With apologies to jrbbg, hopefully you don't mind?
If you'll pardon me re-posting this, I thought it was an essential discussion to pursue within this forum. In short it is an evaluation of Barry Trotzes' system and how it relates to the future of this hockey team. With a bit at the end about Brenden Morrow, IMO the ideal target for this franchise to pursue in the off season.
What are the thoughts of everyone towards the direction of this club on ice and the pursuance of Free Agents in the summer?
The game has passed by Trotzie & Co. C Smith is exhibit A in coaching malpractice case. No good foward would come here in his prime as a FA. Won’t get the stats for next contract. The system doesn’t work any more. Need to change system or change coach. Dump & Chase only works with big fast forwards who get the puck in the corners and pass to F3 or F2 in slot for shot. How often do we pass to empty ice where shooter should be stationed? Low scoring results from weak instinctive players who are not quite fast enough to beat the D to the dumped puck and then get out of position. This is a confused system that gives up the puck too easily. The teaching to think pass first robs opportunities for good shots and makes people carry the puck too long, several strides past the best release point. Giving up season tix until management stops playing ostrich, gets some cohones and makes a real change. Current personnel at F suited to this style of play but the style will never be Cup competitive. Hard work only goes so far in an out of date system with middling offensive talent. That’s what Erat figured out. That’s why Weber will ask for a trade at age 30. When RInne is only slightly above average instead of VTrophy quality, like this year, the system gets exposed. The lack of OZone time is a killer. If he’s still here next year, BT should be on a short leash.
by jrbbg on Apr 18, 2013 | 11:58 PM reply rec (1)
Truly excellent post although quite sobering. I still have full confidence in Trotz that he can evolve his ideals, for him to appreciate that one can maintain a solid defensive system while still pursuing offense (See: Blackhawks, Chicago 12-13, Of any team in the past decade they are one of the best examples of being conscious in your own zone while being aggressive in the other.) After the only season in 14 years in which his job has come into question it would be only fitting for him to wake up and smell the Filip Forsberg. There is no way FF will be confined systemically as Trotz surely realizes the squandering of this unique and valuable asset would be the cherry on the cake of his potential unemployment.
Adversely, Craig Smith is a unique talent, he is a player that could realistically occupy all four lines on any given night, as he has the gumption and work ethic of a grinder and the skill, speed and wherewithal of a top 6 forward. Whereas the only incarnation of FF that makes sense in the NHL is as a first line sniper/PF. Nothing else would maximize and complement his brilliant and rare skill set, while allowing him to grow into a two way player at the NHL level through strengthening his skating. Were he begins next season will be truly interesting, a spell in Milwaukee would adhere him firmly to the North American style of play while developing his confidence as he would be easily a point per game player. Of course the big club is in need of exactly what he brings on the ice and a place on the first line with Colin Wilson seems like a match made in heaven, not only for Willy but for the Franchise. I expect FF and the newest addition via the draft (likely a dynamic first line forward) to be the perfect harbingers of an evolved style of Preds hockey that maintains BT’s strong values towards forechecking, defensive coverage and physical play while appreciating the value of Ozone puck possession. As they say, struggle breeds evolution.
Lastly, in terms of FA’s who would be willing to try a more communal offensive atmosphere, taking a bit less cash and a drop in their PPG, while solidifying the roster of what could easily be a 4 seed in the west with a few key changes there seems to be one clear candidate.
(*IF Pittsburgh wins the cup, seemingly an inevitability which will only be negated by a large asteroid destroying Pennsylvania)
Yes, He is past his prime. Sure, he is 34. And we would likely have to sign him for a multi-year deal. But especially if we end up with one of the truly elite forwards (Sorry, Sean Monahan/Elias Lindholm) in the draft, I could see Morrow signing on. He is definitely a Preds style player and while he wouldn’t be a true top line scorer anymore, how hard would it be to see him chip in 20 goals while stabilizing our young core of forwards, playing good all around hockey, throwing hits and doing Brenden Morrow things (See: Leadership). For a a reasonable cap hit of 3.5 Million (And a jettisoning of Sergei Kostitsyn later) he could help fuel the transition this club needs to return to Stanley Cup Contender status it held briefly for a few weeks last year.
by radu47 on Apr 19, 2013 | 4:57 AM up reply flag
This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? Post your own!