This is really setting up to be a letdown year after the playoff run. If Henrik requires surgery, and Kesler is out for the first two months we should almost just go for a top 5 pick. It's gonna be Daniel Sedin and a bunch of second/third liners running around.
Even with our two best players injured, we're still the best team in the Northwest. Our defence and goaltending is still stacked. We have the reigning scoring champ and, like you said, a bunch of potential 2nd liners (Burrows, Samuelsson, Sturm, Higgins, Hodgson). I don't see any possible scenario where this team does not make the playoffs. All that matters is that everybody is 100% healthy once the playoffs begin. If that means sitting out Henrik and Kesler for a full 2 months, then so be it. Screw the regular season.
Though, adding Yakupov to our lineup for free is very tempting.... Then Parise next offseason.... Maybe Weber too....
This thread was a great read. I wanted to LOL literally the whole time.
Hank will be fine, I hope he doesn't break his Iron man streak, cause that's a pretty cool record for any player.
But to the other half what this thread has been, my line up would be quite different.
Burrows Daniel Samuelsson
Sturm Hodgson Higgins
Nolan Malhotra Hansen
Bitz Lapierre Oreskavic
Daniel has played center in the early part of his Junior career, and if a creative player. I think with his skill set, he could sub in and not look completely out of place. Putting him with two familiar wingers doesn't hurt either.
Cody gets his chance, I say "finally" imho, but I believe he can succeed given some NHL experienced wingers would do him good. Higgins would obviously be the Burrows of the second line, while Sturm n Hodgson the more offensively gifted players.
The shut down line, the wiley vet with the solid defensive center and the scrappy speedster to chase down the pucks on the forecheck.
Than finally, the "go hit something" line. Lapierre with two big wingers who can lay the body and hopefully spend more time pushing the puck up the ice, than chasing it down in our own end. Defensively not the greatest, but Lapierre n Oreo have some wheels, while Bitz can be a tough guy to move around with his size.
Failing that, moving Cody n Manny up a line would give us more wing options, while we'd need Ebbet or similar to fill in as 4th. The Cody Manny 1st n 2nd line center roles would be more along the styles of game our normal 2 would bring, just in much lesser forms.