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Everything posted by nessus

  1. I always really liked this play from Holtz (video should start at 0:25) from last preseason. Kind of cherry picking here, but it's an example of him being more than a one-dimensional sniper. Obviously a great pass, but also very good awareness of where other players were going to be as he was turning around.
  2. It seems that there's this narrative around the fanbase that Holtz is not on a good trajectory, he's got low IQ, he's one dimensional, etc. I'm not saying these people are going to be wrong about Holtz's future, but I don' t know where it's coming from. When Holtz was drafted, if you told me he'd be a point per game rookie AHLer in his D+2 season, I would have no complaints. Holtz has improved each year, and produced at every level. He's not the type of player who is likely to regularly take games over on his own, but he's a hard working kid with a top notch skill set. I would say he is a good bet to be an NHL regular sooner than later. And if he can take his skating to the next level, he could easily be a top 6 staple for this team. I've said this before, but if it weren't for Mercer's incredible showing in the preseason last year, I think Holtz earns a spot. Not much more he could have done, and I expect him to be even better this time around.
  3. I liked all his moves, really can't complain, so it's a B from me. Would have been really stoked for the season if Slafkovsky and Tkachuk made it into the organization, but there's not too much more I could have asked for. And missing on those two players was not Fitz's fault in the slightest. Definitely the best offseason in quite a while, but just can't call it perfect. About as close to an A as you can get.
  4. I realized today that if the Devils actually did want to sign Bratt to a huge deal (e.g. 8x8), they don't even have the cap space. Maybe the plan is to lock him up for that kind of deal during the upcoming season for once Tatar and Johnsson are off the books, and the 1 year deal was part of that plan from the start. It's possible that there really isn't and never was anything to worry about.
  5. Sucks that he didn’t get locked up long term, especially because I think he’s worth something close to Jack’s contract (FWIW, Jack is worth way more than his own contract). But I have to say that this is the second best case scenario. Great to avoid arbitration, and great that it brings him to RFA. I don’t think Bratt is unhappy here, and I think it’s clear that Fitz really wants to keep him.
  6. At this point, I'm most interested in the arbitration filings for Tyce Thompson
  7. Maybe Bratt is just set on a one year deal for now? Otherwise, I have no explanation as to why he is not locked up long term already.
  8. I’m actually not surprised that this Bratt situation is taking so long. Fitz wants Bratt locked up long term, and Bratt and/or his agent want to maximize money. In Bratt’s defense, he deserves to get paid. But Fitz has some amount of leverage given that Nico and Hughes, two players who are more valuable to the team, are signed for very reasonable deals. And there’s the fact that Bratt really has had only one season where his production reached such an impressive level. It makes sense that an agreement has been difficult. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they end up with some short term, even one year, deal. I wouldn’t even be that upset about it. I think Bratt wants to stay but he wants his money. If he wants to take a one year deal that will bring him to RFA again so that he can show his consistency, that’s fine with me. Fitz should be looking to lock him up for 8 years or any deal that keeps him RFA, in my opinion. I still wish he took the Jack or Nico approach but you can’t expect that of all players/agents.
  9. This is such an amazing deal for the Devils, almost unfair for Jonas, which speaks to what a player he has become. I like the idea of doing the Tampa model for defense. Instead of a top pair with the two top guys, they had 3 very solid pairs. For the Devils, they can expect to have one of Dougie, Nemec, and Luke on the ice at all times. And they'd be paired with Siegs, Marino, and one other rock solid defensive player (Okhotiuk, Mukhamadullin, one of the 2022-drafted prospects, etc.). That would be a great thing for this team. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like the writing is on the wall for Severson. As much as the organization seems to like him, they're running out of cap space, and keeping Severson doesn't seem to have been a priority.
  10. I heard someone compare Nemec to Adam Fox, and I would say that's probably the best comparison I've heard so far. Incredibly smart player, responsible defensively, and high end offensive talent without being overly flashy. I think that's the kind of projection we can hope for with Nemec. Is Nemec the organization's top prospect? I know that the article lists him behind Luke, but I'm curious what the general consensus is. Obviously Luke's upside is just huge, but there are so many things to like about Nemec's game, that I just can't decide.
  11. Yeah, I'm more on board with a long term extension for Bratt. It's true, other than Jack, there's no one else who can boost their linemates like Bratt. He's the anti-Josefson - he was able to excel even in unfavorable situations. His defensive game can still use some work, but I see him as one of the most underrated players in the league, even if he was at a near point/game pace last season. Seems like Bratt and his agent know this as well, which is why the contract talks get dragged out longer than they should. I understand the skepticism given that he only had one truly elite season, but he had passed both the eye test and the advanced stats test for years prior to last season. A guy like Zacha who had one team-leading season was more likely to regress back to the pre-established norm because he hadn't been all that good beforehand.
  12. I agree that a lot of this offseason has felt like tease after tease. First Slafkovsky, then Gaudreau, and then briefly Tkachuk. The Slafkovsky one still is frustrating. But I'll be honest, I'm still excited about the upcoming season. The defense is looking quite good right now. We can also expect to have somewhere around league average goaltending at worst. And basically every other move Fitz has made has been a good one, even if it doesn't make you jump out of your chair with excitement. I also feel very good about Nico being a 70+ point center, ever since he recovered from that slow start post-injury. Dougie should be back to himself too. Hughes and Mercer will continue to take strides forward. And we finally have a top winger in Bratt! We should all be excited for him to be signed long term once Fitz takes care of that. There are so many ways that this team has gotten better this offseason. It doesn't always have to be the blockbuster that makes a team significantly better.
  13. Wow, sucks to be the Flames. Imagine your top two players want out in succession like that. Would suck to be that franchise. Definitely doesn't remind me of the post-2012 Devils at all. Tkachuk will have to be shipped out soon. Can't imagine he'll be sticking around after saying he won't commit to Calgary. Does the uncle-nephew connection help us or hurt us? Tkachuk will be due for a big time contract, and I wonder if mixing family and business is something he will want to avoid. Probably matters less because this is all done via agent, but still makes me wonder. I was in favor of bringing Tarasenko in last year, and I am still in favor. Point per game player last year, and he has never played with a center on Jack's caliber. He might be more expensive than what we would like, and he doesn't fit the age range we are looking for right now. His value has gone up since last offseason.
  14. This is a great trade. I don’t want to take anything away from that, but I have to say I am bummed that we never got to see Ty realize his potential. I remember being so excited when he fell in that draft for us to take him. He probably doesn’t have much of a role on this team with Hughes, Nemec, and Hamilton being here long term. But he really was quite a prospect, and I always felt that he would figure it out in time. He definitely had the IQ both offensively and defensively to be a strong defenseman. I don’t know what happened in his sophomore season that turned him into a different player. The skating and decision making both took massive steps back. I’ll continue to keep an eye on him in Pittsburgh. He could find his game there, and getting such a great return for him will make that sting a little less.
  15. So far this offseason, Fitz has: drafted a defenseman with Adam Fox-like upside traded Zacha (who had no future with this team) for a serviceable 3C (position of need) traded Smith for a more mobile and better shut down defenseman in Marino, who also gives the team excellent RD depth hired Ruff's successor as associate coach, who should be a great replacement signed Palat, who not only brings playoffs experience, but is exactly the type of player this team has been lacking in the top 6 improved the goaltending situation from being in the basement to at least league average "Failure Fitz" is building a playoffs team. All that's left to do is lock Bratt up long term, and try to find a way to ship out Johnsson and/or Tatar, and we will be in good shape. But I think ultimately, theey probably give Tatar another shot. Palat-Hughes-Sharangovich Bratt-Hischier-Mercer Tatar-Haula-Holtz/Zetterlund Wood-Boqvist-Bastian Siegenthaler-Hamilton Graves-Severson Okhotiuk-Marino Blackwood/Vanecek extras: McLeod, Johnsson, Smith Third line could be a little shaky, but I honestly don't feel bad about that going into the season.
  16. “This signing is as bad as Cammalleri” sure it’s as bad as the guy who was signed and became the team’s most productive player
  17. Palat is being severely underrated. I’ll agree that the term is too long but you have to overpay for someone who has played so well in recent playoffs. He is not a product of his linemates either. He was a difference maker every game. Sucks we missed out on Gaudreau but at least Palat fills a team need. We have been talking about needing to be harder to play against for how long now? Palat also brings playoffs experience, which this team hardly has. I think a lot of people will be surprised. He will be a hard guy to dislike.
  18. I'm on board for signing Palat. I think of him the way Conte used to think of Dainius Zubrus - if you have a team full of Palats, you'll win a lot of games. Sure, he doesn't fit the timeline, but I don't think he plays the type of game that would decline quickly. He has also shown he can play up and down a lineup. And I think he plays with the grit that the Devils are missing, especially on a line with Hughes. Before any other trades or signings, which I definitely can see Fitz doing still: Palat-Hughes-Sharangovich Bratt-Hischier-Mercer Holtz-Haula-Zetterlund Wood-Boqvist-Bastian Tatar and Johnsson have to fit in there somewhere too
  19. A few highlights from a 2022 World Championships game If he can improve his finishing/shooting, he is going to be dominant.
  20. nessus

    What to do with #2?

    I am the furthest thing from a "Failure Fitz" guy, but there's just one thing that makes me wonder. The things Kent Hughes said at the draft made it seem like Montreal actually was undecided about the 1OA pick until the last possible day. He said something like "we decided on Slafkovsky Wednesday morning, but wanted him to meet with ownership on Thursday (literally draft day) just to be sure". Compare that to the last draft where it was close (2017), where Shero said something along the lines of "we entertained trades, but at the end of the day we didn't want to leave round 1 without Nico". I do believe that Fitz's draft board was 1. Slaf, 2. Nemec. But I think Slaf was ahead of him by a considerable margin. I also think Fitz must have known that Montreal was between Slaf and Wright, and that their preference for one over the other was not that significant. You really wonder if a trade to swap picks was discussed to any extent. In that scenario, Montreal gets an asset to allow NJ to pick one of 2 players who MTL sees as about even. NJ gets the player who fits perfectly with their future, and is by far their preferred player. Obviously all of this is conjecture, and maybe the price to move up would have been too high, but it really seems like a good opportunity could have been there. And maybe NJ was even higher on Nemec than we thought. I will say, though, that Montreal probably is less likely to move the first overall pick in their own building, which certainly contributes. And also, the fact that they had the media leaking hints that Wright may not be the pick may suggest that they were more sure than they led on.
  21. This was a very good trade. Stings a bit that the Caps got Chesley with the pick we traded, but you've got to give something up to get something good in return. In this case, it wasn't a heck of a lot we gave up. I'm still wondering why the Caps made this trade. Vanecek was probably the best goaltender they had, and you'd think they could find a way to keep him. I won't question it. This is huge for the '22-23 season!
  22. This is somewhat reassuring, but I really wish Mukhamadullin was playing next season in North America. You just don't really see many defensemen develop well in Russian leagues. Last year, he had that amazing start, but slowed down significantly shortly after. He came to Utica and was immediately effective, without taking much time at all to adjust. I may have mentioned this before, but if you look at Daniil Chayka, he was drafted as this high end defense prospect, who didn't produce much offensively in the Russian leagues. He came to play in the OHL last season and totally unlocked his potential. I was hoping to see something similar with Mukhamadullin, especially after seeing him contribute on offense in the few Utica games he was in. But hopefully this upcoming season in the KHL is a big one for him.
  23. The Devils made some really good picks in this draft. Casey was a really awesome pickup. I like how they went for a high upside player there. The potential is huge. Brennan obviously was a great pick. I agree about the Blackwood comparisons. He seems to be very athletic, just as Blackwood was described. Barabosha looks like a solid pick also. For the seventh round, he seems like a relatively high floor guy. Shutdown defenseman with great physicality, and he's reasonably mobile. Don't know much about Filmon yet. Orlov seems like he could be a sleeper pick. Another smooth skating shutdown guy, with potentially some offensive potential. I would have liked to see at least one high upside forward taken in this draft, but the trade for Vanacek made that tough. Can't blame anyone at all for that. Maybe Hauser is that guy, but I wouldn't bet on it at this point. Overall, I can't complain. Casey, Brennan, and Barabosha are all great picks for where they were selected. For the most part, everyone else seems like either high floor players or solid bets based on who is available in the later rounds.
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