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MEMBER SINCE   December 12, 2018

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Comment 17 Sep 2019

He's also always been a very reliable guy in his own end. I know the days of a checking third line are mostly over, but he wouldn't be out of place at all on a line that is set up more to defend than score. As an aside, a third line with Wennberg and Jenner, plus whoever else, would be interesting. Those two have always had very good chemistry, it seems.

Comment 17 Sep 2019

Bemstrom strikes me as a "make the team out of camp, but spend some time in Cleveland during the year" type. But I do think by the end of the season he's a lineup regular.

Agree with the group here on Milano. I'd love for him to force his way into the lineup with his offensive upside, but it's tough to see, especially given the number of younger, more highly thought of prospects in his way. Expect some sort of "Milano for a 6th round" type announcement sometime in early-October.

Sherwood is definitely a Cleveland kid with the occasional call-up during the year as injuries, etc. come up.

I think Dano goes down too to start the year. Given how late he signed and agreeing to a two-way deal, I don't think there's much demand for him to worry about losing him on waivers.

I think it comes down to Robinson and Hannakainen for the last forward spot, and expect the latter to win it. We'll see plenty of the former though during the season.

Comment 16 Sep 2019

Provorov got the higher AAV because of the term. Philly paid to buy out a couple of UFA seasons. The theory is that he was going to get an AAV of 8+ in three years if he signed a bridge deal, so you save some cap space by giving longer term, and he gets a bit more guaranteed cash should he get hurt or not continue to develop (i.e. the Seth Jones contract). The trend has been the bridge deals like McAvoy and Werenski save cap dollars in the immediate future, and protect the team against a player that doesn't develop as expected, but also allows guys to sign a monster deal (like Jacob Trouba) in three years. It's more popular now for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest is the cap is going to make a big jump when the new US TV deal hits, so there's going to be a big jump in available money.

Comment 16 Sep 2019

Wouldn't be at all surprising. Obviously Wennberg is gonna have a pretty short leash. Like I said though, I like that moving him to the pivot is already on the radar though. There would obviously be a learning curve, but getting him in there over, say, moving Foligno to the middle is a much better outcome as long as he's not completely overwhelmed by the role.

Comment 12 Sep 2019

It'd probably have to be Murray and a high level prospect (Bemstrom?) and a pick to get RNH away, in my opinion, maybe even more given Murray's injury history. Tyson Barrie netted Kadri, but Barrie is consistent 50-plus point/year defensemen over the last 5-6 seasons.

Comment 11 Sep 2019

1. PLD - Depending on the metric you choose to follow, he's either very good on his own at driving play, or was totally reliant on Panarin. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. However, I do think getting back to a more north-south, physical style will benefit him. He's got some skill, but he's at his best playing a direct game.

2. I really do think Bjorkstrand is ready to break out. He was a monster over the second half, and into the playoffs. There is a ton of top-6 and PP time up for grabs. He scored on a 40+ goal clip over the final bit of the season. That's probably a bit rich, but he has 30+ goal talent. 

3. Dubois, Atkinson, Foligno, Anderson, Nyquist, Wennberg, Jenner, Bjorkstrand, Nash, Dubinsky are the 100% locks, one way or another. Texier is about as close as you get to not being one. I think Bemstrom probably starts the year in Cleveland unless he bangs the door down, just to get his feet under him in North America, but is up quickly a la Texier last year, assuming he proves worthy. That probably leaves a combo of Robinson and Hannikainen as the 12th/13th forward. That said, there always seems to be a camp guy that forces his way onto the roster. No idea who that may be in this group though.

4. From a very practical standpoint, more production from Anderson, Bjorkstrand, and Wennberg is a good place to start. Obviously Nyquist is a 50ish point guy too. But I think more to the point, if they play a more structured game, which seems likely, you replace a chunk of that production with keeping the puck out of your own net.

5. As Doggy said, it's already napped Dubinsky. I think Foligno moves well enough and has enough skill to survive that he won't lose a step as "overnight" as others. I really think Nash is much better this year. He settled into a role later in the year, and really thrived for what he is. The rest of the roster is pretty young so it's hard to see anyone else falling apart quickly.

Comment 10 Sep 2019

Said it on another post, but I'll be shocked if "starting on the top line" equates to "staying on the top line". You've got three-weeks to tinker during camp and see what works. Torts is a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. If Foligno isn't producing on the top line like you need, he's not going to stay there.

I think a lot of the thinking behind such a move is to establish the way they want to play from the top line down to the fourth, and bring back a more consistently physical presence throughout the lineup.

Comment 10 Sep 2019

I'm honestly not too worried about what Torts says are his line combos going into camp. Every coach on the planet plays with his line combos from day 1 until the last day. Guys are going to move around a lot without a true superstar like Panarin on the roster. Where I do think you'll see some consistency is center-winger pairings. For instance, PLD is going to be with Atkinson most of the time I would guess. Don't ask about the other combos though at this point LOL.

As for the trade, I'll be curious what a guy like Justin Faulk gets in return. There are rumors about him again given Carolina signed Gardiner. He's a right shot guy, with a pretty consistent offensive game of 30-35 points and 8-10 goals. That's a tick higher than David Savard, who is a year older but also a right shot. At the very least, it should give a pretty good idea what the market is for a guy like that.

Inevitably teams are going to have camp injuries, or realizations they are missing something on the back end, which creates another market. Or, heaven forbid, Columbus deals with some camp injuries/issues and needs to tap into that depth themselves.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

Trading Weresnki, short of recouping a bonafide young, top-line forward (center preferably) that will sign long term in Columbus is a massive massive risk. He's only 22 as you mentioned, and only going to get better. The list of guys that are worth giving him up for is a very very short one. The game is driven from the blue line out now, and having a pair of guys like Jones and Z is a huge advantage, and one reason I think Columbus won't take as big of a step back this year as others.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

On this specific play, it sure looked like the puck movement side to side ultimately got him out of position. I've never played goalie, but I've watched hockey at all levels for 30 years, and goalies getting out of position is sort of the goal of the offense, no? Quick puck movement, get him moving, and ultimately he loses the goal and leaves an opening. Even moreso now that goalies have gotten so big and athletic that it's tough to beat them cleanly.

Merzlikins certainly has work to do, but this is more just a goalie beating an offense with a fantastic save, using his high level athleticism.