i hope he (zucker) does well.
No, Heatley's numbers aren't irreplaceable, but I don't see any moves that would land us anyone = in offensive potential to Heatley that wouldn't also gut our young pool of talent. his cap hit is not preventing us from improving the team right now (for this year). You could argue we might get some prospect and a pick or two but it's unlikely that would help us this season. Likewise Backstrom. He's not ripping it up stats wise, so why not get rid of him and replace him with Kuemper or Hackett? You might suspect they could do a better job (you in the general sense) but you wouldn't risk the season on them developing that quickly. Know who else isn't irreplaceable stats wise? No one. Nothing is standing out offensively but Parise's shot totals.
Again, i don't see any scenario this year where subtracting heatley will lead to more offensive production over all.
I know i come off as sounding like a huge fan of his, but i'm really not much more than indifferent. He certainly doesn't look like he's playing as hard as he was last year but that could be just because last year he was the only real top six forward playing most nights and he stood out. Kinda like how Scandella looks better when there isn't much NHL talent around.
Seems like you've changed your tune a bit. IIRC, you wanted him gone before the season started. Did he creep his way back into your good graces just a bit?
I think he still plays on an island; a guy that's extremely difficult to find someone to compliment him. However, his value league wide has to be down so I'm not sure what they'd realistically gain trading him at this point. He now brings speed, newly found physicality, and a shot when he uses it. It's a package that this team really doesn't have an abundance of. Preferably, I'd wait out the year with him and see if they can find something that works.
If not, by all means move him in the offseason where his value won't be all that different than it is now.
After Meaningless Win - 3/29/12 - Game 77 | SoH-"Who knows, that could have cost us a Cup tonight." | Dooohkay