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Flyers' Rebuilt Defense

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Old
10-10-2010, 12:17 PM
  #1
MiamiScreamingEagles
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Flyers' Rebuilt Defense

We can engage in discussion regarding the defensemen in this thread as it pertains to this article. For further recall, the thread is tagged "defense."

http://www.csnphilly.com/10/10/10/bP...395&feedID=695

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The NHL season is a couple days old now. So how does Timonen feel?

“I’m really excited to get started here,” Timonen said. “We all know how it ended last year. Hopefully, we can use that as motivation because we got so close but still so far away. Now we know what it takes to get there.

“Hopefully, we can play better as a team the first 82 games to put us in better position than last year. Everyone is pretty excited. We got new faces and they’re ready to go.”

Timonen said the short summer misgivings are behind him. He’s rejuvenated by the rebuilt defense and some new faces on the roster – and the chance to get back to the Final.

Timonen logged an impressive 25:34 ice time – the most of any Flyer – in the season opener at Pittsburgh, of which 5:39 was penalty kill duty. Part of that is that Chris Pronger remains out of the lineup, still rehabbing his right knee.

Timonen averaged 26:37 ice time last season – his highest total since he’s been a Flyer. In 2007-08, his first year here, he averaged 23:34. That shot up to 26:21 in 2008-09.
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The anticipated third pairing of Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros is expected to get decent minutes this season. For now, that pair is split elsewhere given Pronger’s absence. Last year, the Flyers rotated different people at the fifth and sixth spots without finding a stable, strong pair.

O’Donnell, Meszaros and Scott Walker added much-needed depth, though it remains to be seen whether Walker sticks around as a reserve given his $1.7 million cap hit.

“It gives us a little more depth back there,” said Pronger, who averaged 25:55 last season, about 3 minutes less than his career average.

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10-10-2010, 12:21 PM
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I think part of Timonen's strong start is that the team is relying on him completely again. He seems to relish the opportunity to be the #1 anchor on the blueline.

Hopefully he doesn't struggle to adapt when Pronger comes back into the lineup and takes over that spot, like he did last year.

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10-10-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles View Post
We can engage in discussion regarding the defensemen in this thread as it pertains to this article. For further recall, the thread is tagged "defense."

http://www.csnphilly.com/10/10/10/bP...395&feedID=695
Scott Walker? Nice one, Timmy.

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10-10-2010, 12:38 PM
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I am psyched on this defense. I have liked the way Meszaros has played and think he has a pretty high ceiling. $4 million is a lot for a third pairing defenseman, but I think he play up to that paycheck, or at least close to it.

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10-10-2010, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
I am psyched on this defense. I have liked the way Meszaros has played and think he has a pretty high ceiling. $4 million is a lot for a third pairing defenseman, but I think he play up to that paycheck, or at least close to it.
You are far more optimistic than I am, sir.

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10-10-2010, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by i am dave View Post
Scott Walker? Nice one, Timmy.
It took...21 minutes to be noticed.

Over/under at the Las Vegas Hilton was 14. Bettors cash.

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10-10-2010, 12:43 PM
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Timmy P gets that wrong a lot I feel like.

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10-10-2010, 01:05 PM
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So far I rather have Gagne and 2nd then Meszaros and Walker.

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10-10-2010, 02:56 PM
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For being "rebuilt", it doesn't seem that much different or improved. We have the same top four defense as before, except that Pronger is injured and both Pronger and Timonen are a year older (neither of which are a good thing at their ages). Bartulis is still here and instead of a scrub and a young injury-riddled d-man that can't keep it together, we now have a 4 million dollar d-man playing the third pairing (whose best days are behind him at the moment), a decently effective yet slow 40 year-old veteran, and a 1.7 million scrub sitting in the press-box.

As far as the cap is concerned, that's actually drastically worse then last year. As far as actual talent, I'm not convinced that it's all that much better then last year aside from O' Donnell. I think O' Donnell is a clear improvement, Walker is a clear downgrade from what we had last year (even if he is sitting in the press box), and Meszaros is probably the worst way to attempt to improve the bottom pairing possible. The idea of a bottom pairing is that it's cheap and logs relatively minor minutes to keep your top four from playing too much. Meszaros doesn't exactly fit the bill as a bottom pairing d-man.

All-in-all, I'm just gonna agree with Kaktus here that I'd rather still have Gagne+2nd at the moment.

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10-10-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
So far I rather have Gagne and 2nd then Meszaros and Walker.
Meszaros, Walker, and a 4th!

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10-10-2010, 03:32 PM
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until Prongs is back in the rotation im not ready to say if the defense is indeed better/stronger..

but from what i've seen so far i would say its not as beefed up as the signings would show...

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10-10-2010, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
So far I rather have Gagne and 2nd then Meszaros and Walker.
I completely and utterly agree with you on this one.

I miss Gagne.

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10-10-2010, 03:53 PM
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Am I the only one who's excited about this defense? I think they've looked pretty good so far. I don't think there's anyone who I could say is playing poorly. Many of the mistakes they are making are the kinds of things that can be hammered out as the season progresses. As far as Meszaros goes, its been 2 games. I thought he's looked fine. He's a little slow, but he's made some nice outlet passes, including a great one to JVR last night, and has shown some ability to get the puck on net. I also think O'donnell has looked pretty good as well. Bartulis is clearly better then last year and is playing pretty well for his role.

Yes, if you expected Meszaros to come in and play as our third best defensemen, you are probably pretty disappointed. But if you expected him to be on par with Coburn and Carle, I would think you would be pretty excited. Meszaros is also only going to get better as the season progresses when his confidence returns.

Keep in mind a lot of these guys aren't use to playing with each other, so once Pronger returns everything will fall into place.

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10-10-2010, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmchairGM View Post
Am I the only one who's excited about this defense? I think they've looked pretty good so far. I don't think there's anyone who I could say is playing poorly. Many of the mistakes they are making are the kinds of things that can be hammered out as the season progresses. As far as Meszaros goes, its been 2 games. I thought he's looked fine. He's a little slow, but he's made some nice outlet passes, including a great one to JVR last night, and has shown some ability to get the puck on net. I also think O'donnell has looked pretty good as well. Bartulis is clearly better then last year and is playing pretty well for his role.

Yes, if you expected Meszaros to come in and play as our third best defensemen, you are probably pretty disappointed. But if you expected him to be on par with Coburn and Carle, I would think you would be pretty excited. Meszaros is also only going to get better as the season progresses when his confidence returns.
If he is on par with Coburn and Carle, wouldn't that make him our third- or fourth-best defenseman by definition?

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10-10-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
If he is on par with Coburn and Carle, wouldn't that make him our third- or fourth-best defenseman by definition?
By third I meant he would clearly differentiate himself as better then either Coburn or Carle. Since there is no clear cut better player between Coburn and Carle, I would more consider Coburn, Carle, and Meszaros as #3a, #3b, and #3c.

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10-10-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmchairGM View Post
Am I the only one who's excited about this defense? I think they've looked pretty good so far. I don't think there's anyone who I could say is playing poorly. Many of the mistakes they are making are the kinds of things that can be hammered out as the season progresses. As far as Meszaros goes, its been 2 games. I thought he's looked fine. He's a little slow, but he's made some nice outlet passes, including a great one to JVR last night, and has shown some ability to get the puck on net. I also think O'donnell has looked pretty good as well. Bartulis is clearly better then last year and is playing pretty well for his role.

Yes, if you expected Meszaros to come in and play as our third best defensemen, you are probably pretty disappointed. But if you expected him to be on par with Coburn and Carle, I would think you would be pretty excited. Meszaros is also only going to get better as the season progresses when his confidence returns.

Keep in mind a lot of these guys aren't use to playing with each other, so once Pronger returns everything will fall into place.
Pretty disappointed at this group of d-men, especially knowing that it cost us Gagne.

Even if Meszaros plays up to the level of Carle or Coburn, it still makes zero sense whatsoever to have a guy like that making 4 mil on your bottom pairing while dishing out a 2nd (and, essentially, Gagne) for him. That's only if he manages to play up to that level too.

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10-10-2010, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Garbage Goal View Post
Pretty disappointed at this group of d-men, especially knowing that it cost us Gagne.

Even if Meszaros plays up to the level of Carle or Coburn, it still makes zero sense whatsoever to have a guy like that making 4 mil on your bottom pairing while dishing out a 2nd (and, essentially, Gagne) for him. That's only if he manages to play up to that level too.
You can be disappointed with the Cap for Value management, but you can't take that out on a player.

As far as Gagne goes, the bigger problem is that we could have essentially kept him and still gone after Meszaros and Zherdev.

.878 Cap Space + 1.7 Walker + 1.1 Shelley + 1.55 Leighton is approximately 5.23 million in cap space. It's possible with a little creativity and better negotiating on contracts we could have found the space to keep Gagne. Who knows.

(I would assume Holmgren would have gone through every possible combination before coming to the conclusion that Gagne had to be moved, but it seems reasonable that a move here or there would have given us the cap space. Imagine if Laperriere had informed the front office about his problems and it was known that he would miss at the least a significant amount of the season. (I in no way put any blame on Laperriere for not disclosing his health problems))

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10-10-2010, 04:27 PM
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You can be disappointed with the Cap for Value management, but you can't take that out on a player.
Not "taking it out on him". I'm just stating fact. It makes zero sense to give up so much for a player that is as unestablished and overpaid as Meszaros and then have him play on your bottom pairing. It makes zero sense in a cap structured world.

Quote:
As far as Gagne goes, the bigger problem is that we could have essentially kept him and still gone after Meszaros and Zherdev.

.878 Cap Space + 1.7 Walker + 1.1 Shelley + 1.55 Leighton is approximately 5.23 million in cap space. It's possible with a little creativity and better negotiating on contracts we could have found the space to keep Gagne. Who knows.

(I would assume Holmgren would have gone through every possible combination before coming to the conclusion that Gagne had to be moved, but it seems reasonable that a move here or there would have given us the cap space. Imagine if Laperriere had informed the front office about his problems and it was known that he would miss at the least a significant amount of the season. (I in no way put any blame on Laperriere for not disclosing his health problems))
Homer made it quite clear that he intended to get rid of Gagne all summer long even before acquiring Meszaros.

Acquiring Meszaros was the final nail in the coffin for Gagne though cap-wise. Stupid contracts like Shelley and Leighton played a part in it too, but it was the Meszaros deal that made it clear Homer was going to trade Gagne.

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10-10-2010, 04:59 PM
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I disagree. That may have been Homer's mindset, but clearly they could have made room for Meszaros (or Hamhuis, or one of the FA D-men) and kept Gagne. Trading Gagne and taking on Walker didn't save a ton of cap space; had Homer not signed Shelley, not overpaid Leighton, not signed O'Donnell, or had Lappy been up-front about his health Gagne could have been retained.

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10-11-2010, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garbage Goal View Post
Pretty disappointed at this group of d-men, especially knowing that it cost us Gagne.

Even if Meszaros plays up to the level of Carle or Coburn, it still makes zero sense whatsoever to have a guy like that making 4 mil on your bottom pairing while dishing out a 2nd (and, essentially, Gagne) for him. That's only if he manages to play up to that level too.
If we win a cup, does it make sense then?

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10-11-2010, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Spongolium View Post
If we win a cup, does it make sense then?
Yes and no.

If we win a Cup, that's freaking awesome, but it still doesn't necessarily make sense to have your fifth best d-man be your third best-paid d-man.

I don't fully agree with the, "if you win a Cup, nothing else matters" assessment all the time. Obviously winning a Cup is ultimately all that matters, but if I give Jody Shelley a 10 year, $3m/per deal and we win the Cup, it doesn't make it right.

Hyperbole, obviously, but I'm just demonstrating a point.

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10-11-2010, 08:29 AM
  #22
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i'm going to hold off on judgement until pronger is back, but so far the D does look improved over last year. however, walker and shelley can **** off, having gagne would be much better.

meszaros is actually worth about 1.5, maybe 1.7 million from what i've seen of him.

edit: winning a cup will not ever make the gagne trade or shelley signing make sense, because i'd say we won the cup despite those moves. i'm far from convinced either has made the team better, and so far both seem detrimental.

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Old
10-11-2010, 08:36 AM
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Meszaros, Walker, and a 4th!
O yeah.. How could I forget?

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10-11-2010, 10:18 AM
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So far O'donnell is our worst looking Dman out there.

I haven't seen many errors from Mez, but it is to early to say anything about how he will pan out. Mez should be seen as someone who can fill in at the top 4 role, when/if someone goes down.

So far Coburn looks great and I think he is clearly our #3 right now.

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10-11-2010, 10:25 AM
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Timonen doesn't want reduced time, but he'll appreciate it later on. Also, when they're on the bench, I don't think they can tell the difference as far as their own ice time between a few minutes a game.

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