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Is LW more of a problem than C?

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06-11-2011, 11:05 AM
  #1
Beacon
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Is LW more of a problem than C?

Everyone is focusing on the need for a first line C, but what about a first line LW?

We really have only Dubinsky as a top-6 LW, and he likely won't be a first liner on a Cup contender.

Who else? Wolski? He won't be a first liner, we'll be very lucky if he is a second liner, which I doubt.

Kreider? So all our hopes for a first line LW is on a kid who hasn't yet played a pro game? And its not as if he is viewed as some elite, rare prospect ranked among a couple best guys outside of the NHL. He is a nice prospect, but we can't pin our hopes on him.

At least at C we have two competent young guys who are already decent and will likely keep improving.

At LW, we have just Dubinsky as a competent top-6 player.


Last edited by Beacon: 06-11-2011 at 11:11 AM.
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06-11-2011, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Everyone is focusing on the need for a first line C, but what about a first line LW?

We really have only Dubinsky as a top-6 LW, and he likely won't be a first liner on a Cup contender.

Who else? Wolski? He won't be a first liner, we'll be very lucky if he is a second liner.

Kreider? So all our hopes for a first line LW is on a kid who hasn't yet played a pro game?

At least at C we have two competent young guys who are already decent and will likely keep improving.

At LW, we have just Dubinsky as a competent top-6 player.
I think Stepan or Anisimov will fill this role. Both are very strong on the puck and play a 2-way game. Putting one of them on the 1st line will take the pressure off of Richards and Gaborik and help them succed more. I feel Anisimov is a 25/30 player if he plays on that line.

Something like..

AA-BRich-Gabby
Dubi-Step-Cally
Prust-Boyle-Feds
Avery-Rupp-Weise

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06-11-2011, 11:10 AM
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azrok22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Everyone is focusing on the need for a first line C, but what about a first line LW?

We really have only Dubinsky as a top-6 LW, and he likely won't be a first liner on a Cup contender.

Who else? Wolski? He won't be a first liner, we'll be very lucky if he is a second liner.

Kreider? So all our hopes for a first line LW is on a kid who hasn't yet played a pro game?

At least at C we have two competent young guys who are already decent and will likely keep improving.

At LW, we have just Dubinsky as a competent top-6 player.
I think the difference is that we're much deeper at LW in the prospect pool than at center.

Legitimate prospects (others have potential, but these are the players I think are likely to have NHL careers):

LW: Kreider (potential top-6), Grachev (potential top-6), Hagelin (probably bottom-6)
C: Lindberg (probably bottom-6)

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06-11-2011, 11:16 AM
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LW is easier to fill than C, so C is the bigger issue. On a winner, Anisimov is prob. 3C, but if the team is deep, and given how solid defensively it is, and assuming Dubi/Richards/Gabby is as good as we all think, I dont think we'll need to worry about 2LW. Dubi can move up to 1, and if we can get a 50-60 pt LW I think we'd be fine.

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06-11-2011, 11:17 AM
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C is our biggest problem until we sign Brad Richards or someone like that.

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06-11-2011, 11:22 AM
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Grachev and Hagelin will likely be third liners. We should be very happy if one of them is a second liner and one a third liner, but more likely both become third liners.

Same for Lindberg at center. He will probably be a face-off specialist on the third or fourth line, playing the same role MacTavish did when we rented him. But at least there are two NHLers ahead of him who are already borderline top-6 and improving.

At LW, we got Dubinsky. A cooked future third liners won't help.us on the first line. Hagelin and Grachev will replace Avery and Feds, and may even improve on them, but they will not be first liners, and probably not even top-6.

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06-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
C is our biggest problem until we sign Brad Richards or someone like that.
pretty much. I have confidence in Dubi and after that give Wolski a chance, Zuc can slide over, Grachev and Hagelin may surprise, Avery is not crap, Boyle can slide over, Kreider is coming soon

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06-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYRangers16 View Post
LW is easier to fill than C, so C is the bigger issue. On a winner, Anisimov is prob. 3C, but if the team is deep, and given how solid defensively it is, and assuming Dubi/Richards/Gabby is as good as we all think, I dont think we'll need to worry about 2LW. Dubi can move up to 1, and if we can get a 50-60 pt LW I think we'd be fine.
Anisimov is far from a 3C. He is what, 22 years old? He put up 45 points this year and shows a solid defensive game. He is a 2C on most teams. He will only get better this season and I dont think 60 points is out of the question. That said, I'd rather have him play LW.

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06-11-2011, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Chester 88 View Post
Anisimov is far from a 3C. He is what, 22 years old? He put up 45 points this year and shows a solid defensive game. He is a 2C on most teams. He will only get better this season and I dont think 60 points is out of the question. That said, I'd rather have him play LW.
Once again, I'd rather keep him at 3C for depth and get a better guy ahead of him. Let the kid deomonstrate he can score that much before assuming he can.

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06-11-2011, 11:30 AM
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I think that there's a few reasons why people aren't as worried about LW as they are about C:

1) Center is the more important position. Centers have more responsibilities and impact the game more.

2) As it stands right now, Dubinsky is a borderline first line player. He might not be a first liner on all teams, but right now he's far closer to that mark than Stepan or Anisimov.

3) By a similar token, Kreider is seen as having more potential than our young centers. This means that we have the safe bet in Dubi and the possible high reward (but no guarantee) in a prospect. Also, our prosepect pool is weak at center.

4) Historically, LW has been a weak position.

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06-11-2011, 11:32 AM
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Everyone wants all our centers moved to LW.

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06-11-2011, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Everyone wants all our centers moved to LW.
I don't think that's true. You might find a few that want to do so, but I think most believe that Stepan and Anisimov project better as centers.

The thing is, a center can move to the wing a lot easier than a wing can move to center (practically unheard of). It's one reason that a center is just inherently more valuable and important than a wing.

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06-11-2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Everyone wants all our centers moved to LW.
If, down the middle, you have

Richards
Stepan
Boyle
FA (Rupp)

That wouldn't be a problem. Anisimov sucks at FO's anyway.

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06-11-2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester 88 View Post
If, down the middle, you have

Richards
Stepan
Boyle
FA (Rupp)

That wouldn't be a problem. Anisimov sucks at FO's anyway.
Anisimov has the defensive side of center down already at the age of 22. Move Boyle to the wing if anything.

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06-11-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
Anisimov has the defensive side of center down already at the age of 22. Move Boyle to the wing if anything.
I really wouldn't be opposed to any of AA, Step, or Boyle moving to the wing as long as its only one of them. Just think Anisimov could really benefit at top line LW because of his skill, hustle, 2 way game, and shot.

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06-11-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester 88 View Post
If, down the middle, you have

Richards
Stepan
Boyle
FA (Rupp)

That wouldn't be a problem. Anisimov sucks at FO's anyway.
And if Boyle regresses to 5 goals, we now have 2 blackholes in our lineup. Meanwhile we could have added a scoring winger and not have ever have had an issue.

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06-11-2011, 11:53 AM
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Vitto79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Everyone wants all our centers moved to LW.
If they get Richards and then go with Stepan and Anisimov does it not make sense to shift Boyle to the wing to get him more ice time? Assuming Torts rolls 3 main lines.

Signing a vet like Madden to be 4th line C/Pker in place of what Drury could bring makes sense to me. 1 yr,1 million

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06-11-2011, 11:53 AM
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MacTruck
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Originally Posted by NYRangers16 View Post
And if Boyle regresses to 5 goals, we now have 2 blackholes in our lineup. Meanwhile we could have added a scoring winger and not have ever have had an issue.
If Boyle regresses to 5 goals that would be a MAJOR dissapointment. There is no way he has that kind of season unless he plays on the 4th line. This year he got top 9 minutes and scored 21 goals but the previous year, he had 4 goals playing 4th line minutes. If he gets top 9 minutes he will most likely be in the 15-20 goal range again.

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06-11-2011, 12:03 PM
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I like how Anisimov and Stepan were playing a little wing this year during face offs. Both will and can get better at draws, these are very young kids.

You want a good faceoff guy for a year or two who has no market value and is a big body? Michal Handzus.

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06-11-2011, 12:20 PM
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There is no bigger issue on this team than 1st line center. I'm not seeing an immediate internal answer to that problem, so no, LW is not more of a problem than center. And, 1st line center is more important a position than 1st line LW.

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06-11-2011, 12:23 PM
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Goal scoring is the problem. Don't care what position it comes from.

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06-11-2011, 12:26 PM
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The problem with LW is that the UFA class of free agents is VERY bottom heavy. The best guy on the list is Gagne (Semin was resigned). The previous season he had a cap hit of 5.25 and is also the most expensive LW UFA. I don't have a problem with signing Gagne as long as we get him for the right price. I don't see him signing anywhere for over 4.5 cap hit especially being 31. We all have seen him play down the turnpike so we know the kind of player he is and I think he can be a great compliment to Gaborik and Richards. Gagne is the type of player to dig the puck out of the corner and put it on BR or Gabby's stick. You would also have BR on that line and he's a big body that can fit our low cycle style. Or we can put him on the second line to balance out the first 2 lines.

I read some people saying that we should move Artie to LW. He's the type of player who can work the outside and be strong on his skates while on the rush. But we would be losing a great young center. Your center should be the guy you build around with the two wingers. Plus AA plays very well in his own end for a young player. Especially a Russian (We all know how Kovalev and Zherdev worked out). So moving AA to LW should be out of the question.

Next probable guy is Dubi. He's a great faceoff man and after Drury is the best on the team. We need to have a great faceoff man. Plus taking him away from Cally isn't too smart.

Stepan had a great rookie season. Should've had more goals with all those wide open nets he had and rings off the post. We'll give him a brake it was his rookie year. BUT, he had the worst FO% in the league. Either get better at the draws or move to a wing.

Prospal will likely be back but can not, I repeat can not play on the first line as a wing. He is too old and slow. He has great heart and gives it his all but he's always a step behind. I'd like him to be a PP and 3rd line guy. Most likely on a line with a young guy who makes it out of camp. I think that would be his best role.

Wolski is the question mark. We don't even know where he will be come September. But he is not the answer to our 1st line wing.

Gilroy? Haha just a joke

So after further review, Simon Gagne (at the right price) looks like our best option

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06-11-2011, 12:53 PM
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I'm not so sure I'm for moving a C to LW. As mentioned above, if we land BR then maybe one of AA but this should not be our "plan A". I also still have a hard time with the Avery haters on here. for a fourth line LW who can easily play 3rd line minutes when needed I truly don't see what the bloody fuss is. He can actually skate and can make the surprising heads up pass from time to time. The one part of his game that he needs to work on is his shot. Flame away all you want, I've always been an Avery fan and think that we could do far worse when talking about a border line 4-3rd liner LW. And one last note, he was our best face off man during the playoffs?!?!?!?

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06-11-2011, 12:56 PM
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PLAN A - With Richards signed:

Wolski (Prospal/Brunette/Sturm if Wolksi is moved out) - Richards - Gaborik
Dubinsky - AA - Cally
Boyle - Stepan - one of MZA/Thomas/Grachev
one of Hagelin/Grachev/Feds/Avery - Konopka? (Boyle) - Prust

PLAN B - Without signing Richards:

UFA ??? - Trade/Stepan - Gaborik
Dubinsky - AA - Cally
Wolski - Stepan/Trade ??? - MZA/Grachev/Thomas
Avery/Feds - Boyle - Prust

Lotīs of cap space then to add 2 new players

Candidates for LW would (unfortunately) be Gagne, Jokinen, Cole, Fleischmann, Brunette or even Sturm or Prospal (the last 3 would be Sather reclamation projects with high risks signed on 1 year deals for hopefully little $$$)

At center I could see us then trying to acquire Weiss, Statsny, Spezza (???price???) or someone younger out of the blue. Not exactly mouthwatering....
Interesting...

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06-11-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Goal scoring is the problem. Don't care what position it comes from.
Yup.

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