Farhan Lalji wrote:-I think there are many ways to skin a cat. Yes - a superstar goalie is a tremendous luxury to have.........as teams such as Boston (Thomas), LA (Quick), NYR (Lundquist), and St. Louis (Price/Elliot) have proved in recent years, but a team can also succeed with a "decent" goaltending provided that the team in front is absolutely loaded. Chicago in 2010 and Detroit in 2008 are great examples of this. Look at how the Capitals were doing this year with their goalie that caught fire (either that, or was protected by an air-tight defensive system). In our case - even if we take a slight risk with a downgrade in net, we also have Eddie Lack waiting in the wings......and probably isn't too far off from being where we'd want him to be.
Did Montreal get a do-over and keep Halak?? Neither of St Louis' goalies belongs in that list.
Goaltending isn't our problem. I don't think we have to worry about having good-great goaltending, regardless of which goalie we deal. Look at the cup finalists in the last two seasons. Luongo/Thomas, Quick/Brodeur. You need star-calibre goaltending.
-Why would Dudley be opposed to the idea of upgrading our 2nd line center?.........a guy that can not only bring out more in his linemates via playmaking ability, but can bring more offensively and could easily take over Henrik's spot as #1 center when Henrik declines in a few years.
Who is a better second line Centre than Ryan Kesler? We can all agree it was a very off year for Kes, and he finished 36th amongst Centres in scoring. So, who are we going to "upgrade" to? Hudler, Stepan, Grabovski, Fisher, Plekanec, Legwand, Stastny, Weiss, Deharnais, Jokinen, Ribiero etc. etc. All those guys put up more points than Kesler this year, and I wouldn't take any of them over RK. In 2010-2011 he finished 7th in Centre scoring. So I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. A healthy Ryan Kesler is probably a top-3 2nd line C in the league.
Unless your talking about swapping Kesler for Getzlaf (who's not a real 2nd line C), I don't really see anyone I'd rather have behind Hank. Ray Whitney finished 5th in assists this season, playing on the wing. He's a UFA. He played 18+ mins/night. He's also 40 years old. I think giving him a 1-year deal @ Salo money or pile on the bonus', throw him with Booth and Kes, and seeing how that works makes more sense than finding a replacement for Kesler.