Trading For Defense

Al Bello

Hahaha, OK, seriously though, stop laughing.

While I agree that offense is the biggest problem for this team right now, I don't believe that it is a quick fix where bringing in one guy is all of a sudden going to push us from under 2 goals per game to 2.5-3 goals per game where we need to be. Unless Poile can trick someone into giving us a Stamkos/Vanek/Tavares for a package of Smith, SK74 and Blum, then I don't think that a guy like Weiss will make that big of an impact on our team.

So what I believe that we need to do (in addition to trying to add some offensive talent) for THIS season, is to try to find someone to solidify our D-corps. There will be more opportunities to add top 6 forwards through free agency this summer that we MUST take advantage of. But for now our biggest fill-able hole is on D.

Let's review... We currently have 1 superstar, 1 very talented kid, 1 very solid second-pair shutdown guy and a bunch of 3rd pair D-men (at best). I believe that our right side D-men are set and can rival anyone in the league. Weber, Klein and Ellis are set as #1, 2 and 3 without question.

On the left side however we have a huge hole. Josi is playing great as Weber's partner and hopefully only grows from here, but he still isn't Ryan Suter. Below that we have 3 guys who all scare me each time they are on the ice. Blum is still too slow, too panicky and misreads plays too often. Scott Hannan is just not that good of a hockey player anymore. OK all-around, but man this guy cannot make a pass and his physical play is not what I expected it to be. Hal Gill is Hal Gill. Can't skate, can't pass, but is great on the PK.

One of those 3 can play on the 3rd pair with Ellis. They all have their pluses and minuses and I really have no preference other than Blum being young with room to grow, but he may be the biggest liability currently.

So I believe that we should be looking for a guy like Robyn Regehr or Mark Streit as a cheap rental, who we can try to re-sign if we like them, that can fill that #2 left D spot and give us a huge upgrade. The other upside to these 2 guys is that they are both Eastern Conference guys, playing for struggling teams that could be packaged with some offensive help like a Jason Pominville, or Michael Grabner.

We need some offensive help, but we need to know who we are and 1 or 2 more goals aren't going to help in games we are losing 4-0, 5-1. So solidify the D and let Pekka win the game for us. That's how this team succeeds. In the off-season we better spend some money on some goal scorers though, or we will never move forward as a franchise.

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