Fred wrote:DN signing of Chouinard, Santala, Cooke Bulis and Fitzpatrick, ham strung him and preventing him with other opportunities.
I don't like any of those signings Fred, except that I wouldn't include Cooke in that group.
I like Cooke a lot and wonder if people wouldn't be so hard on him in this forum if his salary was about 300 or 400k lower.
Cooke has never been an offensive force, but he does provide something intangible and valuable to the team when he plays the "spark plug" role.
It's easy to overlook that, but when Cooke is out of the lineup with an injury, often the team spirit and determination sags ... and many people start saying things like "boy do we ever miss Matt Cooke."
Back in the days when he was underpaid, we loved him ... now that makes a few hundred K more than he should, people want him shipped out.
That, I think, is the way it will always be for players who make important but intangible contributions, but ones that are less visible than offensive numbers.
ON THE OTHERS
That said, what the hell was DN thinking in the off-season when he was talking about Santala coming in and being a real contributor?! I'd like to know who the pro scout is that gave him that idea. The now-departed Bob Murray would not have misled him like that.
My buddies who are Habs fans have all told me that they predicted Bulis being a non-factor here (just as he was sometimes a regular in the press-box) ... again nice work by the pro scouts to give Bulis the big thumbs up as a potential 1st liner.
The Chouinard 2-year multimillion $ contract is a mystery ... that's money we won't have next season to keep valuable guys like Salo ... shouldn't the pro scouts have tipped DN off that this guy is a soft Minnesota cast-off and definitely not a face-off specialist like we were led to believe?
Fitzpatrick is a fringe guy, and I like what I saw from Sean Brown down the stretch last season better than Fitzpatrick's play so far. I wonder if Brown is bad attitude guy that they just wanted dump? Personally I'm happy that Fitzpatrick out of the line-up ... he makes costly mistakes and I would rather see his playing time go to Edler (and even Coloumbe).
Bottomline: This team has a lot of changes to adapt to ... new coach, new system, new players. But I sure question some of DN's signings. Whoever the pro scouts are that advised him about these signings should be given notice that they're not performing anywhere close to the level that Bob Murray did while he was here, and that they better get their shit together soon or find some other place to work.