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2012-2013 Season: What Do We Have & What Do We Need?


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#1 TroyLoney

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

With the 2011-2012 NHL season drawing to a close for the Ducks and their fans it's time to start looking towards next season. Here's a look at some of the issues the Ducks have to address this summer:

1. Who's Left?

Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) on July 1st:
Teemu Selanne
Saku Koivu
Jason Blake
Niklas Hagman
Rod Pelley
George Parros
Sheldon Brookbank
Dan Ellis
J.F. Jacques
Matt Smaby
Mark Bell
Troy Bodie

Restricted Free Agents (RFA):
Nick Bonino
(Minor Leaguers: Rick Schofield, Dale Mitchell, Ryan O'Marra, Mathieu Carle, Kyle Cumiskey, Riley Holzapfel, Patrick Maroon, Luca Caputi, Sean Zimmerman, Iiro Tarkki and Marco Cousineau)

The sooner we get some clarity on which of these players will be back the better because that's eight spots on the NHL roster to fill.

2. How Much Money Can We Spend?

This is a bit tricky because the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHL and NHLPA expires on September 15th. That means that we're not sure what the salary cap situation will be next year. For now, though, assuming it doesn't go down (it never has and in fact has gone up every single year. The salary cap was $39 million in 2005-2006 and is now $64.3 million which means it's gone up 64% in just six years) it will leave the Ducks with approximately $23.7 million to spend under the Cap. The Ducks, though, never spend to the Cap and there's no reason to think they'll do so next season with ticket prices being reduced and the Pond undergoing a major renovation. Let's assume that they spend around $60 million like they did this season - that still leaves them with more than $19 million to spend this summer. (CapGeek.com is a great resource to keep track of who's signed, how much they make, whey their contract expires and how much room the teams have under the Cap.)

3. Who's Available?

While we will never know who is available via trade we do know who is available as a free agent. Again, CapGeek.com is a great resource for this (LINK) and NHL.com has already started previewing free agency as well (LINK).

4. What Prospects Are Ready To Play?

Nobody knows for sure but we can say that both Kyle Palmieri (RW) and Peter Holland (C ) will have played an entire season in the AHL with a little bit of NHL experience as well. They are both 21-year old former first round draft picks and should be as ready for the NHL as they'll ever be come October. In addition to them there's Emerson Etem (RW) who was a first round draft pick in 2010 and who is currently leading the WHL in goals with 53 in 58 games and appears to be ready to make the jump.

On defense it sounds as though both Sami Vatanen and Justin Schultz are ready to make a run at a roster spot in camp. Vatanen is already under contract but Schultz is not. Vatanen was a fourth round pick in 2009 and Schultz was a second round pick in 2008.

There are no goalie prospects that are close to being NHL ready.

5. How Do We Look Right Now?

Based on the players that are already under contract only here's what the Ducks have:

#1 - Ryan/Getzlaf/Perry
#2 - ???/???/???
#3 - Beleskey/Cogliano/Smith-Pelly
#4 - ???/Bonino/???

D1 - Beauchemin/Fowler
D2 - Sbisa/Visnovsky
D3 - Lydman/???

G - Hiller/???

There's obviously a lot of work to be done and plenty of time for us to discuss it. Some key dates to remember are:

June 22-23 = NHL Draft
July 1st = Free Agency Begins
September 15th = CBA Expires

#2 letsgoducksdotcom

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

Troy Bodie is on our roster?

First things first. Teemu needs to decide. If I'm Bob I tell him that he's too important to wait on. If he's gonna retire I have to go spend money to try and make up for that loss to the team and I WILL NOT WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER. As soon as we get another loss or two he needs to approach Teemu and tell him to decide now so we can have a going away party or not.

Blake I let walk. I'd rather give his time to Palmieri, Etem, DSP even Beleskey or Maroon.

Koivu ... well if it's me I move on. His numbers keep decreasing and face it with him centering one of the greatest goal scorers of all time we keep missing the playoffs. Getz is not going anywhere, so what are you gonna change? SECOND LINE CENTER.

Hagman, Pelly whatever. No impact from either of them they are 4th liners in my book and not all that great at being 4th liners.

Ellis is gone. Forget it. The groin injury is too much for me to count on him, have him be hurt again and have NO back up and make Hiller play 25 in a row.

Smaby, Jacques, Bell ... non factors to me I don't care unless they are needed for WHATEVER our minor league deal turns out to be.


I'm done with George too. One of the greatest guys ever, but brings nothing to the hockey world except fighting, which, regrettably no longer seems to be part of the deal.

I'd elevate Brookbank to a 2 year 3mill or above type deal. I'd make him happy and reward him for solid play, solid teammate, etc.

Restricted Free Agents (RFA):
Nick Bonino
(Minor Leaguers: Rick Schofield, Dale Mitchell, Ryan O'Marra, Mathieu Carle, Kyle Cumiskey, Riley Holzapfel, Patrick Maroon, Luca Caputi, Sean Zimmerman, Iiro Tarkki and Marco Cousineau)

The sooner we get some clarity on which of these players will be back the better because that's eight spots on the NHL roster to fill.


Not real concerned with anyone here either. Bonino seems a serviceable player, but replaceable pretty easily. None of the others mean anything to me. Bit players. Everyone has them.



2. How Much Money Can We Spend?


That CBA could be tricky. I think they end up putting some artificial deal in to limit somehow the LONG long term deals, but ....


3. Who's Available?


I didn't go look, I'm sure I will later. But to me we have to figure out some stuff internally first. Obviously a back up goalie that is healthy is a prime need. Maybe it's time to get Hiller's eventual replacement in here. I don't know that Gibson or Tarkki still have that "label" or if they ever did, but regardless of who is available, I don't think we can expect Hiller to be Kiprusoff and play 75 games a year.

Next, internally, is to figure out what the hell we are gonna do with our second line. If we are gonna try to lure Teemu and Saku back one more year, then we can plan on promoting Holland/Etem/Palmieri or all 3 and we can just be on the lookout for a top 6 wing to fit in with this group. If Teemu/Saku aren't coming back I think it's imperative that all our money, prospects and pick are in play to find someone to "pair" with Ryan. That becomes the base then, Getz/Perry, Ryan/SOLIDFORREALCENTERNOTARETREADFORMERFIRSTROUNDPICK.

4. What Prospects Are Ready To Play?


Again, I think it has more to do with Teemu/Saku than anything else. If those two are gone we HAVE HAVE HAVE to go to the market and get a 2nd line center. If they stay, then I think we can force the young forwards into the line up and for sure Etem and Palmieri have shown that they can dominate at the lower level so it's time for them to sink or swim. Holland doesn't seem to be wowing anyone in Syracuse, but I think it's sink or swim time for him too.

On D I think we are in good shape cause Vatanen and Schultz are in HAVE TO WIN A SPOT position - and thats tough with Frankie/lubo/lydman/Sbisa/Fowler .. and likely Brookbank. ARE there any spots? Maybe we make a spot by trading Lubo and/or Lydman in a 2nd line center type deal and then there is a spot for one of these guys to "win". Either way ... we've been solid defensively lately and we have ... well we are in a spot where we could get by with not even touching our defense.

5. How Do We Look Right Now?



So looking here the KEY TO ME is still Saku. Though he's declining in point production he still plays an awful lot, is a key component to us winning ANY face offs and a great PK specialist. We have to keep him or we have to replace those assets. That has to be priority one if you ask me .. I'm almost talking myself into keeping him. That whole second line, Troy you can back me up, I've been saying for 2 effing years that the day is coming when all 3 of those guys are done and WTH are we gonna do then. Bob needed to have this figured out by now, but he hasn't and he's got 5 or 6 months to get it done. GET TO WORK IDIOT!

#3 miguel17

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:53 AM

IMO 2nd line center is absolutely key needs...honestly I don't believe that we will sign real 2nd line center via FA, guy like Grabovski will cost something around 5 mln, we can forget about that kind of move by BM...IMO we should try to make a trade for young 2nd line center, Derick Brassard should be our target, 24 years old guy, 3.2 mln cap hit to 13/14...he can play better than now, so maybe he needs environment change...I really want to see Brassard - Ryan in our second line...I believe that with current Jackets situation, every player is available for right price...If they want something like Palmieri + Cogs/Lydman or Visnovsky I would do it...Getzlaf + Perry and Brassard + Ryan sounds really interesting as a top six core...add Etem, who should be ready and one chepaer UFA (maybe Ponikarovsky), if Teemu won't return and let them play...

Would be great to re-sign Koivu as a third line center for 2.125 mln or something, keep Bonino as a 4th line center or sign role player like Konopka...don't forget about McMillan, I believe he can return to his game during rookie season and should be interesting option for bottom six...

I believe that one of Schultz/Vatanen should be ready to play with Lydman or if we will trade Lydman we should do everything to bring here a proven winner, Brad Stuart, guy with a lot of experiences....I really appreciate Brookbank's work, but with Schultz or Vatanen I see him only as a 7th guy, so 1 year 1 mln contract is all that we can offer him, if he will have better options, let him go and sign someone else as a 7th...

Also we still have nice chances for lottery pick...Galchenyuk would be great choice to increase center depth, but if we can draft big defenceman like Reinhart or Trouba still I will be happy...

Give Jonas a solid backup like Biron...

All in all I would love to see this lineup for 12/13:

Etem or Ponikarovsky or even Hagman (chepaer UFA) - Getzlaf - Perry
Ryan - Brassard - Etem or Selanne
Cogliano - Koivu - DSP (McMillan)
Beleskey - Konopka (Bonino) - McMillan (DSP)

Beauch - Fowler
Sbisa - Visnovsky
Stuart - Schultz/Vatanen

Of course I traded Palmieri + Lydman to CBJ for Brassard and sign Konopka and Stuart via FA...

...and you know what...it will never happen, because we have passive GM without a vision...I expect that Murray will be waiting for Saku, Teemu, maybe even he will re-sign Blake, Hagman and Parros...he will be ultra passive, it's sad, but I'm afraid it can be truth...

#4 TroyLoney

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:01 PM

I'd welcome Saku back but only as the third line center. He's not a top six forward anymore and he's not going to be any better next year than he was this year. His leadership, experience, work ethic and face-off ability have value and I think he'd make a nice third line center between Cogliano and Palmieri. Beyond that, though, I'd let him go. Besides, I have no idea if he wants to play for a team that is coming off an awful season and where his best friend in hockey is no longer playing. He might be looking to play a year or two with his brother in Minnesota and then call it a career and who could blame him?

It's tough to give Teemu a deadline because, as Burke found out, you don't want to force him into retirement when you clearly need him to return. If he decides to return in late September but the Ducks have already spent their money do you really want to go through another 'Andy McDonald for Doug Weight' type trade to find the roster spot and money to add him? Unless Teemu says, on his own, that he's officially done and he files the paperwork with the league to remove all doubt then you have to keep that door open.

The second line center spot is a huge issue but I think we have to see how Peter Holland works out first. Is he ideal? No, but he could be in a year or two and I don't want to spend crazy free agent money on a guy that ends up blocking Holland or who keeps us from re-signing other players down the road. Again, this comes back to the long-term vs. short-term vision. In the short-term we have a huge hole to fill but if Holland can fill it in the long-term than it's worth taking the hit next season.

Think of it this way. Saku Koivu, who you are interested in bringing back, is on pace to end the season with 16 goals and 30 assists (46 points). That's spending every shift next to Teemu Selanne, many shifts with Bobby Ryan and being on the second power play unit. Do you think Peter Holland can put up comparable numbers in 82 games next year? I do. I think 10 goals and 25 assists is doable and that's a difference of just six goals and five assists spread out over the course of an entire season - assuming that Saku duplicates his numbers without Teemu which is no guarantee. The other difference is that Peter Holland will be young, big and affordable.

Saku Koivu as a second line center: :thumbdown:
Saku Koivu as a third line center = :thumbsup:

You think the key is Saku Koivu, I think the key is 100% Teemu Selanne. He's 41 years old but he's still our leading scorer! If the best scoring forward walks away this summer we need to replace that production and there's no way in hell we can do it for $4 million (which is what he's making). We need Teemu to come back for one more season. He's got another 20+ goals and another 50+ points in that stick and we desperately need him to return. If he does then you give the gang one last shot with an upgrade over Blake. If he leaves, though, it's time to go young and start building a team that will compete in the future without concerning yourself too much with the present. I'm not saying give up on the season but don't make winning in 2012-2013 the priority. Make winning for years to come the priority.

If Teemu Returns: Re-Sign Saku & try to win in 2012-2013
If Teemu Retires: Let Saku go & give the prospects every opportunity to earn a roster spot

#5 letsgoducksdotcom

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:07 PM

I place too much value on Saku's face off wins and defensive play to just let him walk without a serious replacement. I think letting him walk and having a cener depth chart of:

Getz
Cogliano
Holland
Bonino
McMillan

.... well it's suicide. If he goes, you have to at a VERY MINIMUM bring in a gritty, defensive minded guy to play a 3rd line/Defensive specialist/Sammy Pahlsson kind of role. But that then exposes your second line and leaves Ryan without a Center - I don't like it at all. Not saying Bob won't do it, but I don't think you can turn the whole second line over to kids, and surely not the 2nd line center role ... which Holland only seems to be doing "ok" at in the AHL.

#6 TroyLoney

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

I agree. I'm not suggesting you let Saku go and not sign another veteran center. I'm suggesting that someone like Jarret Stoll, Samuel Pahlsson and others could do what you're looking for (win face-offs and play good defense) as well and that the Ducks should look to one of them rather than bring back a 38-year old that is obviously in decline.

#7 HockeyHeaven

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:37 PM

What do we have? A headache

What do we need? A Tylenol


I know what they will work on this offseason. No more slow starts!!! Tell me a different story, Uncle Bob.....

#8 TroyLoney

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:47 PM

The slow starts thing is vexing. A lot of people blamed Randy Carlyle. We'll see if that was accurate or not.

#9 Burns94

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:43 AM

I agree with you guys that Saku is the key to what we do. Looking at the FA pool of centers this year, well, there's nothing for us. Every center for a 2nd line will be out of reach for the Ducks. Which leaves us with either Holland/Koivu for our 2nd line center. Olli Jokinen is a possible choice but I see him re-signing with the Flames.

As much as I hate to say it I don't think Teemu is coming back, even though he'd be good for 60-70 points again next year. Looking at wingers in FA that could fill a top 6 role are:
Andrei Kostitsyn
Dustin Penner (eeeh)
Mikael Samuelsson
Shane Doan

Then you have guys like Parise and Semin who will get top dollar, then other guys who have had their play drop of significantly, or not my favorite choice.
Brad Boyes
Daymond Langkow
Brian Rolston
Ryan Smyth
Ray Whitney
Ales Kotalik

For Prospects coming up, I think it's a must to have at least one of Holland Etem or Palmieri on our 2nd line. Also have either Schultz or Vatanen on our 3rd pairing with Lydman.

Also would like us to re-sign Hagman. I can't see management not re-signing Pelley with us trading away Maceneur/

Potential line-up

Hagman / Getzlaf / Perry
Ryan / Holland / FA listed above
DSP / Bonino.Koivu / Cogliano
Beleskey / Pelley / Parros.FA

Penner / Getzlaf / Perry
Ryan / Koivu / Etem.Palmieri
DSP / Bonino.Holland / Cogliano
Beleskey / Pelley / Hagman

Beauchemin - Fowler
Sbisa - Visnovsky
Lydman - Schultz/Vatanen
Brookbank

Hiller / JDD

It's impossible to predict trades at this point but that always an option as well.. This is a borderline 8th spot team imo :/

Edit: I forgot to put this, but going to add to HockeyHeaven's post below. If I was GM, I would be going hard after Parise or Suter as well. We should be able to land one with the money coming off the books. But, I won't believe it as a possibility until the Ducks show legitimate interest in one of the two.

#10 HockeyHeaven

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:15 AM

They should be "all in" for Parise - a guy who is a legitimate NHL goal-scorer - if Selanne retires. They will have Selanne's, Koivu's (who I think will not come back) and Blake's (again, I don't see him coming back) cap space, and they should make as big a play as possible for a guy who has averaged 36.5 goals over his last four complete NHL seasons, has 24 in 63 games this season, and has played internationally with Bobby Ryan.

But you know what everyone on here will say, right? You CAN"T pay him more than the twins!! That wouldn't be fair!! Then pay him the same annual amount times 10 years or something ($55 mil), and spread the payments out annually so that he makes $7 mil the first three and then it starts to decrease. I don't know - figure it out, GM!!!! I know they won't be paying a backup goalie much money, and, from the looks of it, they will have lots of guys next year on ELC's.

It won't solve the second line center problem, but it makes it a little easier to resolve if the 2 wingers on that line are Ryan and Parise. I think Bonino or Holland could center those two no problem.

But I don't know if Parise wants to come here. Money talks, I guess.

I'm not a Semin fan. And not really a fan of any of those other guys for a top 6 role.

They should resign Hagman for 3rd/4th line duty, imo. Good veteran presence, won't cost much.



As for trades, if the Ducks want to get better, they will HAVE to trade some "hot" prospects - Holland, Palmieri, Vatanen, Schultz, Etem, DSP - or some valuable NHL players - Sbisa, Fowler, Visnovsky, Beauch, Ryan. They will not get back a player that can help them by trading McMillan or Beleskey or Cogliano or Lydman or Pelley or Bonino, imo.


Etem (RW but a LH player)-Getz-Perry
Parise-Holland-Ryan
Cogilano-Bonino-DSP
Hagman-Pelley-Beleskey

I'm okay with that forward group.

#11 miguel17

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

Etem (RW but a LH player)-Getz-Perry
Parise-Holland-Ryan
Cogilano-Bonino-DSP
Hagman-Pelley-Beleskey

I'm okay with that forward group.


That would be great and very perspective top six, but I doubt that BM will even try to talk with Parise...

I can imagine that he will consider guy like A. Kostitsyn, Penner :thumbdown: or Ponikarovsky...

I really believe that we will have Schultz/Vatanen - Lydman as a third pair, so would be great to have proven Brookbank as a 7th d-man, but for no more than 1 mln per year...

#12 RGS_Quack93

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

If you can land Penner on a good contract, why not? Pay the dude $2-2.5mil and see what he does. Coming to a team where he has buddies, has had success and doesnt force him to move again, could all be good things. Best case, he picks up where he left off with the twins and them chemisry clicks. Worst case you have him and DSP on the same line and have a wrecking crew. Penner is worth the gamble IMO.

Resign Hagman as a 4th liner who can fill in virtually anywhere in the lineup, if he still wants to play.
Brookbank has been good for us all year. Wouldnt mind seeing him back but we need to figure out who will be playing with the club next year.
Resign Parros. He brings in fans, hes cheap and a great character guy.
AARP retires.
Let Pelley walk, we have prospects who can fill that center role.
Dan Ellis - Like him, thought hes been good when healthy, but with this groin pull.... time to go
J.F. Jacques, Matt Smaby, Mark Bell, Troy Bodie - My who cares group. They all belong in the AHL, find a new affiliate and see how they feel about these guys.

Only resign Bonino if he is playing in the NHL full time, if you are going to swap him back and fourth, dont bother.
Dont care too much about the other AHL guys besides Maroon. Resign him and get him playing in the NHL.

#13 ladiesandgentlemen

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:06 AM

The problem with the Ducks landing a legitimate, highly sought-after FA like Parise, Suter, etc., is that those types of players can get multi-year contracts (7, 10, dozen years).

I don't see this franchise under this GM offering such long deals.

Which, obviously, doesn't bode well for the upcoming nego's with you know who.

And I can see Murray being so worried about how to keep Getz and Pears that he shies away from those sorts of FA's in the near future.

So the bottom line will most likely be the same 'ol shite: "We're not in that market"

#14 TroyLoney

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:22 AM

Keep in mind the the Ducks can begin negotiating a contract extension with both Getzlaf & Perry on July 1st. I hope that Bob Murray contacts their agents the minute he is allowed to do so and begins talking about what it will take to keep them in town. If he gets a vibe that one or both of them are unwilling to re-sign and would prefer to test free agency...TRADE THEM! Seriously. We cannot afford to lose those guys with nothing in return and the best time to get maximum return for them will be during the offseason when teams have cap space and time to make moves.

Any thought to trading Visnovsky AND Lydman this summer and going after a big name defenseman? Say...Gary Suter?

D1 - Suter/Beauchemin
D2 - Fowler/Sbisa
D3 - Brookbank/Schultz

#15 RGS_Quack93

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

The problem with the Ducks landing a legitimate, highly sought-after FA like Parise, Suter, etc., is that those types of players can get multi-year contracts (7, 10, dozen years).
...


There are a lot of teams who havent touched those kinds of contracts and quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if there isnt something written into the upcoming CBA about that crap

...
Any thought to trading Visnovsky AND Lydman this summer and going after a big name defenseman? Say...Gary Suter?


Dear lord NO! Why would you go after Gary Suter????? The dude is almost 50!

Now Ryan Suter of NSH, yes.

#16 ladiesandgentlemen

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:34 AM

The market for Suter will be a minimum of an ~8 year deal, because he and his agent know that they will be able to land that ~$50mil contract.

He is in the same echelon as Perry and Getzlaf in that regard.

While I'd love to see us bring in a guy like that, our owners look to be more interested in the NBA and investing their money in 80' bars and such.

#17 TroyLoney

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:37 AM

Dear lord NO! Why would you go after Gary Suter????? The dude is almost 50!

Now Ryan Suter of NSH, yes.


HAHAHAHA! I guess he hit me as hard as he hit Paul Kariya.

#18 ladiesandgentlemen

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:42 AM

There are a lot of teams who havent touched those kinds of contracts and quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if there isnt something written into the upcoming CBA about that crap


They should call it the Paul Holmgren Clean-up Clause, in honor of the guy who flooded the market with them. Maybe the Holmgren/Snow, just to recognize that beauty the NYI GM gave Rick Dipietro.

Regardless, anything in the new CBA will be AFTER this upcoming FA frenzy, so the problem will still exist.

I also don't see Bob Murray being competitive because of the upcoming CBA nego's. He will be frozen in fear.

#19 HockeyHeaven

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:53 AM

You guys and your talk is giving me a stomach ache....

The future is all about Palmieri, Etem, Holland, Vatanen, and Schultz, eh? GET 'EM UP HERE NOW, BOB!!!!!



Let Saku, Teemu, Blake, and Lydman go golfing or something. They've earned it.

I would trade Visno. But I would have traded him before the deadline. Along with Koivu, Blake, Lydman, Hagman, anyone else who you could have that was not long for the team and not part of the future..

#20 HockeyHeaven

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

When I look at the Ducks players' stats this season, two guys stand out like sore thumbs.

Getzlaf and Fowler

Some guys are having good years (though not many) and some guys are having decent seasons. But these two guys have played below par, imo.

Between the 2 of them, they have 11 goals and are a combined -36 over a combined 128 games. That is terrible. That's less than a goal every ten games between the two of them. That is brutal. Koivu and Cogliano - guys who get bagged on for their lack of scoring, rightly so - have doubled the production of those two. Not good.

And those two are the two worst +/- guys on the team, and no one is gonna catch them. (Fowler -20, Getz -16). Ouch.

#21 Sloth

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:22 PM

Fowler gets a pass. He is playing on the top defensive pairing at his age. Realistically I would still have held him back this year and maybe next on the 2nd. I know he has the skill to score once he gets comfortable playing against the best every team has to throw at him. His biggest weakness was his defense. His plus/minus kept him out of the Calder trophy race. The way he has been playing defensively as of late doesnt have me worried about him at all.

Getzlaf is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

#22 ladiesandgentlemen

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:23 PM

Maybe Fowler personally gets a pass, but what do the Ducks get for having a guy who is -20 on their top pairing? (13th place in the WC is the obvious answer)

The one thing I keep telling myself, though, when thinking about Fowler this season is: how about that Erik Karlsson?!? That guy was -30 last season as a 20 year old sophomore playing against top lines. Now in his third year he could very well win the Norris. Unless and until Fowler turns around like that, he is a millstone on the top pairing.

#23 Sloth

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:07 PM

Sounds like Bob Murray is more to blame than Fowler. We hyped him up but there is a reason he slipped down in draft position. I think Fowler can become Karlsson but then you need guys like Getzlaf and Blake to score.

#24 Reb

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:21 AM

Maybe Fowler personally gets a pass, but what do the Ducks get for having a guy who is -20 on their top pairing? (13th place in the WC is the obvious answer)

13th in line for the "Water Closet"? Man! That's tough! Hope he can hold it. :blink: :lol:

#25 Number8

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:46 AM

I agree with you guys that Saku is the key to what we do. Looking at the FA pool of centers this year, well, there's nothing for us. Every center for a 2nd line will be out of reach for the Ducks. Which leaves us with either Holland/Koivu for our 2nd line center. Olli Jokinen is a possible choice but I see him re-signing with the Flames.

As much as I hate to say it I don't think Teemu is coming back, even though he'd be good for 60-70 points again next year. Looking at wingers in FA that could fill a top 6 role are:
Andrei Kostitsyn
Dustin Penner (eeeh)
Mikael Samuelsson
Shane Doan

Then you have guys like Parise and Semin who will get top dollar, then other guys who have had their play drop of significantly, or not my favorite choice.
Brad Boyes
Daymond Langkow
Brian Rolston
Ryan Smyth
Ray Whitney
Ales Kotalik

No to Boyes, Langkow, Rolston, Smyth (because he's going to resign in EDM), Kotalik, or Penner. The only ones I'd take a flyer on are Doan, Samuelson, Whitney and Kostitsyn




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