This is my first blog so here goes nothin'
Mike Gillis' Plan
I just thought I would put this down on "paper" to see what the team would look like this year if Gillis had his way over the next few weeks so here goes:
HIGGINS/ARNOTT/RAYMOND OR HANSEN
TANEV/ALBERTS OR CONNAUTON
SCHNEIDER/LACK OR MAYBE DAN ELLIS
Now obviously Kesler may not be ready for the start of the year so Malholtra will slot in somewhere, and no one knows which D will make the 5/6 slots out of camp but i see this being the opening night roster if Gillis has his way. Now I don't know about the rest of you but if he can pull this off I'm pretty excited to see what this team is made of.
The addition of Doan alone is EXACTLY the type of move we need. Now I know adding Doan AND Arnott makes us ALOT older but there is something to be said for these kinds of guys and what they bring night in and night out on AND off the ice. The depth is greatly needed and the size and skill of these two can not be ignored.
Now for the wildcard...Bjugstad. Gillis clearly LOVES him and looking at his stats I tend to agree. 6'5" 220 lbs...25 goals 17 assists in only 40 games at U of Minnesota this year. Now he hasn't been tested at an NHL level but someone with that kind of size and skill shouldn't have a problem adjusting. I don't know if he would make the team out of camp but I think he could easily handle 4th line minutes. I'll be very excited to see what he can do IF we get him.
I'm giving Kassian the benefit of the doubt and slotting him back in this year. I hear he has been working hard so far this off season and I think he could be a key player for us this year.
Jason Garrison: I don't know alot about his game but from what I've seen he's a bigger, stronger, faster, meaner Sami Salo so you can't go wrong there. Should be interesting to see how his points change on a very offensivly gifted team.
I'm gonna go on record and say I see Connauton making the team out of camp this year. He may not stay all year but I bet he gets a good look. He's proved almost all he can in the AHL it's time to see how he fares with the big boys.
Juice and Hammer: what can you say...they are our rocks and as long as they keep up their play I'm not too worried about our D.
Schneider will be tested this year. I am a HUGE Schneider fan, have been for years and I'm pulling for him to send a message to the league this year that he IS the real deal. Shouldn't be too hard for him either with THIS team. If our D stays healthy *knock on wood* they are one of the best in the league.
The back-up role is where things get tough. Schneider will be expected to play about 50-60 games this year so do we give Lack the other 20 or hire a veteran? I say give them to Lack. If Schneider is our goalie of the future we need to rise Lack's stock and prove he's NHL ready. Joe Cannata seems ready to take the reigns in Chicago so lets let the young guns take the pipes. We can trade Lack in the next year or two to bolster our aging forwards and by the time we can't afford Schneider anymore Cannata will be ready.
I love this team on paper and I think that THIS team has what it takes to do what the teams of the last 2 seasons could not do...
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment to let me know how my first blog was. Any constructive critisism would be greatly appreciated.
If you want to follow me on Twitter i'm @C_Roy33
GO NUCKS GO!!!