meow wrote:I'd like to have Mark Eaton back. He's cheap, he is reliable, and he knows how to play here.
I'd rather start working the young defensemen into the system. At some point these draft picks have to be given a chance to play, develop, learn, improve, and contribute at the pro level.
Despres and Bortuzzo didn't get enough playing time last year so they couldnt be used or trusted in the playoffs. If you give these guys "on the job training" from Game 1, by the time the postseason rolls around they are ready to contribute and have gone through all the growing pains.
The regular season should be seen as nothing more than a preseason or trial phase for the playoffs. Line combos, PP and PK setups, developing young guys like BB, Despres, Bortuzzo, etc...
About the young Dmen:
Not you, but some people are worrying about having too many young and unproven defensemen on the team at the same time. "Too many rookies" or "not enough experience on the blueline" etc....
Well....Pouliot, Harrington, Despres, Dumoulin, Maata, Samuelsson, (Morrow), etc....are all around the same age. This is what happens when you draft the same position over and over and over again. You get a logjam. These guys all develop at basically the same pace and are all ready to turn pro and get called up to the NHL at the same exact time.
So are we supposed to stagger or delay their development because we can't have too many young D on the team at the same time? If you're not prepared to put some combo of Pouliot, Harrington, Despres, Maata, and Dumoulin on the roster at the same time then why did you draft them? Is Harrington supposed to play in the NHL this year and then Pouliot plays in the NHL 2 years from now and then Maata gets called up 4 years from now? All for the sake of not having all these guys on the roster together because they are too young and inexperienced?
Another concern might be that these guys all play a more offensive game or a positional game. There are no bruisers or intimidating crease-clearers in this bunch (outside of Bortuzzo).
That's the softest blueline in the league in a few years.
Some of these guys will be traded I'm sure but this is why you plug them in and get them playing when you can. Despres has been delayed almost a year now and here he is butting up against the incoming Harrington (perhaps). The development of our young dmen, our #1 draft picks is being delayed by guys like Lovejoy, Engel, and Eaton?
I appreciate the asset management aspect of this whole thing. Stockpile skilled dmen and then trade the ones who you don't want to keep. Trade skilled D for wingers as necessary. Repeat as needed. At some point though 2, 3, or 4 of these young guys are going to be in the lineup together. Bylsma doesn't love young players, I'm not sure how that will work out or how they will be transitioned into the lineup.