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Old 10-03-2013, 05:40 AM
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Default Available Cap Space

With Mattias Ohlund and Brian Lee officially on LTIR, there are only 8 teams in the league with more available cap space than the Lightning, who has $4.35M available to use should the right opportunity come along to add that special someone on the blueline.

Connolly, the most probable recall, is a $1.6M cap hit, but even so leaves the Bolts with capability to add a player without having to send salary back. Compare that to the Leafs and the Pens who have only $166k and $310k of possible cap space (even after their own LTIRs are factored in), and I still believe there is opportunity to poach a young defenseman like Franson or Niskanen. The Caps and Sharks and Ducks and LAK are also in tough shape, and makes me wonder if someone like Luca Sbisa whose sitting on two-years left of a $2.2M contract could be had especially with Fowler and Lindholm as young studs on their blueline?
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:29 PM
Werewolf Werewolf is offline
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I really don't see us making any moves this year at all - even with all the cap space. We have two forwards that can immediately step in (Connolly/Tyrell), one goalie ready to step in (Desjardins), and three young defensemen who get rotated healthy scratched (Aulie/Sustr/Barberio).

All these players need playing time in the NHL and nothing left to prove in the AHL. Injuries will inevitably take their toll and these players are ready. Some of the problems getting off our zone and defensive responsibilities seem to be more Boucher's scheme as these same players are doing pretty well in the early season under Cooper. You can see them be more poised with the puck and the Bolts doing better in the Def to Off transition. The best thing is that I game to game improvement from our young players thusfar - Gudas takes on too many questionable penalties, Barberio needs to get a bit better adjusted to speed of game but he'll be fine as a pass moving blue liner, Aulie will be solid as a third pair defensive defenseman, and Sustr has been solid and dependable back there. No reason (so far in this early season) to make in-season moves.

This offseason we won't re-sign Salo and we'll save on his $3.75 million salary. Next year we won't re-sign Brewer and we'll save on his $3.85 million salary. Year after that we won't re-sign Ohlund and save on his $3.6 million salary and approx $1 Million from Vinny buyout. I see us making our moves in the off-season as we clear cap space from under-performing players rather than making moves during the season.

Last edited by Werewolf; 10-12-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:21 PM
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Kowalski Kowalski is offline
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I could easily see Yzerman re-signing Salo if need be. The team probably won't need to, but he easily could. I agree that Brewer's days are numbered, and Ohlund's contract will free up money to re-sign Stamkos. They are growing a solid defensive group on the Crunch right now with Sergeev and Nesterov and maybe even Korobov as well. Mix in the young, cheap(ish) contracts of Namestnikov, Connolly, Brown and Drouin, and the team is incredibly well-positioned moving on for the next 5 years. Yzerman has built the foundation of a dynasty.

I feel like they will be in a Stanley Cup Final or two before 2020.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:41 PM
Werewolf Werewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowalski View Post
I could easily see Yzerman re-signing Salo if need be. The team probably won't need to, but he easily could. I agree that Brewer's days are numbered, and Ohlund's contract will free up money to re-sign Stamkos. They are growing a solid defensive group on the Crunch right now with Sergeev and Nesterov and maybe even Korobov as well. Mix in the young, cheap(ish) contracts of Namestnikov, Connolly, Brown and Drouin, and the team is incredibly well-positioned moving on for the next 5 years. Yzerman has built the foundation of a dynasty.

I feel like they will be in a Stanley Cup Final or two before 2020.
I'd still be looking for an elite physical, shut down defender slash heavyweight to pair up with Hedman. Brewer's contract will have him playing third line with Sustr next year. Salo will be squeezed out and Yzerman will go out and get a player as he'll have the money this off-season with almost $5 Million from Salo and Brian Lee's contract not been renewed. With the young talent coming up Sergeev, Witkowski, and Nesterov ready. Question is - who of these would play well with Sustr in that third pairing?

Also, Cote/Taormina is now squeezed out of AHL lineup. Cote (31)/Taormina (26) would play next to Nesterov in the AHL. Probably Cote would stay as Nesterov is a pass moving defenseman and Taormina is small. So we are reaching a bottleneck of talent on the defensive end as well as on the offensive end. Look for Taormina to get the healthy scratches or be sent down to ECHL once Cote comes back.

Last edited by Werewolf; 10-13-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:28 PM
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There's nothing wrong with Sustr playing big minutes in all situations for Syracuse this season. He has plenty to prove in the AHL. Just because he can "not look out of place" playing 3rd pair protected minutes in the NHL as a 1st year pro doesn't mean he doesn't have gobs to learn in Syracuse. If we had an opportunity to acquire a Niskanen or a Franson, I'd be shipping Sustr to the Crunch faster than you could call William Shatner.

Barberio, I tend to agree, but he's as the crossroads where the lights come on and he can secure an NHL Top 6/7 role, or he goes the way of the Matt Lashoff's of the world.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:12 PM
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I agree that Sustr is kind of that classic "tweener" right now. He probably could benefit from more time in the AHL, but I feel like management would rather give him more NHL time instead. No need in rushing him this season, but he'd be the first recall in case of injury. I would rather play Barberio in protected 3rd pair minutes and give him a chance on the PP even though the first game didn't go well against the Bruins. The kid has skills, and the Bruins are one of the most aggressive and skilled PK units in the league. He's played 3 NHL games, far too little to make a judgement on him at this point. Even if he doesn't fit into the team's long term plans, he may have some trade value if he can show that he can produce on the PP. He wasn't AHL Defensive MVP for nothing.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:45 AM
bolts37205 bolts37205 is offline
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Default Sustr or Barberio

where is it best to practice? I get the ice time and game competition that matches them is now in Syracuse, but how much can either gain by being in Tampa and practicing with Cooper and the boys??
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:15 AM
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My comments about sending Sustr back to Syracuse is *completely and exclusively* predicated on the opportunity of acquiring another NHL defenseman. That's what I wrote. That's the context of my statement.

If TBL can't or won't acquire another blueliner, then you might as well play Sustr with the big club. My comments were in response to Werewolf's post stating (1) he didn't think TBL was going to trade for anyone, *and* (2) that he didn't think Sustr had anything left to prove in the AHL.

I disagreed with those two statements.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
My comments about sending Sustr back to Syracuse is *completely and exclusively* predicated on the opportunity of acquiring another NHL defenseman. That's what I wrote. That's the context of my statement.

If TBL can't or won't acquire another blueliner, then you might as well play Sustr with the big club. My comments were in response to Werewolf's post stating (1) he didn't think TBL was going to trade for anyone, *and* (2) that he didn't think Sustr had anything left to prove in the AHL.

I disagreed with those two statements.
Do you think Sustr is our worst defenseman? or just that he could mature more and be even better?

My own .02; he has been solid for us. Compared to last year for the couple games we saw him, his positioning and skating have vastly improved. His long reach is rather impressive too. Granted yes, he isnt playing against top lines... but if he can play with the big boys, why not let him mature up here??
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scobo_24 View Post
Do you think Sustr is our worst defenseman? or just that he could mature more and be even better?

My own .02; he has been solid for us. Compared to last year for the couple games we saw him, his positioning and skating have vastly improved. His long reach is rather impressive too. Granted yes, he isnt playing against top lines... but if he can play with the big boys, why not let him mature up here??
Why is this hard to understand what I'm saying?

No, I think Sustr is a legit Top-4 d-prospect. Maybe even higher ceiling than than Top-4. As such, the experience being a Top-2 guy in Syracuse all season and hopefully making a deep playoff run with that responsibility -- learning to play top minutes ES, PK, and PP would be very valuable down the road for kid with upside.

Given that he is waiver exempt and has a high ceiling (so you want to invest heavily in best development for him) --- IF --- IF --- the TBL has a chance to add a Matt Niskanen or a Cody Franson or some other blueliner to the team, then I would send Sustr to Syracuse to make room for the acquisition instead of trying to pass Aulie or Barberio to Syracuse through waivers. At this point, I'd prefer to invest in the development of Sustr and not in Aulie or Barberio. And he's simply not going to get top minutes ES, PK and PP in Tampa.

Sustr is *not* going to win us any more games *this* season. He might very well in the future with full opportunity for development. I love Sustr. I think he's one of our top prospects. I think he has considerably higher upside than Gudas, whom I still view as a very good, physical #5 in a world where TBL has a legit corp of Top-4 defensemen.

But I'm weary of repeating myself on this topic, so this will be my last explanation of my thoughts.
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