Monday, July 2, 2012

Free Agency Developments

July 1 came and went. Nash is still a Blue Jacket. Here are some thoughts on the moves we made, ranked in order of how good/important I think they were:

1. Not Trading Nash

The timing didn't seem right. Howson is going to try to drag this out for as long as possible to increase the price, which means he's probably doing his job right. It would be selfish for us internet fans to demand that he trade Nash now, just so we can spend the whole summer Rosterbating. Honestly, I know many fans would be tortured if training camp started with him on the roster and expected to still be the captain. The Ducktrance family could care less. The right time will come. All Nash has to do is be a professional, earn his hefty salary and, if he's that unhappy, he can either play so insanely well that the teams on his list will pay for him or he can expand the list. Or he can dig in his heels and pout and let this get more ugly. But I think he's smarter than that. If anything, we should expect Rick Nash to be classy and mature.

Ottawa? I will fucking suplex any bro who tries to make me go to Eastern Ontario.

2. Trading Methot for Foligno:

Methot is a good hockey player. He's a defensive defenseman who is built for the job and he's good enough to make two World Cup appearances for team Canada. Unfortunately, he was never that successful in the CBJ uniform. Blame Stinger, if you will. I always do after a long night at the Rbar. But Methot wasn't performing up to his billing last year. Defensive zone coverage only works if everyone buys in and the coach can teach it well. But there were many nights where opposing teams' game plan was to stand in front of the net because no one will try to stop you. A lot of backdoor goals were scored this past year that I witnessed personally. Methot was one of the bigger culprits on the back end when it came to this and it probably eased his way down the depth chart and out the door. But he was a good guy, and we moved him for what should be a more valuable asset.

Foligno fills in part of the well-documented top-6 forward vacuum. He's a bigger guy who battles hard for the puck in corners and in front of the net. He's pretty tough and could take some of the weight off Dorsett's shoulders. He really showed up for the Sens in their first round battle against the Rangers. Last year he put up a career-high 47 points so he's good offensively and getting better. Hopefully with the increase in ice time, he will surpass the 50-point mark. Off the ice, he's a good guy in public, with fans and the media. I have no idea what his training/work ethic is like so I won't speculate. The downside of Foligno is that he kinda looks like a guy you'd see outside of a halfway house, asking to bum a smoke.

"Hey bud, you got an extra dart in there?"
3. Adrian Aucoin

He was a good defenseman last year for the Coyotes and he's been a good defenseman for the last decade or two, mostly as a spare piece being shared by western conference teams. He has an excellent shot and he plays fairly solid defense, so as long as he doesn't let anybody near the net unchallenged, I'd expect him to be an upgrade on Methot. Interviews with him reveal his desire to not just play, but teach the game to guys like Murray and Moore. This sounds like a good deal and a much better fit than Methot. Aucoin also has surprising shootout skills that could come in handy. And he looks like an angry cop.

"License and registration please...Quicker... Right Meow."

4. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

Springfield was hurtin' for certain last year. Not only did we call up all their top guys for injury duty, they also underperformed during their time there. Cody Bass didn't seem to work out, and neither did Dane Byers. JAM seems to be a guy who could be part of a solution down there, and possibly part of the solution up here. He's expected to be at or near a point per game pace as an undersized forward down in the A, and it would seem that he could slot in on the CBJ top 6 in case of injury. Like any undersized French-Canadian forward, comparisons will be made to Martin St. Louis, but in reality we would be lucky to get 1/2 the player St. Louis has been. Maybe as incentive for JAM, Howson could sit down him and atkinson and tell them that they're interchangeable and whoever is playing better will get the NHL minutes.

Bottom line, he's desperate for a shot, we're desperate for a player with some offensive skill. And we got him to sign an ELC, so he's ours for 3 years. CBJ fans, say hello to my little friend.

Insert short guy joke here.

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