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Robert Bortuzzo Appreciation Thread (and Bort+Elmer pairing)

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04-03-2013, 10:35 PM
  #1
jmelm
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Robert Bortuzzo Appreciation Thread (and Bort+Elmer pairing)

Well, the only real bright spot in the game tonight was the play of Robert Bortuzzo. Not only was it nice to see him FINALLY get into a game, but he was our best defenseman. There could easily have been excuses of how he may need a "re-adjustment period" to get acclimated to playing against NHL competition after being out of the line-up for a while, but he stepped right in and did a fantastic job. I have to say that I am thrilled that we retained this guy going forward, and I see him as someone who can be an integral part of our D-corps both short and long term.


Also, I have to say: I absolutely loved the fact that Bortuzzo and Despres were paired together, and see this as a GREAT pairing both short and long term, as well. These two have some familiarity from WBS, but even beyond that, I just think they make a great pair. I don't think Despres is ready to play along side of Letang on the top pair right now, and yet Bortuzzo+Despres makes for what could be a great shut-down pair for a lot of years. They are both very good at moving the puck, and Bortuzzo makes very quick & reliable reads, which helps balance out some of Simon's growing pains & mistakes. So I would be a huge advocate of keeping these guys together so they can continue to build on their chemistry, which I think can help us now, and pay huge divends in the future.


Now, unfortunately, I'm not sure that Bortuzzo will be in our starting group for the playoffs or get some games in down the stretch, but I sure hope he gets the chance. Either way, I'm hopeful he can, and I'm very excited for what he can bring to our team; and I think he and Despres are a great fit together right now.

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04-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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Malkinstheman
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I read somewhere that the pens may look to extend him mid-season. Would love him to sign the same contract that strait did.

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04-03-2013, 11:13 PM
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Honour Over Glory
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I am definitely over the Deryk Engelland love affair for him in the line-up. If Orpik has been bad then Engelland has been atrocious.

I would rather see Robert Bortuzzo become a regular next season or hell, even over Engelland at this point in the season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkinstheman View Post
I read somewhere that the pens may look to extend him mid-season. Would love him to sign the same contract that strait did.
He's an RFA, I am pretty sure he's getting a new contract.

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04-03-2013, 11:24 PM
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Malkinstheman
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With how martin was playing and how the team is playing without him, i can really see him finishing his contract here. Him and letang as mentors for the young guys would be great.

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04-04-2013, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Malkinstheman View Post
With how martin was playing and how the team is playing without him, i can really see him finishing his contract here. Him and letang as mentors for the young guys would be great.
Yeah, Martin has been a rock on the back end. He's been so steady and consistent all season. It's amazing that last year at this time Martin getting hurt would have been seen as addition by subtraction. This year his absence is devastating for our defense.

I agree that there's a much better chance of Martin playing out his contract here now. Orpik has become the obvious one to let go for cap reasons going forward.

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04-04-2013, 12:28 AM
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jmelm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkinstheman View Post
With how martin was playing and how the team is playing without him, i can really see him finishing his contract here. Him and letang as mentors for the young guys would be great.

I totally agree and have been saying the same thing for a couple of months now. I think we should trade Brooks this summer 100% (preferably at the draft to get some picks/prospects back, etc.), and then look to keep Martin not only to the end of his contract, but possibly extend him when he hits UFA, as well.

(Keeping Martin long-term would also give us the flexibility to trade Niskanen at some point, as well)

Line-up in 1-2 years:

Harrington/Dumoulin-Letang
Dumoulin/Harrington-Martin
Despres-Bortuzzo
(2 of Engo, Eaton or Samuelsson as #7/8)

One of Harrington or Dumolin should be ready next year, and keep & extend Niskanen until they're both ready to play, like I listed above. When they're ready, trade Nisky. After next year, we may have to keep Samuelsson up with the big club as a #7/8 so we don't lose him on waivers (if he's still prgressing well), and guys like Pouliot/Maatta/Ruopp/D'Agostino will need a few more years.

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04-04-2013, 01:13 AM
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Honour Over Glory
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At this point, I don't want to see Orpik & Engelland back next season. Orpik's been regressing since last season and Engelland has been Lovejoy bad.

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04-04-2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Honour Over Glory View Post
At this point, I don't want to see Orpik & Engelland back next season. Orpik's been regressing since last season and Engelland has been Lovejoy bad.
Do you mean the "bad" Lovejoy who has 8pts, 18min/game, and +8 in 22games? Sure, that's awful (for a guy who makes near league min).

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04-04-2013, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by wgknestrick View Post
Do you mean the "bad" Lovejoy who has 8pts, 18min/game, and +8 in 22games? Sure, that's awful (for a guy who makes near league min).
Different team, different system. Apples and oranges. I don't think Lovejoy was nearly as bad as he was made out to be here but no way he was as good as he's been in Anaheim, either. It's like Niskanen - sucked in Dallas so bad he was a throw-in on a trade and (last two games notwithstanding) he's been one of our better D-men for the last two seasons.

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04-04-2013, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for this thread. Bortuzzo has gotten lost in the shuffle and it's a damn shame. He looked great yesterday after his first shift and is exactly the player we need in our long-term plans (as noted above).

I too have been disappointed with Engo this season. It looks like he can only play well with a very finite number of D partners. Additionally, it's very difficult to see Orpik as one of out top 6 D going forward, and when I say that I am referring to this season. He is looking really bad.

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04-04-2013, 08:29 AM
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didnt think any Dman played well last night. at one point we had a brutal line on the ice. the 4th line with Bortuzzo and Despres. Despres looked terrible last night. maybe that made Bortuzzo look half decent.

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04-04-2013, 08:49 AM
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despres had his worst game of the year

bortuzzo looked good

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04-04-2013, 11:15 AM
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jmelm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honour Over Glory View Post
At this point, I don't want to see Orpik & Engelland back next season. Orpik's been regressing since last season and Engelland has been Lovejoy bad.
I would keep Engo just to be a heavyweight and as our #6/7/8 Dman. He actually had a VERY solid start to the year, but his play then tailed off when he started getting paired with new players he hadn't played with before (Despres), being put on his "off" (left) side, and then being shuffled in and out of the line-up.

I think he's a solid player when playing regularly, but he may not be in our top-6 going forward. But we should definitely keep him. He makes about the league minimum, has significant trade value (an enforcer & tough Dman who can actually play), and at worst will be the replacement for Glass we our looking for. I don't care if we end up dressing 7 Dmen some games and use him instead of Glass as the # 12/13 forward on the 4th line.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelFish87 View Post
despres had his worst game of the year

bortuzzo looked good
Despres made some mistakes, but he got a lot better as the game went along, in part due to how steady Bortuzzo was and the comfort level these 2 Dmen had playing with each other. Despres is going to have some ups & downs as part of his progression, but -- and suprisingly -- the "rookie" Bortuzzo is a stabilizing force for Despres, and I actually think their games compliment each other very well.

And like I said: two 6'4 Dmen like them make for an awesome shut-down pairing who are not offensively inept (like Orpik) and can eat a lot of minutes. I'd like to see them play together in the future, so let's start that process now. Based on last night's performance, Bortuzzo should stay in the line up fuil-time, and when Despres is in, he should be paired with Bortuzzo.

For the playoffs:

Niskanen-Letang
Orpik-Martin
Murray-Bortuzzo

(either Engo or Despres could work as a 12th forward if we dress 7 Dmen, and could bring the toughness/speed/physicality of Glass)

Thoughts on that line-up for the playoffs?

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04-04-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
For the playoffs:

Niskanen-Letang
Orpik-Martin
Murray-Bortuzzo

(either Engo or Despres could work as a 12th forward if we dress 7 Dmen, and could bring the toughness/speed/physicality of Glass)

Thoughts on that line-up for the playoffs?
On paper that bottom pairing looks nasty to play against, but in reality, that would be a painfully slow pairing and would cause all kinds of issues with teams dumping it in on us and winning a considerable amount of chases for the puck. It would also put more pressure on the goalie (Fleury) to handle the puck and that is never a good thing. I would imagine Murry/Bort getting caught in the corners a lot and making some bad passes that turn into turnovers & scoring chances the other way. That's the main weakness I see there anyway.

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04-04-2013, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
For the playoffs:

Niskanen-Letang
Orpik-Martin
Murray-Bortuzzo

(either Engo or Despres could work as a 12th forward if we dress 7 Dmen, and could bring the toughness/speed/physicality of Glass)

Thoughts on that line-up for the playoffs?
I wouldn't mind seeing Bortuzzo given more time going forward. I like him over Engo for sure. I think we want someone better with the puck on each pairing though. Our entire strategy revolves around it.

And let's be honest. Bortuzzo being in the line-up with a healthy roster is less likely than Bennett and Vitale.

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04-04-2013, 11:34 AM
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if Bortuzzo looked good last night, than we have some serious reality check problems here

Like the guy in general, but he and Despres were awful last night (just lake everyone else)

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04-04-2013, 11:36 AM
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If Orpik continues to struggle in the playoffs I'm 100% for trading him this summer while we can still get value for him. Him + Jokinen for example, might yield us a 1st round pick at the draft. Both have their good points, both under contract another year. Could be useful to a younger team looking for a veteran presence.

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04-04-2013, 12:05 PM
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I like the Despres-Bortuzzo pairing going forward. Both have size. One likes to roam more than the other. Both seem to make a sharp, crisp first pass. Both can play the body. One is more offensive than the other. Both have played together in the AHL. I think it's a really good fit. In fact, I would feel comfortable playing them together in the playoffs this year.

For next season, IF we keep Martin then we would definitely need to part with Orpik. We would also need to dump someone else, as well (with the hope we can re-sign Iginla). Niskanen may also have to go. Engelland is dirt cheap, so I'd keep him around as a No. 7 or 8 blueliner. It doesn't really do much for us to get rid of him, unless someone really wants him and gives up something of quality.

It would still probably be easier to trade Martin, both from a cap standpoint and because we could fairly easily get back a first rounder by moving him. Yes he has been great for us this season. Yes we look like a mess without him. But sooner or later, we're going to have to learn how to cope without him. Might as well start next season. Besides, maybe the biggest reason why we look like a mess again is coaching, perhaps even moreso than the lack of Martin, Letang or even Crosby for that matter.

BUT, as jmelm said, at least the good news is Bortuzzo is back playing and looked pretty good last night.

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04-04-2013, 12:27 PM
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I was trying to figure out which d-man played good last night...Bortuzzo would be it. He didn't look out of place at all.

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04-04-2013, 01:12 PM
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I really didn't think Bort looked that good. "he didn't look out of place" seems more appropriate, but that isn't the standard we set for our veterans. I like him overall though and want to see him get more games down the stretch.

Let's keep in mind he only played because Eaton was sick. It would take 3 injuries on D for him to get in the lineup.

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04-04-2013, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor Vitale View Post
If Orpik continues to struggle in the playoffs I'm 100% for trading him this summer while we can still get value for him. Him + Jokinen for example, might yield us a 1st round pick at the draft. Both have their good points, both under contract another year. Could be useful to a younger team looking for a veteran presence.
Yeah, i would really be surprised if shero doesnt push for a first/second round pick. To much talent to wait till the third round. Although I could have seen orpik getting a first during the deadline, i dont think shero wanted to deplete our defence more.

Imo harrington could be the perfect replacement. He doesnt have the physical side but makes up for it in hockey IQ, add on to a fact that he will be a good defencemen much longer than orpik.(meaning his body wont break down)

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04-04-2013, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor Vitale View Post
If Orpik continues to struggle in the playoffs I'm 100% for trading him this summer while we can still get value for him. Him + Jokinen for example, might yield us a 1st round pick at the draft. Both have their good points, both under contract another year. Could be useful to a younger team looking for a veteran presence.
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Originally Posted by Malkinstheman View Post
Yeah, i would really be surprised if shero doesnt push for a first/second round pick. To much talent to wait till the third round. Although I could have seen orpik getting a first during the deadline, i dont think shero wanted to deplete our defence more.
I don't really care if it's a package deal of Orpik + Kennedy or Oprik + Jokinen/Jeffrey to get a first rounder, or multiple deals for each of Orpik/Kennedy/Jeffrey, and perhaps even the rights to guys we can't re-sign (Murray, Morrow) and get multiple assets back. We've traded away a lot of assets and the more we can get back, the better. I would be happy to take a 2nd + a prospect or another '13 or '14 pick for Orpik, and would be happy with a 2nd/3rd for each of Kennedy and Jeffrey, if we decide to move the latter. I think rights for Morrow/Murray would be worth late rounders, but some late rounders pan out. The more often you can roll the dice, the more likely you are to get something.


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Originally Posted by Jag68Sid87 View Post
For next season, IF we keep Martin then we would definitely need to part with Orpik. We would also need to dump someone else, as well (with the hope we can re-sign Iginla). Niskanen may also have to go. Engelland is dirt cheap, so I'd keep him around as a No. 7 or 8 blueliner. It doesn't really do much for us to get rid of him, unless someone really wants him and gives up something of quality.

It would still probably be easier to trade Martin, both from a cap standpoint and because we could fairly easily get back a first rounder by moving him. Yes he has been great for us this season. Yes we look like a mess without him. But sooner or later, we're going to have to learn how to cope without him. Might as well start next season. Besides, maybe the biggest reason why we look like a mess again is coaching, perhaps even moreso than the lack of Martin, Letang or even Crosby for that matter.
While I agree that it may be easier to trade Martin, that's also because he's BY FAR the better player, which is why we need to keep him. Moving out Orpik + Kennedy takes away more salary than Martin makes alone, and it would leave us with a better team. Orpik also has only 1 year remaining on his deal, whereas Martin has 2. That means that Orpik's value is going to decline much more quickly, whereas we have a longer window in which to use Martin as a tradeable asset over the next few years.

Also, once some of our young guys are ready, I could see us moving Niskanen and re-signing/extending Martin to go along with Letang as the leaders and "veterans" of our defensive group going forward long-term. Martin brings an offensive element to our team that is more unique and will be needed (at least until Pouliot and others are more than ready), and his "soff" style of play makes it more likely that he'll be effective in his later years, unlike Brooks. Also, Martin can play either side, which makes him more versatile. In short, and for a number of reasons, it's a NO BRAINER, IMO, to keep Martin over Orpik going forward.

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04-04-2013, 11:35 PM
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UnderratedBrooks44
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Bortuzzo? I guess anyone that knows how to tie their skates gets an "appreciation" thread.

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04-04-2013, 11:43 PM
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jmelm
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Originally Posted by UnderratedBrooks44 View Post
Bortuzzo? I guess anyone that knows how to tie their skates gets an "appreciation" thread.

Perhaps it's time to change your username?


In all seriousness, yes: Bortuzzo was the best of a BAD bunch last night, and he hasn't played an NHL game in over a month. You can tell he's the real-deal. Meanwhile, Orpik continues to be inconsistent, and sometimes downright bad. He's quickly becoming overrated, if he wasn't already. Don't get me wrong: I will be very happy to have Brooks for THIS playoff run, but I really want nothing to do with him after this season.


And I mean that in the most respectful way, because he's been a solid citizen for our team, but it's time to turn the page, and if we can get assets back for him, we owe it to our future to do that. When you look at the (enviable) depth of teams like Chicago, Anaheim and Minnesota amongst their forwards, it's because they've largely held on to, or even accumulated, draft picks and made good use of them. After going "all in" this year, we're going to have to do some re-tooling in the summer to not only get under the cap, but set our team up as well as possible moving forward with assets/young players that are inexpensive. I'm very happy to think of Bortuzzo of a big part of that plan on the back-end. Now, just a few more pieces up front, which I truly believe a trade of Brooks should bring.

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04-05-2013, 06:44 AM
  #25
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Why do people call him Elmer?

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