Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PTFlea on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:55 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    PKC wrote:

    Yeah, but Boucher is going to cost considerably more to acquire in a trade. Aucoin could be had for a song right now.

    Perhaps, perhaps not. I don't really have a sense of what these teams want in return for guys they want off their roster. If it just means a slightly higher pick, however, I think it would certainly it worth it to go for Boucher.

    As for the comment that we may be done shopping/dealing, I agree. I said this same point in another thread, in fact, this morning. Unless Mesz sits, I think there's a good chance that we stick with what we've got and bank the cap space -- which will probably be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $4 mil if the Mesz signing goes as expected and if, as I expect, 2 guys will get sent down -- and address any holes in our roster in January/February. Even setting aside $1 mil for call ups in the event of injury, that leaves us about $3 mil in space come February -- the equivalent of $12 mil at that point in the season.

    I still don't understand why Dallas would get rid of Boucher. It's one of those things I guess, but if it was me, I would NOT trade him. Zubov has been injured fairly regularly recently, Daley is good, but let's not start gushing. Who else is left? Robidas? Leaving themselves a little thin IMO.

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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by rooneypoo on Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:35 pm

    504Heater wrote:

    I still don't understand why Dallas would get rid of Boucher. It's one of those things I guess, but if it was me, I would NOT trade him. Zubov has been injured fairly regularly recently, Daley is good, but let's not start gushing. Who else is left? Robidas? Leaving themselves a little thin IMO.

    I hear you. I like Boucher, too, but he's name just keeps coming up in trade talks.

    There are a number of legitimate reasons as to why Dallas might want to trade him, tho'. First, Boucher had an awful season last year and really struggled with nagging shoulder and leg injuries; in fact, he didn't play most of the playoffs for them, and the amazing thing is that they didn't really miss him because the young guys really stepped up for them. Second, he's 35 and headed for UFA this July, and I don't think Dallas plans on signing him thereafter, so it makes sense to try to cash in on him now (or in February). Third, their D is much stronger and younger than you might think: not only do they have Zubov for the PP, but Niskanen is emerging as a solid offensive D, and Robidas is not bad himself. Daley and Nick Grossman are also decent defenders, and so is Mark Fistric, who was called up last year for Boucher and played well in his absence. In fact, if they are looking to move Boucher and open up a roster a spot, I would imagine it's because they want to play Fistric full-time this year.

    I'm not saying for sure Dallas is shopping Boucher -- who ever can? -- but I will say that it would make some sense from their perspective, especially if they think Fistric is ready to go full-time.

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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PTFlea on Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:42 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    504Heater wrote:

    I still don't understand why Dallas would get rid of Boucher. It's one of those things I guess, but if it was me, I would NOT trade him. Zubov has been injured fairly regularly recently, Daley is good, but let's not start gushing. Who else is left? Robidas? Leaving themselves a little thin IMO.

    I hear you. I like Boucher, too, but he's name just keeps coming up in trade talks.

    There are a number of legitimate reasons as to why Dallas might want to trade him, tho'. First, Boucher had an awful season last year and really struggled with nagging shoulder and leg injuries; in fact, he didn't play most of the playoffs for them, and the amazing thing is that they didn't really miss him because the young guys really stepped up for them. Second, he's 35 and headed for UFA this July, and I don't think Dallas plans on signing him thereafter, so it makes sense to try to cash in on him now (or in February). Third, their D is much stronger and younger than you might think: not only do they have Zubov for the PP, but Niskanen is emerging as a solid offensive D, and Robidas is not bad himself. Daley and Nick Grossman are also decent defenders, and so is Mark Fistric, who was called up last year for Boucher and played well in his absence. In fact, if they are looking to move Boucher and open up a roster a spot, I would imagine it's because they want to play Fistric full-time this year.

    I'm not saying for sure Dallas is shopping Boucher -- who ever can? -- but I will say that it would make some sense from their perspective, especially if they think Fistric is ready to go full-time.

    I didn't know Fistric was on track to break in with the big club full time. Good analysis Rooney.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by Acrobat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:44 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    I'm not saying for sure Dallas is shopping Boucher -- who ever can? -- but I will say that it would make some sense from their perspective, especially if they think Fistric is ready to go full-time.

    That's what I keep hearing...which suggests that he may come relatively inexpensively ("relatively" is a relative term, if I may be redundant and repeat myself :D )

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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by Guest on Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:39 pm

    I'm starting to think that this is all a lot more simple and straight-forward than we've all be making it.
    I think it comes down to this: If Mez re-signs, Nycholat is gone.
    Nycholat is our back-up plan and is useless to us if we have Mez.
    Imo Schubert will be a defenceman in the coming year, which leaves us with only one open position on the back end.
    And btw our defence is going to be punishing forwards, with the likes of Phillips, Volchenkov, Smith, Schubert, Mez, and Lee.
    I think that is the ideal solution - obviously - for this team and I really think Schubert is more than capable of being our 3rd line PMD.

    If, on the other hand, Mez pulls a Yashin, then Nycholat is Murray's insurance policy.

    I don't know what else happens if Mez's deadline comes and goes without a resolution (as far as further moves are concerned) but I'm almost certain that there will be a trade of some kind if Mez re-signs - and I seriously doubt it'll include Meszaros.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by wprager on Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:13 pm

    cash wrote:I'm starting to think that this is all a lot more simple and straight-forward than we've all be making it.
    I think it comes down to this: If Mez re-signs, Nycholat is gone.
    Nycholat is our back-up plan and is useless to us if we have Mez.
    Imo Schubert will be a defenceman in the coming year, which leaves us with only one open position on the back end.
    And btw our defence is going to be punishing forwards, with the likes of Phillips, Volchenkov, Smith, Schubert, Mez, and Lee.
    I think that is the ideal solution - obviously - for this team and I really think Schubert is more than capable of being our 3rd line PMD.

    If, on the other hand, Mez pulls a Yashin, then Nycholat is Murray's insurance policy.

    I don't know what else happens if Mez's deadline comes and goes without a resolution (as far as further moves are concerned) but I'm almost certain that there will be a trade of some kind if Mez re-signs - and I seriously doubt it'll include Meszaros.

    Hmm, if Meszaros isn't signed, I'd want a PMD with NHL experience. Schubert might be fine as a PMD on the third pairing, where not much is expected, but that would mean a rookie as our top PMD (Lee) and a career minor leaguer (until proven otherwise) as the second. This would surely mean putting a forward on the point for the PP, which would most likely be Alfie, again. And I cringe at that (sorry, Aflie).
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by rooneypoo on Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:57 pm

    cash wrote:I'm starting to think that this is all a lot more simple and straight-forward than we've all be making it.
    I think it comes down to this: If Mez re-signs, Nycholat is gone.
    Nycholat is our back-up plan and is useless to us if we have Mez.
    Imo Schubert will be a defenceman in the coming year, which leaves us with only one open position on the back end.
    And btw our defence is going to be punishing forwards, with the likes of Phillips, Volchenkov, Smith, Schubert, Mez, and Lee.
    I think that is the ideal solution - obviously - for this team and I really think Schubert is more than capable of being our 3rd line PMD.

    If, on the other hand, Mez pulls a Yashin, then Nycholat is Murray's insurance policy.

    I don't know what else happens if Mez's deadline comes and goes without a resolution (as far as further moves are concerned) but I'm almost certain that there will be a trade of some kind if Mez re-signs - and I seriously doubt it'll include Meszaros.

    Very possible, I admit. I certainly concur that a whole lot depends on to whether Schubert or Nycholat takes that final D spot.

    It's conceivable, tho', that Murray wants Nycholat for his puck-moving skills -- again, check out his AHL numbers, they're actually very good -- so if he makes it as our 6th D, we shift Schubert to the wing and use him as a D on the PK, as we did last year. Schubert has expressed a desire to play D on a few occasions, however, so either we respect that wish at some point and hope to keep him, or we don't and we plan to move him. It's hard to say at this point what our long-term plans are with Schubert, but he's certainlny a very useful guy.

    On the other hand, I'm a little weary of writing off Nycholat altogether after Dawg's comments forced me to read up on him a bit. He's small and not the best defender, but if he can play a Tom Preissing-esque game for us, he might be able to provide some much needed puck-moving skill to the line-up and so just might fit in nicely as our 6th D. I confess, tho', that I generally feel safer with Schubert back there: Phillips - Volchenkov, Meszaros - Smith, and Lee - Schubert stikes me as a pretty solid defence. Throw Nycholat in there and you have to think that we'd have to split up Phillips and Volchenkov.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by rooneypoo on Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:03 pm

    wprager wrote:

    Hmm, if Meszaros isn't signed, I'd want a PMD with NHL experience. Schubert might be fine as a PMD on the third pairing, where not much is expected, but that would mean a rookie as our top PMD (Lee) and a career minor leaguer (until proven otherwise) as the second. This would surely mean putting a forward on the point for the PP, which would most likely be Alfie, again. And I cringe at that (sorry, Aflie).

    Definitely agreed here. From the sounds of things, tho', Murray has a backup plan in the event that Mesz sits, and my guess is that it involves acquiring a D man from a team sitting over the cap. Schneider, Aucoin, etc. all seem like likely targets if things go really sour with Mesz. Aucoin we could fit in cap-wise with little to no manoeuvring.

    On the issue of putting a forward on the point: maybe it's time we groom one of our younger players to be able to fulfill this role? What about Fisher or Vermette? Both guys are defensively responsible, two-way players; Fisher's got a big shot, and Vermette is a creative, agile guy. Is there any chance that we audition a forward in the position of PP QB who isn't named Alfie?
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by wprager on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:23 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    wprager wrote:

    Hmm, if Meszaros isn't signed, I'd want a PMD with NHL experience. Schubert might be fine as a PMD on the third pairing, where not much is expected, but that would mean a rookie as our top PMD (Lee) and a career minor leaguer (until proven otherwise) as the second. This would surely mean putting a forward on the point for the PP, which would most likely be Alfie, again. And I cringe at that (sorry, Aflie).

    Definitely agreed here. From the sounds of things, tho', Murray has a backup plan in the event that Mesz sits, and my guess is that it involves acquiring a D man from a team sitting over the cap. Schneider, Aucoin, etc. all seem like likely targets if things go really sour with Mesz. Aucoin we could fit in cap-wise with little to no manoeuvring.

    On the issue of putting a forward on the point: maybe it's time we groom one of our younger players to be able to fulfill this role? What about Fisher or Vermette? Both guys are defensively responsible, two-way players; Fisher's got a big shot, and Vermette is a creative, agile guy. Is there any chance that we audition a forward in the position of PP QB who isn't named Alfie?

    I'm not sure I've ever seen Fisher skate backwards -- he's very much about moving forward all the time. I just can't picture him skating North/South along the blue line or try to break up a 2-on-1 by staying in the middle and not just bulldogging it to the puck carrier. Also, he has a wicked wrist shot, but I don't recall hearing much about his slapper.

    Vermette is a guy who uses his speed more than his creativity. He'll burn you East/West to the outside but, again, I'm not sure I see him on the blue line. I could very well be wrong, but that's my gut feeling.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by Acrobat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:57 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    cash wrote:I'm starting to think that this is all a lot more simple and straight-forward than we've all be making it.
    I think it comes down to this: If Mez re-signs, Nycholat is gone.
    Nycholat is our back-up plan and is useless to us if we have Mez.
    Imo Schubert will be a defenceman in the coming year, which leaves us with only one open position on the back end.
    And btw our defence is going to be punishing forwards, with the likes of Phillips, Volchenkov, Smith, Schubert, Mez, and Lee.
    I think that is the ideal solution - obviously - for this team and I really think Schubert is more than capable of being our 3rd line PMD.

    I concur that it is likely simple - often one needs to look at the simple, elegant solution rather than the complex. However, I suspect that Nycholat will not be deemed expendable, for reasons suggested below, and detailed elsewhere by Dawg, and others. Schubert as anything more than 3rd line PMD scares me. On the other hand, with Smith, Volchenkov, Phillips, Mez and Schubert back there (Lee I'm not sure about yet in terms of size/hits/etc), it should scare the crap out of the incoming forwards.

    rooneypoo wrote:
    It's conceivable, tho', that Murray wants Nycholat for his puck-moving skills -- again, check out his AHL numbers, they're actually very good -- so if he makes it as our 6th D, we shift Schubert to the wing and use him as a D on the PK, as we did last year. Schubert has expressed a desire to play D on a few occasions, however, so either we respect that wish at some point and hope to keep him, or we don't and we plan to move him. It's hard to say at this point what our long-term plans are with Schubert, but he's certainlny a very useful guy.

    On the other hand, I'm a little weary of writing off Nycholat altogether after Dawg's comments forced me to read up on him a bit. He's small and not the best defender, but if he can play a Tom Preissing-esque game for us, he might be able to provide some much needed puck-moving skill to the line-up and so just might fit in nicely as our 6th D. I confess, tho', that I generally feel safer with Schubert back there: Phillips - Volchenkov, Meszaros - Smith, and Lee - Schubert stikes me as a pretty solid defence. Throw Nycholat in there and you have to think that we'd have to split up Phillips and Volchenkov.

    Is there really a problem with one smaller guy in the back? We
    seemed to do alright (not Anaheim alright, but fairly good) with Uh OH!
    and Preissing as a pairing, where both are undersized. As long as he
    can move the puck very quickly, which he seems
    to be able to do at the AHL level (and intelligently at that), and can
    take the hits without shying away (buh-bye, Ringo...), then pair him
    with Schubert or Smith, give them 8min per game against the 3/4 lines
    and he should be more than fine. I am betting that A-train and Phillips
    will be split up early in the season, not due to Nycholat, Schubert,
    etc, but to pair one (A-train?) with Mez and one with Lee. This will
    allow each to develop with the confidence that there is someone to pick
    up the pieces if they mess up. Same on the third line if the pairing is
    with Smith, and Schubert plays wing instead.


    Last edited by Acrobat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : put my response inside the quote...)
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by rooneypoo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:30 am

    Acrobat wrote:

    Is there really a problem with one smaller guy in the back? We
    seemed to do alright (not Anaheim alright, but fairly good) with Uh OH!
    and Preissing as a pairing, where both are undersized. As long as he
    can move the puck very quickly, which he seems
    to be able to do at the AHL level (and intelligently at that), and can
    take the hits without shying away (buh-bye, Ringo...), then pair him
    with Schubert or Smith, give them 8min per game against the 3/4 lines
    and he should be more than fine. I am betting that A-train and Phillips
    will be split up early in the season, not due to Nycholat, Schubert,
    etc, but to pair one (A-train?) with Mez and one with Lee. This will
    allow each to develop with the confidence that there is someone to pick
    up the pieces if they mess up. Same on the third line if the pairing is
    with Smith, and Schubert plays wing instead.

    I think we've had a small misunderstanding here. I'm not saying having Nycholat, as a small Preissing-esque D, would be a bad thing. In fact, I'm saying the opposite: that we may well need that kind of puck-moving skill -- if, that is, it turns out that his skill will indeed translate as such from the AHL to the NHL level -- even though I feel more confident in Schubert as a defensive D. My only point is that I think Nycholat's making the line up will necessitate some juggling with our pairings because he would need to be insulated in a way that Schubert wouldn't. If Schubert takes the last D spot, I think we will in all probability go with these pairings:

    Phillips/Volchenkov [old faithful]
    Mesz/Smith [Murray has suggested this will be a pairing]
    Lee/Schubert

    If Nycholat takes that 6th spot, tho', we'd have to pair him, presumably, with Volchenkov (pairing him with Schubert, remember, is not an option as we can only have 6 D, and I'm assuming the Mesz/Smith pairing is a set one for now):

    Phillips/Lee
    Mesz/Smith
    Nycholat/Volchenkov

    That puts a lot of pressure on Lee, and I imagine such an arrangement would eat into Volchenkov's playing time. That latter issue might not be a problem as long as we put Phillips/Volchenkov back together for PK and other must-defend situations, but exactly how Lee will respond to 18+ minutes of ice-time on a night-in, night-out basis is anyone's guess.

    You know, the more I analyze how our D is shaping up even without bringing in anyone else, the better I'm starting to feel about it. That first trio of pairings I list above looks pretty stable and gives us at least one guy on each pairing (Phillips, Mesz, and Lee) who can move the puck effectively.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by Mosky on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:34 am

    The defense are really starting to shape up and to be honest i really just want Mezaros signed so its over, and we can finally know a mold of what our team will be this upcoming winter.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by Acrobat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:06 pm

    I'm not so sure I like the Mez/Smith pairing (with all respect to Murray). Didn't Mez have his best year paired with Volchenkov?

    I agree, though, that the defense is starting to look fairly solid. Even Montreal's touted PP doesn't look so fearsome with these guys on the blue line, and with what I expect the forwards to do under Hartsburgh.

    We gotta get Mez signed...then the world will be a happier place again...
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PTFlea on Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    PKC wrote:
    I don't really think we need him. Although I wouldn't mind taking a chance on Aucoin if they'd be willing to accept McAmmond in return. Plus, he's from Ottawa too. Might be a nice addition to the top 4 and to the PP.

    Aucoin has a salary this year of $4 mil. He'd be a great add, I admit, and I'm guessing that he is available, but I don't see how we can afford him right now. And I still like Boucher better and, with his cheap contract, he's a better fit.

    Aucoin fits if/when we sign Mez for 2.8. It's close though, we might have to shed 500K or so to still have the 1.5 million buffer.

    Interesting, I haven't though about Aucoin for a long time. He's a good puck mover who had some crappy, injury plagued seasons in Chicago. Did well with the Flames I think. 38 points, 40 points something like that.

    He'd be good, he's from Ottawa too. Interesting thought.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PTFlea on Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:55 pm

    Acrobat wrote:I'm not so sure I like the Mez/Smith pairing (with all respect to Murray). Didn't Mez have his best year paired with Volchenkov?

    I agree, though, that the defense is starting to look fairly solid. Even Montreal's touted PP doesn't look so fearsome with these guys on the blue line, and with what I expect the forwards to do under Hartsburgh.

    We gotta get Mez signed...then the world will be a happier place again...

    The scary thing about a Smith/Mez pairing, is that Smith gives the puck away a lot. Like top of the league a lot I think. Risky leaning on Mez to clean up some of those giveaways. But, I guess on the other hand, Smith is the achor to that pairing and will allow Mez to be creative out of the zone.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PKC on Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:04 am

    504Heater wrote:
    Acrobat wrote:I'm not so sure I like the Mez/Smith pairing (with all respect to Murray). Didn't Mez have his best year paired with Volchenkov?

    I agree, though, that the defense is starting to look fairly solid. Even Montreal's touted PP doesn't look so fearsome with these guys on the blue line, and with what I expect the forwards to do under Hartsburgh.

    We gotta get Mez signed...then the world will be a happier place again...

    The scary thing about a Smith/Mez pairing, is that Smith gives the puck away a lot. Like top of the league a lot I think. Risky leaning on Mez to clean up some of those giveaways. But, I guess on the other hand, Smith is the achor to that pairing and will allow Mez to be creative out of the zone.

    He only had 33 giveaways last year. He wasn't even close to tops on his own team, let alone the whole league.
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by wprager on Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:02 am

    Acrobat wrote:I'm not so sure I like the Mez/Smith pairing (with all respect to Murray). Didn't Mez have his best year paired with Volchenkov?

    I agree, though, that the defense is starting to look fairly solid. Even Montreal's touted PP doesn't look so fearsome with these guys on the blue line, and with what I expect the forwards to do under Hartsburgh.

    We gotta get Mez signed...then the world will be a happier place again...

    His best year was his rookie year. I can't remember that far back (age, I guess, what was I saying?) but I dout that they would have had a rookie and a sophomore (Volchenkov had 76 games over two seasons heading into Meszaros' rookie year) paired up. I'm pretty sure he was paired up with Phillips.

    Whatever, you can also say that his best year was when he *wasn't* paired up with Reddden 8) .

    I'd love the idea of Meszaros learning how to play tough with Smith. Even though we're fond of saying that he got 100+ hits and 100+ blocked shots last year, in his first season he had 128 hits and 124 blocked shots (3rd on the team in both categories). He's dropped off fairly significnatly since then, and I don't think it's a coincidence that he was playing with Ringo (whose blocked shots usually result from stick checks).
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    Re: Which top 6 will Brian Murray target?

    Post by PTFlea on Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:58 am

    PKC wrote:
    504Heater wrote:
    Acrobat wrote:I'm not so sure I like the Mez/Smith pairing (with all respect to Murray). Didn't Mez have his best year paired with Volchenkov?

    I agree, though, that the defense is starting to look fairly solid. Even Montreal's touted PP doesn't look so fearsome with these guys on the blue line, and with what I expect the forwards to do under Hartsburgh.

    We gotta get Mez signed...then the world will be a happier place again...

    The scary thing about a Smith/Mez pairing, is that Smith gives the puck away a lot. Like top of the league a lot I think. Risky leaning on Mez to clean up some of those giveaways. But, I guess on the other hand, Smith is the achor to that pairing and will allow Mez to be creative out of the zone.

    He only had 33 giveaways last year. He wasn't even close to tops on his own team, let alone the whole league.

    Jason Smith? I thought he was 3rd in the league in giveaways, but NHL.com have taken down the RTSS stats, so I don't have a link. Do you?

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