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About weepingminotaur

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    Hockey Guru / Grand manitou

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  1. No, you're right there. Everyone makes mistakes. It's just that what Gill brings to the table is so damn minimal that we can't really afford to have him making mistakes in the one area (PK) where he's supposed to have some value.
  2. But his whole value, right now, is on the penalty kill, and tonight he couldn't even be effective in that area. I'm sick of his game. I can't believe we let Hamrlik walk to keep Gill for another year.
  3. No offense to you, or to Gill, but *****. After my wife gave birth, I had to do my job a few days later, and nobody was paying me $2.2 million for it either. Boo-hoo, Hal Gill had a Life Moment, just like the rest of us. Except that we're not millionaires. And we don't get paid millions of dollars to fall down on the ice, take holding penalties, and generally be the worst example of our profession.
  4. Painful to watch at this point unless he's killing a penalty.
  5. Not really sure why it would be a calamity if Andrei walked after this season. Sure, it's possible he could explode into first-line form somewhere else. But it's also possible, and in my opinion probable, that we're better off walking away, because we have already gotten some good productive years from him at a relatively reasonable cap hit. Remember Komisarek and Souray? Aren't we glad we didn't stick with those players now? Even Higgins was someone we were better off jettisoning. In Vancouver, he's found a home ... as a third-line forward, not as the top-six 30-goal man we for a time thought he could be. Sometimes, we become too preoccupied with retaining every single one of our assets. The reality is: in this business, you can't keep everyone, and you have to make tough decisions. Maybe we'll look back on Kostitsyn in a few years and think, "Wow, good thing we milked him during his RFA years but walked away before he was able to command bigger money."
  6. I'm not sure how useful it is to compare Spacek and Gill without factoring in their zone starts and the roles each player has been asked to play (and that's not even taking into account Spacek being forced to play the right side for much of the past two years). This isn't an argument that Spacek's contract isn't a bad one, BTW -- because I think we can all agree it isn't great.
  7. I dunno about this brother thing. Let's not forget that Andrei enjoyed his best season production-wise (07-08) when Sergei was still a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization. I'm more inclined to attribute his improvement to Martin working with him and getting him to buy into improving his play without the puck. Playing long stints on the third line with Eller also helped him as well. I mean, I'm not saying SK leaving couldn't have affected Andrei positively, but it's the kind of impact that's nearly impossible for us to gauge without corroboration from Andrei himself (if someone finds an interview where Andrei explicitly states that he feels better now that his brother is gone, I'll happily retract my words).
  8. Really? Let's say we make that deal instead of Gill's deal. I feel a lot more comfortable with Hamrlik playing 22 minutes a night than I do Gill. And Hamrlik hasn't shown any signs of his game falling off drastically. In the final year of that deal, Spacek would be gone. I'd have made that deal over Gill in a second.
  9. Would have been way better than Gill for one year at whatever price. Somehow, we put a greater emphasis on signing the one-dimensional PK specialist and not the versatile all-around guy who can actually perform in all situations, not just the penalty kill. We dropped the ball here. Best of luck, Roman!
  10. I'd go one year ideally on Hammer. If he wants two years, money has to come off the table, but I can live with a two-year term, provided we build a blue line in which his role is reduced. We just can't keep asking him to play top-two minutes and expect to make any postseason noise.
  11. Having a bunch of contracts expiring at the same time is never great, because you'll always overpay for talent in free agency and you can't build a team that way. But what's even worse is having a bunch of players playing the same position going UFA at the same time. It wouldn't be so bad if it were a mix of forwards and d-men. But it's almost all d-men. Hamrlik, Markov, Gill, Mara, Sopel, Gorges (RFA), Picard, Wisniewski. If Gainey had planned the core blue line properly a few years ago, it wouldn't matter so much: Sopel, Mara, and Picard are just spare parts anyway. But to put us in a situation where three important components of our D (Markov, Hamrlik, and to a lesser extent Gill) are becoming free agents at the same time is just stupid, and sadly typical of Gainey's inability to stagger contracts properly from year to year and general ineptitude at working under the cap.
  12. Hamrlik was paid $11 million the past two years. Markov was paid $11.5 million the past two years. Markov hasn't been good, or even decent, value the past two years. That's undeniable. Hamrlik, on the other hand, has been good value for his contract, in that he has filled the breach due to Markov's absence and kept us from going under without our no. 1 defenseman. That said, if it's a choice between Markov and Hamrlik going forward, I take Markov every single time. Why? Because a healthy Markov is better than a healthy Hamrlik. Markov, when not injured, is a no. 1 d-man. Hamrlik is not. Now, the easy counter-argument is: Markov has to be healthy in order for him to be better than Hamrlik, which is quite correct. However, it comes down to team need. No. 1 d-men don't grow on trees. If you can show me a replacement for what Markov brings when he's healthy, I'm all over it, but the truth is that said replacement doesn't exist. So we're in a difficult position where we have to gamble on Markov being able to stay healthy for the majority of at least the upcoming season. The alternative is a D corps anchored by Roman Hamrlik trying to be a no. 1 d-man but not succeeding in the long term. That's good enough to keep us out of the basement, but not good enough for us to turn the corner and be a contender. We can't keep treading water and asking older guys like Hamrlik, Gill, and Spacek to play over their heads for entire seasons. Our blue line has to improve, and as such, we need to take a chance that Markov can remain healthy. I would sign Hammer over Gill in a heartbeat, but not over Markov, given the present state of our blue line. I'd love for us to be in a position where we could play hardball with Markov at the negotiating table, but our D corps is an absolute disarray right now and I don't think we have a choice except to take Markov back unless his contract demands are so outrageous that we are forced to go in a different direction. All this, combined with the organization's baffling prioritizing of Hal Gill, would seem to spell the end of Hamrlik's tenure in Montreal, which is a real shame. I don't get how Gill is even close to being more important to the team than Hamrlik, have no idea how the coaches and management could believe that.
  13. Does Roman have a family? If so, I'd imagine not wanting to uproot his family would also factor into his decision.
  14. Agreed. I think that if you bring him back at $2.5 million, you should expect 16-18 minutes a game, with the occasional spike into the 20 range as an injury fill-in. If you want 20+ quality minutes, you have to be prepared to pay. We've been overplaying lower-tier d-men for so long that maybe we've grown accustomed to guys playing 20+ minutes when they're not top-four material. Let's try to stop that trend going forward.
  15. I want to be clear. Hamrlik is not a no. 1 defenseman. He has done an admirable job of stepping into the breach the past two years when Markov has gone down. Kudos to him for that. But we'll never get anywhere with a 37-year-old Hammer in the no. 1 role. I agree with you that Hamrlik can still be a good top-four d-man, but only if he's playing behind three legitimate top-three players. He's too old to log heavy minutes night after night effectively. If Markov and Gauthier can't reach an agreement, all bets are off as to what our blueline will look like next year. We'll have to be prepared to spend significantly in free agency just to ice a competent blue line, let alone build a contender.