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Rebuilding our defense...

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Old
02-27-2012, 11:35 PM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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Rebuilding our defense...

When Brent Burns was traded last season, Fletcher warned the fans it was going to be a transition year for our defense and that we had to prepare for a rough year from our defensemen. We had some good defensive forwards to help out and we were suppose to have Mike Lundin as well to help fill in the gaps...

So what went wrong?

1/ Zidlicky pulled a Heatley and pretty much forced himself off the team, forcing an already thin defense scrambling to find another defenseman to take his place.

2/ Mike Lundin injured himself, forcing Scandella into the roster. Lundin is still currently missing and instead of being a reliable top 4 defenseman, he is...MIA.

3/ Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon continued to regress and with the new system in place, fell quickly out of favor with the organization.

4/ Scandella hit a wall and didn't progress as nicely as we wanted.

So what went right?

1/ Scandella had a few months of relatively steady hockey but still hasn't shown reliability to be penciled in higher than the 4th defenseman.

2/ Escaping his imprisonment under Denver with all the other midgets and leprechauns, Spurgeon found a welcome home on the Wild blue line, progressing better than anyone hoped.

3/ Falk and Stoner continued to provide steady play from the blue line, as they were given limited minutes.

4/ We finally have a boat load of guys that can shoot from the blue line.

So Fletcher has his work cut out for him this off-season with a relatively thin group of defensemen to work with and an even thinner pool to pull from.

1/ He needs to find at least one top pairing defenseman. Either through a trade or through free agency. None of the guys we have currently or coming in (I'm not ready to pencil in Brodin for anything more than 4-6) are minute munchers and I wouldn't have them playing during critical moments.

2/ He needs to make a decision with Foster. Foster provides a nice shot from the point but he's not known to be a reliable defenseman.

3/ Stoner? Staying or going?

As it stands we have:

xxx - Gilbert
xxx - Scandella
Brodin - Spurgeron
Falk

I would actually try to bump down Gilbert so that it's like

xxx - xxx
Gilbert - Scandella
Brodin - Spurgeron
Falk

That leaves the most important spots open.

I would throw a 7 year, 56 million dollar contract at Ryan Suter and hope he bites. Suter would shore up a pretty thin defense and provide the Wild with a guy that can eat between 20-22 minutes per game, nightly.

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02-27-2012, 11:41 PM
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Dr Jan Itor
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You forgot Prosser.

Like I said in another thread, draft a defenseman with the 1st and 2nd rounders. Make a play at Suter (if he even becomes available, just like 20 other teams will, but I don't believe he even makes to FA). Build our D like we are building our forwards and goalies... through the draft. Hope that Scandella, Spurgeon, Prosser and Falk keep developing and improving.

Scandella - Spurgeon
Brodin - Gilbert
Falk - Prosser
Stoner

Not great, not terrible, but it may be the beginning of something.

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02-27-2012, 11:43 PM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Dr Jan Itor View Post
You forgot Prosser.
Prosser would be a call up.

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Like I said in another thread, draft a defenseman with the 1st and 2nd rounders. Make a play at Suter (if he even becomes available, just like 20 other teams will, but I don't believe he even makes to FA). Build our D like we are building our forwards and goalies... through the draft. Hope that Scandella, Spurgeon, Prosser and Falk keep developing and improving.
Sure, draft defenseman but that doesn't help the team now. And that's what we need right now is a defenseman or two.

Scandella - Spurgeon
Brodin - Gilbert
Falk - Prosser
Stoner

Quote:
Not great, not terrible, but it may be the beginning of something.
Ick, personally. That's a lot of pressure on a sophomore...or actually two sophomores.

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02-27-2012, 11:47 PM
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I want to see how Foster does in the next few games. If he can fit into Yeo's system and play competently, it might be worth extending him for one or two years to let prospects in Houston develop.

It's also going to be interesting to see how Kampfer does down in Houston.

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02-27-2012, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
Prosser would be a call up.
Wasn't Prosser's new deal a one-way? I though it was.

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Sure, draft defenseman but that doesn't help the team now. And that's what we need right now is a defenseman or two.

Scandella - Spurgeon
Brodin - Gilbert
Falk - Prosser
Stoner



Ick, personally. That's a lot of pressure on a sophomore...or actually two sophomores.
Personally, I'm not looking at now, I'm looking 3-5 years from now, when all of our young, talented forwards hit their early to mid twenties. That's when you make the move to shore up the weaknesses, not before. Trading one 30 year old defenseman for another should not drastically change the plan.

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02-27-2012, 11:47 PM
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Yes, it's a 1-way contract for Prosser starting next season.

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02-27-2012, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Jan Itor View Post
Wasn't Prosser's new deal a one-way? I though it was.
There are a few players on one way deals that we have.

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Personally, I'm not looking at now, I'm looking 3-5 years from now, when all of our young, talented forwards hit their early to mid twenties. That's when you make the move to shore up the weaknesses, not before. Trading one 30 year old defenseman for another should not drastically change the plan.
That's all well and good but that means yet another 3-5 years we're out of the playoffs. Our defense needs to improve before we have any inkling of going back to the playoffs.

Trading a 30 year old PMD specialist for a guy that you could crunch 20 minutes with and not be overly concern is.

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02-27-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
Yes, it's a 1-way contract for Prosser starting next season.
Yeah, Fletch is an amazing GM. He rebuilt our forwards last year and rebuilt our defense this year, we got plenty of new PMD'ers. New prospects and for once our back end can keep up with our forwards.

We 3-4 D in place for next year and plenty of cap space. I see the next 20 games as a test to see if our new additions can return. If not we can see if we can sign Suter this year. I'd leave Brodin in Sweden for one more year. Scandella maybe down in Houston to work on his game more and draft D with our first and second rounder this year.

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02-27-2012, 11:55 PM
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Ages in three years...

Koivu: 31
Setoguchi: 28
Latendresse (if still here): 27
Clutterbuck: 27
Brodziak: 30
Scandella: 25
Spurgeon: 25
Granlund: 23
Brodin: 22
Phillips: 22
Coyle: 23ish
Larsson:23ish
Bulmer:23ish
Zucker:23ish
Hackett:24
Our 2012 1st rounder: 21

Not to mention other guys that might still be around and still be on the front side of 30 like Falk, Prosser, Johnson, Palmieri, etc...

This is when we should make our move, not now.

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02-27-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
There are a few players on one way deals that we have.



That's all well and good but that means yet another 3-5 years we're out of the playoffs. Our defense needs to improve before we have any inkling of going back to the playoffs.

Trading a 30 year old PMD specialist for a guy that you could crunch 20 minutes with and not be overly concern is.
Prosser is one of them.

Out of the playoffs isn't a given, look where Ottawa is right now. I firmly believe we'd be in right now if our health up front maintained.

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02-27-2012, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Jan Itor View Post
Out of the playoffs isn't a given, look where Ottawa is right now. I firmly believe we'd be in right now if our health up front maintained.
It depends if the forwards progress but we don't have a karlsson.

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02-28-2012, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
It depends if the forwards progress but we don't have a karlsson.
Of course it depends on how the forwards progress. It depends on how everybody progresses. That's the name of the game.

No we don't have a Karlsson, but we have strength in other areas. Not every successful team needs to be built exactly like the other ones.

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02-28-2012, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
There are a few players on one way deals that we have.
And Processor is one of them. He's done with Houston.

We will have loads of money to spend this summer to find a decent guy on the blueline. That said, if (and that's a BIG IF) Suter makes it to FA, everyone will be going after him. They'll only be one winner, and many losers (who may have thrown the bank at him.) So we need to have a Plan B on who to sign.

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02-28-2012, 12:07 AM
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Pretty sure Russo mentioned that GMCF is in the process of trying to re-sign Stoner, so I'd pencil him in as a bottom-pairing defenseman that the organization would like to keep.

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02-28-2012, 12:08 AM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by NHL1674 View Post
And Processor is one of them. He's done with Houston.
So is GMCF fine with our defense the way it is? Possibly throw some money at Suter but shrug it off if it doesn't work. Ick.

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02-28-2012, 12:12 AM
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I thought our 6 D-men combined have a total of 6,5M cap hit or something around as of right now.

Is it right?

If so, can't wait forward for the off-season...

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02-28-2012, 12:14 AM
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So is GMCF fine with our defense the way it is? Possibly throw some money at Suter but shrug it off if it doesn't work. Ick.
That's for him to know and for us to find out. But Prosser isn't going anywhere. I'm not thrilled about the 1-way deal, because he's been questionable lately......but he's been better than a lot of the other goofs we've had out there so...............

All I want is defensemen who don't get trapped all freaking day in their own end, and that's what the moves have been about. Finding defensemen who can get the puck out of dodge! This isn't the final product. Still a lot of work to do. This team may not be rebuilding, but it's trying to change its identity, and that takes time and a ****load of frustration. But it's part of the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
I thought our 6 D-men combined have a total of 6,5M cap hit or something around as of right now.

Is it right?

If so, looking forward for the off-season...
I haven't looked it up, but those are the numbers that I've been coming across. We have one of the cheapest bluelines in the league. Tons of money to spend this summer, and then consider next summer as well. Doesn't Parrish's contract come off the books. And if we don't keep Backstrom, that's more right there....and if Butch retires. We have many options.

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02-28-2012, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
I thought our 6 D-men combined have a total of 6,5M cap hit or something around as of right now.

Is it right?

If so, can't wait for the off-season...
We'll be like a kid in a candy store!

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02-28-2012, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
I thought our 6 D-men combined have a total of 6,5M cap hit or something around as of right now.

Is it right?
Gilbert, Foster, Scandella, Spurgeon, Prosser, and Falk come out to about 8.5 mil.

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02-28-2012, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
So is GMCF fine with our defense the way it is? Possibly throw some money at Suter but shrug it off if it doesn't work. Ick.
I hope he doesn't have your impatience.

In all honesty, you sound like we went from Ryan Suter to Tom Gilbert, not Nick Schultz to Tom Gilbert. I don't think the drop-off is as steep as you're predicting.

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02-28-2012, 12:16 AM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
I thought our 6 D-men combined have a total of 6,5M cap hit or something around as of right now.

Is it right?

If so, can't wait for the off-season...
Yeah because Gilbert's cap hit is pro-rated to like .866 million LOL

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02-28-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2600 View Post
Gilbert, Foster, Scandella, Spurgeon, Prosser, and Falk come out to about 8.5 mil.
Ha, I knew I messed up a number.

Thanks for the info. Still interesting to see.

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02-28-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2600 View Post
Gilbert, Foster, Scandella, Spurgeon, Prosser, and Falk come out to about 8.5 mil.
Is that the cheapest blueline in the league? I would love to see a list sorted by blueline cost.

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02-28-2012, 12:17 AM
  #24
thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Dr Jan Itor View Post
I hope he doesn't have your impatience.
What impatience? Going into next season with the same defense we have this season? Minus Foster but have Prosser the entire time and Brodin?

Yep. That sounds like impatience to me when guys like Falk and Stoner have pretty much hit their peak and Spurgeron isn't going to grow another foot.

The only guy I can see that can grow currently is Scandella and his progression has been up and down.

Schultz and Gilbert play two types of defense.

I don't trust Gilbert enough to have him play 20-22 minutes a night or we'll see Zids situations pop up. Schultz at least, while limited, didn't have as many gaffes or play as terrible defensively. Neither one was right for a top pairing.

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02-28-2012, 12:18 AM
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Spurgeon is a keeper.

Hopefully Brodin will turn into something special.

I would imagine Gilbert will be here for a while now.

Scandella needs to improve a good amount if he expects to play a large role with this team.

I'm not sold on Falk or Prosser.

Don't expect Foster to be re-signed unless he really impresses the rest of the season.

Wouldn't mind seeing Stoner re-signed as I like the grit and toughness he brings but I won't be heartbroken if he isn't re-signed.

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