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Bortuzzo close to NHL level

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Old
09-14-2011, 02:56 PM
  #26
bigd
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Jeffrey certainly can fit a role in the top-9. I think he'll be the 3rd line C and enable Staal to move up with Geno; or perhaps play wing with Geno himself. The top-9 with Kunitz would look like:

Kunitz--Crosby--Neal
Staal--Malkin--Kennedy
Tangradi--Jeffrey--Dupuis/Cooke/UFA

If Kunitz isn't re-signed, we may have to look at a trade to bring another winger, because I'm not so sure we're going to win a UFA bidding war, and our top winger prospects will be at least another year away.




Yes, and this answer may surprise some people: Simon Despres.

Despres, once he gets accustomed to the NHL game and gets more confidence, will use his big body more and more. He is already a player that likes to engage physically, and apprenticing under Letang & Orpik will be great for his development. Despres is the big, left-handed defenseman that can play in the top-4 against top opponents and be physically dominant & strong in the way that Orpik can.

While I do think Despres will bring bit more of an offensive touch, I see him as a defense-first and physical-first defenseman and play a shut-down role (like Orpik), but will bring a bit more offense. In the past I've compared him to being a Bieksa-type player, or a poor man's Brent Burns. Basically, an all-around player who brings the physical dimension Orpik does, but also an offensive dimension that Orpik does not.
He's no way near the nasty that Orpik brings. I think Bortuzzo is more of the Orpik mold.

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09-14-2011, 02:59 PM
  #27
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He did the exact same thing with Ryan Whitney, and most of the arguments at the time as to why Whitney won't get traded was because Shero had JUST re-signed him for multi years.

That said, Martin, Michalek and Orpik are all candidates to be dealt (assuming any of them agree to waive their limited NTCs, or Shero can swing a deal that any of those guys would accept without the need for a limited NTC) at some point.
Do you think Martin is going to become some sort of on-ice problem? Because that's why Whitney was traded. To make the team better. Trading a D-man for wingers does not make your team better unless the wingers are good and the D-man isn't. Shero never would have made that trade if Whitney's play was as solid and consistent as Martin's is.

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09-14-2011, 03:00 PM
  #28
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If Staal's making $5 million on his next deal, he better be producing a bit more offensively than he currently is, IMO.

His combination of defense and solid offense are fine at his current salary, but when you're talking $5+ million, you're looking at production like Kesler, Ryan, Plekanec, Bergeron, etc.
Kesler and Ryan are on sweeatheart deals. No way do their contracts have anything to do with their production imo.

I agree though if Staal wants a raise, then 60-70 pts is something he's going to have to shoot for.

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09-14-2011, 03:06 PM
  #29
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Shero did the same thing with Goligoski too. It wouldnt be the first time its happened. If the right deal is there, Shero will make it. I think Orpik would be the last of the top 4 to get moved.

I think Staal can hit the 60pt plateau and stay there each year. I think his next deal will be around 4.5-.75 range.

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09-14-2011, 03:06 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by mpp9 View Post
Kesler and Ryan are on sweeatheart deals. No way do their contracts have anything to do with their production imo.

I agree though if Staal wants a raise, then 60-70 pts is something he's going to have to shoot for.
The thing is Staal's only about 10 to 15 points away from what I'd be comfortable paying a $5 million to produce. So the positive thing is it's not going to require a huge jump in offensive improvement, and is one Staal should be capable of making.

I'm just saying that if he "plateaus" at his current production, I'd be against paying $5+ million for that.

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09-14-2011, 03:12 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts View Post
Do you think Martin is going to become some sort of on-ice problem? Because that's why Whitney was traded. To make the team better. Trading a D-man for wingers does not make your team better unless the wingers are good and the D-man isn't. Shero never would have made that trade if Whitney's play was as solid and consistent as Martin's is.
At the end of the day it's a numbers game. We currently have 8 NHL d-men (people forget about Alexandre Picard). That number will likely be 11 by the end of 2011-12, if Despres, Bortuzzo and Strait progress as anticipated. Even if they all don't, that's still 9 or 10 for sure. Then you have to anticipate Joseph Morrow down the line being another NHL-caliber defenseman.

I don't care which veteran we move, depending on what we net in return. But it makes little sense to keep the blueline through the life of the veterans' contracts when we have guys ready to replace them. Sure, it's a downgrade but it's also a salary-cap consideration.

In our current top four, the only untouchable should be Letang. Two of the other three should be kept, long term, but the third guy is vulnerable. Despres is close to being top-four material. Bortuzzo is close to being third-pairing material. Ditto Strait. Morrow will soon be the new Despres, so the cycle will continue.

The way I see it, Niskanen and Martin are the most vulnerable to be moved in the coming calendar year or so. That would leave us with something like this to open 2012-13...

Orpik-Letang
Despres-Michalek
Engelland-Lovejoy
Bortuzzo

If we don't need the cap space, I'd keep Martin...

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Despres-Engelland/Lovejoy/Bortuzzo

Someone still has to go, though, and it'd be a cheap NHLer. Therefore, trading a more expensive guy makes sense. The timing of when to make such a move is always key.

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09-14-2011, 03:16 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts View Post
Do you think Martin is going to become some sort of on-ice problem? Because that's why Whitney was traded. To make the team better. Trading a D-man for wingers does not make your team better unless the wingers are good and the D-man isn't. Shero never would have made that trade if Whitney's play was as solid and consistent as Martin's is.
Kunitz was fresh off a 60 and 50pt seasons, and was headed there again that year (which he did) and Goligoski was coming off a very good playoff in WB/S (the AHL point record) and was very good in stepping in for an injured Gonchar. Plus at the time, the Eric Tangradi hype machine was running full speed ahead. Sid was playing with Satan and Dupuis, who they felt were not gonna cut it come playoff time. RS pulled the trigger, then got Billy G for practically nothing, and the rest is history.

There were alot of factors in making that deal, Shero may not always make the biggest moves, but he always wins them when he does. I have faith in him if the time would come to make another move like this. Which, I dont think is anytime soon.

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09-14-2011, 03:49 PM
  #33
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A young guy is not going to take the place of Paul Martin. I can almost guarantee that. Very few defensemen come into the league and play defense at the level he can. In the next handful of years, this team is primed to be a favorite every single year. You don't start throwing rookies in your top 4 when you're in that position. In 3 or 4 years, a retool will probably come, and that's when I think we could see some wholesale changes like what happened last offseason.

I fully anticipate every defenseman we have playing their contracts out here, and if any players are getting dealt, I'd imagine it'd be the prospects...not the players.

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09-14-2011, 04:09 PM
  #34
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A young guy is not going to take the place of Paul Martin. I can almost guarantee that. Very few defensemen come into the league and play defense at the level he can. In the next handful of years, this team is primed to be a favorite every single year. You don't start throwing rookies in your top 4 when you're in that position. In 3 or 4 years, a retool will probably come, and that's when I think we could see some wholesale changes like what happened last offseason.

I fully anticipate every defenseman we have playing their contracts out here, and if any players are getting dealt, I'd imagine it'd be the prospects...not the players.
I tend to agree with this. I'm not sure if they will all play out their deals, but certainly at least the next 2 seasons.

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09-14-2011, 04:28 PM
  #35
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As things stand now it's pretty much common sense that IF someone valuable gets moved in the next couple years, it's most likely to be a D. Whether we use our minor league depth to trade someone like Despres or Morrow, or move Martin instead, is tougher to say. Depends on the situation that year.

Of the D who could bring back a serviceable (4-5) D + maybe a solid offensive prospect, and who will weigh heavily on our books, Martin is the obvious candidate. Letang is going nowhere, Michalek is going nowhere and most likely Orpik is going nowhere, although he's less certain as he gets older. Each brings something unique to the table, each will be at reasonable contracts for what they bring, and together they give our Top 4 a level of balance (physicality, skill, skating) that few other teams can claim, if any. There is really nothing Martin brings that isn't also brought by at least one of the other guys.

That's not a knock, just saying on balance, the team would benefit the most from moving him for a decent offensive player and prospect (for example) vs. any of the other Top 4 or any of our Top F.

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09-14-2011, 04:52 PM
  #36
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As things stand now it's pretty much common sense that IF someone valuable gets moved in the next couple years, it's most likely to be a D. Whether we use our minor league depth to trade someone like Despres or Morrow, or move Martin instead, is tougher to say. Depends on the situation that year.

Of the D who could bring back a serviceable (4-5) D + maybe a solid offensive prospect, and who will weigh heavily on our books, Martin is the obvious candidate. Letang is going nowhere, Michalek is going nowhere and most likely Orpik is going nowhere, although he's less certain as he gets older. Each brings something unique to the table, each will be at reasonable contracts for what they bring, and together they give our Top 4 a level of balance (physicality, skill, skating) that few other teams can claim, if any. There is really nothing Martin brings that isn't also brought by at least one of the other guys.

That's not a knock, just saying on balance, the team would benefit the most from moving him for a decent offensive player and prospect (for example) vs. any of the other Top 4 or any of our Top F.
In terms of skillset in a vacuum...a young guy may be able to replace him, even though I'd say, you don't become that good in the defensive zone over night. It takes years, and by time one of our young guy's is at a Paul Martin level (if he ever is, because let's face it, Martin is pretty good), it won't be until Martin is nearing the end of his deal.

What Martin brings that is that experience, the versatility, and calming affect on the entire lineup. He's a top pairing defenseman. I think people are off their rockers if they think that a 21, 22, or 23 year old rookie can come in and just start taking over what Martin is completely capable of doing.

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09-14-2011, 04:52 PM
  #37
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People tend to shoot down the idea that Tangradi could replace Kunitz in the 2012-2013 season. But they're willing to move Martin to make space for Despres, who has never played a regular season game?

I think Despres could become a second pairing D-man for us within the next year or two. But I'd much rather not resign Kunitz or trade Despres than move any of our top 4 to clear cap space and/or bring in another RW.

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09-14-2011, 04:57 PM
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Yeah Martin is a top pairing defenseman right now and likely will be for the remainder of his deal. Despres and Morrow's upsides are possibly top pairing. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. We need Paul Martin as far as I'm concerned.

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09-14-2011, 05:00 PM
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I don't understand why we are even discussing moving anybody. It's no longer a cap space issue. We have enough room to do whatever we want to do. It seems like people are just incapable of being happy with a facet of our lineup that is set. It doesn't need to be ****ed with...it doesn't need to be altered. Prospects are not going to rot playing in the minors, and our prospects in particular could all use work in the minors still, so it's not like development is stalled, or we are wasting a prospect's time.

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09-14-2011, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
In terms of skillset in a vacuum...a young guy may be able to replace him, even though I'd say, you don't become that good in the defensive zone over night. It takes years, and by time one of our young guy's is at a Paul Martin level (if he ever is, because let's face it, Martin is pretty good), it won't be until Martin is nearing the end of his deal.

What Martin brings that is that experience, the versatility, and calming affect on the entire lineup. He's a top pairing defenseman. I think people are off their rockers if they think that a 21, 22, or 23 year old rookie can come in and just start taking over what Martin is completely capable of doing.

For my part, I don't think that at all (that a rookie will replace Martin after he leaves). I guess what I'm saying is, we may be forced into a situation where we have to trade him (maybe because the cap won't go up much in the years we have to re-sign the big names), in which case it's likely that:

a) we'll get a D back who can either fill in for him adequately (without being as good generally); or
b) we'll move someone like Lovejoy into the #4 slot and everyone else will move up accordingly.

A is more likely. I doubt we would trade Martin without getting a reasonably experienced, less expensive D in return. Maybe someone on the order of Eaton.

I don't think Despres will make the team until next year, and when he does I don't think he'll be paired in the top 4 for a couple years at least. So basically he would bump a more experienced player up the depth chart, maybe playing with guys like Letang when we have a big lead or situations like that.


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09-14-2011, 05:28 PM
  #41
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I really don't think any of our top 4 dmen will be traded any time soon unless their play really drops off.

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Originally Posted by TheEdge27 View Post
Shero did the same thing with Goligoski too. It wouldnt be the first time its happened. If the right deal is there, Shero will make it. I think Orpik would be the last of the top 4 to get moved.

I think Staal can hit the 60pt plateau and stay there each year. I think his next deal will be around 4.5-.75 range.
I will be shocked if Staal is not making at least 5 mil a season on his next contract. Even if his production remains at about a 20 goal 50 point level there is going to be very high demand from other teams for his services.

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09-14-2011, 05:42 PM
  #42
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For my part, I don't think that at all (that a rookie will replace Martin after he leaves). I guess what I'm saying is, we may be forced into a situation where we have to trade him (maybe because the cap won't go up much in the years we have to re-sign the big names), in which case it's likely that:

a) we'll get a D back who can either fill in for him adequately (without being as good generally); or
b) we'll move someone like Lovejoy into the #4 slot and everyone else will move up accordingly.

A is more likely. I doubt we would trade Martin without getting a reasonably experienced, less expensive D in return. Maybe someone on the order of Eaton.

I don't think Despres will make the team until next year, and when he does I don't think he'll be paired in the top 4 for a couple years at least. So basically he would bump a more experienced player up the depth chart, maybe playing with guys like Letang when we have a big lead or situations like that.
I would start looking at guys like Dupuis and Cooke before I would consider trading Paul Martin if you're trying to clear up a little cap space.

I think what Martin brings is something no one else behind him can.

The Pens top 4 shouldn't even be a talking point in terms of any of them being moved, IMO. We FINALLY have something that works back there. I'd rather not tinker.

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09-14-2011, 06:07 PM
  #43
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I don't understand why we are even discussing moving anybody. It's no longer a cap space issue. We have enough room to do whatever we want to do. It seems like people are just incapable of being happy with a facet of our lineup that is set. It doesn't need to be ****ed with...it doesn't need to be altered. Prospects are not going to rot playing in the minors, and our prospects in particular could all use work in the minors still, so it's not like development is stalled, or we are wasting a prospect's time.
I don't think it's an issue of people WANTING to move someone, simply that if financial circumstances change, we may be forced to.

Don't forget: while we don't have cap issues now, there is a very real possibility that the cap could go DOWN after this season, and/or that the cap may plateau for a few years. If that happens, we may be forced to part with a player or two, whether that's Kunitz, Martin, Staal, etc.

Also, while we have some solid winger prospects in Bennett, Kuhnhackl and Agostino, none of these players is going to get a sniff with the club for another 2 or 3 more years. Hopefully the cap doesn't go down and players that we need to re-sign get done for below market value. If that doesn't happen, however, we may be forced to move somebody.

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09-14-2011, 06:38 PM
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The cap won't go down, especially if it hasn't yet. I'm tired of the armchair cap prognosticators here trying to guess what is going to happen, because no one knows.

I forget who it was, but they were certain the cap was going to drop millions of dollars a few years ago, and it actually went up a couple 100k.

There are many other guys I'd consider moving before Martin if we needed space.

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09-14-2011, 06:46 PM
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Yeah, I don't think we should be so quick to assume that Despres/Morrow/whoever will be able to step in and fill Martin's shoes in the top four over the course of Martin's contract. It just seems like wishful thinking to believe that it's as simple as that. Even if Despres and/or Morrow shows they're NHL ready, that's still quite a leap between being NHL ready and being a legitimate top pairing defender (like Martin is).

As for downgrading that defense and moving Martin for financial reasons, again, I think there's a lot of areas we can do stuff before unloading any of our big four on defense. I'd rather let Kunitz walk or deal a combo of our higher priced bottom sixers like Cooke or Dupuis before messing with our top four defense.

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09-14-2011, 07:05 PM
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The cap won't go down, especially if it hasn't yet. I'm tired of the armchair cap prognosticators here trying to guess what is going to happen, because no one knows.
A statement of certainty, followed by a statement criticizing those who do what you just did. Classic.

Anyway, of course we don't know what's going to happen, but we have to acknowledge the possibility. It has been discussed in the media that the NHL is going to try to push for a cap based on 50% (like the NFL & NBA, IIRC) of the revenue, as opposed the 56% it is now. That is a significant difference, and if that happens, it's very possible the cap could go down.


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There are many other guys I'd consider moving before Martin if we needed space.
That's a fair statement, and I don't necessarily disagree with that. It all depends who's performing well and which young players are ready to push the veterans -- whether it's young forwards pusing older forwards, or young Dmen pushing Martin.

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09-14-2011, 07:24 PM
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One thing to remember, if we trade a top-four guy (Martin, Michalek, whoever), the dynamics of our blueline would change. So, it wouldn't be ONE guy replacing the departed, it would be an improved bottom pairing and different responsibilities spread over the group. It wouldn't be Despres taking over Martin's responsibilities, or Bortuzzo taking Michalek's.

Anyway, we're still far from this day so there's no need in talking about it at this time. We can talk about the bottom pairing battles, though, because that is very real. Niskanen, Lovejoy and Engelland are really going to be pushed this training camp.

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09-14-2011, 07:37 PM
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A statement of certainty, followed by a statement criticizing those who do what you just did. Classic.

Anyway, of course we don't know what's going to happen, but we have to acknowledge the possibility. It has been discussed in the media that the NHL is going to try to push for a cap based on 50% (like the NFL & NBA, IIRC) of the revenue, as opposed the 56% it is now. That is a significant difference, and if that happens, it's very possible the cap could go down.
Using reasoning, if it didn't go down the years that were deemed the worst economic times since the great depression...it's not going to. This is not mentioning the simple fact that the Canadian dollar is going to continue being stronger than the US dollar, probably for the foreseeable future.

There were 2 or 3 people 2 years ago who were all doom and gloom when it came to the cap. Nothing at all they said came true. Actually...the complete opposite happened. Forgive me if I ignore cap predictions of those who post here, because the people who were posting about the cap last time sounded like they knew exactly what they were talking about too.

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09-15-2011, 05:06 AM
  #49
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I don't understand why we are even discussing moving anybody. It's no longer a cap space issue. We have enough room to do whatever we want to do. It seems like people are just incapable of being happy with a facet of our lineup that is set. It doesn't need to be ****ed with...it doesn't need to be altered. Prospects are not going to rot playing in the minors, and our prospects in particular could all use work in the minors still, so it's not like development is stalled, or we are wasting a prospect's time.
That and it seems pretty stupid to discuss our lineup inclusing possible trades for 2013-14. I mean noone has the slightest clue what happes until then.

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09-15-2011, 05:10 AM
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For my part, I don't think that at all (that a rookie will replace Martin after he leaves). I guess what I'm saying is, we may be forced into a situation where we have to trade him (maybe because the cap won't go up much in the years we have to re-sign the big names), in which case it's likely that:

a) we'll get a D back who can either fill in for him adequately (without being as good generally); or
b) we'll move someone like Lovejoy into the #4 slot and everyone else will move up accordingly.

A is more likely. I doubt we would trade Martin without getting a reasonably experienced, less expensive D in return. Maybe someone on the order of Eaton.

I don't think Despres will make the team until next year, and when he does I don't think he'll be paired in the top 4 for a couple years at least. So basically he would bump a more experienced player up the depth chart, maybe playing with guys like Letang when we have a big lead or situations like that.
That what I really don't understand, that's the absolut earliest point in time, Despres will be make the team for good. Peolple pencilled him and Tangradi into our top 6 and top 4 a year ago (some even had Tangradi in there 2 years ago), please stop it. Tangradi might not even make it this year.

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