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Hurricanes Off Season Thread: When Tlusty doesn't score 40, who will be to blame?

View Poll Results: When Tlusty doesn't hit 40 next year, whose fault will it be?
Eric Staal's Leadership 16 5.80%
Kirk Muller's Coaching 4 1.45%
Patrick Eaves' Shoe Collection 25 9.06%
Defense 5 1.81%
Lack of depth everywhere 5 1.81%
Special Teams 3 1.09%
No team toughness 10 3.62%
JR needs to go!!! 5 1.81%
NO FLAGS AT CENTER ICE!?! 203 73.55%
Voters: 276. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
05-03-2013, 03:27 AM
  #126
w e l o s t b o y s
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Can't imagine Larose playing anywhere else

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05-03-2013, 03:34 AM
  #127
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Now I have this strange feeling because JR said that could be possible to trade from top 6 to get a top D.
2 years ago I had these favorites; Tlusty, Sutter, Dwyer, Pitkänen, Allen.
Well JR got rid of Brandon & Bryan, nothing wrong with that. Although I expected some trades or FA to replace them, specially Allen.
Now JR ain't gonna trade 1st, Staals, Ruutu, Skinner so if the trade comes up for a top D it will involve Jiri and I feel like it will happen.
Joni & Patty could be easily gone next year. Joni wants to be with Jussi unless we acquire Lydman then maybe not. Patty because he's gonna be part of a deal for a decent 4C.

I'll bet that Dado & Boychuk both make it to the roster!
Don't know but I feel I'll lose all my favs. So that's why next falls starting lines feels right now like this:

1st/Dalpe - Staal - Semin
Skinner - Staal - Ruutu
Boychuk/Terry - Nash - Dadonov/Dwyer
Osala/FA - Kapanen/FA - Dwyer/Westgarth

I also that JR should get us Niko Kapanen as 3/4C, would be all we need. Great PK, passing, reading the game. Then get big bodies around him.

Pitkänen - Lydman
Faulk - Whoever we get for trading Tlusty + 1-2 of McBain/Gleason/Sangs
Gleason - Harrison
Sangs, Bellemore, Murphy

Ward
Ellis

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Old
05-03-2013, 03:41 AM
  #128
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Tlusty is too cheap for next season to jettison him. For the money he's making, he might be the best non-entry level contract in the league for the upcoming season. You can't print your own money and Tlusty is a legit Top 6 forward getting paid Larose money. You can't trade that contract and stay competitive.

It will be interesting to see how his next season plays out or if JR chooses to extend him this offseason. Either way it's a gamble for both parties. I would imagine he'll wait.

One thing I know for sure though, it's that Tlusty would be retained before Skinner. I don't doubt that JR knows exactly what he has in that first line and will do what he can to secure it remains intact.

When JR mentioned trading out of his Top 6, I immediately went to Ruutu. From a dollars to contribution standpoint, he's probably the guy we can most afford to lose. We played most of last season without him and were winning a hell of a lot of games before the wheels fell off the cart and he wasn't a part of that. He's getting paid a hefty sum to be a guy that may not be promised a spot in our Top 6 next season and there will be teams interested in switching up the depth chart.

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05-03-2013, 04:03 AM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Stahl2Stall View Post
Can't imagine Larose playing anywhere else
He'll find a job somewhere, though it'll be interesting to see in what capacity.

If he had stayed that high energy, pest-type player, he likely could have stayed in the organization. Guys like that are always welcome on any team. Of course, had he stayed in that role, he wouldn't have made the amount he's making now (or will likely make in his next contract).

He'll have an easier sell on the open market if he markets himself as that energy player, especially after the season he had. There will be more suitors, though his bankroll will suffer for it. If he markets himself as any kind of offensive player, he'll get less teams interested, though the teams that are imterested will likely pay him 2 mil+

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05-03-2013, 05:16 AM
  #130
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Trading Ruutu for a physical defensive oriented defenseman is sort of a wash. What he brings to the table in in our top 9 is probably coveted moreso than the sound defensive positioning game that Tlusty plays. I hope I'm wrong, but I have an odd feeling that Tlusty is the one that could be on the move. Although, it wouldn't bother me if we traded Ruutu because we'd most certainly have to draft Nichushkin as a replacement. Would be interesting to see Dadonov get a shot with the big club.

The aftermath of trading Jussi is still lingering, and it might very well effect Joni's decision in the future. They probably won't be in Pittsburgh in the long run, but buddying up somewhere else is plausable. Interested to see what JR has in mind for the future.

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Old
05-03-2013, 05:56 AM
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooked on Ponics View Post
Trading Ruutu for a physical defensive oriented defenseman is sort of a wash. What he brings to the table in in our top 9 is probably coveted moreso than the sound defensive positioning game that Tlusty plays. I hope I'm wrong, but I have an odd feeling that Tlusty is the one that could be on the move. Although, it wouldn't bother me if we traded Ruutu because we'd most certainly have to draft Nichushkin as a replacement. Would be interesting to see Dadonov get a shot with the big club.

The aftermath of trading Jussi is still lingering, and it might very well effect Joni's decision in the future. They probably won't be in Pittsburgh in the long run, but buddying up somewhere else is plausable. Interested to see what JR has in mind for the future.
The problem with making the assumption that Ruutu is invaluable to the team is the evidence to the contrary. All those games that we won at the start of the season, we did so without him. The best start we've had in his entire tenure as a Hurricane came with him out of the lineup. I love his game. I think he's the kind of guy that you want in your lineup, but the truth is that our Top 6 is evolving to the extent that Ruutu is a luxury that we cannot afford. There isn't a lot about Ruutu that makes this team tougher to play against if we're being honest. His hit totals have dropped off because his speed has been curbed by injuries and his natural talent is more suited for a 3rd line complimentary role with spot work in the top six for injury replacement. If Tlusty and Ruutu were making the same money, we might have more basis for discussion. Even in that event I would take Tlusty, but since Ruutu made $4 million this season and will make $5 million for next season and two years more, the writing on the wall becomes much clearer.

Are we really going to pay Tuomo Ruutu $15 million over the next three years? Are we going to keep a player that is getting paid in excess of his cap number?

Jiri Tlusty is making $1.7 million next season. He is restricted but I believe arbitration eligible after that term ends. Under team control for his next contract. Compare that to Ruutu, who is not a player that comfortably fits in our top six forwards right now, to Tlusty who is a fantastic compliment to our top line and scored the 5th most goals in the league this year.

Tlusty has absolutely elevated himself to being a part of the irreplaceable core that we have now. Jordan, Eric, Skinner, Tlusty, Semin constitute 5 out of 6 of what will be a dangerous two line attack, but the problem is that their respective salaries are $6.0 million, $9.25 million, $4.35 million ($6 million per for 5 more), $1.7 million, and $7.0 million.

Actual Money for Next Season: $28.3 million of a $60 million budget

Actual Money for 2014-2015: $28.25 million - WITHOUT having Tlusty signed. Skinner bumps up to $6 million per season.

Now if we were to include Ruutu and his promised money in these calculations... it starts to get ridiculous.

Actual Money for Next Season: $33.3 million of $60 million budget


So at this point the question you have to ask yourself is multi-faceted:

1. Does Tuomo Ruutu hold up, despite two hip operations and already minimized effectiveness in the physicality department, to be a player worth $5 million a season for the remaining 3 years on his contract extension?

2. Would that player be worth keeping at the expense of Jiri Tlusty, who will certainly be priced out of our range with even a modest season next year in comparison to the one he just had?

3. Do we feel this team is close enough to winning that we choose to invest in a 30 year old player who is perhaps showing signs of breaking down physically ahead of a player who is on the better side of 25 and just now breaking out?


Those are the questions that make me say that Ruutu is on the block, will be shopped heavily, and will be traded regardless of the outcome. Perhaps in a package with Jamie McBain in order to pick up a defender under cost control that is a veteran who can play big minutes right away.

Physicality among your forwards is a bit overrated in my estimation. It's a nice element, but not a requisite element. Where you have to be tough is where we are soft and that's the blueline.

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05-03-2013, 06:16 AM
  #132
Boom Boom Anton
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Physicality among your forwards is a bit overrated in my estimation. It's a nice element, but not a requisite element.
I agree with most of your lengthy post on Ruutu, Vagrant, and agree with your comment that the defense needs to be more physical, but I don't necessarily agree with this statement, especially in the new division and how Muller is trying to play. You don't have to be a bruiser, but in Muller's system, you either need to have a line that is physical enough to get in on the forecheck (which Tlusty does well) and have strong puck possession (Tlusty,Semin, Staal is a good example) or a line that makes the defense have to pay a bit of a price on the forecheck. That's where the forwards on the team have lacked IMO. Defensemen see the likes of Skinner, LaRose, Dwyer, Dalpe, Nash, Jokinen, Brent, etc... coming in on them and know they have a luxury of taking some time because even if they do take a hit on the forecheck, they can easily shrug it off and make the play. Watching the playoffs right now, there is a LOT of physical play by both forwards and D and almost every check is finished. I was watching the games last night thinking how badly the Canes would get manhandled by some of these teams with how physical they are playing.

Muller has repeatedly said he wants the team to be tougher to play against, and some of the things he's tried shows me that physicality among forwards is a key piece of that (Wallace, Blanchard, Adam Hall).

Not every forward needs to be a bruiser, and I agree completely that they can still accomplish that without Ruutu (who I also have health concerns about), but I'll be a bit surprised if over the next 2-3 years (as it won't happen overnight unless it's just a bunch of grinders which isn't much better), the make-up of the forwards isn't quite a bit more physical. Hopefully the pendulum doesn't swing too far as there needs to be a good mix of skill as well.

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05-03-2013, 06:33 AM
  #133
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I just feel that there is no substitute for positional defense. These guys are some of the most rugged players in the league that play defense. You're not going to hurt them. The difference between a check delivered by Tim Wallace on a puck exiting the zone and a hit delivered by Chad Larose on a puck exiting the zone isn't a hell of a lot different. There are precious few players in this league that are disruptive forces in the hitting game, and it's not entirely just because they hit hard, but when you're able to deliver a hit and gain possession that is the ideal circumstance. We don't have guys that do that. If we look at the hit numbers, it might reflect a high volume of hits, but the truth is that rubbing a guy out against the boards is hardly going to make him think twice. The players that you need to check are forwards. Those are the guys who will go away with physical contact. Who do forwards get hit by most frequently? Defenders.

Now this isn't a wholesale condemnation of a physical brand of hockey from your forward group. There are guys that can do this and do it pretty well. Boston is a great example, but they're also about the only team in the league that can pull it off and no matter how many bottom line hitters you have, it's not going to impact the game unless they can use that hitting ability to maintain possession or prevent breakouts. Tlusty's positional defense and active stick brought us just as many if not more offensive chances than the entirety of our bottom lines combined. There exists more than one way to skin a cat. If you don't have the big bodies to get it done on the bottom lines, play a strong positional game. We won a cup with that style of play here. We had Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney on our third line. Kevyn Adams. It doesn't matter how the puck stays in the attacking zone. There are a multitude of ways to get that job done. But when you inevitably lose a few battles and the puck gets cleared out, you want to have defenders back there that the forwards don't want to go into the corners with. We don't have that right now and teams were able to dump and chase with impunity. No amount of forwards will make Joe Corvo, Jamie McBain, Bobby Sanguinetti, Ryan Murphy, Michal Jordan, or Joni Pitkanen scary to play against.

I will just frame it this way.... when was the last time that Tuomo Ruutu or anybody else for that matter made a physical play that turned a game for us? I can't even recall the last time that happened.

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05-03-2013, 06:39 AM
  #134
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Looking at it through everything but a purely physical point of view, keeping Tlusty is truly ideal. Even Faulk is due for a raise around the same time as Tlusty, and they'll both command significant raises.

Deciding which one to trade all really depends on the return. Tlusty's trade value is higher than Ruutu's due to the aforementioned age difference, injury history, and contract. Including McBain in the deal almost closes the gap. Takes me back to proposing Ruutu, Gleason, and McBain for Marc, but the eye injury concerns me.

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05-03-2013, 07:17 AM
  #135
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I don't think we disagree much Vagrant. I agree there are many more ways to skin a cat (look at Detroit's puck possession over the years for instance...although while not having bruisers, they also have had some pretty physical forwards to go along with it in Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Franzen, Abdelkater, etc..). I also agree the Canes defense is woefully soft and that is a much bigger problem than the forwards. Also, Ruutu (especially with his injuries) isn't necessarily the answer. I just think you are selling physicality in the forward group a bit short when you call it over-rated (or maybe I'm just reading too much into it).

You don't need to be Boston, but teams like Philly, Pittsburgh, NYR, Anaheim, Toronto, LA, etc.. all have more physical forwards than Carolina and use it effectively.

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05-03-2013, 09:32 AM
  #136
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Can't imagine Larose playing anywhere else
Homecoming for him to Detroit. Book it.

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05-03-2013, 10:49 AM
  #137
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There is one player on the Canes who could push Jordan to wing, and that is Eric.

This notion of moving him to wing for anybody else, let alone Victor Rask, is absurd.

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05-03-2013, 10:51 AM
  #138
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I wouldn't mind Wallace as the third line physical winger, but would rather have Nodl there. Yeah, he's not much of a bone crusher, but I think that's what Nich projects to be. BTW, I'm off the Blanchard train (lol John and Tripp) because he has no offensive finish whatsoever.
And Nodl does? Kevin Westgarth has almost as many goals in a Carolina uniform as Nodl does. And he's supposed to play 3rd line? I'd like my 3rd liners able to score at least on a Patrick Dwyer level.

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05-03-2013, 11:05 AM
  #139
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Package Skinner and Ruutu.

Turn on forced trades.

Acquire Datsyuk and Kronwall.

Win games.


(10 points to anyone that proposes Skinner/Ruutu for Datsyuk/Kronwall on the trade boards.)

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05-03-2013, 11:24 AM
  #140
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There is one player on the Canes who could push Jordan to wing, and that is Eric.

This notion of moving him to wing for anybody else, let alone Victor Rask, is absurd.
I see it the same way. I get the don't mess with success notion, but JStaal could fill the Tlusty role and then some. An S3 line of Staal-Staal-Semin would be an absolute load to handle, mixing size, skill and physical play. I still see JStaal as a Tkachuk-light which would still be damn good.

That might leave a second line centered by Ruutu but he played that role adequately (and face it, that's all Jordan did as the 2C) in the Skins n Finns heyday. So that might mean Skinner and Tlusty as the wings. Still a nice combo.

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05-03-2013, 11:27 AM
  #141
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Re Ruutu: His hitting seems to be getting the most of the talk in terms of his value. And it is nice to have a guy who hits. The threat of it can certainly create the occasional turnover if a dman feels he needs to rush a pass.

But really, Ruutu's value is being sturdy enough to win battles along the board, and hold his position in front of the net. On top of being able to create his own scoring opportunities with an NHL level wrister, and being able to LIFT THE PUCK in close.

We have a few guys who can do a few of the things Ruutu does, but none of them are the total package.

The goals he scored in the homestretch were evidence of why he is valuable to us. The skate to the middle, and rip a wrister past the goalie move. Rather than the skate to the middle, and float a wrister at the goalie, a la our AHL Allstars. Or the goal he scored, where he lifted the puck into the empty top half of the net with little issue, rather than our AHL allstars who would have slammed the puck so hard into the goalie pads, and we would have all cursed our unluckiness.

Add in the physicality to screen a goalie, and not get pushed out of the way immediately. Or win a puck battle on the boards, again without getting pushed out of the way immediately.

The point being, the hitting is nice, but the rest of his game is what is really important. Ruutu has 20g 50pt skills, on top of providing a net and physical presence.

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05-03-2013, 11:34 AM
  #142
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Question, if we draft Nichushkin and can convince him to come and play next year, don't you think he'd fit best on a line with Semin, seeing as he'd likely be a good bit of the reason he came over in the first place? If so, a Nichushkin-Staal-Semin line becomes an awesome experience for the kid, even if he's just along for the ride as some suggest Tlusty was.

Then, Tlusty can slot anywhere in our top 9, which gives us a good amount of flexibility going forward.

Nichushkin - Staal - Semin
Tlusty - Staal - Dalpe?
? - Skinner - Ruutu
Our myriad of 4th line options

Keeping a line together for a season because of chemistry is great. Keeping a line together across seasons is only OK when it makes sense too, but you've gotta think that playing on the top line of an NHL team with a fellow countryman is too enticing for Nichushkin to pass up, should we take the risk.

I think it's all for naught, I don't think JR is going to have the balls to draft him unless he's 100% sure he's playing with us next year. I think Monahan's the pick unless one of the big 3 fall to us. But since we're kicking around the idea of Nichushkin, you've gotta think he plays with Semin if he's over here.

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05-03-2013, 11:34 AM
  #143
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I don't think we disagree much Vagrant. I agree there are many more ways to skin a cat (look at Detroit's puck possession over the years for instance...although while not having bruisers, they also have had some pretty physical forwards to go along with it in Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Franzen, Abdelkater, etc..). I also agree the Canes defense is woefully soft and that is a much bigger problem than the forwards. Also, Ruutu (especially with his injuries) isn't necessarily the answer. I just think you are selling physicality in the forward group a bit short when you call it over-rated (or maybe I'm just reading too much into it).

You don't need to be Boston, but teams like Philly, Pittsburgh, NYR, Anaheim, Toronto, LA, etc.. all have more physical forwards than Carolina and use it effectively.
Yeah, we may have won some games without Ruutu (or someone like him) in the lineup, but when you get to the playoffs it's a different story.

I'm not wild about keeping Ruutu at his current salary, but try finding another physical winger with 20-goal ability. Those guys command a premium. Clarkson is UFA and is probably going to get something close to Ruutu money, same for Clowe.

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05-03-2013, 01:30 PM
  #144
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Quote:
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Yeah, we may have won some games without Ruutu (or someone like him) in the lineup, but when you get to the playoffs it's a different story.

I'm not wild about keeping Ruutu at his current salary, but try finding another physical winger with 20-goal ability. Those guys command a premium. Clarkson is UFA and is probably going to get something close to Ruutu money, same for Clowe.
Ruutu has been to the playoffs once with Carolina, and once in his career unless I am mistaken, and he was a ghost for the entire run. Jussi Jokinen was perhaps our best player. Draw whatever conclusions you wish from that information.

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05-03-2013, 01:40 PM
  #145
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This is assuming that he won't be on IR by the time we make the playoffs.

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05-03-2013, 02:21 PM
  #146
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Ruutu has been to the playoffs once with Carolina, and once in his career unless I am mistaken, and he was a ghost for the entire run. Jussi Jokinen was perhaps our best player. Draw whatever conclusions you wish from that information.
Ruutu was hardly "a ghost" in those playoffs, even if he didn't score he hit everything in sight and played tough on the boards. That team also had Walker and Cole....other than Ruutu the closest thing to a physical winger on the current roster is Tim Wallace.

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05-03-2013, 02:32 PM
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
Ruutu was hardly "a ghost" in those playoffs, even if he didn't score he hit everything in sight and played tough on the boards. That team also had Walker and Cole....other than Ruutu the closest thing to a physical winger on the current roster is Tim Wallace.
Well, I am of the opinion that everybody hits in the playoffs and everybody gets hit. The players that stand out in the playoffs are the guys that don't get intimidated by the pace and allow their offense to shine through. You don't win games because you're tough on the boards, though it helps, you still have to score if you're a scorer. Ruutu wasn't able to get that done. It's the same way that Erik Cole still has a reputation as a notable playoff performer despite only really being effective in the '02 run... and even then it was fairly hit or miss. People seem to carry this outmoded perception that players that are above average in the physical department are automatically good playoff players when that thought is errant in so many ways. Conversely, people seem to hold that one dimensional offensive players lose all value in the postseason which is equally errant. Playoff success should be a case by case evaluation without sweeping wholesale generalizations. Tuomo Ruutu was not good for us that year.

Intangibles are great, but I am not of the opinion that you bypass tangibles in favor of them.

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05-03-2013, 03:30 PM
  #148
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Vagrant, weren't you one of the ones defending Ruutu's signing back then on the premise that he was one of the few physical players that the team had and they had to keep him because of it? Granted, a lot has changed in the year since then, but I don't have a problem fitting Ruutu under the cap if he can stay healthy and contribute like he did at the end of the year. It's not as if he's really movable with his NMC anyway.

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05-03-2013, 04:13 PM
  #149
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Originally Posted by Anton Dubinchuk View Post
Package Skinner and Ruutu.

Turn on forced trades.

Acquire Datsyuk and Kronwall.

Win games.


(10 points to anyone that proposes Skinner/Ruutu for Datsyuk/Kronwall on the trade boards.)
Rumor has it Dats will be playing in Russia after next season. He would only be a rental.

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05-03-2013, 04:13 PM
  #150
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Since these discussions are speculative at best, a couple of things I would like to see happen or tried out although I highly doubt they will/would for obvious reasons.
I like Tlusty alot and certainly don't believe that he was just along for the ride on that line.
I would like to see Nichushkin drafted.
A line of Semin-Nichushkin-Tlusty as the second.
Like I said, I very highly doubt any of this will ever happen but to me it would be interesting nonetheless. Nich is a big bodied player who is capable of playing center. Semin and Tlusty on the off wings. I think they could possibly play some pretty hockey together.
Too bad it probably won't happen as it seems that most like to believe that one risky Russian is enough, an entire line of Europeans a dangerous combo and what would Eric do without the hired help.


Last edited by rocky7: 05-04-2013 at 04:38 AM.
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