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Jori Lehtera (Update: Re-signed with Sibir for 2 years)

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Old
01-28-2013, 01:11 PM
  #101
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Would he sign an AHL contract once the KHL season is over with? That way the Blues can determine whats in his game and see if he's ready or not. Then, IF the blues think he can make it in the NHL they sign him to an ELC this summer. Would that work for both parties?

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01-28-2013, 01:33 PM
  #102
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Would he sign an AHL contract once the KHL season is over with? That way the Blues can determine whats in his game and see if he's ready or not. Then, IF the blues think he can make it in the NHL they sign him to an ELC this summer. Would that work for both parties?
ELC isn't an option - Lehtera is past that point. While we retain his rights, he's free to sign for as short/long and for whatever amount he can (at least this is my understanding).

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02-08-2013, 12:25 PM
  #103
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I guess, it's obvious that Blues need at least one pure playmaking center. Lehtera is a good playmaker, who had successful history of playing with Tarasenko. I think they should try him this summer. As I read somewhere in Russian, Lehtera wouldn't mind to come to NA this summer.

Sure, he can fail. Then Blues will need to trade for that playmaking center. They have a lot of valuable pieces.

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02-08-2013, 01:21 PM
  #104
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I guess, it's obvious that Blues need at least one pure playmaking center. Lehtera is a good playmaker, who had successful history of playing with Tarasenko. I think they should try him this summer. As I read somewhere in Russian, Lehtera wouldn't mind to come to NA this summer.

Sure, he can fail. Then Blues will need to trade for that playmaking center. They have a lot of valuable pieces.
If the Blues wanted a playmaking center don't you think they would have put Andy McDonald there years ago instead of moving him to the wing almost immediately? If Lehtera comes over(and plays center) he is going to need to be a north south player that can shoulder some defensive load. His playmaking abilities certainly won't hurt if he wins a puck battle and sees a winger/d-man in some open ice but it's not a requirement for how the Blues employ their centers.

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02-08-2013, 01:39 PM
  #105
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We need players who elevate their game in big situations, not ones who wilt under the pressure. Lehtera has been the latter to this point of his career. I'm not counting on much from him and quite frankly don't get why so many people still have him in the forefront of options for the Blues up front. Philip McRae...yes, that Philip McRae is much more likely to make a contribution to the Blues than Lehtera, if you ask me...and nobody talks about him (rightfully so, I might add).

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02-08-2013, 03:09 PM
  #106
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We need players who elevate their game in big situations, not ones who wilt under the pressure. Lehtera has been the latter to this point of his career. I'm not counting on much from him and quite frankly don't get why so many people still have him in the forefront of options for the Blues up front. Philip McRae...yes, that Philip McRae is much more likely to make a contribution to the Blues than Lehtera, if you ask me...and nobody talks about him (rightfully so, I might add).
I'll happily give Lehterä a pass on the "pressure situations" up until this point. I don't know what has went on with the national team, but the idea that the EHT is a pressure event is laughable. So we are basing his "wilting" on 1 bad year in the World Championships and him playing like crap in his playoff run with Lokomotiv? His numbers in the SM-Liiga payoffs basically mirrored his regular season point production, but oddly didn't make the list. I didn't see his run with Lokomotiv so I won't comment.

I suppose we could call out Oshie by looking at the stat sheets of "pressure situations" as well though.

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02-08-2013, 05:59 PM
  #107
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The sports journalists of number one Finnish media (YLE) "picked" the national team for 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Tuomo Ruutu - Mikko Koivu - Valtteri Filppula
Mikael Granlund - Jori Lehterä - Lauri Korpikoski
Sean Bergenheim - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selänne
Leo Komarov - Niko Kapanen - Jesse Joensuu
Sakari Salminen

Kimmo Timonen - Sami Salo
Sami Vatanen - Toni Lydman
Janne Niskala - Ossi Väänänen
Joni Pitkänen

Pekka Rinne
Tuukka Rask
Kari Lehtonen

Here is the article.

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02-08-2013, 10:47 PM
  #108
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If this guy is good enough to play on a line with Granlund and be a higher center than Koivu on the depth chart then we need him!!

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02-08-2013, 11:21 PM
  #109
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If this guy is good enough to play on a line with Granlund and be a higher center than Koivu on the depth chart then we need him!!
But THAT is a team chosen for The International sized ice surface. Can Lehterä defend against large and speedy NHLers in Hitch's system (e.g. primary defensive responsibilities of the centre)? Can he get enough separation on the small ice to be effective on offence? All this is not a given. The much more speedy, Andy McDonald, is a bit of a liability on defence at centre in our system. How is the slower-skating, not much bigger, not much stronger, and much less experienced Lehterä going to be better on defence, and/or more valuable on offence? I really have my doubts that Hitchcock will end up putting Lehterä in his Top 9. I hope I am wrong, and Lehterä clicks well with Tarasenko, and is very effective on offence on The NHL level. But, until I see it happen, I am skeptical.

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02-09-2013, 07:03 AM
  #110
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But THAT is a team chosen for The International sized ice surface. Can Lehterä defend against large and speedy NHLers in Hitch's system (e.g. primary defensive responsibilities of the centre)? Can he get enough separation on the small ice to be effective on offence? All this is not a given. The much more speedy, Andy McDonald, is a bit of a liability on defence at centre in our system. How is the slower-skating, not much bigger, not much stronger, and much less experienced Lehterä going to be better on defence, and/or more valuable on offence? I really have my doubts that Hitchcock will end up putting Lehterä in his Top 9. I hope I am wrong, and Lehterä clicks well with Tarasenko, and is very effective on offence on The NHL level. But, until I see it happen, I am skeptical.
Lehterä is 6'2" and 210, McDonald is 5'10" and 183. Lehterä is also one of the faster skaters in the KHL, although there are some questions over skating adjustments to the NHL.

Size and speed certainly aren't issues, the questions are about his willingness to use his size effectively in the NHL and if his defensive game will be good enough. Let's remember though, he is going against the top lines in the KHL and is +26 in his 2 years on an, at best, average Sibir team. It is easier to be more critical of a players defensive game on larger ice.

He is far from a sure thing, but he has shown more than enough to have a legitimate chance of making it in the NHL.

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02-09-2013, 07:42 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Robb_K
But THAT is a team chosen for The International sized ice surface. Can Lehterä defend against large and speedy NHLers in Hitch's system (e.g. primary defensive responsibilities of the centre)? Can he get enough separation on the small ice to be effective on offence? All this is not a given. The much more speedy, Andy McDonald, is a bit of a liability on defence at centre in our system. How is the slower-skating, not much bigger, not much stronger, and much less experienced Lehterä going to be better on defence, and/or more valuable on offence? I really have my doubts that Hitchcock will end up putting Lehterä in his Top 9. I hope I am wrong, and Lehterä clicks well with Tarasenko, and is very effective on offence on The NHL level. But, until I see it happen, I am skeptical.

Alklha quote:

Lehterä is 6'2" and 210, McDonald is 5'10" and 183. Lehterä is also one of the faster skaters in the KHL, although there are some questions over skating adjustments to the NHL.

Size and speed certainly aren't issues, the questions are about his willingness to use his size effectively in the NHL and if his defensive game will be good enough. Let's remember though, he is going against the top lines in the KHL and is +26 in his 2 years on an, at best, average Sibir team. It is easier to be more critical of a players defensive game on larger ice.

He is far from a sure thing, but he has shown more than enough to have a legitimate chance of making it in the NHL.

I agree with you 100 percent.

A lot has been said on this forum over the years about Lehtera's skating, but how much worse can it be than Berglund's?

Lehtera's numbers (points and +/-) in Europe are very good. He's putting up those numbers without the benefit of great linemates. He's a so-called natural center who is good at faceoffs (something the Blues need ever so badly). He deserves a shot and soon.

As for Robb K's stance that Lehtera isn't much bigger than McDonald -- all I can say is that I gave up the hard drugs years ago.


Last edited by jessejames: 02-09-2013 at 07:50 AM. Reason: to correct spelling
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02-09-2013, 07:52 AM
  #112
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I wouldn't rule out Lehterä taking Mcdonald's place alongside Tarasenko when he arrives in St. Louis.

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02-09-2013, 03:14 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Robb_K
But THAT is a team chosen for The International sized ice surface. Can Lehterä defend against large and speedy NHLers in Hitch's system (e.g. primary defensive responsibilities of the centre)? Can he get enough separation on the small ice to be effective on offence? All this is not a given. The much more speedy, Andy McDonald, is a bit of a liability on defence at centre in our system. How is the slower-skating, not much bigger, not much stronger, and much less experienced Lehterä going to be better on defence, and/or more valuable on offence? I really have my doubts that Hitchcock will end up putting Lehterä in his Top 9. I hope I am wrong, and Lehterä clicks well with Tarasenko, and is very effective on offence on The NHL level. But, until I see it happen, I am skeptical.

Alklha quote:

Lehterä is 6'2" and 210, McDonald is 5'10" and 183. Lehterä is also one of the faster skaters in the KHL, although there are some questions over skating adjustments to the NHL.

Size and speed certainly aren't issues, the questions are about his willingness to use his size effectively in the NHL and if his defensive game will be good enough. Let's remember though, he is going against the top lines in the KHL and is +26 in his 2 years on an, at best, average Sibir team. It is easier to be more critical of a players defensive game on larger ice.

He is far from a sure thing, but he has shown more than enough to have a legitimate chance of making it in the NHL.

I agree with you 100 percent.

A lot has been said on this forum over the years about Lehtera's skating, but how much worse can it be than Berglund's?

Lehtera's numbers (points and +/-) in Europe are very good. He's putting up those numbers without the benefit of great linemates. He's a so-called natural center who is good at faceoffs (something the Blues need ever so badly). He deserves a shot and soon.

As for Robb K's stance that Lehtera isn't much bigger than McDonald -- all I can say is that I gave up the hard drugs years ago.
Sorry. I hadn't realised that he was so big. I had thought he was about 6 ft. 190 lb. I've only seen a few short clips of him playing which showed no real contact/hitting, and remember reading a lot that he doesn't initiate much contact, and is a lot less effective vs. teams that do a lot of hitting. I guess he plays more like a 6 ft. 190 lb. player than the average player his size. I didn't see him do well in fighting for the puck. I'll admit that most of what I know or thought I knew about him was from reading opinions of scouts and fans that had seen him play a fair amount.

This news makes me feel better about him. I hope he puts the work into upgrade and round out his game, and I hope he comes to North America next summer/fall to try to make The Blues' roster. It would be great if he could play on a line with Tarasenko.

Is he at least strong on the puck, and hard to knock off? If he were more willing to use his size and weight to his advantage, and to concentrate on improving his defensive game, he'd stand a better chance to make The Blues' Top 9.

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02-09-2013, 04:51 PM
  #114
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What I remember about his short stint in Peoria was a question of whether his skating was at an NHL level. I don't remember anything about him being fast. I hope he is.

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02-09-2013, 04:58 PM
  #115
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Hopefully his skating has improved. Raises my eyebrows to read he's one of the fastest skaters in the KHL because when we used to watch Tarasenko play with him on Sibir, Lehtera's skating was definitely not NHL quality. He's a good playmaker in the zone but zone to zone just didn't have NHL skating ability. If he's improved in this area then I'm much more intrigued.

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02-09-2013, 05:45 PM
  #116
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His overall skating has certainly noticeably improved, but there is still work to be done. He is faster than he was, and his first couple of strides are much better. Other issues, like lateral skating, aren't as smooth as I would like though. However, with increased focus on that in the NHL, I don't see why we couldn't expect improvement in that area as well.

He is strong on the puck, using his frame well to protect it. He does seem to lack physicality despite his size though, but it is difficult to know how much the surface size plays into that. He doesn't initiate much contact, but he certainly doesn't shy away from and will go to the boards.

He isn't perfect, but is we have a C spot open in the summer, then he is very low risk. If he doesn't work out then we can still address the need via trade, and there would certainly be a team willing to take a flyer on Lehterä to shift his salary and give him a shot elsewhere. But I still think a line of Steen - Lehterä - Tarasenko makes a lot of sense.

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02-09-2013, 10:27 PM
  #117
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His overall skating has certainly noticeably improved, but there is still work to be done. He is faster than he was, and his first couple of strides are much better. Other issues, like lateral skating, aren't as smooth as I would like though. However, with increased focus on that in the NHL, I don't see why we couldn't expect improvement in that area as well.

He is strong on the puck, using his frame well to protect it. He does seem to lack physicality despite his size though, but it is difficult to know how much the surface size plays into that. He doesn't initiate much contact, but he certainly doesn't shy away from it and will go to the boards.

He isn't perfect, but is we have a C spot open in the summer, then he is very low risk. If he doesn't work out then we can still address the need via trade, and there would certainly be a team willing to take a flyer on Lehterä to shift his salary and give him a shot elsewhere. But I still think a line of Steen - Lehterä - Tarasenko makes a lot of sense.
This is all good news, compared to his play of last year.

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02-17-2013, 11:16 AM
  #118
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Regular season over, his final position in KHL scoring is 5th.

52GP, 17g+31a=48pts, +18

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02-17-2013, 11:22 AM
  #119
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Regular season over, his final position in KHL scoring is 5th.

52GP, 17g+31a=48pts, +18
Did his team make the playoffs or is he done for the year?

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02-17-2013, 12:06 PM
  #120
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Did his team make the playoffs or is he done for the year?
Sibir made the playoffs. They will play Avangard Omsk in the first round, a bit of a rivalry. First game is on Thursday.

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02-17-2013, 12:53 PM
  #121
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Does anyone know how Lehtera is at taking faceoffs?

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02-17-2013, 01:01 PM
  #122
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Here's the main issue I see with Lehtera when it comes to him joining the Blues: the logistics of the fact that the Blues can't afford a "maybe". It's nice to say that they should just give him a shot in camp to earn the 3rd line center spot but for a team trying to win the Cup, they can't take a maybe shot on such an important role. If he shows he's not good enough, the Blues can't afford to have a huge hole in their top-9 like that. They either have to build their 2013-14 roster this summer with the assumption that Lehtera is definitely a part of it or definitely not a part of it. I don't see any room for "maybe" with Lehtera. THAT is the main problem you have when you have a player that pretty much won't be willing to play in the minors and has lucrative offers over in Europe and the NHL team he wants to join isn't in rebuilding mode and thus can't afford "maybes".

To me, Lehtera is very talented but he plays a very European game. I question if he would be able to transition to the NHL game, especailly immidiately. Hitchcock is especially demanding in the two-way, north-south game. The European game is much more east-west. Some players simply fit better in certain styles of game and to me, Lehtera is a very good Euro/east-west player but I question how good of an N.A./north-south player he would be. To me, I think for Lehtera to be in the Blues' plans for next season, he has to somehow convince them that he's a sure thing, not a maybe...and I don't know how they heck he's going to do that. IMO, the only way they take a shot on him is if they more or less pencil him is as the 13th forward and he fills in like D'ags is filling in this season. Whether that would be worth it to him or worth it to the Blues, I don't know.

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02-17-2013, 01:57 PM
  #123
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Here's the main issue I see with Lehtera when it comes to him joining the Blues: the logistics of the fact that the Blues can't afford a "maybe". It's nice to say that they should just give him a shot in camp to earn the 3rd line center spot but for a team trying to win the Cup, they can't take a maybe shot on such an important role. If he shows he's not good enough, the Blues can't afford to have a huge hole in their top-9 like that. They either have to build their 2013-14 roster this summer with the assumption that Lehtera is definitely a part of it or definitely not a part of it. I don't see any room for "maybe" with Lehtera. THAT is the main problem you have when you have a player that pretty much won't be willing to play in the minors and has lucrative offers over in Europe and the NHL team he wants to join isn't in rebuilding mode and thus can't afford "maybes".

To me, Lehtera is very talented but he plays a very European game. I question if he would be able to transition to the NHL game, especailly immidiately. Hitchcock is especially demanding in the two-way, north-south game. The European game is much more east-west. Some players simply fit better in certain styles of game and to me, Lehtera is a very good Euro/east-west player but I question how good of an N.A./north-south player he would be. To me, I think for Lehtera to be in the Blues' plans for next season, he has to somehow convince them that he's a sure thing, not a maybe...and I don't know how they heck he's going to do that. IMO, the only way they take a shot on him is if they more or less pencil him is as the 13th forward and he fills in like D'ags is filling in this season. Whether that would be worth it to him or worth it to the Blues, I don't know.
Before I finished your post I was thinking this exactly. You are right, they cannot afford to bank on Lethera. Rather, they can use him as part of the push for competition on the roster.

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02-17-2013, 03:02 PM
  #124
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Does anyone know how Lehtera is at taking faceoffs?
He has won 1445 of 2492 in the KHL, 58.0%. This season he won 56.7%.

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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
Here's the main issue I see with Lehtera when it comes to him joining the Blues: the logistics of the fact that the Blues can't afford a "maybe". It's nice to say that they should just give him a shot in camp to earn the 3rd line center spot but for a team trying to win the Cup, they can't take a maybe shot on such an important role. If he shows he's not good enough, the Blues can't afford to have a huge hole in their top-9 like that. They either have to build their 2013-14 roster this summer with the assumption that Lehtera is definitely a part of it or definitely not a part of it. I don't see any room for "maybe" with Lehtera. THAT is the main problem you have when you have a player that pretty much won't be willing to play in the minors and has lucrative offers over in Europe and the NHL team he wants to join isn't in rebuilding mode and thus can't afford "maybes".

To me, Lehtera is very talented but he plays a very European game. I question if he would be able to transition to the NHL game, especailly immidiately. Hitchcock is especially demanding in the two-way, north-south game. The European game is much more east-west. Some players simply fit better in certain styles of game and to me, Lehtera is a very good Euro/east-west player but I question how good of an N.A./north-south player he would be. To me, I think for Lehtera to be in the Blues' plans for next season, he has to somehow convince them that he's a sure thing, not a maybe...and I don't know how they heck he's going to do that. IMO, the only way they take a shot on him is if they more or less pencil him is as the 13th forward and he fills in like D'ags is filling in this season. Whether that would be worth it to him or worth it to the Blues, I don't know.
You can't really argue that Lehterä is any more of a "maybe" than Alex Steen was this season. Plus Steen is a much bigger risk in a 48 game season, than Lehterä in an 82 game season. The coaches make their assessments and move on from there, and they have to trust those assessments.

If there was a few good centres that were hitting the UFA market, then there is certainly an argument that you don't let Lehterä stop you going after those players.

But the trade market is probably the most likely option. That isn't going to disappear 20 games into the season when we would have a better idea what we have got with Lehterä. Worst case scenario is that he bombs, we move Steen back to centre, call up Jaškin and then pursue a trade. Spending a small fortune in the UFA market, or giving up assets in a trade, before doing that wouldn't make much sense.

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02-17-2013, 03:09 PM
  #125
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If you guys don't have space for/faith in him, maybe you should try trading his rights to Columbus or something, didn't Kekäläinen pick him anyway

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