We suggested the other day that there are only two possible reasons why MacTavish wouldn't play Garon instead of Roloson:
Talking to Suneil Parmar of Addicted to Oil, I suggested that we have too many secondary scoring threats, but no primary scoring threats to take the heat off of these support players. A good team is supposed to have both, after all, so they can make the opposition D work twice as hard. It's not happening in Edmonton and we need to make some moves. Furthermore, the line juggling has confused player roles and even a guy like Erik Cole, who is used to seeing 3rd line action and prospering from it, is suffering from MacBlender syndrome through a rotating door of linemates. Worse yet, they expect him to produce when his supporting cast is unsupportive. This is almost as ridiculous as throwing Penner under the bus - wait, that already happened. Seeing as we still have massive holes on this team, along with an inability to move the puck out of our own zone and getting outplayed every game, among other problems, what kind of moves can we make right now that would improve the team? Assuming Garon isn't on the block, what does the rest of the team look like?
The Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces
1st line material
2nd line material
Cole (iffy categorization, he fits on pretty much all 4 lines, pretty flexible player)
Moreau (iffy categorization, he fits on pretty much all 4 lines, pretty flexible player)
3rd line material
4th line material
The Finished Jigsaw Puzzle (ultimate goal)
How do we finish off the Oiler Jigsaw?
1. This could mean dealing one of JDD, Garon, or Roloson.
In the case of dealing Garon ...
I would recommend signing Roloson to one more year, just in case we can't find any other help either from Dubnyk, the waiver wire, or off-season UFA. Plus, Roloson's play of-late has shown he has the skills to pay the bills at least for this season, he could be a valuable help to a guy like JDD in the upcoming season.
In the case of dealing Roloson ...
I would recommend getting Garon signed to a contract extension ASAP because after this goaltending mismanagement fiasco there's no guarantee he wants to stay in E-town. That being said, 2-3 years max (w/o a NTC), since JDD and Dubnyk are playing well and there's nothing against the potential of them coming up and getting full-time jobs in a year or two.
2. Our defensive zone coverage sucks. Our PK and FO stats suck.
The sad thing is that we look like we're playing the PK during even strength situations. That's sad as hell. We need some intensity and some experience injected into this lineup. I would recommend a Mike Peca, Todd Marchant, John Madden, or Sami Pahlsson type of of player.
3. Injuries and experience are a factor with our defense.
Mathieu Roy is perpetually injured. Theo Peckham is on the periphery and almost ready to play full time in the big show. Ladislav Smid is always reliable defensively but his role is confusing - somewhere below Strudwick but more valuable than Stortini as a forward. The signing of Strudwick was a good move but it confuses the defensive depth because it puts Smid out of work and keeps guys like Peckham and Young off the team.
I think it's time to package some young D, maybe Smid and/or Roy, or Bryan Young and get a guy who can play minutes when called upon or to play a supporting role if called upon. We dropped the ball on resigning Jason Smith so we're going to have to look elsewhere since Ottawa needs him and plus he's not getting any younger.
Anton Volchenkov or Paul Mara, perhaps?
4. Getting outshot. Almost EVERY game.
When your leading goal scorer is a defenseman, you know you have a problem.
We need an Ilya Kovalchuk, Jonathan Cheechoo, Daniel Alfredsson, Alex Semin, Brendan Morrow type of player. Unless Dustin Penner is going to wake up tomorrow and start one-timing everything into the top corner, I suggest Tambellini make this happen and make it happen quick. I don't care if he has to trade half the farm team, just do it.
We have too many contracts anyway. Something like 48 out of 50.
5. Sestito is not going to threaten anyone's job except Reddox and Stortini.
Yeah, this is the Toby Petersen Saga all over again. Craig MacTavish will play whoever shows him the most effort. Though this is a fine and dandy message that he's trying to send to the players, the fact that Tim Sestito is an energy player means that job security is not an issue for the Horcoffs, Penners, Gagners, and Nilssons.
As mentioned here, I would support a callup of the Schremp, Potulny, or Brule characters off the farm and inserting them into the lineup. Though I would support a Spurgeon callup based on our defensive needs, if Tambellini fails to acquire a Kovalchuk right away (thinking we have enough offense on the team as it is, if he were delusional) then calling up a guy who will challenge your top 6 for their jobs is not a bad idea.
I wouldn't mind Schremp coming up and outperforming Gagner. That would light a fire under his ass and get him going again.
Labels: trade block