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Old
05-08-2007, 11:21 PM
  #1
CCBC
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What are your expections....

What are your expections for the off season?

Do you want the Blues to be aggressive and maybe overpay?

Or do you want the Blues to have a smart, passive approach to the offseason?

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05-09-2007, 12:01 AM
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Robb_K
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I'd like to see The Blues land Chris Drury, or at least a proven NHL 30-goal scorer as a UFA, and also land another (but much younger) proven NHL goal scorer in a trade. I'd also like to see them use some of their extra draft choices to move up in the draft to land one of the top 5 draft choices, and pick one of the top 4 rated forwards. I'd also like to see them draft well with what choices they have left.

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05-09-2007, 05:30 AM
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Frenzy1
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Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
I'd like to see The Blues land Chris Drury, or at least a proven NHL 30-goal scorer as a UFA, and also land another (but much younger) proven NHL goal scorer in a trade. I'd also like to see them use some of their extra draft choices to move up in the draft to land one of the top 5 draft choices, and pick one of the top 4 rated forwards. I'd also like to see them draft well with what choices they have left.

What I would like to see happen:

In the offseason pick up Jason Blake and Handzus. I think both could be had for 7-8 million between the two. It would give us a fair amount of O, without tying up too much into 1 player and I don't see us in the race for a Drury, Gomez, or Briere. 2nd Tier guys would give us the depth we need.

As for the draft, I wouldn't trade into the top 5. Instead I would try to move our 2 late 1st rounds for another top 15 pick. Go after Espo and Sutter.

Finally, I would make a trade w/ Edmonton - Woywitka or Backman for Pouliot or Schremp. If not, this is what I think we are looking at.

Possible lines:

Cajanak, Zus, Blake
Boyes, Weight, MR
Stempy, McClement, Backes
Hinote, Mayers, King

Drake, Soderberg (I don't think he will be ready to start at camp and may be on IR)

Top 3 lines would be rotated and wind up w/ about the same ice time. It would also make it hard to stop all 3 lines and the kid line would get 3rd pairing coverage.

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05-09-2007, 06:06 AM
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kimzey59
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What I expect this summer:

1) A pre-draft trade involving a D man(Backman) and at least one of our 1st rounders to acquire a top-end center.

2) A draft day trade to move up into the top 5.

3) Minimal involvement in the FA market.

Expected Lineup for next year:

Stempniak Acquired Center Backes
Rucinsky Weight Boyes
Cajanek McClement Mayers
Drake RJ King

Brewer Salvador
Jackman Johnson
McKee Woywitka

Legace
Bacashihua

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05-09-2007, 08:05 AM
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I agree with Frenzy, I think the Blues should stay @ 9 and gamble on Espo if he's still there, if he's not, we'll have other options. Kessel didn't fall as far as he was supposed to last year either, so we'll see.

Jarmo's proven he can still find gems w/ later picks, I think we'll be okay if he doesn't pan out.

As far as FA, I'd like Zeus and Blake, but we can't afford to get locked into long term deals, as hopefully we'll be replacing guys like these from within in the next few years (Oshie, Birner, Aaltonen, Berglund, Soderberg, etc.). If they'll come for a 2 year deal, then go for it. Maybe 3 if absolutely necessary.

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05-09-2007, 10:59 AM
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PocketNines
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Again, no on Handzus. This organization has a glut of solid but not elite performers, and many more are already in the pipeline. The organization is going to primarily rebuild through the draft. There will only be a very few, key pieces added through UFA with long term deals and bigger dollars. Those pieces should be in organizational areas where there are holes. The Blues have the opposite of holes at the Handzus good-but-not-great level forward position... they have a glut.

Though there is always a tendency among fans to request the sparkly stuff - the elite UFAs - in this case the Blues actually have a dearth of sparkly stuff, so this offseason there's a concurrence between the organizational need and the "gimme that!" crowd.

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05-09-2007, 11:36 AM
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Like most folks - I hate it that Zus left, but I really don't see a place for him on this team. He is not a top 2 line center, and McClement is entrenched as our 3rd line center. Rather see the dollars spent on improving our top 2 center and scoring.

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05-09-2007, 11:54 AM
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SIU LAW
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"Sparkly stuff."

I like it.

"a dearth of sparkly stuff."

I really like it.

"You see John, this team's biggest problem is the dearth of sparkly stuff."

"Agreed Bernie. You need that sparkly stuff to get you over the hump."

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05-09-2007, 02:20 PM
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Robb_K
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I think that The Blues' management will want to get a #1 -type centre. Hhandzus doesn't fill that need. If they don't want to pay a UFA such a high amount for 3-4 years, they need to acquire that player (who has 2 years left on his contract-if possible) in a trade. However, I don't know if such a player will be available from a team taht will want a Blues' defenceman, and a late 1st rounder (and maybe a goalie prospect thrown in).

The Blues WILL need to add 2 scoring forwards, one way or another (trade or UFA), aside from the forwards they get in the draft.

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05-09-2007, 02:38 PM
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PocketNines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIU LAW View Post
"Sparkly stuff."

I like it.

"a dearth of sparkly stuff."

I really like it.

"You see John, this team's biggest problem is the dearth of sparkly stuff."

"Agreed Bernie. You need that sparkly stuff to get you over the hump."
That's what I am expection-ing.

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05-09-2007, 02:51 PM
  #11
PocketNines
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Perfect offseason -

Trade Backman for Lupul (main pieces of exchange)
Sign Drury
Sign Jackman to 3-4 year deal
Get Stempniak to accept one year RFA for bigger deal in summer 08
Draft the ***** out of the draft

Boyes - Drury - Lupul
Stempniak - McClement - Backes
Rucinsky - Weight - Cajanek
Hinote - RJ - Mayers
*Drake, Soderberg, King

Jackman - Johnson
McKee - Woywitka
Brewer - Salvador
Polak

Legace
Hiller/Bacashihua

Then Drake, Rucinsky and Cajanek go away next offseason, Weight signs for two more years moving to wing to make room for Soderberg and Oshie signs.

08-09
Boyes - Drury - Lupul
Stempniak - McClement - Backes
Weight - Soderberg - Oshie
King/Hinote - RJ - Mayers

*I predict Drake has injury issues that basically mean he only plays a handful of games this year. So Soderberg and King blending in are the extra forwards.


Last edited by PocketNines: 05-09-2007 at 05:01 PM. Reason: mistakenly omitted Boyes from 08-09
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Old
05-09-2007, 02:56 PM
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I love the plan pocketnines, but I don't see Edmonton giving up Lupul...I would love it, but I don't see it...what trading Backman breaks down to is, do you feel that EJ will replace what Backman brings? Myself, I do...I also am of the opinion that they MUST sign a marquee free agent. There is money coming off the books next year, as you pointed out, and the ability will be there to sign another FA, if needed...

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05-09-2007, 03:58 PM
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PocketNines
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In the short term, I refuse to have any "expections" about EJ. I'm agnostic about making the playoffs until the team is really ready for some deep runs, and that is not this year even if they do everything I outlined above.

In the long-term, I expect EJ to do far, far more than Backman's top potential. At worst, he needs to be a decent #1 Dman and at best a perennial Norris winner. The next 2-3 years should be learning years for EJ. We'll observe some great flashes and some terribly boneheaded moments over that time. As he gains confidence/experience and learns from Jackman and McKee in particular, the kid should take off. With Schwarz, Oshie, Berglund and whoever we grab this year in the first round still a ways away from not just full-time NHL status but established impact players, the 09-10 season is the earliest I expect this team to contend for the Cup, so it's kind of a perfect fit with his development.

As for Lupul, he really had an off year this year. There are some concussion question marks (that actually make me leery as well), and his +/- was way down. He had roughly the same shot accuracy but took 100 fewer shots... it is possible that Edmonton might want more of a sure thing with Backman. It's kind of a Boyes question - sophomore slump blip or real issues? With the way Edmonton finished, maybe they're a little sour on their roster. On a rebuilding team like the Blues (and on a line with a guy like Drury) he'd see enough ice time to re-establish his potential.

Additionally, Lupul is only one concrete example of the larger theory - turn Backman (with whatever ancillary aspects of the trade have to balance it out) into a young roster forward with good-to-great skill who can be part of the core. It doesn't have to be him specifically.

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05-09-2007, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Then Drake, Rucinsky and Cajanek go away next offseason, Weight signs for two more years moving to wing to make room for Soderberg and Oshie signs.

08-09
Oshie - Drury - Lupul
Stempniak - Soderberg - Backes
Weight - McClement - Mayers
King - RJ - Hinote
Where'd Boyes go? I'm assuming it was just a mistake. Put him 3rd line RW or 2nd? Move Backes and Mayers down a spot each.... Adding Boyes to your lineup above makes for a nice group.

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05-09-2007, 04:58 PM
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PocketNines
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Where'd Boyes go? I'm assuming it was just a mistake. Put him 3rd line RW or 2nd? Move Backes and Mayers down a spot each.... Adding Boyes to your lineup above makes for a nice group.
Yep, thank you, good catch. I'll edit above. Also, we'd be getting into the area where there's no longer a true #1, #2, #3 per se... the model is Buffalo where they have 4 young lines that can all score.

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05-09-2007, 06:18 PM
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Yep, thank you, good catch. I'll edit above. Also, we'd be getting into the area where there's no longer a true #1, #2, #3 per se... the model is Buffalo where they have 4 young lines that can all score.
I have no problem going out after the big name UFA. But these guys will be comanding huge $$$$ and I am not sure there is a player out there that is worth 6 million per - which in my opinion will be what it takes to get one of the big 3. Further, I am not sure that St. Louis will be the most attractive place to go - in terms of competing - Arnott wanted nothing to do w/ us last year.

There will be a lot of teams w/ cap room looking to add one of the big 3. Therefore the price will go way up. That can cause serious cap ramification later on when negociating w/ our own RFAs.

After the big 3 there is a drop off in a big way.

My big fear is that we will go out and get someone like Drury and then play him w/ Cajanek and Dvo (the Doug Weight rule). Where if we were to bring on someone like Handzus (or TK) and add someone like Jason blake, then I think we could be very competitive at the same price as adding a Drury and Dvo but a heck of a lot more competitive. And it does produce 3 scoring lines that we can roll.

Granted a lot of this could change at the draft w/ trade. If we could add someone like Lupul or a young top 6 winger, then I would be all for going out and getting a Top UFA. But if we dont, then I would rather have two solid additions then 1 great and play them w/ junk.

Finally, I would think the best value for Backman/Woywitka - who ever would be after the 1st month of the UFA signings when all of the big names may be taken and someone who missed out may be willing to give up a fair amount.

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05-09-2007, 06:28 PM
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WalterSobchak
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The first thing that comes to mind when I think "reclemation project" is Owen Nolan.

1 year contract, $1.45 and let 'er rip.

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05-09-2007, 07:02 PM
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PocketNines
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One morality issue is you cannot add a player who gutlessly cheap-shotted one of your key pieces on a Cup-dangerous team and caused his retirement and hurt your team's value. Thus, no Owen Nolan. However, I would be willing to have the Blues pay 30,000 to have JD stab him in the head with a fork. When he's not looking, natch.

As for Frenzy, the problem with UFA is if you're adding guys in the 28-32 age range they are looking for long-term deals. When you add a long-term deal it has to be in an area where you do not have anything in the pipeline. We have 2d/3d line centers coming out of our butts in the organization - guys who are ready now plus those near-ready in the next 12-24 months. Thus, adding Handzus on an inevitable 3-4 year deal is simply a horrible idea in terms of where this organization is right now IMO.

I agree you have to structure your payroll so that your RFAs don't start screaming and yelling that they're underpaid, but Drury is in a special playoff performing category that the Blues can say, oh ***** dude, have you done that? No? No Cups? No Game 7 goals, no playoff OT goals, no clutch final seconds-tying goals? Well then sit down and shut up. In other words, a big salary to Drury in particular as a UFA does not justify an RFA holding out who doesn't have Drury's resume.

In line with this, the choices are ranked like this:
1. sign one of the big UFAs, preferably Drury, Gomez or Smyth
2. sign nobody in UFA/an older Guerin-esque rental for deadline-selling and only get forward roster players through trade

1,737. sign a second-level guy like Handzus

When Hell Freezes Over. sign Nolan

As for the timing of the trade, it doesn't matter whether before or after the draft, UFA... whenever gets us the best return which could come at any of those times.

Also, even if we don't get a young core winger (i.e., the extra D surplus is used to get draft picks/prospects), signing a Drury would still not be an issue that you should fear - you could put him on a line with two of Stempniak/Boyes/Backes (the other going on the Weight Rucinsky line with Cajanek dropping to McClement and Mayers).

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Old
05-09-2007, 07:18 PM
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The first thing that comes to mind when I think "reclemation project" is Owen Nolan.

1 year contract, $1.45 and let 'er rip.
The memory of Nolan ending Courtnall's career with that cheap shot to the back of the head, makes me puke at the thought of his wearing a Blues jersey.
I'd rather see the Blues finish in last place than see Nolan on the team.

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05-09-2007, 08:13 PM
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Frenzy, I understand your point, but neither of those guys solves the problem on the powerplay...it is brutal, and must be improved by 15% if the Blues want to make the playoffs...so, I like what you are saying, but I don't think it will be enough.

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05-09-2007, 08:24 PM
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The memory of Nolan ending Courtnall's career with that cheap shot to the back of the head, makes me puke at the thought of his wearing a Blues jersey.
I'd rather see the Blues finish in last place than see Nolan on the team.
I don't recall the hit. I recall it happend but I had forgotten who did it.

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05-09-2007, 11:28 PM
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I agree with the anti Nolan sentiment. I'm still not sure what direction would be the best for the future. Of course I'd like to see Drury signed next year. Also for those saying that it'll be a tough sell to play in St. Louis... it'll be 100x easier than last year. There's an entirely different attitude around this team now than there was during the playoffs last year.

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05-10-2007, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by CuSa_1 View Post
I agree with the anti Nolan sentiment. I'm still not sure what direction would be the best for the future. Of course I'd like to see Drury signed next year. Also for those saying that it'll be a tough sell to play in St. Louis... it'll be 100x easier than last year. There's an entirely different attitude around this team now than there was during the playoffs last year.

++

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05-10-2007, 07:37 AM
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Also for those saying that it'll be a tough sell to play in St. Louis... it'll be 100x easier than last year. There's an entirely different attitude around this team now than there was during the playoffs last year.
No doubt about it. However, looking at it from someone like Drury's pov - How do the Blues stack up against playing for the Rangers with all their media possibilities for an after career broadcasting job, or playing in Vancouver with the best goalie in the game?

I'd like to think he might consider the Blues, but realistically - I don't think our chances are good.

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05-10-2007, 09:12 AM
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No doubt about it. However, looking at it from someone like Drury's pov - How do the Blues stack up against playing for the Rangers with all their media possibilities for an after career broadcasting job, or playing in Vancouver with the best goalie in the game?

I'd like to think he might consider the Blues, but realistically - I don't think our chances are good.
The main sale to FA's this year will be our play under Murray(20-10-5 from when Murray took over until the TD). We can also sell him on our Defense(easily a top 5 group) and/or tell him that he'd be put on a line with one of the games "up and coming Stars" in Lee Stempniak. There's also the personal angle in McKee and Weight and the "Team USA" angle in Stempy, Backes and EJ(who will very likely be on the next USA Olympic team with Drury).

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