Isn't Phx constantly looking to rebuild every season? They can have Burke, all of our 9th rd's, all are 8th rd's, and throw in Fedoruk to really sweeten the deal for their first this year! Am I really asking so much? So it's like 10 players for one. If they say no we just might have to switch Fedoruk for Somik, how could they say no to that!
I do not mean to get down on Esche and he did have an awesome playoff, but let's not forget that the most games he has played is only 40 or something. I say give him 50-55 and give Niittymaki a lot of time. If Nitty doesn't work out, they would just have to give Esche more games.
I think what everyone is forgetting is the fact that on average, we give up very few shots per game (I think it was like 22 or 23 shots per game). That isn't very much, so it's not as if our goalies are over worked stopping 30+ shots a night. The fact that we are very good defensively is something that makes our goalies jobs much easier. Our problem is three things: A) Our transition game from defense to offense. Let's be honest, it's pi$$ poor at best. We have to have one of the worst transition games in the business; B) The system we play. While it makes us great defensively, it hampers us offensively. The system used consistently compromises the natural talent of the players that we have. For instance, we have Gagne in which all of us agree is a very talented player. However, because Hitchcock has him playing in a defensive role a la Lehtinen, his goal scoring and game breaking ability is often put on the backburner in order to accomodate the defensive game. Clearly, Hitch needs to implement a system that will work around the ability of the players, not the players ability to work around a system; C) Hitch's dependence on veterans. This is a man who won't give a break to a player like Seidenberg, force Gagne to play on the third line when he should be on the first line, and is just reluctant to play younger players. Hey, don't get me wrong, I like Hitch and I'm glad he brought some stability to the coaching carousel in Philadelphia. However, he has to become a little flexible in the systems he runs. Like I said, our problem isn't the defensive side of the game. It's our offensive game that needs some fine tuning
If Kapanen and JR don't retire, Radio staying on the checking line, and Amonte, Leclair, and possibly Recchi likely not wearing the orange and black anymore, I think that all opens it up for Gagne to be on the 1st line. If Kap and JR retire, the team may be in serious trouble unless they sign a couple of FA wingers. They may not have enough talent to dress a capable 2nd line.