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Triumph

Off-season Plan, Parts 1, 2, and 2½

77 posts in this topic

I've held off on these, mostly because it's another too-long offseason. Lou will be interviewing coaching candidates at Camp David, and he won't be hiring one until after the draft, which is in over 6 weeks, in which we don't have a first round pick. Meanwhile, Kovalchuk's already off on his Aeroflot flight (Aeroflot... to Russia in style!), never to return. Somehow, this team has turned the city of Newark into a pit of despair.

This first scenario is kind of a worst-case scenario. Since so many of these scenarios involve one player (e.g. Eric Belanger - who is just one man short of a few teeth, after all), I figure I will do 2 or 3 with different players, then kind of combine them. Note that I don't think this is at all what WILL happen, or what SHOULD happen, but rather what COULD happen.

Scenario The First: Barbarism -

or where Lou goes out and tries to get the toughest players and loses all of the current players.

Sign Raffi Torres - 2 years, 4.4 million

Sign Dominic Moore - 3 years, 5.4 million

Sign Brad Winchester - 2 years, 1.5 million

Trade 4th round pick and LW Andrew Peters for RW Petteri Nokelainen

Trade Brian Rolston and Matt Halischuk for D Brendan Witt and 7th round pick

Sign Dan Hamhuis 5 years 22.5 million

Sign Andy Sutton 2 years 4 million

Parise-Zajac-Zubrus

Torres-Elias-Langenbrunner

Zharkov-Moore-Clarkson

Winchester-Pelley-Nokelainen

EX: Leblond

Salvador-Greene

White-Hamhuis

Sutton-Corrente

EX: Fraser, Salmela

Brodeur

McKenna

Here's how that looks cap-wise:

devils_scenario_1.jpg

Chart is pretty self-explanatory - red indicates UFA, green indicated RFA estimated contract, the strikethrough is for players who won't actually be on the team.

Edited by Triumph

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I just threw up in my mouth. That team would score maybe 164 goals. Maybe.

Edit: You also traded for Witt and left him out of the defensive lineup. Or is that a salary dump move to get rid of Rolston and help NYI get rid of Witt?

Edited by Risky

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I just threw up in my mouth. That team would score maybe 164 goals. Maybe.

Edit: You also traded for Witt and left him out of the defensive lineup. Or is that a salary dump move to get rid of Rolston and help NYI get rid of Witt?

that is what i did, yes. witt was waived by the islanders, and there were obviously no takers.

this lineup would probably score around 200 goals.

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Kovalchuk is not going to go play for Russia in the KHL next season. He wants to win a SCC in the NHL. Period.

I still believe Lou and Kovalchuk/agent will get a deal done to have Kovalchuk here in New Jersey for the next four years. Then we can work on other players from there.

Sign Raffi Torres - 2 years, 4.4 million

Sign Dominic Moore - 3 years, 5.4 million

Sign Brad Winchester - 2 years, 1.5 million

Trade 4th round pick and LW Andrew Peters for RW Petteri Nokelainen

Trade Brian Rolston and Matt Halischuk for D Brendan Witt and 7th round pick

Sign Dan Hamhuis 5 years 22.5 million

Sign Andy Sutton 2 years 4 million

D Brendan Witt no thanks! he is washed up. Don't want to waste Halischuk in that deal.

Torres and Moore wouldn't mind but too many years mentioned and too much money.

No way they would take a 4th round pick and Peters for RW Petteri Nokelainen. I would like to see that but just won't take that.

Agree with signing Dan Hamhuis but less years and money. Same for Sutton.

Edited by SatansDevils

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Trying to do these types of things are very difficult because we don't know the direction the team is going in. Three consecutive first round exits means going back to the drawing board. Having Lemaire fail the way he did means it's time to go in a completely different direction. They were doing that with Sutter and had great success with exception to the playoffs. Before the Devils can decide on a roster they have to decide on a direction and get a coaching staff in place. The coaches have to have a lot of say in who they want on the ice. Giving somebody a team and saying here go coach them isn't going to work. They tried that with Lemaire and he killed this teams chemistry. They have to bring someone in who is going to be able to bring his type of players to New Jersey and who can coach the kids that are coming up. Specifically, the young defensemen; Corrente, Fraser, Eckford...

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I like the Witt & Peters idea, other than that I'll wait for Off-season Plan, Part 2.

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You didn't address any problem areas. Hamhuis can't replace Martin and Elias is stilling playing center with Kovy not even there. Why sign Torres? Do we need another left wing? Bring on part 2.

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No, the true nightmare scenario is the exact same team coming back minus Kovalchuk and Martin and with another short-term solution (which is to say no solution) at coach like a Hitchcock and no major additions. And sadly that's not too far out of the realm of possibility.

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you said it - WORST case scenario.

bravo on d. moore - that's my i told you so from last year when i lamented all summer that lou didn't sign him or malholtra and instead went for the suck that was rob neidermayer.

also - very good job with rolston. giving up halischuk hurts and i think you could get that deal done without him.

edit; 3 sentences weren't enough of a response for the effort.

i'm not quite sure what the point of winchester is - the devils have a chance to see what some of their kids can do - palmieri for instance. why bring in another guy there?

andy sutton? do the devils need another big body that's not so great with the puck and not that great a skater? i feel like this is just another colin white. i think i'd rather give fraser the shot if we can't do better. andy sutton seems like the type of player that a certain kind of team signs knowing they're trading him at the deadline for a 2nd round pick.

i'm also not sure raffi torres is a second line guy. i hate rolston as much as the next guy but is torres better - taking out the contracts? the devils have plenty of space in your scenario and could keep rolston (and halischuk in your scenario) and just pass on torres.

you've often said yourself that it's very unlikely that 5 or 6 UFA's are brought in ("not the rangers" comment).

i guess my reaction to this is "i hope not" because i simply couldn't convince myself the team was any good. it's almost like a rangers offseason - just enough not to be terrible but no real direction for the present or the future.

Edited by sundstrom

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hmmm. intelligent insight and work and very few responses.

guess you're gonna have to do better than that dr. nick.

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whoops. i didn't see your edit.

you said it - WORST case scenario.

bravo on d. moore - that's my i told you so from last year when i lamented all summer that lou didn't sign him or malholtra and instead went for the suck that was rob neidermayer.

i think malhotra really, really wanted to go to SJ. when moore was a member of the wild, he got waived. moore still doesn't convince me, though - he's a stopgap until josefson can arrive.

also - very good job with rolston. giving up halischuk hurts and i think you could get that deal done without him.

this i seriously doubt and i think i was being favorable to the devils. while i have the islanders as way, way below the salary floor, they're really not, because bonuses count towards the salary cap, so guys like okposo, bailey, tavares, etc. all count like 2 million. rolston is just awful, there's no way anyone wants that contract unless there's an assurance that rolston won't play that 4th year.

i'm not quite sure what the point of winchester is - the devils have a chance to see what some of their kids can do - palmieri for instance. why bring in another guy there?

i like winchester's ability to hit people. while hit counting is really, really awful - so bad that the NHL probably shouldn't bother - winchester hits a lot of people. he's a big guy who can skate and put in 5-10 goals if things go right. palmieri is not this sort of player.

andy sutton? do the devils need another big body that's not so great with the puck and not that great a skater? i feel like this is just another colin white. i think i'd rather give fraser the shot if we can't do better. andy sutton seems like the type of player that a certain kind of team signs knowing they're trading him at the deadline for a 2nd round pick.

probably not, but he is a physical player. this iteration was just about getting more physical.

i'm also not sure raffi torres is a second line guy. i hate rolston as much as the next guy but is torres better - taking out the contracts? the devils have plenty of space in your scenario and could keep rolston (and halischuk in your scenario) and just pass on torres.

rolston is so bad. i mean granted he was handed to the wolves with niedermayer and clarkson but he is not good.

you've often said yourself that it's very unlikely that 5 or 6 UFA's are brought in ("not the rangers" comment).

in the summer of 2007 the devils brought in vishnevski, weekes, zubrus, rachunek, and asham. i don't see the devils bringing in 5 guys, but 4 is certainly possible.

i guess my reaction to this is "i hope not" because i simply couldn't convince myself the team was any good. it's almost like a rangers offseason - just enough not to be terrible but no real direction for the present or the future.

i'd be shocked if 2 of these things happened.

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ask the buffalo Sabres how Torres plays.

He was a healthy scratch for their last 2 playoff games and did not score a single goal while on their team.

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Look what Malholtra's doing for San Jose? He can win some key faceoff's. Halischuk will be on big club next year imo.

Problem with Rolston (tri- i assume you through in Halichuk to make Rolstons contract more palatable) and Peters (as valuable as George Laroque). Nobody has any desire to have him. One great thing in nhl, the dinosaurs are gone -(The riley cote's, george laroques, ,andrew peters, derek bougaurds) you need a 4th line wiht 'energy". Love the idea of Moore too.

I thought most of the call ups last year did decent (Halischuk, Palmieri, Davis, Corrente, Sestito)

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Well, predictably no one liked the first one, and why should they?

This next one, I like to call: Re-Centering

We all know that Zubrus is better as a winger than as a center, but if the alternative is a schmuck like Rob Niedermayer at center, it's a luxury the Devils just cannot afford. The 3rd line was a massive waste, getting outchanced at a Montreal-like rate. With only a few 3rd line centers out there, and most of them being the same guys we passed over last off-season, I see no reason to think we're going to do any better. So we decide to leave Elias and Zubrus at center - Zubrus is a perfectly adequate 3rd line center, miles better than Needmybrother.

Sign Alexei Ponikarovsky 4 years, 13.2 million

Sign Steve Begin 1 year, 800k

Sign Paul Martin 5 years, 25.5 million

Sign Pavel Kubina 3 years, 11.4 million

Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner

Rolston-Elias-Ponikarovsky

Zharkov-Zubrus-Clarkson

Leblond-Begin-Pelley

ex: Peters

Kubina-Martin

White-Greene

Salvador-Fraser

ex: Salmela

Brodeur

McKenna

Before I get yelled at for not putting Corrente on the team - Fraser and Salmela are basically non-entities, so it's not hard to waive such players if needed. I imagine Corrente will make the team out of camp, but one never knows. It also might be because I forgot about him and didn't want to re-make the spreadsheet. You decide which.

devils_scenario_2.png

Edited by Triumph

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This one is better.

First off, I'll assume you meant to switch Rolston and Pony's positions. Then I'll go on to say the Pony would be a valuable and well-priced player to the Devils. However if Rolston can't be moved I refuse to see him on the second line with Elias. It's time to stop screwing Elias over. We need to get him playing at center or left wing with permanent line partners. I think it's necessary to get him back at left wing because I personally don't like him at center. He likes playing there, and I like Elias in the center of the ice, but his faceoff issues are more than evident.

On a minor note: I think if you want Martin for 5 years then your looking more at 26.5-27M. No way he gets a flat rate for 5 years.

I love the idea of getting Kubina and playing him with Martin. Kubina's shot and size plus Martin's D and skating ability sounds great to me.

I have to say though, I really like all your defensive parings. I like the idea of Salvador and Fraser at 5 and 6-should add some nice physicallity. Salvador and Salamela would be an interesting risk to take though.

I'm with you on Begin, he's good at center and that 4th line looks great.

Assuming we can't get rid of Rolston:

Overall:

Like the 1st line

Like the 2nd line

Love the 3rd line

Love the 4th line

I'm still waiting for your "keeping Kovy scenario"

Edited by ben00rs

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Tri, I think the offense on that squad is horrible.

Ponikarovsky ended up being a healthy scratch for Pitt in the playoffs.

I honestly say:

Dump: Pandolfo, Niedermayer, McAmmond, Mottau

Sign: Matt Lombardi, Joe Corvo

And if Kovy isn't an option, go after Patrick Marleau!

I'd also trade White but I'm not sure that's realistic.

Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner

Kovalchuk/Marleau-Lombardi-Elias

Rolston-Zubrus-Zharkov

Leblond-Pelley-Clarkson

Ex- Palmieri- Vasyunov- Tedenby?

Martin-Salvador

Greene-Corvo

White-Corrente

Ex Fraser, URBOM, Eckford, Salmela

Brodeur

Danis, McKenna, Frazee whatever.

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1)

Parise-Zajac-Zubrus

Torres-Elias-Langenbrunner

Zharkov-Moore-Clarkson

Winchester-Pelley-Nokelainen

2)

Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner

Rolston-Elias-Ponikarovsky

Zharkov-Zubrus-Clarkson

Leblond-Begin-Pelley

2 is better at C, but I'm not convinced that's that much better overall.

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1)

Parise-Zajac-Zubrus

Torres-Elias-Langenbrunner

Zharkov-Moore-Clarkson

Winchester-Pelley-Nokelainen

2)

Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner

Rolston-Elias-Ponikarovsky

Zharkov-Zubrus-Clarkson

Leblond-Begin-Pelley

2 is better at C, but I'm not convinced that's that much better overall.

neither am i. i'm not discussing the rosy scenarios where the devils get the guys that 15 teams are clamoring after, or at least not yet. not only are the devils unlikely to get these players, but when they do, they will probably not like what they find because they will have had to overpay for them. that's why i'd rather just avoid getting a center altogether, because all of the centers available this off-season are going to get overpaid - there's a league-wide shortage of them. we have 3 guys who can theoretically play the position for at least another 2 years, let's take advantage of that. matthew lombardi is precisely the kind of player i'd like to avoid - he'll cost $3 million a year, and there's just no guarantee that he really makes the team better. (you can argue this about poni as well, but the devils do have 2 of their top 3 RW UFA in a year)

Edited by Triumph

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Before I get yelled at for not putting Corrente on the team - Fraser and Salmela are basically non-entities, so it's not hard to waive such players if needed. I imagine Corrente will make the team out of camp, but one never knows. It also might be because I forgot about him and didn't want to re-make the spreadsheet. You decide which.

:lol:

I really like these themed offseason plans that take us to various extremes. They're a lot more fun than most of what's going on this time of year. Great work, Tri!

I'm curious to see whether you can whip up a "Miracle Worker" plan where Lou magically makes all the bad contracts disappear. This is not just out of curousity as to how you'd dump them, but also to see what you'd do with that cap space.

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The one constant that the remaining playoff teams have: depth at Center.

Which is exactly what we have lacked since losing Gomez. The Devils will continue to be an early exit team until we finally get a legit #2 Center.

Signing old, cheap vets like Niedermayer and Mcammond aren't the answer.

Without breaking the bank I would love for Lou to take a stab at

Tomas Plekanec

Matthew Lombardi

or even Kyle Wellwood.

If that doesn't work Koivu or even Doug Weight to help the PP.

Tired of seeing Elias and Zubrus playing out of position and negating their strengths.

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i'd be fine with wellwood in the same role that the canucks used him in - 4th line center and power play specialist - but i don't think lou would do that. plekanec and lombardi will both receive way too much money and really aren't worth investigating.

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you said it tri - most people will like this better. other than ponikarovski, you've got me signed on with these. i really don't like elias/zubrus @ center but it is not nearly the worst case scenario your first example was.

I'm curious to see whether you can whip up a "Miracle Worker" plan where Lou magically makes all the bad contracts disappear. This is not just out of curousity as to how you'd dump them, but also to see what you'd do with that cap space.

i think that's what I did ;)

at least tri suggested that it was "almost impossibly unlikely"

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i'd be fine with wellwood in the same role that the canucks used him in - 4th line center and power play specialist - but i don't think lou would do that. plekanec and lombardi will both receive way too much money and really aren't worth investigating.

all UFA's get too much - very rarely does d. moore or malholtra get the contract that they should.

i'm w/ you in the anti-lombardi camp. i would give plekanec 4/18 if he'd come for that.

while i can't imagine marleau even thinking on NJ as a possibility unless they gave him $8MM/year, I would certainly consider giving him $6.25/year for 4 or 5 years and forgo the though of resigning kovalchuk.

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