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Looking into next season

View Poll Results: Which forward would you rather have in the big leagues next year?
Namestnikov 1 3.85%
Drouin 23 88.46%
Connolly 2 7.69%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-28-2013, 10:58 AM
  #26
DFC
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Originally Posted by Lightningz View Post
I actually think calling up Sustr this year surprised everybody.. As somebody said, most of us expected him in the AHL this year.. I don't find him that good.. He has good reach i guess..
Yeah, I think "6'8" was a huge part of that decision.

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12-28-2013, 11:02 AM
  #27
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You don't find him good? For the love of... he has great reach, he is pretty sound defensively, and gets the puck up ice quickly. You people need to watch more hockey.

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12-28-2013, 11:12 AM
  #28
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edit: Apologies.


Last edited by DFC: 12-28-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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Old
12-28-2013, 11:12 AM
  #29
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I have no idea what gives you the impression that Koekkoek is more polished than Sustr, but no. On top of that, he has already lost an entire year of development time.
He has no real holes in his game. There's not really one area where he's weak at that he needs to be in the AHL working on. Sustr was raw and is still raw, he needs some work on his game but has improved on the fly this season. Sustr's physical play will come when he adds size, his skating is solid for being so big and will improve, needs to improve his shot, his board play isn't strong but can use his reach really well. Koekkoek is not a complete player in any means yet but his all around game is ready enough to be able to hold his own in the NHL.

He's showing this season that he's fully healthy. Connolly was injured his draft year then came back to have a healthy year and NHL the next. Can't see why Koekkoek can't do the same.

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12-28-2013, 11:12 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by DFC View Post
And you need to stop reading more into what people are saying than what's actually in front of you. At no point did I say I don't find him good. You can also probably state your opinion without telling us we need to watch more hockey.
Not you.

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12-28-2013, 11:15 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by HoseEmDown View Post
He has no real holes in his game. There's not really one area where he's weak at that he needs to be in the AHL working on. Sustr was raw and is still raw, he needs some work on his game but has improved on the fly this season. Sustr's physical play will come when he adds size, his skating is solid for being so big and will improve, needs to improve his shot, his board play isn't strong but can use his reach really well. Koekkoek is not a complete player in any means yet but his all around game is ready enough to be able to hold his own in the NHL.

He's showing this season that he's fully healthy. Connolly was injured his draft year then came back to have a healthy year and NHL the next. Can't see why Koekkoek can't do the same.
Yeah, but between his actual size and the significance of his injury (getting that shoulder hammered every shift) i don't think he'll be on a fast track. I think he might take the slower track as well just to try to make him a bit more of a "sure thing" in the top four, rather than another Sustr-like project that you hope takes on more minutes, more responsibility.

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12-28-2013, 11:41 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Still All In View Post
I can tell you right now, Steve isn't rushing a kid that has had his shoulder anchored in twice.
Fair argument, but if the kids ready I'm sure he'll get a spot. Connolly made the lineup after only 1 healthy season after his injuries. Slightly different circumstances though.
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Originally Posted by Lightningz View Post
I actually think calling up Sustr this year surprised everybody.. As somebody said, most of us expected him in the AHL this year.. I don't find him that good.. He has good reach i guess..
I've said it a few times now, that I think he's better served playing big minutes with Syracuse once our defensman are all healthy again (not including Auile).

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12-28-2013, 11:43 AM
  #33
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Yeah, but between his actual size and the significance of his injury (getting that shoulder hammered every shift) i don't think he'll be on a fast track. I think he might take the slower track as well just to try to make him a bit more of a "sure thing" in the top four, rather than another Sustr-like project that you hope takes on more minutes, more responsibility.
I've looked at a few sites to see what weights they have for him, most have in around 184, Windsor site has 188. Shows he has been able to add some weight and I'm sure will come to camp around 200.

He's gonna take hits no matter what league he plays in there's no way to prevent that. AHL might have more players his size so it won't be as bad but they also have a lot of plugs looking to make a name and will take some runs so can't really say the A is the safer way.

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12-28-2013, 12:32 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by HoseEmDown View Post
I've looked at a few sites to see what weights they have for him, most have in around 184, Windsor site has 188. Shows he has been able to add some weight and I'm sure will come to camp around 200.

He's gonna take hits no matter what league he plays in there's no way to prevent that. AHL might have more players his size so it won't be as bad but they also have a lot of plugs looking to make a name and will take some runs so can't really say the A is the safer way.
IIRC, hes somewhere around 205 from camp. Hes looking a lot like a man these days. I see what you're saying, too, just don't know how comfortable I am with him making the immediate jump. Maybe a good playoff run for him in juniors will change my mind.
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Originally Posted by Tampa Bay Kiwi View Post
Fair argument, but if the kids ready I'm sure he'll get a spot. Connolly made the lineup after only 1 healthy season after his injuries. Slightly different circumstances though.

I've said it a few times now, that I think he's better served playing big minutes with Syracuse once our defensman are all healthy again (not including Auile).
Yeah, some forget that Connolly wasn't a "hes ready now" thing, but that Prince George was absolutely terrible and him being there wasn't going to help much, but he obviously couldn't go to the AHL. I agree with Syracuse at the moment, too... not only is he needed in a huge way there, its a more, uh... shielded (?) experience. We can't ignore the help for Syracuse, either, winning is the best development, and a lot of kids still need to develop, like Namestnikov, Sergeev, Witkowski, etc.

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12-28-2013, 12:32 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by HoseEmDown View Post
He has no real holes in his game. There's not really one area where he's weak at that he needs to be in the AHL working on. Sustr was raw and is still raw, he needs some work on his game but has improved on the fly this season. Sustr's physical play will come when he adds size, his skating is solid for being so big and will improve, needs to improve his shot, his board play isn't strong but can use his reach really well. Koekkoek is not a complete player in any means yet but his all around game is ready enough to be able to hold his own in the NHL.

He's showing this season that he's fully healthy. Connolly was injured his draft year then came back to have a healthy year and NHL the next. Can't see why Koekkoek can't do the same.
Two vastly different situations. Connolly wasn't AHL eligible and his junior team was god awful. We got stuck and had to bring him to the NHL. Koekkoek is AHL eligible next year. Unless he beats Sustr and Barberio pretty handily next camp, I don't see him starting the year in Tampa.

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12-28-2013, 12:34 PM
  #36
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God, Koekkoek has really put up some wonderful numbers in Windsor, too. Still love that pick, hope hes a staple on our blueline for a long, long time.

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12-28-2013, 12:36 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by MattM92 View Post
Two vastly different situations. Connolly wasn't AHL eligible and his junior team was god awful. We got stuck and had to bring him to the NHL. Koekkoek is AHL eligible next year. Unless he beats Sustr and Barberio pretty handily next camp, I don't see him starting the year in Tampa.
Lets not forget, two very different types of injuries as well. Connolly had a few hip flexors, just need some healing, stretching, massage therapy, and time. Koekkoek had a significant shoulder injury and surgery, twice.

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12-28-2013, 02:47 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by MattM92 View Post
Two vastly different situations. Connolly wasn't AHL eligible and his junior team was god awful. We got stuck and had to bring him to the NHL. Koekkoek is AHL eligible next year. Unless he beats Sustr and Barberio pretty handily next camp, I don't see him starting the year in Tampa.
I disagree a bit, Connolly bad the luxury of going to rookie and training camp after he was drafted while Koekkoek was still recovering.
Then the next training camp Connolly played well enough to earn a spot while Koekkoek wasn't a full participant but did get a preseason game in. Connolly also stayed healthy his entire next season after being drafted. Both players had terrible junior teams so not buying that.

If Koekkoek was healthy and there was no lockout to start last season he could've made the team right after the draft. Gudas hadn't become a beast yet, *Sustr wasn't on the team he would've had to beat out Aulie/Lee/MAB for a spot which was very possible. I think he can beat out Barberio next year as well as Aulie/Cote and Korobov.

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12-28-2013, 02:50 PM
  #39
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Koekkoek's injuries, I think, have definitely stalled his development. At the time he was drafted, I honestly thought that played a part in it. TB thought maybe he was being overlooked because of the injury and had more value than the other, uninjured, defensemen.

Connolly's heating up again now. I wonder what he'll have to do to get a call-up though.

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12-28-2013, 03:59 PM
  #40
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IMO the only locks to be here next year are:
Stamkos-MSL-Flip-Thompson
Hedman-Carle-Gudas-Sustr
One of Bishop/Lindback

Everyone else could end up back to Juniors/AHL, traded, bought out,let go, retire.

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12-28-2013, 04:28 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by DFC View Post
Koekkoek's injuries, I think, have definitely stalled his development. At the time he was drafted, I honestly thought that played a part in it. TB thought maybe he was being overlooked because of the injury and had more value than the other, uninjured, defensemen.

Connolly's heating up again now. I wonder what he'll have to do to get a call-up though.
The only way I see him being called up again this season is if he becomes EXTREMELY consistent or we suddenly sustain a few injures to our forwards. It's a big long shot for him to be called-up as more than an injury replacement.

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12-28-2013, 11:05 PM
  #42
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Connolly: 50/50. In fact, there's almost no scenario I think highly unlikely with Connolly. He could start next year in Tampa, he could start in Syracuse, or he could start in some other city playing for some other team. I think it depends a lot on what our future trading partners' team needs are. The problem is, Connolly's at the point where AHL success isn't going to prove much. He has to at least show flashes of what's to come at the NHL level, or he won't move the needle on a significant trade.

Drouin: I don't see any way he gets returned to junior for another season, whether he's ready for primetime or not. All indications point to him being better suited to, and more comfortable at, center than the wing now, although I think he'll be a C/LW for his first season in the NHL. I don't see him playing 5v5 with Stamkos until a year or two down the road, but they'll have powerplay time together.

Namestnikov: A full, healthy season in Syracuse. I still question his long-term future with the franchise though, especially now that Drouin is playing center. Namestnikov doesn't strike me as a fourth liner, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him moved. Unless we move someone else to make room for him. But he'll play at least another year for us in Syracuse just for the depth. After that though, we don't want to be in a position where we're holding him out of the NHL.

Sergeev: I haven't seen him enough to really say one way or the other. All I know is there are a lot of guys ahead of him.

Korobov: He looks huge on the ice, bigger than Labrie to the naked eye, but I question whether or not he'll ever be able to skate at the NHL pace. In his games in TB, he looked dangerously slow to me, like late-career Derian Hatcher. I hope I'm wrong about this, because Korobov/Gudas could give us the most feared defense in the NHL.

Pyatt: I like utility guys. Every team needs a couple of guys that they're not going to feel guilty about scratching. When you scratch a star prospect, there are always some developmental worries. Guys like Pyatt are more valuable than we give them credit for because we can plug whichever one is best suited to the game in and watch them do some dirty work. And they don't take spots away from up-and-comers.

Crombeen: Same as Pyatt. Crombeen might be a bit more valuable though because when you get him with a solid energy forward, like Nate Thompson, they'll give you the odd shift where they forecheck the opponent to death. It's nice to see Crombeen growing out of his tough guy role too. Last year he did a lot of staged fights, whereas this year he fights to defend teammates, or based on emotion.

Aulie: Like Pyatt/Crombeen on D. Solid utility guy, and a good backup for injured players. The only difference is Aulie's relative youth and size gives him a little bit more value in trade conversations, and therefore I wouldn't be shocked to see him go.

Malone: Buyout.

Labrie: Gone, one way or the other. At this point he's doing nothing but taking up a roster space.

Lindback: Interesting one. I'd love to see Lindy sign a one year deal to stick around as the backup, but I know he has his heart set on being a starter. So it's really up to him. He's an RFA, but I don't see management forcing him to stay if he'd rather try his luck elsewhere. And at the same time, Lindy has to know there aren't a lot of teams who'd be willing to hand him a #1 job given his performance here. So my prediction is he'll sign a one year deal and try to raise his value.

Cote: I really like this guy as a bottom pairing/utility D-man. I think he stays in the role next year.

Kucherov: Honestly? I think he's played his last game in Syracuse. I don't see the point in sending him back when all facets of his game appear to be NHL-ready, or at least NHL-ready enough that they can be developed in the NHL. He's such a dangerous player. We've already seen him take over games, despite not finishing a lot of opportunities. But the fact that he's getting said opportunities is more important.

...some others, off the top of my head.

JT Brown: Tricky one. He's played like an NHLer, and I love the kid's work-ethic. But with so many kids coming up, it's going to be hard for him to stick unless some moves are made. I don't anticipate Malone being with the team next year, and I think there's a good chance Purcell will be gone, so there might be room for him. He's made a fan out of me.

Teddy Purcell: What I see in Purcell is a guy who excels in very specific situations and a guy who sticks in the mud whenever he's taken outside of his comfort zone. If Purcell has linemates who will do dirty work for him, like going to scoring areas and the corners, he can be effective with his perimeter game. We've seen flashes of chemistry between him and Kucherov. But Purcell, more often than not, simply tosses the puck to a scoring area without actually having specific intentions for it. Sometimes there's no one in the scoring area and Purcell just throws the puck there and hopes for the best. He's still a dangerous PP guy though, although not particularly effective at gaining the zone anymore. I'd say it's about 60% likely that he moves to a team that's struggling offensively. No idea what the return would be.

Vasilevski: Splits starting duties in the AHL with Gludlevskis, giving us, as someone pointed out some weeks ago, a tongue-twisting goaltending tandem like never before seen.

Erne: Remains in the Q after another great camp. Does some boneheaded things, says some boneheaded things, remains grudgingly valuable. Could be fast-tracked though if we remain as undersized as we are now.

Panik: He's struggled to stay out of the coach's doghouse all year, and Cooper has been uncharacteristically candid about that. I think Yzerman will shop him at the trade deadline unless Panik can combine a physical game with a smart game. Unfortunately, his value is low.

Koekkoek: Off to start his AHL career, where I believe he'll stay a little bit longer than most people probably do. I say this because he looks a lot like the type of defenseman the Wings keep in the minors until they're at least 22/23, so I think Yzerman is probably going to go the same route unless Koekkoek absolutely forces his way into the NHL. Pretty sure he'll be in Syracuse in time for the playoffs this year.

...After Drouin/Kucherov, the guys who I think are going to have the easiest roads to Tampa are guys we might not think about too much. Role-playing kids who're off our radar playing in college right now, or basically guys who'll take over in the future for Nate Thompson and Crombeen etc.

I also think we're going to be pretty busy come the trade deadline and/or the off-season. We have a lot of talent that we simply might not have room for, but we've developed them to a point where they're NHL-ready.
Sad to say, but Connolly is a bust. Highly rated prospects only get so long before it is make or break time. He had his chance when Stamkos got hurt and he didn't get the job done to say the least. He had the chance to do what Kucherov is doing.

If another team thinks they can make him into something, that's awesome, but those kind of things don't come along often. Everyone sees what we see. He's turning into a bust. He's been given a chance to get his feet wet on the bottom two lines and didn't contribute anything. He was given a shot in a top 6 role and looked out of place and brought nothing to the table. In my opinion, he has no future with TB.

Namestnikov should be with TB next year and should be given a chance. I'd like to see him given a shot with his linemates from the AHL - Brown and Kucherov.

Drouin will be on the team next year unless he totally blows it in the off-season.

It's Purcell that should be moved out to make room for these guys.

Korobov, I certainly hope it's just a bad impression, but he scared the crap out of me in the Montreal game. I'm not a fan. He can't skate. I don't care how big these guys are -- they have to be able to skate.
Keep him in the AHL until he improves his skating. I'm skeptical.

Crombeen - I can't stand him. There are so many guys in the league who perform that role better - the fact he's being used as a penalty killer makes me cringe. He's just not good at it. Damn Florida for over-paying for Sean Bergenheim who was perfect for the Lightning. Crombeen just takes up a roster spot.

Panik...what is he? I know some people are high on him, but I don't see it. What is he supposed to bring to the team again?

And Vasilevski will be in the AHL for one year at least, probably two and then will serve as a back-up to Bishop.

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12-28-2013, 11:15 PM
  #43
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Sad to say, but Connolly is a bust. Highly rated prospects only get so long before it is make or break time. He had his chance when Stamkos got hurt and he didn't get the job done to say the least. He had the chance to do what Kucherov is doing.
wat

Quote:
If another team thinks they can make him into something, that's awesome, but those kind of things don't come along often. Everyone sees what we see. He's turning into a bust. He's been given a chance to get his feet wet on the bottom two lines and didn't contribute anything. He was given a shot in a top 6 role and looked out of place and brought nothing to the table. In my opinion, he has no future with TB.
uhh
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Namestnikov should be with TB next year and should be given a chance. I'd like to see him given a shot with his linemates from the AHL - Brown and Kucherov.
LOL WAT
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Drouin will be on the team next year unless he totally blows it in the off-season.
Maybe
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It's Purcell that should be moved out to make room for these guys.
also maybe, but not quite, guys that produce at this level dont grow on trees
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Korobov, I certainly hope it's just a bad impression, but he scared the crap out of me in the Montreal game. I'm not a fan. He can't skate. I don't care how big these guys are -- they have to be able to skate.
Keep him in the AHL until he improves his skating. I'm skeptical.
serious question are you sure that wasn't cote
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Crombeen - I can't stand him. There are so many guys in the league who perform that role better - the fact he's being used as a penalty killer makes me cringe. He's just not good at it. Damn Florida for over-paying for Sean Bergenheim who was perfect for the Lightning. Crombeen just takes up a roster spot.
i mean if you make it a bergy vs beaner thing than yeah, i'd rather have bergy, but crombeen is exactly what he is, defensive specialist that gets punched in the dome once in a while

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Panik...what is he? I know some people are high on him, but I don't see it. What is he supposed to bring to the team again?
derp, I thought you said Palat, I was like wtf are you on bro
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And Vasilevski will be in the AHL for one year at least, probably two and then will serve as a back-up to Bishop.
not are sure as i once was on this, tbh

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