Ace wrote:Defense will still win championships, gotta go with Johnson.
He is supposedly the stud defensemen, and i have heard comparisons to Chris Pronger, which wouldn't be too bad for this group. Not sure if he can step in like Phaneuf did this year with Calgary and really be the go to guy.
It seems everyone is under the same mindset, Pens have 2 great centers, and don't need more, cuz thats all you need for the top 2 lines. But why not go for a Staal, and have 3 strong centers, meaning 3 scoring lines. Roll out three lines all game long, with 4th line as a grinder line, PK specialists. I know its not the "strategy" that most teams have, but why not go for it. Again, maybe just thinking out loud, but to me, 3 scoring lines in the new NHL would give the Pens a great edge, and make for more exciting hockey games.
Just my two cents
I think we're in the same boat whether we take Kessel, Toews or Staal as all I believe are listed as centers. My thought is that from what I've read there is a HUGE gap in talent between the top three and say......Staal. Toews, Kessel and Johnson look like they are sure bets to not only be ready for the NHL, but ready to contribute. Why chance anything at this point? especially with this teams draft record.
I'm not saying Toews or Kessel to Staal is Malkin to Solmonsson exactly BUT why gamble when you've got a "sure thing". The center issue isn't really an issue. I think we've got our four centers for a long time to come in Crosby, Malkin, Stone and Talbot. It's where everyone else slids in that you have to wonder a bit.
I've been yaping all year that Christensen should be playing on one of the top two lines as a winger. Earlier in the year when Christensen was playing with confidence he was starting to dominate the ice. Somewhere along the line though Edzo dropped him to the third line and then back to WBS. Malone might fit in well to center the third line next year but I would imagine that come 2008 Stone will be ready for that spot. I would imagine that if we end up with any of the three (Staal Kessel or Toews) all will probably have to make the transition to wing in order to fill things out.
Theoretically, we COULD be looking something like this next year...
Hilbert Crosby Armstrong
Christensen Malkin ?????
Leclair Malone Koltsov
Roy Talbot Rita/Surovy
That is without throwing in Kessel Toews or Johnson. I think the big question is the money left over from Lemieux and Palffy and addressing the need to fill out the first or second line. Samsonov seems like the obvious choice, especially with Malkin probably centering that line. Who knows though with CP at the helm, might just be Recchi coming back.