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Does anybody have any insight as to JR's strategy? (if he even has one)

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04-22-2013, 05:04 PM
  #1
Roboturner913
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Does anybody have any insight as to JR's strategy? (if he even has one)

I can't decide if the guy has a smart long-term plan or if he's just throwing darts and random in hopes of hitting a bulls-eye.

I want to believe, I really do. Taken on an individual basis a lot of his moves make sense, but when you look at the bigger picture and the salary cap it's hard to see an overall strategy.

The thing that really kills me is, our lineup had we not made the J. Staal trade would be just as good as the one we have now. Probaby better, assuming Jokinen played better in a role he was more accustomed to from the start, and Dumolin would almost certainly be getting second-pair minutes on D. Every time I see Sutter playing for the Penguins I feel physically ill.

Maybe he's looking at 4-5 years from now and sees the salary cap going up a lot, making those long-term contracts less of a problem, but at that point, Staal-Ward-Gleason-Semin-Pitkanen are all 33-34 years old and starting to tail off.

I don't know what to think anymore. Either this team has the worst injury luck in professional sports, or the organization at the top is a total dumpster fire.

Bummed out right now.

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04-22-2013, 05:16 PM
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Finlandia WOAT
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Jordan Staal-9 goals, 19 assists, 28 points while shooting at 8%, well below his career average.

Brandon Sutter- 11 goals, 5 assists, 16 points while shooting at 15%, well above his career average.

The plan is to build around the Staal's and Ward. Hope that Skinner/Semin/Tlusty/Faulk/Pitkanen can continue to produce as they have in the past and that Dalpe/Rask/Murphy/PDG can turn into good complimentary players.

I like our core, I think the problem this year has been the depth. No scoring depth outside the top 6 (and for long stretches, the Sweet TEA line), and past Faulk/Gleason/Pitkanen no good defensemen. The top is fine, and that is a lot more than what some teams can say.

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04-22-2013, 05:19 PM
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tarheelhockey
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The guy who hasn't even made his NHL debut yet would be getting 2nd pair minutes?

Our D is bad, but it ain't THAT bad.

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04-22-2013, 05:37 PM
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What the Faulk
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Oh hey, another thread to discuss the exact same thing.

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04-22-2013, 05:45 PM
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tarheelhockey
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In terms of strategy, we have to remember that this team only went into full-on rebuilding mode 3 years ago. Look how long it has taken teams like the Leafs, Isles and Oilers to rebuild. If we get back to the playoffs with only a 4-year gap in between appearances, that can be called a successful rebuild.

Good hockey teams are almost universally strong down the middle. We're there on the top two lines. A decent 3C is not terribly hard to acquire and JR has been outspoken about how that is one of the next items on the checklist. Filling that need would also go a long way toward solving our bottom-6 issues.

We have two high-end scoring wingers. That's solid. Three years ago we had none. We are probably one middle-range playmaker short of where we want to be. We have two solid glue guys in our top 6 in Tlusty and Ruutu. Also solid.

So basically we are a 3C and a middling playmaking RW from having a complete forward group, notwithstanding changes in philosophy.


Goaltending is set with Ward and whatever backup JR can find each summer. It's clear that he's trying to find a low-paid veteran for that role.


That leaves the D, which is obviously flawed right now and will be a construction zone in upcoming seasons. It's clear that Faulk is a long-term asset and one gets the sense that Gleason and Harrison have secure spots. Beyond that, JR has some wheeling and dealing to do, and I'm sure he knows that based on the number of moves he has made in that arena. One has to think that Marc Staal is on the radar, but beyond that, who knows what his specific plan will be?

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04-22-2013, 06:51 PM
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yeah the guy who's gotten us into the playoffs twice in the past 10 years is working on a strategy that although looks like nonsense is just so complex we can't quite figure out what he has going on.

It makes so much more sense to assume that the 8 out of 10 years that were failures was just (bad) luck rather than the 2 out of 10 years that were successes.

just trust him. he knows what he's doing. after all, he's part of the family now.


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04-22-2013, 07:00 PM
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Marc Staal makes too much sense right now. I just hope that we don't give up too much at the draft.

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04-22-2013, 07:19 PM
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I'm pumped we got Jordan staal. We got the best player. We have him for a long time. Sutter wouldn't have done anything to change this season and isn't at the same level as staal. Never has been.

It was a bad year. Off to a bad start, turned it for a month, then injuries and reality set in. We don't have depth. Jr cant fix everything at once. I can't believe the guy made the biggest moves and had the strongest summer of his career and people are whining about the job he did. It wasn't going to be a one summer move. Our d sucked last year, and its the same now. He could only do so much in one summer. He has acknowledged the defense issue, so I will reserve judgement till next season to see what's changed. I don't defend jr often, but I feel obligated after last summer. He's gone after top talent, he let kids play. We need depth and better d. I'm looking forward to next year, we showed we have the basis of a very good team. I don't get the questioning of jrs plan 45 games after he finally starts making the moves we've been waiting years for him to do.

Everyone's cool with the suck for all these years, but we want him gone now? Should've been gone a decade ago. Now we ride out where this is going.

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04-22-2013, 07:29 PM
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So how do we improve the defense? Best case is a trade, pick up someone from a cap strapped team. I'm thinking Edler from the Canucks, Hjalmersson from the Blackhawks or Staal from the Rangers.

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04-22-2013, 07:37 PM
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Hjalmersson may be a good option, but we may need to move some guys out first. Tripp mentioned that the team may be looking for lefty physical guys to match all the righty offensive types. That would suggest to me guys like that or staal like you say. I truly think we need to put Pitts' salary towards a grittier type. I know Pitts is great in his own way, I just think we need a new direction back there.

I think mcbain is gone too.

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04-22-2013, 08:02 PM
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I agree that McBain is gone. If you take him off the powerplay, you eliminate the reason he should be playing big minutes for you. Even there he's not a game changer. If you believe you have one in Murphy, then McBain becomes somewhat expendable.

Agreed on Pitkanen too, but doubt we can find anybody to take him after such a horrific injury. That broken heel could be a game changer. People are going to want to see him back healthy before they commit that kind of coin to him.

But the truth is that we'll probably just stick with the status quo on defense. I don't see too many big chances for the roster this offseason, save potentially working a draft pick into the lineup. That'll be our big offseason addition.

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04-22-2013, 10:27 PM
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that would be a draft pick and murphy--plus i am not ready to give up on mcbain, he is too young it was a lockout with no training camp guys got hurt and played hurt we had ahl level goaltending--other than signing semin forget this season ever happened and maybe we get a potential star at the draft. the deal is a package with the rangers centering around skinner for marc staal

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04-22-2013, 10:33 PM
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Roboturner913
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The thrust of the OP is not to say that JR is an idiot or something. I don't think that's the case....outside of the defensive personnel it's hard to hold him responsible for this collapse.

Something Tripp said really struck me as true, though, what he said was the team has too many of the same thing. Lots of puck-moving d-men and a forward group that overall lacks physicality and grit. And a lot of "follow the leader", quiet kind of players, nothing wrong with that but we have too many Indians and not enough chiefs, IMO.

I am hardly a hockey expert but I've been a fan of the game for about 25 years, and it seems to me the good teams are almost always a mix of the physical and finesse, with individual players of contrasting styles that work together and compliment each other.

Outside of the top line, which obviously works well together, it seems to me this is a collection of guys just kind of doing their own thing out there. Trying to take a detached perspective - it looks like he doesn't know exactly what kind of team he wants. Outside of a heavy overall focus on offense, the team really doesn't have any kind of identity.

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04-22-2013, 10:38 PM
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My guess is that if Jesus Sutter was here, we'd still be looking at a lottery pick and people would be complaining that he's gone pointless in 17 of his last 20 games and he still hasn't improved his faceoff percentage (which is worse than both the Staals, BTW and I recall the OP complaining about that recently). The Overrated Fan Favorite effect only lasts so long before people turn on them; see LaRose, Gleason, Harrison.

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04-22-2013, 10:39 PM
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Watershed
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Make a third line that can pot a few goals add a solid defender and bada bing bada boom 9th place.

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04-22-2013, 10:48 PM
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Roboturner913
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaxing Joni Jokel View Post
My guess is that if Jesus Sutter was here, we'd still be looking at a lottery pick and people would be complaining that he's gone pointless in 17 of his last 20 games and he still hasn't improved his faceoff percentage (which is worse than both the Staals, BTW and I recall the OP complaining about that recently). The Overrated Fan Favorite effect only lasts so long before people turn on them; see LaRose, Gleason, Harrison.
The point was not to glorify Sutter. Was simply trying to show that the lineup short-term wouldn't be any worse had the trade not been made. we'd probably have ended up signing Jordan in FA anyway and had a elite 3rd line defensive center and more than likely a pretty solid d-man for the future.

But that was simply a tangent and I have trouble keeping my thoughts in order sometimes.

The overall idea is what is this team's identity supposed to be and how does JR plan to achieve whatever it is he is trying to do.

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04-22-2013, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
The point was not to glorify Sutter. Was simply trying to show that the lineup short-term wouldn't be any worse had the trade not been made. we'd probably have ended up signing Jordan in FA anyway and had a elite 3rd line defensive center and more than likely a pretty solid d-man for the future.

But that was simply a tangent and I have trouble keeping my thoughts in order sometimes.

The overall idea is what is this team's identity supposed to be and how does JR plan to achieve whatever it is he is trying to do.
How is someone with below a 50% faceoff percentage an elite defensive center? You've demonstrated that a 52% faceoff percentage means you can't be trusted to take crucial defensive zone draws, so I'm wondering.

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04-22-2013, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
The point was not to glorify Sutter. Was simply trying to show that the lineup short-term wouldn't be any worse had the trade not been made. we'd probably have ended up signing Jordan in FA anyway and had a elite 3rd line defensive center and more than likely a pretty solid d-man for the future.
While in hindsight, this is a good point, I think it's important to note that we were comfortably in the playoffs before Ward and half the defense went down at the same time.

And still in hindsight, but it's not a guarantee that J. Staal doesn't resign with Pittsburgh. His issue was term, and would have likely signed a 2-3 year deal so that he could (eventually) play with Eric.

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04-22-2013, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Highway to Cap Hell View Post
While in hindsight, this is a good point, I think it's important to note that we were comfortably in the playoffs before Ward and half the defense went down at the same time.

And still in hindsight, but it's not a guarantee that J. Staal doesn't resign with Pittsburgh. His issue was term, and would have likely signed a 2-3 year deal so that he could (eventually) play with Eric.
And that's assuming Shero doesn't pull the trigger and trade Jordan to one of the other teams that were interested in trading for him like the Rangers or the Sabres.

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04-22-2013, 11:22 PM
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tarheelhockey
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I sure hope Jussi pulled his head out of his ass in this alternate universe.

In regards to the overall team identity, there's no doubt that this team has lacked one for a couple of years now. In the late 2000s, the Canes were a model "new NHL" team. Small, fast, good at drawing and scoring on penalties. With the league going back into "old NHL" mode, the team needs to update its style.

Everyone knows we need more grit in the lineup, and I think that has been addressed by both Muller and Rutherford in recent weeks. We saw JR go out and acquire/recall Westgarth, Wallace, Hall, Bellemore and Blanchard for exactly that purpose -- but those are fringe NHL'ers and not players who would get minutes on a competitive team. It seems pretty obvious that one of LaRose/Dwyer/Bowman should be replaced by a more grinding type of 3rd-liner, and that we need a revamp of the defense. All signs point to JR being aware of those needs and working toward them as best he can, but valuable players are a commodity.

I don't think JR is wandering in the wilderness. He has clearly had a plan over the past few years, but circumstance and luck plays a huge role. Not every team can just land a Hall of Famer in the draft and solve their problems instantly.

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04-23-2013, 12:17 AM
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IIRC, it was the Rangers and Leafs that were interested in Jordan but I can see why Buffalo would be too. I also think adding 3rd line center and another defenseman capable of holding his own will ensure a quality contending team. I hope we can add Mac/Barkov, sign Ron Hainsey, and then resign Nodl, Wallace, and Ellis.

Edit: agh, disregard Hainsey. We'll only have enough cap to resign Sangs and/or Bellemore for 6th/7th D.


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04-23-2013, 12:44 AM
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DaveG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I sure hope Jussi pulled his head out of his ass in this alternate universe.

In regards to the overall team identity, there's no doubt that this team has lacked one for a couple of years now. In the late 2000s, the Canes were a model "new NHL" team. Small, fast, good at drawing and scoring on penalties. With the league going back into "old NHL" mode, the team needs to update its style.

Everyone knows we need more grit in the lineup, and I think that has been addressed by both Muller and Rutherford in recent weeks. We saw JR go out and acquire/recall Westgarth, Wallace, Hall, Bellemore and Blanchard for exactly that purpose -- but those are fringe NHL'ers and not players who would get minutes on a competitive team. It seems pretty obvious that one of LaRose/Dwyer/Bowman should be replaced by a more grinding type of 3rd-liner, and that we need a revamp of the defense. All signs point to JR being aware of those needs and working toward them as best he can, but valuable players are a commodity.

I don't think JR is wandering in the wilderness. He has clearly had a plan over the past few years, but circumstance and luck plays a huge role. Not every team can just land a Hall of Famer in the draft and solve their problems instantly.
I know I've mentioned them before, but these are the kinds of guys we need to be going after in UFA this year:

Eric Nystrom
Maxim Lapierre
Kyle Chipchura
Brandon Yip

physical and cheap. Not the biggest guys out there but they will run the opponents all the time and try to wear them down.

Tlusty - E Staal - Semin
Skinner - J Staal - Ruutu
Nystrom - Nash - Dwyer
Blanchard - Lappy - Yip
Bowman, Westgarth

that would be a much more balanced forward lineup, one with clearly defined roles. LaRose, if he's willing to be paid like a 3rd/4th line tweener (IE: under a million per) he's OK to keep on the 3rd line, otherwise it's time to cut ties there too.

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04-23-2013, 11:47 AM
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ooh--get both Chipchura and Yip--a great start for the soon to be famous "Chips and Yips" line. Any players named Ruffles available in FA?

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04-23-2013, 01:12 PM
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ooh--get both Chipchura and Yip--a great start for the soon to be famous "Chips and Yips" line. Any players named Ruffles available in FA?
Yes.


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04-23-2013, 01:28 PM
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Joe McGrath
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Are we still having this conversation about roster flaws and why everything went to hell? This team is built based on Cam Ward making up for a below average defense. Chances are Dan Ellis and Justin Peters are EACH going to start more games or an equal number of games as Cam. Both of them. That's why the season went to hell. Obviously that strategy of scraping the bottom of the barrel on D because you expect the goalie to bail you out can backfire horrendously.

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