (more to make the salary work than anything else), Adam, 1st rounder 2011, 1st rounder 2012.
To Buffalo: Malkin

To be fair, one of the 1st's could be swapped out for Kassian or Ennis if they wanted. Really depends on what Pittsburgh would want.



That trade would deplete depth on the wings, but give you a 1-2 punch of Malkin-Roy. Buffalo ends up taking on around 5 million in cap hit (stafford would be an RFA still)

Briere would cost significantly less. However, I think you are realistically looking at some health issues with him which will worsen towards the end of the contract.

Bolland...I don't see Chicago moving. They have a few options to free up some space, namely on D.

Overall, I think you are looking at Malkin or Briere the summer. Statsny, Weiss, and maybe some other centers are possible, however, when you consider cap situation, Malkin coming off a major knee injury, and our front offices Pittsburgh connection, I really think Malkin could be a possibility.
Hi, Pens fan here: I think at this juncture we're more likely to trade Staal than Malkin. I think that maybe Staal could benefit from Ruff's coaching.

Would you consider something centered around Stafford + Kassian for Staal? I'm assuming the Pens would have to add.

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03-03-2011, 09:26 AM
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I agree with those that have said that they don't need to go out and get a star center if they can find two in the right mold.

Look at a team like Boston. None of their centers are point per game players this season. Bergeron has 50 points in 63 games and Krejci has 47 points in 56 games.

But their team as a whole is difficult to plain against, because of the size, depth, and defensive ability throughout the lineup.

If they were able to use Stafford, one of their younger defenseman, prospects, and picks to land two guys like Pavelski and Stoll, I think they'd be in good shape.

Yeah there's no elite #1 center, but you don't lose your depth trading for one either.

Hecht-Roy-Pominville
Vanek-Pavelski-Boyes
Ennis-Stoll-Kassian
McCormick-Gaustad-Kaleta

With Gerbe, Byron, Adam as the extra forwards/call-ups.

There are so many ways you could make the lines with those players.


Last edited by ColonelForbin: 03-03-2011 at 09:34 AM.
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03-03-2011, 09:29 AM
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Hi, Pens fan here: I think at this juncture we're more likely to trade Staal than Malkin. I think that maybe Staal could benefit from Ruff's coaching.

Would you consider something centered around Stafford + Kassian for Staal? I'm assuming the Pens would have to add.
I wouldn't. I'd be willing to overpay for Staal, just cause we need a center that badly, but Kassian is a no-go.

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I agree with those that have said that they don't need to go out and get a star center if they can find two in the right mold.

Look at a team like Boston. None of their centers are point per game players this season. Bergeron has 50 points in 63 games and Krejci has 47 points in 56 games.

But their team as a whole is difficult to plain against, because of the size, depth, and defensive ability throughout the lineup.

If they were able to use Stafford, one of their younger defenseman, prospects, and picks to land two guys like Pavelski and Stoll, I think they'd be in good shape.

Yeah there's no elite #1 center, but you don't lose your depth trading for one either.

Hecht-Roy-Pominville
Vanek-Pavelski-Boyes
Ennis-Stoll-Kassian
McCormick-Gaustad-Kaleta
Gerbe
Adam

There's so many ways you could make the lines with that roster. It has speed, skill, size, and defensive ability throughout. There's really no one place for defenses to focus on, which would be the case if you trade half the team for one guy.
Someone was offering Stafford for Pavelski in the trades rumor section and Sharks fans wanted Myers lol. Highly doubt you'll be able to pry him away.

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03-03-2011, 05:54 PM
  #68
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Hi, Pens fan here: I think at this juncture we're more likely to trade Staal than Malkin. I think that maybe Staal could benefit from Ruff's coaching.

Would you consider something centered around Stafford + Kassian for Staal? I'm assuming the Pens would have to add.
For Staal, I think either Stafford+ or Kassian+ could work. However, I don't think Buffalo can package Stafford and Kassian in a deal that would bring back anything less than a franchise player like Malkin. Staal would be a great fit here, don't get me wrong, he'd be a great compliment to Roy as a #2. But, to give up basically all players in the system who have a combo of size and skill for him would be a mistake.

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03-03-2011, 06:11 PM
  #69
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here ya go....here's a list of RFA forwards after this season...it also lists their current cap hit

http://www.capgeek.com/free_agents.p...F&fa_type_id=1
Very nice!

I actualy like the list of RFA's for after next year. But, who knows what needs/lineups will look like by then

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03-04-2011, 06:23 AM
  #70
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here ya go....here's a list of RFA forwards after this season...it also lists their current cap hit

http://www.capgeek.com/free_agents.p...F&fa_type_id=1
We should totally throw an offer sheet at Parise... Just high enough $$$ that the devils would have a hard time matching it with their Kovy cap issues...

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03-04-2011, 07:32 AM
  #71
WhoIsJimBob
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http://www.nickmendola.com/is-it-pos...ttoming-pt-ii/

Nick Mendola looks at this and one thing is very interesting:

Quote:
Go through the Top 20 centers in hockey. I’m talking real centers, not “he can play center” centers. You don’t need to use any provided list… make your own. Go ahead, get a piece of paper or type it out in another window. Got it?

How many of those players have played for only one team in their entire career? How many were allowed to hit free agency? How many were traded?

In no particular order, here are the first 20 centers I think of as the best in the league (any winger/center questions were settled by whether the play is in the Top 100 in faceoffs taken in the league this year):

Sidney Crosby, Patrick Sharp, Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, John Tavares, Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Sedin, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Kesler, Henrik Zetterberg, Jason Spezza, Evgeni Malkin, Danny Briere

Now, Roy is on the periphery of that group — with David Backes, Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, Mike Richards and Tomas Plekanec — and if he was healthy and still a point-per-game guy at this point in the season he might even squeak in there.

But look at the names on my list that have been in multiple organizations and ask yourself if they were moved at any point in time. Sharp was a slow developing third-round pick of Philly. Richards was moved because the Lightning had three massive contracts and had to lose one. Thornton was a play by Boston to shake up their room. Briere, well, you know that scoop.

Point is you need centers. Think of the wingers who went from good to great or elite because of their centers. There’s Eric Lindros moving John LeClair into the elite. Pat LaFontaine ushered Alexander Mogilny into the upper echelon.Who was Martin St. Louis before Lecavalier came calling? Just a up-and-down flickering Flame.

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Old
03-04-2011, 07:46 AM
  #72
jlr
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If a bringing in a top-tier center through trade or UFA isn't an option, we really have to look at upgrading both the 2nd and 3rd line center positions. Roy is at best a 1b on a contender or serious playoff team, IMO, and if we can't bring in another top six center at least as good as he is, then we'll have to go with quantity over quality. I don't think that's a solid plan to win a Cup, but it might be good enough to hold us over well into next season, when maybe we can figure something else out.

Fisher would have been a pretty solid acquisition for the 3rd line. Not sure Ottawa would have traded him within the division though, and we'd still need another center for the top six.

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Old
03-04-2011, 08:08 AM
  #73
msm29
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Really, Mendola? Tavares over Roy, Stastny, Duchene, Richards & Backes?

Maybe someday.

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Old
03-04-2011, 08:19 AM
  #74
jlr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htsportplaya View Post
Really, Mendola? Tavares over Roy, Stastny, Duchene, Richards & Backes?

Maybe someday.
I don't think those first 20 are in any particular order. At least I hope he doesn't think Sharp is better than Datsyuk.

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Old
03-04-2011, 08:48 AM
  #75
ADoubleD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htsportplaya View Post
Really, Mendola? Tavares over Roy, Stastny, Duchene, Richards & Backes?

Maybe someday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlr View Post
I don't think those first 20 are in any particular order. At least I hope he doesn't think Sharp is better than Datsyuk.
Mendola said they were in no particular order, but I'd put Statsny and Mike Richards in over Tavares and Spezza. Spezza isn't the same player he was the three years after the lockout anymore. He's been hurt this year and missed 22 games last year. Not that he couldn't return to his old form, but as of now he doesn't belong in the same conversation as those other guys. Also I'd even argue Mike Richards is better than Carter, but oh well. Mikko Koivu and Claude Giroux are two guys who are also right up there IMO.

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