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Riku!

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Old
01-06-2004, 06:10 AM
  #1
Gumballhead
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Riku!

I missed this myself, even though I check the Avs section every day, and I haven't noticed anyone having posted this:

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,...871226,00.html

If we get him back in early February, we are going to have some real depth again. We're already (barring any more injuries) looking at a great 3rd line of Kono-Niko-Hinote, now the 4th line can be something like Worrell-Hahl-McCormick. That third line can score and is really defensively responsible, and the fourth will be aggressive and actually will log some ice time. And what's more, I just plain like Hahl and his style of play. This is great news.

I'm going to be at the Avs-Wild game at Excel in late February, I might actually see us working from a full deck.

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01-06-2004, 06:13 AM
  #2
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PL will also be happy with that I think. The team gradually getting back to full health means he'll have some time to evaluate his roster before the Deadline and see how it all works together.

He'll probably try to get at least one defender I guess.

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01-06-2004, 06:35 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Fan
PL will also be happy with that I think. The team gradually getting back to full health means he'll have some time to evaluate his roster before the Deadline and see how it all works together.

He'll probably try to get at least one defender I guess.
I am hoping that Riku's health will not mean McAllister will return to being a full-time defenseman. I hate to keep riding this dead horse, but we really do need one more dependable stalwart on defense. When's the last time we had to scratch a blueliner with talent? Hasn't happened this year. We have no tough decisions to make there, which means we have no real depth. If for any reason we lost 2 defensemen to injury (this has happened to a lot of other teams this year), we'd have a pretty godawful blueline. It's also a lot easier to live with Marty knowing you can scratch him and put someone solid in. That could be beneficial to both the team and Marty.

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01-06-2004, 09:03 AM
  #4
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Riku, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarOutCrops
I am hoping that Riku's health will not mean McAllister will return to being a full-time defenseman. I hate to keep riding this dead horse, but we really do need one more dependable stalwart on defense. When's the last time we had to scratch a blueliner with talent? Hasn't happened this year. We have no tough decisions to make there, which means we have no real depth. If for any reason we lost 2 defensemen to injury (this has happened to a lot of other teams this year), we'd have a pretty godawful blueline. It's also a lot easier to live with Marty knowing you can scratch him and put someone solid in. That could be beneficial to both the team and Marty.
BINGO! Well said, FarOut.

Hahl's possible return also means that Cummins and Brigley will likely be the Scratches, with Larsen and Moore returning to Hershey... barring more injuries.

Now, to acquire that new defenseman for depth, just package McAllister with some videotapes of his highlights, and -- PRESTO! -- a done deal!

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01-06-2004, 09:13 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceBagadonuts
Now, to acquire that new defenseman for depth, just package McAllister with some videotapes of his highlights, and -- PRESTO! -- a done deal!


Not going to happen. Like it or not, Big Mac is not a bad 7/8th dman. He just isn't a reliable 5/6 by any stretch of the imagination. A better depth player would be beneficial, but no one is going to trade anythign significant for Big Mac, much less a player the Avs would covet.

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01-06-2004, 10:01 AM
  #6
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I don't think we can get anything very serviceable by trading Big Mac, so he's probably fine as our last defenseman.

I'm just of the opinion that with the inconsistent Skoula, and the rookie Liles, who are both better offensively than defensively, that we should invest in a reliable stay-at-home veteran. I'm pretty sure one can be had for draft picks, probably not even high ones, and it would be a rental. There are some high-powered offenses in the West, and it seems imperative that we strengthen our D, whether simply in depth or an upgrade over Skoula. I don't think anything will happen until the deadline, though.

I feel confident about this team, especially up front with today's return of Sakic and Kariya, and Hahl coming back sooner than expected. I don't mistrust the D, but it seems like they could use help, especially once the playoffs come around. Actually, even before then, because it would be nice to shave some minutes off the big 4's ice time and have them fresh. It also cannot hurt to have as much defensive experience in front of Abby as possible for his first playoff run.

It's nice to not be thinking in terms of the huge move we need to make, because this team only needs some tinkering to be a Cup favorite. Our big winter acquisitions were Forsberg and Kariya, and we are due to acquire another solid forward in February - Hahl.

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Old
01-06-2004, 10:20 AM
  #7
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anybody think Riku could fetch a better than average veteran defenseman in a package? throw some names out there...

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01-06-2004, 10:36 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvsGuy
anybody think Riku could fetch a better than average veteran defenseman in a package? throw some names out there...
Any team with sense and decent scouting would jump all over Hahl for a vet they weren't going to keep anyway; he's cheap and has a definite long term 3rd or 4th line future. Most of the names of D-men on the block have been offensive minded, and a pretty decent one of those (Delmore) was let go a week or so ago. I really don't know who will be available, but they'll probably be older and slightly expensive or younger and due a raise. I am guessing we won't need to trade someone valuable to us like Hahl, and I am personally hoping we don't.

I'd be glad to see us trade Skoula to Boston for Gill, they are looking to acquire a offensive blueliner, right?

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01-06-2004, 10:48 AM
  #9
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Riku, etc.

Re: Hahl (and McAllister)

Well, y'all's correct about Big Mac not having much trade value. My thinking is -- subject to what might be needed to swing a deal for a significant-upgrade Defenseman -- McAllister could be the "throw-in" (along with a pick or prospect) that complete's the deal.

I agree that Mac's not a bad #7 blue-liner. However, his "utility-player versatility" as a LW is more myth than reality. When Riku Hahl returns, that'll mean Brigley probably gets relegated to the bench... and HE makes a far better alternative at LW/C than Mac. And, with Cummins also headed to scratch-ville, HE makes a better back-up enforcer (once his 2 black eyes heal) than Mac. Hence, Mac becomes more of a redundant spare-part.

In acquiring that New/Upgraded Defenseman, I was assuming that both Liles AND Skoula would stay... with them alternating at the #6 and 7 slots through the playoffs. Looking at it selfishly, wouldn't you rather have on of THEM at #7 (for depth) than Mac? Of course, THAT scenario means McAllister goes, because the Avs won't carry 8 defenseman, and I don't see Mac going down to Hershey.

But, if Mac stays (at #7), then who do the Avs trade: Liles, or Skoula?

The ripples-across-the-pond effects of (a) Kariya's and (b) Hahl's (eventual/presumed) returns are pretty significant.

I don't mean to get off-thread here, but I think this is where the Riku discussion eventually leads.

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01-06-2004, 11:18 AM
  #10
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*sigh* Y'know, if Riku had stayed healthy I firmly believe he'd be a solid 3rd line LW or center by now. He sports a wicked shot from afar and tremendous speed. Problem is that his development has been severely hampered by two major injuries.

As for acquiring another blueliner, the Oilers want to deal Brewer. They can have Skoula!

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01-06-2004, 11:47 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarOutCrops
Any team with sense and decent scouting would jump all over Hahl for a vet they weren't going to keep anyway; he's cheap and has a definite long term 3rd or 4th line future. Most of the names of D-men on the block have been offensive minded, and a pretty decent one of those (Delmore) was let go a week or so ago. I really don't know who will be available, but they'll probably be older and slightly expensive or younger and due a raise. I am guessing we won't need to trade someone valuable to us like Hahl, and I am personally hoping we don't.
i'm not talking Glen Wesley here, i'm thinking more along the lines of Richard Matvichuk.

as for Skoula, maybe Skoula and a pick for Hal Gill and Rob Zamuner?

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01-06-2004, 12:43 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvsGuy
i'm not talking Glen Wesley here, i'm thinking more along the lines of Richard Matvichuk.

as for Skoula, maybe Skoula and a pick for Hal Gill and Rob Zamuner?
I really couldn't think of any big name dependable stay-at-home guys on the block, maybe because those guys don't make sexy trade rumors. I have heard Matvichuk's name mentioned, and he would be great for us, but I just don't believe they are really looking to move him, especially to us. I can't see them trading for Klemm, and then moving Matvichuk.

Ultimately, I am not keen on the idea of trading Hahl for a defenseman, mostly because I think we can get sufficient help without disturbing our lineup. Just poking around, I came up with names like LaChance, Dempsey and Berehowsky. These types of guys could handle #6 ice time and fill in as a #3 or 4 if there's an injury, and would come cheap. Another name thrown out here was Todd Simpson. Hell, even old man Patrick in Buffalo might be worth a flyer.

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01-06-2004, 12:53 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarOutCrops
Ultimately, I am not keen on the idea of trading Hahl for a defenseman, mostly because I think we can get sufficient help without disturbing our lineup. Just poking around, I came up with names like LaChance, Dempsey and Berehowsky. These types of guys could handle #6 ice time and fill in as a #3 or 4 if there's an injury, and would come cheap. Another name thrown out here was Todd Simpson. Hell, even old man Patrick in Buffalo might be worth a flyer.
i think Lachance would be a good fit too...

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01-06-2004, 03:53 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av-merican
*sigh* Y'know, if Riku had stayed healthy I firmly believe he'd be a solid 3rd line LW or center by now. He sports a wicked shot from afar and tremendous speed. Problem is that his development has been severely hampered by two major injuries.

As for acquiring another blueliner, the Oilers want to deal Brewer. They can have Skoula!
Yeah I like Riku a lot. Still not sure if he'll ever score more than 10-12 goals or 25 points a year in this league...but he's a got a great head on him and just enough jump to possibly end up being a bit more of a 'threat' (using the term loosley) than say Dan No Hand Hinote.

Riku always impresses me with the little plays he makes out on the ice, especially defensively. Wonderful defensive awareness. Hopefully he comes back and looks sharp...you have to wonder with a young guy after a long injury if he can get back in the flow or ends up having to rework on his game in the minors.

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Old
01-06-2004, 07:10 PM
  #15
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Hinote has been superb for the Avs this year. I wouldn't move him to the 4th line unless Svatos comes back. With Riku coming back, I would send him down (if possible without waivers), to get conditioned. We are in no hurry for him to fill any roster spots right now. If he is able to suit up, I think Brigley has to go back down, followed soon by Moore (Bigtime fan of Moore's game right now). I'm not sure what we do with Big Mac, but if we have to trade him, his value is probably around the 6th round pick we traded for him initially. If I'm PL though, I do not make any significant roster changes, nor trade any of my young players. THe Avs are thin in the forward department. They need their young guys b/c they could be seeing a lot of new faces on the roster next year. Forsberg, Selanne, Kariya, Konowalchuk, could all leave..... Riku, Svatos, Brigley, Moore, Krestanovich.....they are all going to probably get a major chance to stay on the roster full-time next year.

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