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Next Season

View Poll Results: Who would you like brought back next season?
Jay McClement 9 29.03%
Ryan Johnson 9 29.03%
Both 10 32.26%
Neither (New blood through free agency or within) 3 9.68%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-24-2008, 05:00 PM
  #1
Checker*
 
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Next Season

So next season Ryan Johnson (UFA) and Jay McClement (RFA) are both free agents who will both be due raises. At the beginning of this season our center situation for 2008-2009 was up in the air. Tkachuk was returning, but that was about all we knew. With the Weight for McDonald deal, another center was added to the mix to be locked in next season. After this, another center, Berglund, staged a coming out party and pretty much forced himself onto the Blues radar for next season. In a recent interview, he apparently disclosed his desire to be a Blue next season and a willingness to play in the AHL if need be. With everything that's happened, and given the play of those two centers, what are your preferences for next season?






My opinion is to keep Ryan Johnson who excels in his role as penalty killer and find a trade for McClement who has regressed as he has struggled to find his identity.

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01-24-2008, 05:16 PM
  #2
StLooFrenchy
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Ryan Johnson is a one trick pony that has fulfilled his potential. As I have stated ad nauseum, if you can't score the odd SH goal, what real service do you provide? He blocks shots that are collected by the attacking team and teed up again. Mac, on the other hand, is younger, argueably more talented, has much more upside, and will work for less. He can carry the puck. RJ is hampered by posession. Edge Mac.

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Old
01-24-2008, 05:31 PM
  #3
General Veers
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I say both. Jay is a RFA and no one is going to bite that hook, so bring him back at close to what he was getting (700k) and hope he finally blossoms. Bring RJ back at a slight raise for no more than 2 yrs. because he clearly has a role on this team that is not only important, but perfectly suited for him. With the increase in the cap and a couple vet. contracts off the books, this should be possible.

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01-24-2008, 07:09 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthVTEC View Post
I say both. Jay is a RFA and no one is going to bite that hook, so bring him back at close to what he was getting (700k) and hope he finally blossoms. Bring RJ back at a slight raise for no more than 2 yrs. because he clearly has a role on this team that is not only important, but perfectly suited for him. With the increase in the cap and a couple vet. contracts off the books, this should be possible.
Do we really want to lock both of these guys in as part of our top 12 forwards for next season though? Forget money alone. Don't we have enough forwards who can't score. Ryan Johnson at least qualifies his employment by being excellent at his role. He is a top penalty killer, good on the forecheck, and will routinely sacrifice his body to help the Blues win. Jay McClement may be younger, but is he really improving? Is it really worth rewarding his play this year with a new contract when it could block a young guy with actual scoring talent. I mean next season we already have under contract

Tkachuk
McDonald
Kariya
Stempniak
Perron
Mayers (15 or less goals)
Hinote (10 or less goals)
King (10 or less goals)

As RFAs we should hope come back we have

Boyes
Backes

If we bring back RJ and McClement we have

McClement (10 or less goals)
RJ (10 or less goals)

That's 12 forwards. 5 of which can't really score. We're expecting Oshie and Berglund to challenge for a job, and Eller and Lemtyugov could surprise.



Again. Does this team really need both Johnson and McClement back?

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Old
01-24-2008, 07:12 PM
  #5
rumrokh
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I think Ryan Johnson is an outstanding fourth liner and PK player. He's effective and he gives his all. But overall, McClement is more valuable. No matter what people want to believe, he IS talented offensively and is capable of 40 points or more. I agree that his step back this season is disappointing, but he doesn't get a lot of icetime and both Stempniak and Backes have been so-so, hindering his totals. Honestly, I'd rather have a player who isn't yet 25 and has the potential to be better, but still works hard - as opposed to the guy who is outstanding at what he does, but has reached a lower ceiling and will not be with the team as long. McClement is a good third-liner, but RJ is only an outstanding fourth-liner.

With the theoretical addition of Berglund and Oshie, things get complicated.

Kariya-McDonald-Boyes
Perron-Berglund-Backes
Stempniak-Tkachuk-Oshie
King-McClement-Mayers
Hinote- RJ ? - etc.

You can move Tkachuk to the wing, but that might even cause more problems, and I don't think Murray is inclined to do that. It's still the same number of guys. I'd actually like to see them get rid of Hinote, bring back both McClement and RJ (with one playing as wing, I guess), and spot play King or a Peoria call-up when necessary.

As a side note, this is also why it's complicated talking about trading for a second-line winger at the deadline. That's really only a good idea if the Blues are securely in a playoff spot. At this point, they're still more likely to make moves for prospects and picks unless an incredibly sweet deal comes along and it's worth complicating the depth chart for it.

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Old
01-24-2008, 07:19 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I think Ryan Johnson is an outstanding fourth liner and PK player. He's effective and he gives his all. But overall, McClement is more valuable. No matter what people want to believe, he IS talented offensively and is capable of 40 points or more. I agree that his step back this season is disappointing, but he doesn't get a lot of icetime and both Stempniak and Backes have been so-so, hindering his totals. Honestly, I'd rather have a player who isn't yet 25 and has the potential to be better, but still works hard - as opposed to the guy who is outstanding at what he does, but has reached a lower ceiling and will not be with the team as long. McClement is a good third-liner, but RJ is only an outstanding fourth-liner.

With the theoretical addition of Berglund and Oshie, things get complicated.

Kariya-McDonald-Boyes
Perron-Berglund-Backes
Stempniak-Tkachuk-Oshie
King-McClement-Mayers
Hinote- RJ ? - etc.

You can move Tkachuk to the wing, but that might even cause more problems, and I don't think Murray is inclined to do that. It's still the same number of guys. I'd actually like to see them get rid of Hinote, bring back both McClement and RJ (with one playing as wing, I guess), and spot play King or a Peoria call-up when necessary.

As a side note, this is also why it's complicated talking about trading for a second-line winger at the deadline. That's really only a good idea if the Blues are securely in a playoff spot. At this point, they're still more likely to make moves for prospects and picks unless an incredibly sweet deal comes along and it's worth complicating the depth chart for it.
I agree 100% on RJ.

I would like Jay back. He should not be on the 3rd line though. Next year, fourth line would be great. Good defensive player, great on the faceoffs.

I would put both on the 4th line...I would sit King most nights and come in for injuries and to give a guy a night off.

I also think some people are banking on Berglund making the team...I think he has a great shot...but it is no lock (like we seem to believe Oshie is).

Also, don't think Boyes is a Blue for sure next year...If he gets 5.5-6 Million a year (which he eaisly could...on pace for about 50 goals right now on a team that is in the bottom of scoring). I would not want to pay that to a guy in Boyes (who I like) but has only performed one great season.

I think we bring back RJ and Jay for what they bring to the table on the 3rd and 4th lines...but also because they are cheap. And we need to address the 2nd center and possibly replacing Boyes next summer.

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Old
01-24-2008, 08:05 PM
  #7
Celtic Note
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I went with J. McClement. He is really a good defensive player. He kills penalties very well. So you ask, then why not RJ? He is better defensively. And I would respond with I totally agree. But we already have too many "checking line" players on this team and I would like to see J Mac head back to the fourth line. Since RJ has no chance in hell scoring points, I would rather have JMac. He has third line points potential. He also has the potential to be a great defensive player. I would also like to keep him because I see him as more of the future than RJ. With all that said, I would love to keep both. However, we have to drop one of them. I would much rather it be Hinote, but thats not going to happen.

Ps Sorry for jumping around up there...not a well constructed paragraph.

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Old
01-25-2008, 08:13 AM
  #8
Stealth JD
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Neither. They've had an opportunity to show what they've got and there are players knocking on the door who can do a similar job for less money. Why be tied to a couple of role players on a non-playoff team? You're only as strong as your weakest link, and I think the Blues will have options to improve the squad at the expense of both players. I really like RJ and wouldn't mind seeing him return, as he adds a lot of value to the PK...but I get the sense that unless the free agents play so well - enough to force management to bring them back - JD & Pleau aren't going to lose much sleep as they both are wished success elsewhere.


Last edited by Stealth JD: 01-25-2008 at 08:46 AM.
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Old
01-25-2008, 09:04 AM
  #9
WalterSobchak
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Jays still young, I am not prepared to give up on him yet. RJ has served his purpose and for now, I say we let him explore the market.

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01-25-2008, 04:37 PM
  #10
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I'd sign both. Neither is going to command a large salary and if Berglund comes in and plays his way onto the team in camp. RJ goes to the pressbox and I drop Jay to the 4th line.

Of the three rookies who will have a legimate shot at making the team next year up front (Oshie, Berglund, and Lemtyguv) only one projects to be a center at the NHL level.

So even if all three make the team....

Kariya - McDonald - Oshie
Perron - Tkachuk - Boyes
Stempniak - Berglund - Backes
Lemtyguv - McClement - Mayers

RJ a healthy scratch

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01-25-2008, 05:10 PM
  #11
General Veers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Checker View Post
Do we really want to lock both of these guys in as part of our top 12 forwards for next season though? Forget money alone. Don't we have enough forwards who can't score. Ryan Johnson at least qualifies his employment by being excellent at his role. He is a top penalty killer, good on the forecheck, and will routinely sacrifice his body to help the Blues win. Jay McClement may be younger, but is he really improving? Is it really worth rewarding his play this year with a new contract when it could block a young guy with actual scoring talent. I mean next season we already have under contract

Tkachuk
McDonald
Kariya
Stempniak
Perron
Mayers (15 or less goals)
Hinote (10 or less goals)
King (10 or less goals)

As RFAs we should hope come back we have

Boyes
Backes

If we bring back RJ and McClement we have

McClement (10 or less goals)
RJ (10 or less goals)

That's 12 forwards. 5 of which can't really score. We're expecting Oshie and Berglund to challenge for a job, and Eller and Lemtyugov could surprise.



Again. Does this team really need both Johnson and McClement back?
If (more like when) a kid or two surprises next year, you could trade one or both of Jay and RJ. With the way AM treats the kids, I could see Osh or Berg making the big club and sitting and watching Perron-EJ style. I still think Berg starts in Peoria next year and T.J. makes the team. This means you could play Stemp-Jay-T.J. and have RJ as the extra F. Hinote has already been a healthy scratch this year so I figure the brass has no problem sitting a guy making 1 mil. which RJ probably will. Alternatively, you could put T.J. with RJ and King and sit Jay.

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Old
01-25-2008, 05:11 PM
  #12
BluesDarb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBleeder View Post
I'd sign both. Neither is going to command a large salary and if Berglund comes in and plays his way onto the team in camp. RJ goes to the pressbox and I drop Jay to the 4th line.

Of the three rookies who will have a legimate shot at making the team next year up front (Oshie, Berglund, and Lemtyguv) only one projects to be a center at the NHL level.

So even if all three make the team....

Kariya - McDonald - Oshie
Perron - Tkachuk - Boyes
Stempniak - Berglund - Backes
Lemtyguv - McClement - Mayers

RJ a healthy scratch
Those lines are all fudged up.

No way does Oshie start out on the first line. Berglund(if he makes the team) must be the 2nd line center, Tkachuk should be on the 3rd line next year. Lemtyugov(in the unlikely event that he makes the team) should be on the 3rd line. Backes goes on the 2nd line to cover Perron's butt, and Stempniak becomes expendable.

However, Lemtyugov will not make the team, so the lines look something like:

Kariya-McDonald-Boyes
Perron-Berglund-Backes
Stempniak-Tkachuk-Oshie
Hinote-RJ-Mayers

Kinger

McClement is the odd man out....RJ is just too valuable on the PK to be let go. He's the best 4th liner I can think of. McClement doesn't have a spot on this team, he should be let go.

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Old
01-26-2008, 01:36 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDarb View Post
Those lines are all fudged up.

No way does Oshie start out on the first line. Berglund(if he makes the team) must be the 2nd line center, Tkachuk should be on the 3rd line next year. Lemtyugov(in the unlikely event that he makes the team) should be on the 3rd line. Backes goes on the 2nd line to cover Perron's butt, and Stempniak becomes expendable.

However, Lemtyugov will not make the team, so the lines look something like:

Kariya-McDonald-Boyes
Perron-Berglund-Backes
Stempniak-Tkachuk-Oshie
Hinote-RJ-Mayers

Kinger

McClement is the odd man out....RJ is just too valuable on the PK to be let go. He's the best 4th liner I can think of. McClement doesn't have a spot on this team, he should be let go.
I just threw the lines together trying not to have 2 rookies on the same line.

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