If we only have a legitimate option of one or the other, I guess it becomes, do you have more faith in Hainsey to step it up on defense, or Fedorov/Brule/Fritsche/Brassard to step it up as a center? Even if a d-man improves the team more, we have a glaring hole atop our roster.
That's a good question and tough. Personally, I'd take the bet on Feds/Brule/Parma capable of going 1 and 2 at center. And the only reason I say that is because Fritsche and Brule have shown flashes of being what we need. It's not consistent and it's not predictable, but it's visible, so I think there's reason to hope. Not much to base a season on, I'll grant you that.
Even if AJ or Methot or whomever develops into their full potential overnight , I don't think that full potential fits with the specific need. From what little I know of our system, the only guy we do have who is in the mold of what we need is Russell.
Given that I feel a #1 C and a #2 D pick up are unlikely, I've already resigned myself to the fact that one of the two will have to be a faith-based position next year. I chose the C slot because it looked to me like Sergei's skills on the back end, dealing passes and leading the break, made a huge difference in the team's offensive capabilities. So if we got a guy for whom that was the natural position, it'd be that much better.
And Feds, I think, is still a good #2. So here's hoping Parma or Brule can play their way up the lines. I see Feds as #1 C at the start of the season (barring acqusitions) with #2 for Fritsche and #3 for Gilbert. Svits'll move to #4 and form a line with Platt (as a winger) and Picard/Lindstrom. Eventually, based on play, I hope to see Feds get moved to #2 C with Brule/Parma as #1.
I've said before, if I see Brassard (or Russell) up here anytime prior to October 2008, I'll be apoplectic. Unless they're both absolutely dominating in the AHL - I mean like Gretzky or Hull dominating - I want to let them marinate.
Robert. I am not questioning the fact that he can play defense and can play it well. I also agree that the tools he offers back there is superior to what the team has right now. But you must be assuming that a number one center is guaranteed to be coming here either through UFA or a trade. What if the team stays basically the same next year, which is possible according to Hitch and DM. What are the lines going to be and where is the scoring coming from? How does the team fill the holes at center and with scoring by keeping him back on D? Odds are that Foote and Klesla are going to be the top D pair. Is it best for the team to have Fedorov playing second line D minutes? It just doesn't make sense to me. Please explain and show me your line thoughts with Fedorov on D if the team is basically the same.
If we don't get a top #1 center it can't be done...he has to stay at center in that case. Some good points were have been mentioned about his elbows as well, he must be able to win faceoffs....
If we do get the center, which I think we will, I'd consider Para at second line center as someone mentioned....Svitov on the third and Brule on the fourth....Malhotra will most likely be gone.
I know the Blue Jackets currently have some holes at center and defense but could Fedorov be moved this summer? The more I think about it the more it makes sense for the Caps to try to acquire Fedorov this summer. The Caps generally have trouble landing experienced winners via free agency and need at least a short-term fill-in to play with Ovechkin while Backstrom matures. Acquiring Fedorov this summer would give him a year to bond with and mentor the Alexanders so that he could become swayed to re-sign in DC to a more reasonable contract.
If it were to take place early enough in the offseason (around draft time), that'd free up a good chunk of payroll next year for your front office to land one of the big name free agent centers out there. (Or would the lack of depth up the middle without Fedorov, for the time being at least, and the uncertainty of free agency make for too big of an offseason gamble?) The Caps have a number of young defensemen on their roster, particularly Steve Eminger, that they might be willing to part with if that's what it takes.
I've thought for a while that Sergei would be a good fit for the Caps. I'd love to see him work with the young Russians, but then I had higher expectations for his mentoring of Zherdev. Washington has the cap room to be able to handle his salary, and I think it would make sense for both teams, but only if Columbus uses that cap spaces to go big in the free agent market.
Fedorov's 18 goals look pretty good this year, considering how poorly his constantly revolving door of linemates did this year. On a GOOD team, he could have had 22-25 goals.
Therefore I agree with some of the posters here. It would be a bad sign next season for our playoff hopes that our defense was in such bad shape that we needed to insert Fedorov into it, and risk losing his goal totals. The problem in those 16 shutouts this past year was not our defense, it was our scoring ability.
The only way I would accept the switch permanently to D would be if there was also a commitment to ADD a forward who can produce 25 goals, in addition to the top center we already need!
The problem in those 16 shutouts this past year was not our defense, it was our scoring ability.
But Fedorov was a part of that offense.......along with Nash, Vyborny, Zherdev, Modin and Svitov.... most would agree Zherdev is one who helped with those shutouts but those same fans probably believe Fedorov and the remaining players are Stanely Cup quality.....can't have it both ways.....