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02-07-2008, 12:33 PM
  #1
JACKETfan
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Defensive Makeover?

Something caught my ear in Hitchcock's show this past Wednesday. He was talking about the Coyote's turnaround this year, and he said something that matches up with other things he's said that could be construed as a "tell" about where we might expect more changes this off season:
"You can really change your fortunes if you get a good group of defenseman and a goalie who can stop the puck."
We've got the goalie...but in our fanquest for scoring, I wonder if we're overlooking what Hitch values most: defense. Defense is a team effort, of course, but his quote(s) made me wonder: will we see an OVERHAUL of our Defensemen this off season?

And if so, who?

The team has made it clear, they want Footer back. But cost is the question.

Hejda was the first off-season signing last year, and has done well. But he's not much of a puck mover which Hitch continues to point out is sorely needed. I'd keep him.

Waiving Duvie was the first salvo in the makeover.
Tarnstrom might be the first second salvo.

We know he's high on Methot and Russ.
Rusty would appear to be a shoe-in, though not untradeable of course.

That leaves Hainsey and OKT as the next MAKEOVER CANDIDATES.
Given Hitch's philosophy, comments, and needs, it wouldn't surprise me if one or both was traded.

This would mean we're in the market for a puck-moving defenseman.

What do you think, and WHY do you think it?

*A Mod-Certified Kinder Gentler Thread*

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02-07-2008, 12:37 PM
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forktie
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I really don't think our D is the problem at all.

We are tied for 6 fewest goals allowed in the entire league, and we are in 3rd for fewest goals scored in the league...


...so I think scoring is still the issue. That is what the numbers are telling me, anyway.

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02-07-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forktie View Post
I really don't think our D is the problem at all.

We are tied for 6 fewest goals allowed in the entire league, and we are in 3rd for fewest goals scored in the league...


...so I think scoring is still the issue. That is what the numbers are telling me, anyway.
No doubt, they are good stats.
But do you think Hitchcock is satisfied?
After some recent comments and losses, I don't think so.

And as somebody pointed out in another thread...some of the goal numbers are Pazzy's alone. Put Freddy in there, and the wheels come off. Guys getting open shots on him, -shots that Pazzy was savin our bacon on.

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02-07-2008, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forktie View Post
I really don't think our D is the problem at all.

We are tied for 6 fewest goals allowed in the entire league, and we are in 3rd for fewest goals scored in the league...


...so I think scoring is still the issue. That is what the numbers are telling me, anyway.
I think hitch sees the transition game from the defense as the week point which is why our goals for are so low.

I agree we will see some changes.

You can teach someone to be positional sound, you cant teach them to see the ice like a good puck moving DMAN.

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02-07-2008, 12:47 PM
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forktie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
No doubt, they are good stats.
But do you think Hitchcock is satisfied?
After some recent comments and losses, I don't think so.

And as somebody pointed out in another thread...some of the goal numbers are Pazzy's alone. Put Freddy in there, and the wheels come off. Guys getting open shots on him, -shots that Pazzy was savin our bacon on.
Yeah, I hear ya on Pazzy, and I definitely think they are concerned about the D which is why they got Hejda, Tarnstrom, and will start working on signing Foote...

...but louder than everything that has been said is that we need a center REALLY bad, they don't grow on trees, getting one will be expensive, etc etc etc.

And the amount of goals we have managed to score for the past 2 years is very alarming in, I think, everyone's eyes.

So if Hitch is in a BlueJacket boat, and one hole called "D) was letting in a liter of water, and then another hole called "O" was letting in a gallon of water... well, you know where this is going. My opinion anyway about what I think coach has been trying to get acrossed.

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02-07-2008, 01:08 PM
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Statistically speaking, yes, we have been solid in terms of goals allowed, but if you look at our defensive makeup in terms of players, I think we could do some tinkering. We man a very NHL-unproven defensive corps, or have the potential to due to free agency (Foote, Hainsey, Tarnstrom), so I think that there is improvement that can still be made on this team in terms of mental stability and the will to be physical - although you can teach players defensive coverages, you have to still take in consideration the skill set of the players you are trying to teach. And in terms of defense, I'm pretty confident in stating that guys like Hainsey, OKT and Tarnstrom can be upgraded with either NHL-ready prospects (Methot), or free agency signings in July.

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02-07-2008, 01:13 PM
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We need a Batman to Russell being "Robin".

We need a mentor for our little scoring machine in waiting. I don't want Hainsey trying to teach him anything, that's just scary!...

Other then that, I am find with Foote, Hejda, Russell, and Methot. I guess I'm ok with Hainsey in a defensive role (I know, he get's points too).

I really want to trade OKT.

Next up....

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02-07-2008, 01:24 PM
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OKT's a non-issue. He's likley to be the 7th d-man come next season.

The only changes I see as likely are the roster spots held by Hejda and Hainsey, barring a breakdown in the Foote negotiations.

The marginal benefits of improving transition by replacing Hainsey are lower than doing the same with Hejda. Then again, I think it can be argued that Hejda is our best defensive defenseman and seems to improve Foote's performance. Regardless of which one is replaced, I think it only works if the player replacing them is very good at both ends of the ice and that won't be cheap.

To be honest, I was thinking this morning that maybe it would be better to let Foote go and sign Wade Redden in his place. Redden is a leader and plays well at both ends of the ice. The marginal cost difference isn't that great in the grand scheme of things. Re-sign Hejda and Hainsey and call it a day and focus on getting a #1 center.

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02-07-2008, 01:56 PM
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Get rid of Hainsey, I know you guys have a weird love for him, but I don't care, he sucks, outside of the power play.

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02-07-2008, 02:07 PM
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This team needs an elite puck moving defensemen in a bad bad way.

Goals against aren't the problem...the team has improved greatly defensively from the goaltender on up.. Hitch's system has also been key here.

The problem is that alot of your offense is generated from your defense. Alot of powerplay goals are generated at the blueline....and this team just does not have the horses back on D to do it.

Hainsey is not the answer.

So I agree with JF here. I also see the D getting a big makeover at the deadline or at the very least in the offseason (or both).

I see Howson going hard after Cambell/Boyle/Redden type..

One of those three will be in a CBJ sweater come July - mark my words. We'll have to overpay but that's how it goes in free agency.

I think Hainsey is history at a minimum. We should know by Feb 26th if Foote will still be in the plans b/c if he's not then I think we've got to move him and get assets in return. Yes, even if we are still in the playoff hunt.

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02-07-2008, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
This team needs an elite puck moving defensemen in a bad bad way.

Goals against aren't the problem...the team has improved greatly defensively from the goaltender on up.. Hitch's system has also been key here.

The problem is that alot of your offense is generated from your defense. Alot of powerplay goals are generated at the blueline....and this team just does not have the horses back on D to do it.

Hainsey is not the answer.

So I agree with JF here. I also see the D getting a big makeover at the deadline or at the very least in the offseason (or both).

I see Howson going hard after Cambell/Boyle/Redden type..

One of those three will be in a CBJ sweater come July - mark my words. We'll have to overpay but that's how it goes in free agency.

I think Hainsey is history at a minimum. We should know by Feb 26th if Foote will still be in the plans b/c if he's not then I think we've got to move him and get assets in return. Yes, even if we are still in the playoff hunt.
I'm still hoping Bowmeester and/or Weber are candidates.

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02-07-2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
I'm still hoping Bowmeester and/or Weber are candidates.
Bouwmeester is an RFA, so he'd be very expensive to pry away from Florida. Additionally, his offensive production is significantly down this year.

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02-07-2008, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Bouwmeester is an RFA, so he'd be very expensive to pry away from Florida. Additionally, his offensive production is significantly down this year.
Yes, he is more defensive minded than others(Weber). I thought he was a UFA, thats a bummer.

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02-07-2008, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
I'm still hoping Bowmeester and/or Weber are candidates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Bouwmeester is an RFA, so he'd be very expensive to pry away from Florida. Additionally, his offensive production is significantly down this year.
Weber is an RFA also.

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02-07-2008, 03:35 PM
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KallioWeHardlyKnewYe
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Make-over might be a bit harsh, but I certainly think there will be turnover.

My guess is that Foote, Hejda and Russell will be back. Methot will be in the mix as the 6th/7th guy.

I could see Hainsey gone via trade or simply given well-wishes at the seasons end.
I could see OK kept for depth or moved as part of a deal. He seems to have lost favor here, but he is young enough and has a handful of positives that I think make him a tempting throw-in.
I don’t expect Duvie or Dicky to be here next year.

That leaves us with Rusty. I can go either way on him. He’s affordable and solid, but unspectacular. Those qualities make him a nice guy to have, but also make him a nice guy to trade.
The Jackets have several needs and I’m not sure all can or will be filled by promotions in the system or by the UFA market. I think there will be trades to be made, especially this summer. It pains me to say it, but I think Rusty is a nice piece to dangle on the market, alone or bundled with others.

Maybe I’m setting myself up for disapointment, but count me in the camp of people that think the Jackets will make a strong run at one of Boyle, Campbell or Redden. Campbell would be ideal, in my mind.

I’ve been okay with the D most of this year, but the lack of the top shelf puck-moving, PPQB type has been glaring this season. I think everyone, from we educated fans clear up to Howson knows this and I think something will be done about it before the puck drops to start the next season.

Hmmm, maybe make-over is the right word.

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02-07-2008, 03:53 PM
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CapnCornelius
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Originally Posted by Timeless Winter View Post
Get rid of Hainsey, I know you guys have a weird love for him, but I don't care, he sucks, outside of the power play.
For the anti-Hainsey crowd, riddle me this:

This team has a problem moving the puck from the back end. If all we do is replace the only guy who can do this with another guy who can do it slightly better, do you think that will sufficiently solve the problem? I'm not convinced this is the case.

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02-07-2008, 03:54 PM
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If we have Tarnstrom (assuming he ever gets here), that would make Hainsey expendable wouldn't it? Hitch had Foote and Hainsey together on the top line for awhile in a recent game. I was wondering if Hitch was looking at how Hedja and Klesla meshed while using Hainsey as a sub for Tarnstrom.

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02-07-2008, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
Maybe Iím setting myself up for disapointment, but count me in the camp of people that think the Jackets will make a strong run at one of Boyle, Campbell or Redden. Campbell would be ideal, in my mind.
Unfortunately, I think you're going to be disappointed. I see Campbell getting re-signed before he hits the market (regardless of what he says to the media), and Boyle and Redden are going to be asking for the magic $6 million number. And that will be the starting bid. The Jackets will likely have to up the ante to the $7 million range. And I can't even imagine the term. I don't see Howson going for something like that (as much as we need one of these guys).

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02-07-2008, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
For the anti-Hainsey crowd, riddle me this:

This team has a problem moving the puck from the back end. If all we do is replace the only guy who can do this with another guy who can do it slightly better, do you think that will sufficiently solve the problem? I'm not convinced this is the case.
I've been a Hainsey fan. But started noticing that while he's really good at moving the puck up ice, getting it to a forward who's ALSO moving up ice/across blueline doesn't seem to be Ron's strength. He's a barnstormer for sure, but I think we need more of a technician.

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02-07-2008, 04:09 PM
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CapnCornelius
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Originally Posted by cbjgirl View Post
If we have Tarnstrom (assuming he ever gets here), that would make Hainsey expendable wouldn't it? Hitch had Foote and Hainsey together on the top line for awhile in a recent game. I was wondering if Hitch was looking at how Hedja and Klesla meshed while using Hainsey as a sub for Tarnstrom.
Tarnstrom is hardly a substitute for Hainsey. The guy has 5 points on the season. Again, you don't improve your ability to move the puck by simply replacing one guy who can do it with another guy who can do it.

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02-07-2008, 04:37 PM
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anyone else read the "is pascal good or is it the system" thread in the mains?




i think hitch's system is benefiting a lot of players. so im not shy about moving any of our dmen. if H&H think its a good deal.... im down. no one on the team (except the big 2) is untouchable really.

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02-07-2008, 04:42 PM
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anyone else read the "is pascal good or is it the system" thread in the mains?
Well, it is evident that the team plays for Pascal and they quit for Freddy No-support.

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02-07-2008, 05:50 PM
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KallioWeHardlyKnewYe
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Unfortunately, I think you're going to be disappointed. I see Campbell getting re-signed before he hits the market (regardless of what he says to the media), and Boyle and Redden are going to be asking for the magic $6 million number. And that will be the starting bid. The Jackets will likely have to up the ante to the $7 million range. And I can't even imagine the term. I don't see Howson going for something like that (as much as we need one of these guys).
I could certainly see those things happening. At this point though, I still have some hope.

I think there could be options via trade too.

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02-07-2008, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
For the anti-Hainsey crowd, riddle me this:

This team has a problem moving the puck from the back end. If all we do is replace the only guy who can do this with another guy who can do it slightly better, do you think that will sufficiently solve the problem? I'm not convinced this is the case.
For me, it isn't so much that I WANT Hainsey gone. I just think he will be.

I'm not opposed to hanging on to him and adding an upgrade, thus shifting Hainsey to the second unit. I just wonder if the money would be there for that.

He is an impending UFA and I think Ron is going to get a decent pay day. If a choice has to be made from paying more for an improvement and paying for Hainsey, well, I've seen Hainsey, and I'd opt to move up a class.

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02-07-2008, 06:02 PM
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I fail to see the "puck-moving" in Hainsey - unless your referring to the dumpins he makes to himself on the PP.

Unfortunately he's the best we got which says just how bad our puck movers really are.

So yes, I think a Boyle, Redden, Campbell would be a significant upgrade. I also think Howson would spend upwards at 6 mil a year to land one.

Furthermore I also think Russell is just as good as Hainsey at moving the puck now and will only get better. One thing he doesn't have that Hainsey has is the shot from the point, unfortunately Hainsey doesn't hit the net the majority of the time or it gets blocked so not a big loss IMO. Lord knows he hits about as much as the 5' 8" Russell so we won't miss the physical play.

Don't take this wrong way. I'm not a Hainsey hater - the guy has improved quite a bit since we claimed him. I just think the Jackets will want more and won't want to pay what Hainsey will want so he's out.

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