Listen, Bob, it’s over. You cheaped out in the off-season and added nothing but Edmonton rejects. Everyone slumped at the same time and this season was over in December.
Oh, I’m sure you are sitting at Oggi’s eating the hell out of the bottomless bucket of wings for 11.99, but you need to wake up. The fact is the core of this team is a solid as ever. The Duck went on some incredible run last year to save a lost season, got to 99 points and then choked out of the first round. This year they have been phenomenal for 6 weeks. But they were so far behind that after 6 weeks they are still in 13th place!! You know that you’ve dug a pretty deep hole when you collect more points than any other team in the league from January 1 to February 20, look up and find yourself in 13th place.
Even if the Duck continued this unbelievable pace, they’d finish right around 92 points. Probably tied for 9th.
(For the record, current pace projections are right around 92. Due to the fact that many of the games between the 6-13th seeds are being played in the next 6 weeks, and most of them should be tight-checking playoff style games, you’d expect that number to increase due to all the 3 point games)
The Duck really needs 33 or 34 points in their remaining 22 games. A 16-4-2 record or something similar.
So here’s the problem. You want these guys to have fun and you want to sell tickets and you want to prove it was a 90 point team after all not a 60 point team like everyone said 2 months ago. Great, but it gets NOTHING.
Next year UFAs
That’s the entire second line. OK, Blake has bounced around on lines, but he’s been actually a big part of this streak. Those three are due to retire or hit the market. They are 38, 39 and 41. ITS OVER FOR THEM.
Throw in Nik Hagman, another big contributor to this run. When’s his contract up? Right. This year.
Where does it leave this team? A really thin team at the forward spot? It leaves them 4 forwards short! It leaves Nick Bomino and Peter Holland battling it out for 2nd line center.
Kyle Quincey just got traded for Steve Downie, then got traded for a first round pick. Steve Downie was worth a 1st round pick .. what would Teemu Selanne be worth?
While you are at it, Visnovsky and Lydman would be PRIME catches for a team looking for a playoff run and they each have a year left on their contracts. SHIP EM OUT. There is huge value there, and Brookbank has become the go to “stopper” with Beauchemin anyway .Visnovsky has returned to earth to be a middling, soft, slick looking LOSER. With Schultz and Vatonen on the way in, Brookbank holding steady and Guenin a competent 3rd pairing guy, you can take the hit. Particularly if it nets you a first round pick or an Antoine Vermette whose 56% face off percentage and decent scoring touch would be just the kind of player this team needs to pair with Bobby Ryan after Koivu is gone. Vermette went for a 2nd a 4th and Curtis Mcelruinourseason. You remember him, right?
GET ON WITH IT.
It’s a lot of value to give up, hoping that the team goes 23-0 to finish the season .. then thoroughly spent lose in the first round.
SELL, SELL, SELL.