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Banzai Riley

One Man's Plan for a Better Tomorrow- No Pando

46 posts in this topic

Hey, this being my first post/thread/devils-internet-forum-thing, I decided that I might as well go all out and make some people hate me. The way I will do this? Support the removal and/or non-re-signing of Jay Pandolfo in a really long post.

Yes, I believe that this career Devil, the Robin to Madden's Batman, should not be offered another contract.

And yes, I know that he should have 4 or 5 Lady Byngs by now. I know he is one of the most underrated defensive forwards in the game. I know that he has anchored our top defensive line for pretty much 9 years. He's a great presence in the locker room, he knows the system and, most importantly, he won't be commanding some ridiculous contract.

This team, however, has to start making some changes and I think an important one is letting go of what you know (1st and 2nd round playoff exits) and putting in a few young players with potential. Our team, our organization is chalk full of solid 3rd and 4th liners. A couple of these may even be something more if they are given the chance.

Look at the left wings we have in our lineup already:

Elias- a natural left wing, also a solid centerman.

Parise- a great lw, but could be a potential center.

Zubrus- better lw than center, kinda seeing a trend here.

Then there's the whole youth movement:

Pelley- Could be good.

Clarke- Probably a career minor leaguer, but who knows?

Vrana- The big one. Many have him slotted as a center but it might be better to ease him into the majors on the wing. We already have one under-performing center in Zajac, should we risk having another?

Re-signing Pandolfo takes a spot away from the younger players and makes the entire lineup pretty tight if a free agent is somehow tricked into coming here. It pushes Zubrus onto a fourth line that he is clearly better than or he has to exert himself running around with Elias and Parise. He seems like a natural fit as the 3rd line left wing. Here's a potential lineup, not a dream or a promise, so please consider:

Elias - XXXXX - Gionta

Parise - Zajac - Bergfors

Zubrus - Madden - Langenbrunner

Vrana - Rupp - Clarkson

This is not a case of not liking Jay. Hell, I used to have a signed puck from the guy (though I had no idea who he was at the time). I just feel that the Devils will be a better team if they remove him from the equation. If he stays, the teams still quite good, but it's pretty much the same:

Parise - Elias - Bergfors

Zubrus - Zajac - Langenbrunner

Pandolfo - Madden - Gionta

Vrana - Rupp - Clarkson

Before his injury, Pando was on his way to a career high in points. It's possible he could completely recover from his injury and be the offensive talent he was in college. Or his injuries coupled with his age could slow him a step or two and he'll become just an ok defensive foward. This is a pretty big offseason, Brent's first whole one with the team, and I think adding youth plays to his strengths as well. So here's to letting go of a lifelong Devil... and it hurts to say that.

By the way, hello to everyone. Feel free to criticize, not that you wouldn't anyway, but you won't hurt my feelings.

Also the Bush things a joke, so no offense.

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Welcome to the board man! Good first post, should create some good discussion.

I think Elias needs to stay at center. He is more of a playmaker now and he worked great there setting up Parise in the second half of the year.

I'm not as high on Bergfors as a lot of people are, but I am willing to give the guy a shot since he has fought injuries and put up with some real bad teams in Lowell. If he has a strong camp it can't hurt to try him on an offensive line. Although, I think he spends at least another year in Lowell, perhaps getting call ups as the season goes on. Pelley isn't going to amount to anything more than a fourth liner. Clarke is playing in Switzerland and wasn't a prospect anyway. Vrana is going to be a solid player for the Devils. The real youth movement comes in a couple of years when guys like Halischuk, Palmieri, Corrente, Tulupov, etc. go through the AHL.

I also don't think the Devils are going to complete the line up with strictly players from within. I expect them to sign at least one or two free agents, albeit minor.

Pandolfo isn't going to repeat the offensive streak he had earlier in the year, but I do expect him to put up similar numbers for his career average. Given how well he plays defense, I am fine with that. Although, if they do let him go that could free up Madden for a more offensive role which isn't a bad thing. I don't think he is necessarily blocking any young players from a roster spot so I don't think it is necessary to let him go just for the sake of creating room.

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Solid post, and I cant really say welcome as I have only been here a couple of days myself!!

All I will say is that I wouldnt be upset if Pando isnt re-signed. He plays his heart out, and was having a great year until he broke his nads, but is that a good enough reason to give him a huge raise.

That being said he would still be a perfect 4th liner for this team. Personally im still hoping Holik signs for 1 more season, on the cheap and we could put together a bottom 6 consisting of:

Zubrus - Madden - Langenbrunner

Pandolfo - Holik - Clarkson

Many people probably disagree with Holik, but he knows the system and could have a great year IMO. Also, we will have Rupp as a healthy scratch, and if Pandolfo gets on a hot streak he can move up to the Madden line, with Zubrus blending into the top 6.

Sadly I believe its time to let the Sarge man go. The man is still flawless defensively, but is probably the slowest guy on the team and has lost his clutch ability of the past.

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don't worry about pando, i'm sure half the teams in the league would love to have a real defensive specialist for their third line...i can see him getting a 2 year contract at 1.5 a season.

it will be wierd not seeing him on the devils...but it's obvious they need to re-tool.

just hope it's not with sather's "raggots"*...i don't want to have to hate the guy...lol!

pando and sarge could be on the outside looking in.

*britdevil's invention i believe...love it...lol!

Edited by ice dog

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don't worry about pando, i'm sure half the teams in the league would love to have a real defensive specialist for their third line...i can see him getting a 2 year contract at 1.5 a season.

it will be wierd not seeing him on the devils...but it's obvious they need to re-tool.

just hope it's not with sather's "raggots"*...i don't want to have to hate the guy...lol!

pando and sarge could be on the outside looking in.

Ewww, I dont think my stomach would be able to take another Raggots robbery.

What makes me laugh, is when their fans insist they are'nt copying the Devils and their system. They've only tried to sign every one of our big Free-Agents since 1995. IRONY...

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Next year is another transition year but luckily it doesn

Edited by dali

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Great first post BR...welcome aboard.

I'm 50/50 on Pando... and I think Lou is too. Pando is about $$..for teh right $$ he's resigned.... simple as that. If he asks too much, whatever that amount is, he's gone.

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Great first post BR...welcome aboard.

I'm 50/50 on Pando... and I think Lou is too. Pando is about $$..for teh right $$ he's resigned.... simple as that. If he asks too much, whatever that amount is, he's gone.

Agreed. Lou isn't going to pay Pando too much when he could be investing that $$ in a more productive player.

I would hate to see Pando go, but if it gives us someone with more depth and scoring ability, I would deal with it.

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I am opposed to any lineup that has Mike Rupp playing an important role for us next year

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I am opposed to any lineup that has Mike Rupp playing an important role for us next year

Fourth line center is an important role?

I'd be more concerned if we allowed him to make it to the second line like he did every once in awhile last season...

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Pandolfo is not as valuable as people think and he experienced a disturbing rise in penalties this season. Regardless, I don't think the Devils have someone who can replace him in the system. The Devils really can't become a team that doesn't match lines - their team just isn't good enough overall to do th, so while we're still doing that Pandolfo has a role to play.

If Brylin's getting a regular shift next season something is wrong.

Edited by Triumph

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I just don't envision a team blowing away Jay Pandolfo with some big contract. He'll be back at a wage that is acceptable to both sides. He's still a useful player and is a fine role player, as most of us know. It's not his fault we're lacking in top-six forwards.

What this team needs is for Travis Zajac to step up and progress. It has to happen or we're hoping for an answer in the FA market. That didn't work out too well for us last year, hello Dainius Zubrus.

Edited by Jerrydevil

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Zubrus was just fine. He was an answer to one problem for sure - the Devils actually had an effective forecheck thanks to he and David Clarkson.

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I think there could be a spot for one of brylin or pandolfo next season (preferably pando since he has more to offer), but I dont see how we can give a regular spot to both of them.

I agree with everyone else that given solid training camps, Bergfors and Vrana should both make the team this season. We need to make sure there is room in the forward roster for both of them, and that means not picking up both of brylin and pando.

I think the real unknown though is what trades Lou may make come the NHL Entry Draft. We may see changes there that effect our needs drastically and adjust whether or not we want to sign these players. Of course we can only talk about what we have now though.

Also, on a side note I just want to address the attitude of many people that percieve Zajac as some lowly prospect/potential flop. Zajac is still a good prospect center for this team. He is young, has a good understanding of the game, and will continue to get better. He may not become a Jason Spezza, but he is not a flop. I'm sure the coaching staff and Lou are much higher on Zajac than most people on this board are right now.

EDIT: Welcome Banzai!

Edited by elias2600

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Zubrus was just fine. He was an answer to one problem for sure - the Devils actually had an effective forecheck thanks to he and David Clarkson.

Goals, baby. Goals.

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I think there could be a spot for one of brylin or pandolfo next season (preferably pando since he has more to offer), but I dont see how we can give a regular spot to both of them.

I agree with everyone else that given solid training camps, Bergfors and Vrana should both make the team this season. We need to make sure there is room in the forward roster for both of them, and that means not picking up both of brylin and pando.

I think the real unknown though is what trades Lou may make come the NHL Entry Draft. We may see changes there that effect our needs drastically and adjust whether or not we want to sign these players. Of course we can only talk about what we have now though.

Also, on a side note I just want to address the attitude of many people that percieve Zajac as some lowly prospect/potential flop. Zajac is still a good prospect center for this team. He is young, has a good understanding of the game, and will continue to get better. He may not become a Jason Spezza, but he is not a flop. I'm sure the coaching staff and Lou are much higher on Zajac than most people on this board are right now.

EDIT: Welcome Banzai!

I agree on Zajac. Look at Jeff Carter's numbers for Philly.

1st year was good, second he stagnated and this last year he went up. We can hope the same for Z. I think he can do it.

Edited by John Wensink

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From what I've seen from Bergfors and Vrana I'm not sold on them at all yet and I'm kinda doubting that they will both be in the starting lineup next year. If they are and we haven't signed or traded for anyone else we could end up having a real hard time putting the puck in the net. (even more so than normal)

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Fourth line center is an important role?

I'd be more concerned if we allowed him to make it to the second line like he did every once in awhile last season...

I agree. The temptation is to do stupid things like play him on the PP or move him up when lines need to be stirred. And since our 3rd and 4th lines produce about the same - and sometimes you can include line 2 also - the 4th line center is an important role.

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Having posted this quite late at night, I'm just now getting up. Can't argue with 9 hours of sleep.

Anyway, Goat, I agree that Elias is quite capable of playing either wing or center. Towards the end of last season he seemed to really find his groove and proved to all those who doubted him that he's still a top flight player in the nhl. That being said, if we can find a true center through trade or FA, I would have no qualms with moving him back to the wing and having a 1-2 punch of Elias-Parise on the wing. Though this does rely on Zajac improving instead of devolving back into a minor leaguer.

Also, Bergfors should be able to help out the club this year considering he only lost his spot due to injury. Of course, injuries at his age doesn't bode well for any 82 game seasons at the nhl level.

Coming back to Pandolfo, if he re-signs for cheap and plays on the fourth line than how can I argue? He is certainly a good player and an asset to any team. I just fear that his strong play over the years with Madden will be too much to overlook keeping him on the 3rd line and Zubrus and the whole of the Devils will suffer as a result.

Also my whole post is contingent on Lou not making any trades, which he most likely will.

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Brit, I wouldn't mind Holik one bit as the center of the fourth line. However, that would only work if Brylin chooses to go or we trade Rupp, who is young and not terrible. I think that the two lines you have listed would be great as having a spot for Langs outside of those two is a necessity. He's just not a skilled enough player to be with Elias and Parise and dare I say, Bergfors? Also, if Clarkson can step his game up, he may be able to join the third line with Zubes and Madden. Making it:

Zubrus - Madden - Clarkson

Pandolfo - Holik/Rupp - Langenbrunner

Brylin

If Brylin stays and plays the part of the 13th forward, I wouldn't complain. He can pretty much do anything... just not well. So I won't be boycotting the team if they stay, but I would much rather see some young blood, or just new blood in our lineup. They also must be short contacts for the two. Though I see Pando probably getting 3 years if he stays.

To Dali, we definitly should keep Bergfors and Vrana up here for the season. Neither have much to gain from another year in the minors (Vrana even less so than Bergfors). It gives them confidence and allows them to get used to routinely playing top competition. I just think it would be great if we brought in an impact player cause if B&V ever do become that it won't be for a few years.

And thanks for the welcome everyone.

Oh and I don't think Zajac is going to have a poor career. I just think he hit a miserable sophomore slump and should rebound well, especially considering the lowered expectations we'll all have for next year.

Edited by Banzai Riley

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Lou will not be able to make a trade this offseason - I will be utterly shocked if he manages anything. His roster is made up of untradeable guys.

You say Bergfors only lost his spot because of injury - I say he only got it because of injury, as Langenbrunner's spot was vacated. As it stands, Bergfors didn't impress me in his one game - the one thing that did strike me was his lack of skating speed, though he does have an excellent shot.

There isn't a free agent center available with the skill of Patrik Elias, plus I don't think Elias's game is suited to the wing anymore. He and Parise work very well together.

Vrana cannot be sent down again or he will be lost to waivers. Pretty sure I'm going to put this in my sig. Either way if he does somehow manage to be sent down he'll just play in Russia.

With that in mind, we have this lineup:

Parise-Elias-Langenbrunner

Zubrus-Zajac-XXX

Pandolfo-Madden-Gionta

Vrana-Rupp-Clarkson

Brylin/Pelley

Oduya-Martin

White-YYYY

Mottau-Vishnevski

Brookbank

with Andy Greene waived or moved for a minor draft pick. XXXX and YYYY represent free agents.

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Wow, we have quite an intelligent/outspoken newcomer, welcome! :koolaid:

As for Pando, I don't know. If ditching him means signing a big name (I can dream, right?) offensive player, then I'll jump on board; but if, like someone else stated, it would then involve Brylin getting regular time, count me out. Whatever Lou does, I'm sure 50% of us will hate and the other 50% will love, but I can't/don't want to imagine Pando wearing red white and blue next season, (unless of course it's somewhere in Columbus :))

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I have no doubt that if any trade is made it will be for the draft (i.e. moving lower/ gaining more picks) or for a serviceable player. No superstars coming or going. So in essence I agree. That being said, rumors state that he was after Hossa, so Lou was/is willing to lose some big prospects in order to snag that beautiful butterfly. He has continually looked to trade and re-sign rather than overpaying a FA. I guess one could argue Zubrus is the exception, but I find his contact to be quite fair.

And you say Bergfors only had a spot cause cause of a missing Langs, I say the other way around... tomato tomoto. Point being he was sent down and due to Langs return never had a chance to come back. The poor guy played in one game, hardly enough to truly judge the kid. I can't imagine the nerves and the expectations he had, he was coming up on the first line. He's not Crosby or Ovi or even Parise, he can't be expected to make that kind of impact right away. It takes confidence and it doesn't seem like he had any time to gather any.

With Elias I agree. He does seem to be a center now and switching him back may cause another period of adjustment and therefore disappointment. I do, however, feel that there are a few probably distant possibilities that would merit the switch such as Sundin. Most say he'll never leave Toronto, but there seems to be some bad blood in that relationship over the trade clause and, if he's to go anywhere other than Sweden, it might as well be to a contender with a great organization like the Devils. Understated greatness, that's the Devils motto, or was... I guess. Sundin fits that to a T.

Going back to postions, Langenbrunner is not fit for the first line and if he is out there opening day it will be to the detriment of the team. Will he be there, probably, should he? No. He added little to the Parise-Elias pairing and another year older will make him add even less. He should be on the 2nd line at highest, so the 3rd line would be appropriate. Also with Zubrus and Zajac, they didn't exactly show too much when paired together on the 4th line. So putting them back together on the 2nd doesn't inspire much confidence. Vrana stays up as you say. I didn't know he had to go through waivers, no way should the Devils let that happen. However, they've done stranger things. Also Andy Greene should get a chance, he was jerked around so much that he is the perfect example of how not to treat a younger player. Stability is key. Oduya got another chance after almost everyone wanted him banished and he turned out great. Do I think Greene is the same, no, but he can't be given up on at the ripe old age of 25. He could be a solid 2nd liner.

And I'll take being called "an intelligent/outspoken newcomer." Thanks MB.

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I'm not so hot on Langs being on the top line but if he looks a lot faster in training camp because his injury is more fully healed and is able to play effectively on the top line I wouldn't be completely surprised.

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Lou will not be able to make a trade this offseason - I will be utterly shocked if he manages anything. His roster is made up of untradeable guys.

Gionta is certainly tradeable. I've said it before, I'd rather him here with a center he can mesh with, but he would be appealing to a few teams, I would imagine.

Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin are tradeable, too, but we might not want to trade them.

I wouldn't rule out a trade just yet.

Edited by Jerrydevil

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