HomerPenguin wrote:Well, if you're happy with half a season of play that isn't utterly vomit-inducing, then I guess the deal looks good. At this point I need to see which Gonchar shows up to start next season before I make up my mind.
Exactly. He had a supbar first half and is having a good second half. We've now seen both Gonchar's. Obviously something has clicked with him. If it sticks, this deal is worthwhile. If he has a mental relapse, well, then this deal looks bad.
I think one of the keys this summer will be to sign a sold defensive defenseman to pair with him. Orpik and Whitney together would make a nice pairing and then Scuderi and Welch. If they could get a guy in the mold of Marek Malik or Ruslan Salei to sign here at a nice price -- say $2 mil to $3 mil -- Gonchar might be able to become a bit more creative and less worried about playing a defensive game, which he sucks at.
Also, I am wondering if Gonchar had a problem with Lemieux or Palffy -- or maybe vice versa. It seems that since both guys have retired, Gonchar has stepped up his game. Maybe it's coincidence. Maybe it's because he felt more pressure to provide offense. Or maybe it was because he didn't feel at ease with these guys around.