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Time For A New Coach? (and other musings on what has gone wrong)

View Poll Results: who should it be?
Keep Paul Maurice 34 56.67%
Willie Desjardins 2 3.33%
Tom Rowe 5 8.33%
Kevin Dineen 3 5.00%
Scott Arniel 0 0%
Don Hay 1 1.67%
Ulf Samuelsson 1 1.67%
Ron Francis 5 8.33%
Peter Laviolette 7 11.67%
Other (please state coach) 2 3.33%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-26-2009, 09:11 AM
  #51
QuitStaaling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
Maybe Malkin isn't the best example but I didn't bring him up, I just responded to his use as a reference point by the other poster.

There needs to be balance when it comes to Staal and his wings. They could be better no question but he has to do his part to make them better but that is usually left out of the equation. His assist totals are abysmal and have been for some time now given his TOI and beyond that he rarely even looks to set up his wings. What other team is constantly trying to find both a power forward and playmaking wing to complement its franchise center? I can't think of one and I think Staal gets a free pass (no pun intended) to an extent.

Go to practice and watch him. I don't see him putting in the effort in all phases of his game. Maybe he is trying too hard to justify his contract but sometimes you make it easier on yourself to score goals (his clearly priority) by first trying to set up others. Just watch how team defend him now, the word is out that he isn't going to pass.

I think (and trust me I understand it won't ahppen) that if we saw Eric on a line with a pure goal scoring wingman and a Rutuu on the other he would benefit greatly. Since we will never see that scenario, I agree Eric should move to the Wing. And excuse me for saying something that may cause one to spit coffee on their keyboard but Cullen should be the first experiment. He may be a little fast for Eric but he does have some good puck control and the occasional sick move to boot. If or when he fails, give Brindy a go.

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10-26-2009, 09:12 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by DaleCooper View Post
Now, I agree that Staal needs better wingers, so I'm with you on that one. I guess what I am more arguing about here is the skill of Joe Thornton vs. Eric Staal. The last couple of seasons in San Jose Cheechoo was not on Thornton's line near as much. Devon Setoguchi seems to have grown into replacing him. It's only been 9 games, but what has Cheechoo done this year in Ottawa?
A friend of mine is a Sens fan and he was talking about Cheechoo recently. Not that this makes it a fact, but he said dude can barely skate now. Slower than death - but still has a nice shot.

Apparently his injuries have really factored into his decline. (Again, don't really follow him enough to know if that's accurate - maybe check the Sens board)

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10-26-2009, 09:21 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
Maybe Malkin isn't the best example but I didn't bring him up, I just responded to his use as a reference point by the other poster.

There needs to be balance when it comes to Staal and his wings. They could be better no question but he has to do his part to make them better but that is usually left out of the equation. His assist totals are abysmal and have been for some time now given his TOI and beyond that he rarely even looks to set up his wings. What other team is constantly trying to find both a power forward and playmaking wing to complement its franchise center? I can't think of one and I think Staal gets a free pass (no pun intended) to an extent.

Go to practice and watch him. I don't see him putting in the effort in all phases of his game. Maybe he is trying too hard to justify his contract but sometimes you make it easier on yourself to score goals (his clearly priority) by first trying to set up others. Just watch how team defend him now, the word is out that he isn't going to pass.
Fair enough. I think both sides have valid points.

I do think Staal has a lot more pressure than most of these guys. Perhaps that impacts his play, he doesn't have talented wingers, and we don't score goals. Put the two together and you have a C that needs to score a lot more than most centers.

If you're Eric Staal and you could shoot or try creating something for Larose - you shoot every time. I do think the people arguing for a move to wing make some valid points about his overall limitations though......tough call.

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10-26-2009, 09:28 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by QuitStaaling View Post
I think (and trust me I understand it won't ahppen) that if we saw Eric on a line with a pure goal scoring wingman and a Rutuu on the other he would benefit greatly. Since we will never see that scenario, I agree Eric should move to the Wing. And excuse me for saying something that may cause one to spit coffee on their keyboard but Cullen should be the first experiment. He may be a little fast for Eric but he does have some good puck control and the occasional sick move to boot. If or when he fails, give Brindy a go.
Cullen wouldn't be too fast for Staal and in fact, though not everyone remembers, they had good chemistry playing on the same line in the 2006 playoffs. Of course Cullen was on the wing along with Recchi (after Stillman was moved to Brindy's line) but they were a handful due to their combined speed. Despite not being an overly big guy, Cullen can be effective behind the net with his stop-start moves and Staal could play the prototypical power forward role near the paint.

Cullen isn't going to be confused with a legit first-line center but there are some good precedents where that kind of move works, e.g., Langkow and Iginla in Calgary and White and Kovalchuk in Atlanta. Staal would resist it and the organization doesn't seem anxious to consider it but when your first-line center has gotten single-dimensional over the last season+, I think something else should be tried.

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Originally Posted by DoomMF View Post
Fair enough. I think both sides have valid points.

I do think Staal has a lot more pressure than most of these guys. Perhaps that impacts his play, he doesn't have talented wingers, and we don't score goals. Put the two together and you have a C that needs to score a lot more than most centers.

If you're Eric Staal and you could shoot or try creating something for Larose - you shoot every time. I do think the people arguing for a move to wing make some valid points about his overall limitations though......tough call.
Absolutely agree about the LaRose comment. That is totally absurd to have him on the top line and doesn't do Staal any favors. LaRose gets rewarded for zero points apparently (just like Maurice used to play Bayda on the first line in his first tour) and has no business there at all.


Last edited by StormCast: 10-26-2009 at 09:34 AM.
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Old
10-26-2009, 09:39 AM
  #55
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The way Staal's playing right now, he needs LaRose on that line. I'd be willing to bet that's the main reason LaRose is on there in the first place.

I don't think anyone can deny that Staal has been off these past few games, and there were shifts in Minnesota where he was eying the bench the entire time, waiting to get off. Until Staal starts to care again, there needs to be some kind of spark on that first line.

Although I don't understand why Maurice broke up Cullen and LaRose. It's ridiculous to split those two after they've clearly shown some chemistry together. It's the same reason why Staal and Cole are seemingly joined at the hip.

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10-26-2009, 10:35 AM
  #56
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Staal's either gotta get his **** together or take a few games off if his prior injuries a couple weeks back we heard of are effecting him this much. This team goes as far as Eric goes and when he's not going, we're in trouble.

I am also one to believe that he could use a more skilled, finesse player on his line, however with that said I can put that thought aside briefly because for me there have been too many nights this season where Eric has just not looked good or looked as good as he can, for whatever the reason. And that is of no fault of his linemates. Decision making, work ethic, poor stick handling, etc. are not his wingers fault. He has to get his game to a place where we can watch him and say 'Eric has been great, but his wingers... not so much'. I have yet to see that.

I'll also say this, there is no excuse for a player to year after year have as poor starts to the season as Eric seems to demonstrate. I don't know if he's taking to much time off in the summer and not coming into the season in good enough shape or what, but he best figure it out. If he has to wait until February comes along each year to kick it into gear, thats not acceptable from a player of his stature and importance. This team cannot afford for Eric to only have 2-3 points in his first 10-12 games of each season. Plain and simple. Or, maybe he's banged up (again) to begin the year like he was last year (shoulder), if thats the case, throw the iron man streak out the window and get back to 100%.

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10-26-2009, 11:54 AM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
There needs to be balance when it comes to Staal and his wings. They could be better no question but he has to do his part to make them better but that is usually left out of the equation. His assist totals are abysmal and have been for some time now given his TOI and beyond that he rarely even looks to set up his wings. What other team is constantly trying to find both a power forward and playmaking wing to complement its franchise center? I can't think of one and I think Staal gets a free pass (no pun intended) to an extent.

Go to practice and watch him. I don't see him putting in the effort in all phases of his game. Maybe he is trying too hard to justify his contract but sometimes you make it easier on yourself to score goals (his clearly priority) by first trying to set up others. Just watch how team defend him now, the word is out that he isn't going to pass.
How can Staal make his wingers better when they aren't finishers. If Staal makes a pass and his winger whiffs or shoots wide or shoots high, that ain't Staal's problem. Staal is playing with 3rd-4th liners (yes they would be on other teams), you can't lay all the blame on him. If his wingers can't finish, that ain't on him. Hence his low assist totals. Give him a legit winger that can find the back of the net, and we aren't having this conversation.

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10-26-2009, 01:13 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by caniac247 View Post
How can Staal make his wingers better when they aren't finishers. If Staal makes a pass and his winger whiffs or shoots wide or shoots high, that ain't Staal's problem. Staal is playing with 3rd-4th liners (yes they would be on other teams), you can't lay all the blame on him. If his wingers can't finish, that ain't on him. Hence his low assist totals. Give him a legit winger that can find the back of the net, and we aren't having this conversation.
Part of the role for a top-line, franchise center is to make his wings better by creating opportunities. Let's not pretend Staal is doing that and it's simply a case of guys not finishing. He looks to shot first and passing is a clear second option, which other D's know.

As I stated in the post you quoted, it's a matter of balance. His wings could be better and he needs to be better. So far this year guys like Whitney, Pitkanen and Jokinen have all been significantly better passers than Staal and therein lies the problem.

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10-26-2009, 01:14 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caniac247 View Post
How can Staal make his wingers better when they aren't finishers. If Staal makes a pass and his winger whiffs or shoots wide or shoots high, that ain't Staal's problem. Staal is playing with 3rd-4th liners (yes they would be on other teams), you can't lay all the blame on him. If his wingers can't finish, that ain't on him. Hence his low assist totals. Give him a legit winger that can find the back of the net, and we aren't having this conversation.
We are going 'round and round with this. Those on one side of the fence believe Staal is incapable of being a worthy set-up man so a real first line winger isn't needed and those of us who believe he has never had the chance. Which he hasn't. Staal had 55 assists playing with Stillman, Cole, Whitney or whoever in 06. I thought it was Williams that season but I was corrected by someone and don't have time to dig up the boxscores from that season. The bottom line is Eric is a first line center who has had the worst of opportunities to be a star set-up man since he started.

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10-26-2009, 01:16 PM
  #60
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How is Justin Williams playing this year? I think we really miss his play, I just haven't kept up

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10-26-2009, 01:22 PM
  #61
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How is Justin Williams playing this year? I think we really miss his play, I just haven't kept up
How play healthy Justin? Great as usual. He plays on point on PP. This is really interesting.

God, i miss him so much. When will JR bring back Justin?

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10-26-2009, 01:30 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
Part of the role for a top-line, franchise center is to make his wings better by creating opportunities. Let's not pretend Staal is doing that and it's simply a case of guys not finishing. He looks to shot first and passing is a clear second option, which other D's know.

As I stated in the post you quoted, it's a matter of balance. His wings could be better and he needs to be better. So far this year guys like Whitney, Pitkanen and Jokinen have all been significantly better passers than Staal and therein lies the problem.
The problem is when Staal tires to create opportunities, his wingers screw them up, so Staal is much less motivated to try and set them up, and instead tries to do the job himself. The fact that he can make that work as well as he does while playing against the top defenses in the league says a hell of a lot about his skill.

He lacks patience with a lot of the guys he plays with. I don't really blame him either. Get Staal a good finishing wing and I can guarantee you'll see a lot more passes.

I wouldn't really say he plays like a winger or a center- he plays like he's trying to be the hero, and thinks he's more or less the only guy on the team who can do anything right.

Some guys can make crap wingers look like gold. But Staal isn't Crosby, and we can't expect him to be. He can't turn straw into gold. But he can overpower defenses and put up around 80 points with very little to work with. I'm okay with that.

I would be much happier if we got him a high level finisher to play with though. Perhaps Boychuck or Terry can be that guy.

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10-26-2009, 01:32 PM
  #63
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How is Justin Williams playing this year? I think we really miss his play, I just haven't kept up
9 points in 9 games. As in more than anyone on the Hurricanes. LOL.

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10-26-2009, 08:03 PM
  #64
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according to Bill Clement today on the radio, if the canes dont turn it around soon, JR will be having a fire sale that will be unprecedented with 11 impending UFA's.

can you say REBUILD?

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10-26-2009, 08:18 PM
  #65
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It's what the Caps did when they landed OV and Backstrom.

I would have NO problem with it with the top 3 in this years draft. Scary part is I get the feeling that our youngsters would be doing better then our team with what we have right now. I figure the Canes can get a first for Whitney on a rental if they keep him until the deadline. Can probably get seconds for Corvo, Cullen, Aaron Ward (late 2nd). Probably a 3rd for Walker. Not sure Wallin will waive his NTC.

Really this is essentially what the team should try to keep at least short term lines wise:

Ruutu - Staal -
- - Cole
Jokinen - Sutter - LaRose
Kostopoulos - -

Pitkanen - Gleason
Alberts -
-

Ward

The holes can easily be filled with Samson (#1 RW), Boychuk (#2 C), Bowman (#2 LW), Chaput (#4 C) and Blanchard (#4 RW) up front. And god knows how long we've been waiting for Carson to get a real shot. Add Carson, Rodney and acquire someone else for the last slot via trade.

Sure our team will still suck, but it will at least be a hell of a lot more fun to watch then seeing a bunch of overpaid players do absolutely nothing out there. I'm sure we'll have to keep some players like Brind'Amour and Wallin, but Wallin's likely gone after this season to retirement anyway. I enjoyed watching the 03-04 team even knowing how bad they were, because I actually saw a consistent effort out there every night with guys knowing they were fighting for jobs in the league. Our guys are simply beyond complacent at this point and it is showing. Sutter could spark some life into this team, but I still don't know if it's enough, and Sutter better be getting the 3rd line F time that Walker currently is IMO.

We'll be much better off in the long run actually rebuilding for a change. There are some pieces worth keeping around of course, but getting a top 3 pick or two over the next couple years to actually give us some first line talent to go along with Staal and Ward (Pitkanen is still a work in progress) is what this team REALLY needs. How many other top teams in this league are making due with only 2 high end talents? Boston maybe but their depth is far better then ours. Washington has OV, Backstrom, Semin and Green. Pittsburgh has Fleury, Malkin, Crosby and Gonchar. Detroit has Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Chicago has Kane, Toews, Hossa and Keith. Philly has Pronger, Richards and Carter. And all of those are deeper teams then we are in other legit top 6 talent.

We NEED a guy like Seguin, Hall or Fowler to add to what we have. We're entirely too easy to shut down with just 1 offensive force on this team.


Last edited by DaveG: 10-26-2009 at 08:32 PM.
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Old
10-26-2009, 08:19 PM
  #66
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Part of me really and I mean really wants that to happen.

I mentioned the possible firesale first a year ago and now we have guys like Ward and TKO to add to the list. Some of UFAs have better value than others, some have no value what so ever, but still several picks and prospects can be aquired once the garage sale is over.


Last edited by dmonk: 10-26-2009 at 08:36 PM.
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10-26-2009, 08:25 PM
  #67
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according to Bill Clement today on the radio, if the canes dont turn it around soon, JR will be having a fire sale that will be unprecedented with 11 impending UFA's.

can you say REBUILD?
Was this on NHL Live? Also, was this just Clement's conjecture, or something he heard?

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10-26-2009, 08:33 PM
  #68
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I'm hoping for the later with as connected as Clement is around the league. I think JR would actually go through with it as well knowing there's not a lot of other options and that our contender window with the current core is fully closed.

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10-26-2009, 08:52 PM
  #69
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Was this on NHL Live? Also, was this just Clement's conjecture, or something he heard?
It was during his regular spot at 5 oclock on the PowerPlay segment on XM204. they were talking about the teams that were pretty much sucking wind and we fell in right after toronto and the Ducks. Sounded more like his take than some fact he heard but Clement has a pretty good pulse on the GMs around the league so it wouldnt be a stretch to say he has a pretty good idea what JR's mindset could be at this point. He basically said we were the oldest team in the league and it may be showing. Compared our situation to Montreal last year with all the UFAs and how they should have all been playing for their UFA contracts but didnt. the jury is still out as to whether or not our UFA's will start playing for their contracts. We got at least 4-5 players either at the end, or near the end of thier careers, what contracts would they be playing for?

Dave is right, the window for this group has closed. It was a good run, 2 ECF finals and a Cup win.

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10-26-2009, 09:12 PM
  #70
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Wow! This thread sure has gotten interesting... I think every last one of us would prefer to sell off our assets and bring up the kids if it looks like it's gonna be another year we miss the playoffs anyways.

I for one can say I'm surprised with our start this season. I figured our deep run last season combined with some new faces would give our guys some jump right from the get go. Since this very obviously isn't happening, I see no reason whatsoever to keep expecting a different outcome when we put out the same product. So, I am one of those that has no problem at all selling. We aren't gonna look much worse than we do now!

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10-26-2009, 09:21 PM
  #71
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Einstein said it best: Insanity is best defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. How many years have we been doing the same things over and over with this current core now? Four? It's time for a change and just one or two small changes won't cut it. It sucks to rush the kids, but it is what it is unless we're taking on salary dumps in addition to picks/prospects in our rebuild.

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10-26-2009, 09:27 PM
  #72
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Wow! This thread sure has gotten interesting... I think every last one of us would prefer to sell off our assets and bring up the kids if it looks like it's gonna be another year we miss the playoffs anyways.

I for one can say I'm surprised with our start this season. I figured our deep run last season combined with some new faces would give our guys some jump right from the get go. Since this very obviously isn't happening, I see no reason whatsoever to keep expecting a different outcome when we put out the same product. So, I am one of those that has no problem at all selling. We aren't gonna look much worse than we do now!
I disagree. I dont want most of the kids up here yet. Im sure Ill get flamed for going against the popular opinion here as always but I think kids like Boychuk are gonna get pushed around bad up here. If we're heading into a true rebuild, I hope jr does it right and holds on to his assetts till the trade deadline where they'll be worth the most. then after some the kids have had almost a full pro year would I pull up some of them to see what they got at the NHL level. JR has rushed other prospects to soon and Ill bet he's learned his lessons. If you sell too early you wont get full value and lets be real, we have some aging vets who were great in their prime but how much are they really worth now?

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10-26-2009, 10:03 PM
  #73
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If this group can't cut it, then it's time. It's time to rid outselves of the core and in my opinion change the leadership over to. Change it all. It's gotten old. Begin a new era, begin a new time. It's been to long with this team simply not being able to succeed. The same disappointing flaws seem to follow this team year after year after year. I figured after our magical run last year we'd come out of the gates strong with this close knit group. Not the case and it's hard to say if things with this group will even change. Based on what we've seen/went through the past 3-4 years, I have my doubts they will pull it together. It just seems to much like the 'same old, same old' we've already been through.

In my opinion if we can't succeed, the faces need changed, the leadership needs new shoulders and it's simply time for a new era to begin. Go young. Go fast. Go hungry. I guess let the kids - Boychuk, Sutter, Bowman, Samson, Dodge, Chaput, Blanchard, Carson, Rodney, McBain, etc and our core/what we have in place now in what we'd like to begin building around grow together, lose together, win together, build together. We'll go through the ups, downs, highs, lows, etc. If indeed our window is closed, what other choice do we have? I would like to wait until atleast the trade deadline so we can maximize our value for the likes of Whitney, Cullen, Corvo, Walker, Ward, etc.. and it will also still give the kids more time in Albany. I believe these kids still need time. If this team is going to suck, let them suck until the deadline then cut ties and call up the seasoned kids, get their feet wet and give them an idea of what is to come and what's expected in the big league from the trade deadline to the end of the year.

A firesale would be interesting. All of Whitney, Walker, Cullen, Corvo, Ward should gather interesting attention. I would even say we'd be able to dish off Wallin, veteran blueliner full of experience for something, but he'll likely not waive his NTC, so that can likely be put to rest. I'd like to get rid of Samsonov, but that won't happen.

Go into the offseason and try and add some pieces, see what we can do. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this team if we decide to rebuild. The Caps had a few bad seasons, paid for it, and will now be successful for likely years to come. Granted they got some very good picks, but you gotta roll with the punches in a rebuild. Go into it with a plan, a vision, and build it. Will JR be up for it? What type of team will he assemble? Who knows, it would be interesting to see though. We have some pieces in place now, so it's not as though we're starting from absolute scratch.

Atleast it would be exciting and we'd likely see effort. I have always said I don't care whether we win or lose, just give an effort, show passion, commitment, desire to win. If we lost 40-50 games this year but we gave an honest effort and looked like we wanted to win, I could live with that. But what we've seen through 10 games is pretty unacceptable from a veteran group with it's fair share of experience and cup rings.

Just thinking about rebuilding, seeing fast, talented, hungry kids get's me excited. The thought of a nice handful of draft picks/prospects from our UFA's gets me excited aswell. Even if we could land a few nice decent younger players, mix it up with some prospects and picks.

And really, we're not miles off I don't think, it's not as though we're starting with nothing - Staal, Ruutu, Boychuk, Bowman, Sutter, Pitkanen, Gleason, Ward, etc, etc. We've got a pretty decent foundation to build out from, add prospects and picks, etc. Add in a few diamonds in the rough with potential we have in Albany and who knows what could be made of it.

Jumping the gun? Who knows, but it's fun to talk/speculate about.


Last edited by Guerzy: 10-26-2009 at 10:34 PM.
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10-26-2009, 10:56 PM
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UnPLEASED Anton
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10 games in

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10-26-2009, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
Part of the role for a top-line, franchise center is to make his wings better by creating opportunities. Let's not pretend Staal is doing that and it's simply a case of guys not finishing. He looks to shot first and passing is a clear second option, which other D's know.
I don't know, you take away Daniel Sedin for a few game and sudenly Henrik gets no points. Lecav is money with St. Louis, put St. Louis with Stamkos and his points dry up except on the PP....

I think it does make a tremendous difference who your wingers are, and it seems sort of absurd to just throw up your hands and blame the elite center for not turning garbage into gold.

Why bother surrounding Thornton, etc....with all that talent if it doesn't make a HUGE difference who they play with because they can elevate anyone's game? Sure, they can, and do all the time, but give Thornton Larose, and the rest and sooner or later he's going to struggle and probably start overcompensating and shooting more himself.

Again, I think there is some validity to the case you're making, but I also think Staal is playing in a pretty poor situation here.

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