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Who makes the top six dman?

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09-07-2008, 03:34 PM
  #1
Squiffy
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Who makes the top six dman?

Ok, a little discussion on my new favourite Leaf d-man, now that McCabe is gone, Carlo Colaiacovo.

I made the mistake of reading Steve Simmons just now, since someone mentioned that the Sun was questioning McCabe's desire to win by accepting a trade to Florida. I'll leave that to the other thread.

But...
http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Col...88646-sun.html
Quote:
Carlo Colaiacovo begins training camp as no better than the Leafs' seventh defenceman, with Ian White starting at No. 8. If either is going to play for the Leafs, they're going to have to beat somebody out for a job and win Ron Wilson's trust in the interim. Here's betting Colaiacovo ends up traded by early in the season ...
I can see his reasoning.. Kaberle-Kubina, MVR-Finger, Frogen-Stralman, or some combination there of, is what he's assuming.. and the dummy may well be correct in that, when I think about it. K-K is a lock as the top pairing, MVR and Finger we just acquired, they'll be playing, Stralman damn well better be just about automatic for the squad, and Frogen just moved half way across the world after paying $400,000 to his old team.

Now I know we'll get the requisite "Carlo is made of glass" posts (here's looking at you wildone..), but for the sake of argument lets say he's healthy (and by all reports he is heading into camp) and is going to stay that way until at least the start of the season.

Where's he playing, and who of those hypothetical six is he displacing? The thought of him not being a top 4 guy, or worse yet trade bait, disturbs me.. so I open up the floor to the good members of Leaf Nation to try and figure this out.

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Last edited by Squiffy: 09-07-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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09-07-2008, 03:39 PM
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richardn
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Coliacovo will be my favorite dman this year as well. Its to bad Fletcher had to go and spend 3.5 million on Finger and trade for Van Ryn. This will push Cola out of the top 4. I think if Cola stays healthy he could have a break out year. He plays such a solid two way game.

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09-07-2008, 03:42 PM
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It almost works out better if Carlo pulls a Carlo and gets injured early. We get to showcase a player to move (MVR) and get minutes for the younger guys, while he recoops from hopefully his last big injury

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09-07-2008, 03:43 PM
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Carlo's easily a better defenceman than Stralman, likely Frogen, and potententially Van Ryn and Finger. I can't imagine when healthy (and that's a major when) he'll have a place easily secured in the starting rotation.

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09-07-2008, 03:48 PM
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I guess that Steve Simmons wasn't at Ron Wilson's hiring press conference where when asked about the Leafs players the first one he mentioned was Colaiacovo and how Wilson wished he had a magic wand to keep him from getting injured, or words to that effect. Maybe Simmons was out getting a doughnut at the time.

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09-07-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooseOAK View Post
I guess that Steve Simmons wasn't at Ron Wilson's hiring press conference where when asked about the Leafs players the first one he mentioned was Colaiacovo and how Wilson wished he had a magic wand to keep him from getting injured, or words to that effect. Maybe Simmons was out getting a doughnut at the time.
Or making up Sundin career threatening injuries, very time consuming stuff.. but who is Carlo displacing, really? When I look at it I can't help but think that Stralman is the likely candidate, as the only waiver exempt player in the discussion here. Don't like that possibility either, frankly.

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09-07-2008, 04:24 PM
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I've always felt Colaiacovo was an integral part of this rebuild.

I really hope it stays this way. He is hopefully ready for an Antropov-esque injury free breakout season.

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09-07-2008, 04:35 PM
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I will be the first to admit that I had given up on Carlo a couple of seasons ago but in the last couple of seasons (when Carlo has actually played), Cola has actually been somwhat impressive. He is not going to be a top pairing dman in this league but he can be a very effective 2nd pairing dman.

IMO, Carlo has himself a starting job come October. The Leafs have some depth on D right now but not of "great" quality. Aside from Kaberle and Kubina, nothing is really special there. Carlo has shown flashes of being a good, solid dman and as long as he stays healthy he will have a regular shift for the Leafs. I think his physical attributes guarantee him a spot on this team over Frogen, Stralman and White.

I see the Leafs top 6 as follows

Kubina-Kaberle
Finger-Van Ryn
Cola-Stralman

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09-07-2008, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
Or making up Sundin career threatening injuries, very time consuming stuff.. but who is Carlo displacing, really? When I look at it I can't help but think that Stralman is the likely candidate, as the only waiver exempt player in the discussion here. Don't like that possibility either, frankly.
Well Cliffo was on the AM640 Watters show just a few days ago .. He said the Kabs and Kubina are of course top pairing players and be in the team .. He then said that Finger and Stralman make up the current project TOP 4 for next season.. He talked about Frogren arriving and that he will be on the team.. Then he mentioned Carlo, Van Ryn and Luke Scheen by name playing for 2 of the remaining three spots of the 7 that make the team .. He did no mention White nor Kronwall by name at all only that he said he is going to let the exhibition season determine and play into the decision and then if a Dman needs to be moved it will not be until the end of Camp. Fletcher claimed the competition was good to bring out the best in the players and that they will need to work to earn a spot..

So my opinion even though I believe Luke can play today but because of numbers in all likelihood Schenn will be returned to junior at some point and Ian White likely to be traded or waived with Kronwall starting as a Marlie..

Carlo, Van Ryn and Frogren will battle for spots 5-6-7 on the dman core and maybe eve rotate early on until things work themselves out. There have been a few mentioned whispers/rumours that Carlo might be traded but I am not so sure although I can see it based on his health issue and being hard to count on as a regular until he puts them behind him.. Injuries will make spots or help in roster decisions.

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09-07-2008, 05:08 PM
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i really like carlo's game, and for your sake i wouldn't want to see him traded because i don't think you would get what he's worth because of the injury problems. and you just know if he gets traded for a bag of pucks, he'll go on to be healthy and productive with his new team.

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09-07-2008, 05:13 PM
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I think a Carlo and Frogren rotating in and out will end up being the case for a bit, until one shows he is more capable than the other (which should be early in the season, assuming Carlo can stay healthy).

Though, I would not be surprised to see Van Ryn gone by the 1/4 poll of the season, leaving the top 6 as Kaberle, Kubina, Finger, Colaiacovo, Stralman, Frogren.

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09-07-2008, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
Or making up Sundin career threatening injuries, very time consuming stuff.. but who is Carlo displacing, really? When I look at it I can't help but think that Stralman is the likely candidate, as the only waiver exempt player in the discussion here. Don't like that possibility either, frankly.
Stralman has to displace Colaiacovo and not the other way around, Carlo is much better at this point in time.

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09-07-2008, 05:27 PM
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Reassuring to hear about Stralman.. I'll have to go dig that interview up on 640.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
So my opinion even though I believe Luke can play today but because of numbers in all likelihood Schenn will be returned to junior at some point and Ian White likely to be traded or waived with Kronwall starting as a Marlie..
Yup. Exactly what I project as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Carlo, Van Ryn and Frogren will battle for spots 5-6-7 on the dman core and maybe eve rotate early on until things work themselves out. There have been a few mentioned whispers/rumours that Carlo might be traded but I am not so sure although I can see it based on his health issue and being hard to count on as a regular until he puts them behind him.. Injuries will make spots or help in roster decisions.
I don't know a thing about Frogen really, but it seems reasonable to assume that just like Carlo and MVR, sitting in the pressbox is less than ideal. It's great to have the depth, it's a good problem, but we don't want these guys sitting around, having their morale sapped.

A healthy Carlo, as Kanata and Almo intimated, in my estimation, is better, right now, than every d-man we have short of Kubina and Kaberle, it should be next to impossible to sit him. Kab's-Kub's-Cola-Finger-MVR-Frogen/Stralman-White-Kronwall in order of value as a defenceman at this second to a team.

Eventually injuries will happen, it's true.. for that very reason it may be best to wait for whatever to happen and have Stralman in the minors, since he can freely move between leagues. I hate the idea of Stralman in the minors though, pretty conflicted on this.


edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooseOAK View Post
Stralman has to displace Colaiacovo and not the other way around, Carlo is much better at this point in time.
Agreed. And I love Stralman, we all do..


Last edited by Squiffy: 09-07-2008 at 05:39 PM.
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09-07-2008, 05:28 PM
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Alright, going with the assumption that the last 4 spots are available on the D corps (the day I believe what Cliff Fletcher says about the coach's job, is the day I'm an Islanders fan):

Finger is a lock, sadly, due to salary. I have serious doubts that he's worth a top 6 spot, but he's a lock. Then you've got Stralman, who is likely guaranteed a spot simply due to his offensive ability and the fact that the fans love him. The last two spots, I believe go to Carlo and one of Frogren/Van Ryn...but I can't see Carlo being knocked out by either one.

Van Ryn? Has an even greater risk of being injured/a shadow of what he was than Carlo, due to his 4 wrist surgeries. And has more to prove. Frogren? I don't care how far he traveled, he's an unproven, average commodity...nowhere NEAR a lock. Carlo's got a spot before him. He could lose the spot, certainly, but it's his to lose.

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09-07-2008, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
Or making up Sundin career threatening injuries, very time consuming stuff.. but who is Carlo displacing, really? When I look at it I can't help but think that Stralman is the likely candidate, as the only waiver exempt player in the discussion here. Don't like that possibility either, frankly.
Well we are going to be very defensive team, maybe 7 d-man a night, really will it matter if we dump one of the bottom 6 forwards to the pressbox, until an injury occurs? We have the cap space to keep everyone on the big club.

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09-07-2008, 05:33 PM
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Well we are going to be very defensive team, maybe 7 d-man a night, really will it matter if we dump one of the bottom 6 forwards to the pressbox, until an injury occurs? We have the cap space to keep everyone on the big club.
There, sir, is a thought to think about.

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09-07-2008, 05:51 PM
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Carlo should play the first 25 games and hopefully traded before he takes himself out of the line up again

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09-07-2008, 05:58 PM
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That guy who wrote that is basing that on his injuries I bet. Colaiacovo is going to be a top 4 on this team, probably paired with either Stralman or Finger. He is offensively the top 2 most dangerous defenseman from the opposing blue line in. He can rush the puck, shoots, skates very well and hit's like a truck. He is going to be a great 2-way defenseman on this team for years to come because he will never get injured again. (we hope)

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09-07-2008, 06:03 PM
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No way CC is not part of the top 6 come opening night. The better question is what happens with White? He is really lost in the shuffle.

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09-07-2008, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
There, sir, is a thought to think about.
Ya to me this is the best move, bring Stralman in with the easier minutes ES, give him PP time on the second unit build up some confidence in the guy and not feed him to the wolves. Play Finger as the shutdown defenseman with the hard ES and PK minutes, Cola and Van Ryan can already handle the big minutes. And then you can also slowly ease Frogren to the NA style of play and also use him in a shutdown role.

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09-07-2008, 06:27 PM
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There is no way Carlo is not in our top 6 if he is healthy. I would argue he should be in our top 4 if healthy.

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09-07-2008, 06:30 PM
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Carlo and Van Ryn have had a couple of injury plagued seasons..

Both need to prove themselves that they an stay healthy and show what they can contribute when they are.

From a mangers/coaches perspective its hard to count and rely on players that miss over 1/2 the season. So I can see why they are not handed their spots without at least earning them..

I like Carlo and hope this is the year he puts it all together.. I hope he eases up a little on the full contract reckless body checking and simplifies his game so the he can tribute more by playing smarter rather then harder.

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09-07-2008, 07:51 PM
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Carlo is really fun to watch. He's been one of the bright spots for me the past few seasons (when he played). If he is healthy, he will be in the line-up every night. I've been really surprised to see how quickly he looks like a good NHL defenceman after each of his injuries. It would be great to see him after a full training camp. He seems to "have it", as soon as he is back on the ice.

Unfortunately, Mr. Glass has had a limited career, but he's worth holding onto in my opinion. However, I'd hate to see him finally break out in his UFA season.

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09-07-2008, 08:08 PM
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There isn't really a conundrum here. Carlo is a great player when healthy, but he never is healthy and I'm not certain we'll ever be able to depend on him.

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09-07-2008, 08:11 PM
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Cola if healthy will get his regular shift...they will carry 7 D as Mess pointed out!!

Kabs - Kubina
Finger - MVR
Cola - Stralman
Frogren

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