Well, that sure wasn’t pretty! For the first time that I can remember, Rutherford got chewed up and spit out like Evander Holyfield’s ear. Maybe there was a reason Shero waited until 4:20 on Friday to make the call that sealed the deal. I’m not insinuating that JR was smokin’ the tweeds, but it sure would explain the whoopin’ he took. I’ve never really minded the nepotism until now. Before, it was almost a lark, you know? “Sure! Go ahead! It’s only a 7th round pick!” or “Oh! You hid Brett in Ian White’s carry on? Sweet! We’ll take him.” Overall, pretty harmless acquisitions that more or less worked out in the organization’s favor, if only on the AHL level. But this one is a pretty tough pill to swallow. What is the end game here? At what point do we consider our stable of young sod farmers complete?
Now, after all of the smoke has cleared (Take it outside Jimmy), let’s look at what we lost in this deal:
- What would have surely been either Forsberg or Teravainen (both were projected to make an immediate impact to whatever team drafted them. Don’t forget, Skinner was 7th overall)
- Sutter, I don’t think I need to expound.
- A top tier defensive prospect in Dumoulin (28 Points in 44 games, second in the NCAA in plus/minus (+27) won the NCAA Championship with BC the last 2 years) who had just signed an entry level contract to push for a roster spot in Charlotte. And you could bet that if either Allen or Joni left, he probably would have gotten a good hard look for the big show in camp.
- About $4MM in cap space, once it’s all said and done.
What did we gain? A 6’4″ 220 lbs hoss that’s a minute muncher, which is a long overdue addition. J. Staal (yea, we have to distinguish now, that sucks) is an automatic upgrade to both the PP and PK. He’s even an upgrade over Sutter at the position, in my opinion. The one knock on him, and it’s a pretty big one, is injuries. In the past two years he’s missed 60 games. But, I feel it’s more pertinent to look at what we didn’t get for that price:
- Not an all star winger to play the part of Binky for E. Staal
- Not the depth that we are sorely lacking on offense
- Not a crease clearing defenseman, who we’ll need when Allen walks
On it’s own, it’s a bit of a head scratcher. Considering what we gave up, this trade is a lateral move at best. Now, before I get more any hate mail (Looking at you here, Mom), I do think J. Staal is a great addition, but only if Management decides to infuse this roster with more talent than is currently in Raleigh. There is some talk of putting the Brothers Staal together on the same line, but at this point we’re too thin at center, so this is probably the most logical line combos:
Jokinen – E. Staal – Tlusty
Skinner – J. Staal – Ruutu
Has the price of this signing sunk in now? Was that worth it, just to double our Staal ratio? This roster looks worse than last year! With that being said, I doubt that this heralds the last of the off season acquisitions. Otherwise, it would have been futile to sign J. Staal in the first place, but recent history has shown a hesitance towards spending anywhere near the cap, so cross your fingers and pray for some more additions Caniac Nation. Also, on a side note, Is anyone else tired of the Front Office pandering to the fan base? This is the exact opposite reasoning used last season to sell us on why we should be excited to see Ponikarovsky and Stewart come in to take over for Eric Cole. I’m an adult! Please! You can’t buy me a hot dog, man!